Netflix is reportedly testing a Hosted Web App for Windows 10 if a Store listing is to be believed. Spotted by Aggiornamenti Lumia, the app listing states that it is a test app for the “Netflix Hosted Web App”. The streaming service’s competitor, Hulu, offers a Progressive Web App (PWA) through the Store. With more apps such as Instagram making the switch to a PWA from a Native app, it looks like Netflix is following suit.
While a Hosted Web App lacks the more expanded capabilities of a PWA like service workers and Push APIs, it will not be surprising to see the company slowly transition the offering to a full blown PWA. The advantages of switching the Native app to a PWA include the ability to update the app with the same cadence of the website. This negates the necessity for the service to separately maintain the native Windows 10 app since the company can update the app with little to no changes.
While the current Native app offers the ability to save offline content, it is not sure how well that feature would work with a PWA, since it requires full integration with the file system on Windows 10. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Netflix build out the PWA with features that the current app has before replacing the native offering. Microsoft is also working on making Edge PWAs work like native Windows 10 apps, so it makes sense for the companies to ensure that user experience is not degraded with a move to PWAs.