Twitter details recent updates to its Progressive Web App

Twitter has been putting a lot of its attention on the Progressive Web App experience, which many expect to be the next big thing for apps. The firm has supported Microsoft's take on PWAs for some time now, and it's been delivering regular updates to it ever since.

Today, the firm detailed some of the changes that have been made to the Twitter PWA over the past few weeks. These changes may have been around for a while, such as the new three-column layout we reported on last week. Another big change that was spotted last week is that Twitter has replaced Bing with Google for translating tweets, and it's also now possible to hide a translation after you've read it.

In addition to those two major changes, Twitter has also made small improvements to many parts of the PWA. For example, you can now see the full header image of a profile by clicking on it, and there's a new compression method for large JPEG files which means images will be compressed locally, rather than being uploaded and then compressed on the server side. Here's the full list of improvements:

  • Profile: Changed from a settings icon to a kebab menu icon on profile pages since that menu has more than just profile settings.
  • Profile: We no longer truncate the account name on the profile page to allow parody accounts to be easier to identify
  • Profile: You can now click on a profile’s header image to see the full image
  • Profile: Follower and Following pages now have tabs to easily switch between them
  • Profile: Background color of avatars are now shown while they are loading
  • Compose: Sending tweets with large JPEG images should now be faster; we apply the same compressions we do server-side, but before uploading saving data and speeding the whole process up!
  • A11Y: Quoted tweets are now read out in screen readers when reading the parent tweet using j/k
  • Bookmarks: There’s now an option to clear all your bookmarks at once

And, of course, some issues with the experience have also been addressed. For example, transparent PNG files will actually have a transparent background now:

  • App: Improved performance around displaying profiles and users, in particular when composing a tweet
  • Windows: Should no longer render not-found errors for certain links (e.g. password reset)
  • Windows: Fixed an issue where the main content would sometimes appear to be blurry on certain devices
  • Images: Transparent PNGs should now not have a background color
  • Notifications: Mentions timeline should update much more frequently when returning to the page

The Twitter PWA could become the default web experience for most users, even on desktop devices, so any improvements to the experience will certainly be welcome. For desktop users, the revamped layout is likely to be the most welcome change, since the PWA still has a lot of blank space compared to the traditional desktop website.

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