8 Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) we'd love to see in the Microsoft Store

Microsoft Store

Microsoft Store (Image credit: Matt Brown | Windows Central)

Now that Windows 10 supports Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) in the Microsoft Store, it's time to start looking at a few PWAs that are available online right now and that would be right at home in the Store. Bringing PWAs to the Store is an easy and convenient way for developers to bring apps to Windows 10 without having to port an existing app from iOS or Android. And PWAs are universal, across Windows 10, and other platforms.

Since PWAs are basically just websites that can be accessed on any platform, developers can build a PWA and have that app run on any platform that supports web apps, which includes Windows, Android and iOS. Of course, PWA apps will also help Microsoft in any future mobile efforts, as a lack of apps was one of Windows Mobile's biggest criticisms.

Here's a list of PWAs we'd love to see in the Microsoft Store for Windows 10.

Uber

Uber's Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app no longer works, unfortunately, as the developer decided it wasn't worth updating because not many people used it. Uber has a neat PWA, however. Since Uber already has an app listing, all it would need to do is switch out the UWP with a PWA, and functionality would be restored. Check out the PWA here. (opens in new tab)

Tinder

Are you looking for a date? On Windows 10 you're not. Tinder unfortunately never built a native app for Windows, but it has a sweet PWA that would work great on Windows 10. Finding a date on your PC could come in handy if you're at work and can't be seen on your phone. Check out the PWA here.

Google Maps and Photos

Google doesn't often play nice with Microsoft, but it would be really nice if we saw Google Maps and Google Photos show up in the Microsoft Store on Windows 10. While many people use Windows, not everyone is part of Microsoft's ecosystem. Lots of people use Google services for things like email and photos, so it would be great to see the Photos app in the Store for users that need it. Check out the Maps PWA here. and Photos here.

Flipboard

Flipboard actually has an app in the Microsoft Store, but it's an old Windows 8 app that's pretty basic. Flipboard could switch out its old Metro app with a new PWA app and update it with native support for Windows 10, with things like the Share menu, Live tile, and actionable notifications. Check out the Flipboard PWA here.

Starbucks

Coffee drinker? Starbucks has a PWA that might benefit you. You can check out all the different coffee on offer, and even sign in to see your Starbucks Rewards. Check out the Starbucks PWA here.

Paper Planes

Paper Planes is a cool little "game" that lets you send a virtual paper plane around the world for someone to open up. You can also catch paper planes sent from other people, and find out where the paper plane was sent from. It's a simple idea and a great example of the kind of app you can build with PWA. Check out the Paper Planes PWA here.

Guitar Tuner

If you play guitar, a tuner app would come in handy. Guitar Tuner is a PWA that listens via your microphone and tells you the Octave of the sound that's playing.Check out the PWA here.

What do you think?

Those are my picks for PWA apps I'd love to see in the Microsoft Store on Windows 10. Do you have any thoughts on PWAs you'd love to see in the Store? Let us know in the comments.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

53 Comments
  • Google apps and Nimvelo, as I need them for work T_T but I'm not holding my breath when it comes to google apps and I'm not sure as heck using an android phone. Far too insecure for my liking, the Quadrooter flaw affects almost a billion android devices and not all these phones will be patched. Plus it's not the only flaw to affect this many android devices either so it won't be the last.
  • Plus, android updates take so long to reach devices unless you want to spend heavy and buy direct google products so you could receive them a bit faster, yet they aren't available everywhere either. I own an android 7.1 device myself and I've been waiting for my oreo update more than 5-6 months now whilst this device manufacturer has stated that my device will be receiving the update, I've been patient than I have to be even though the device itself became 1 generation behind the latest model of its production like a month ago? so yeah not that old "gen" either. as I've been closely monitoring the release of oreo for my device it has been pushed to soak testing by the mid of this month so either by the end of this month(hopefully) or the 1st of next month[still hoping :( ] I will get my 8.1 updates (cause they are skipping over to the latest).
  • True. Which phone do you have? Sometimes OEMs will drag their heels for a few more months and say it's beyond "the normal update cycle", rinse and repeat with the following phone generations unless the OEM is a big brand name like Samsung. But even then it's always given to high end models even then it's at most about 2 years (there is the odd exception). Spending more than half a grand on a device that will only get 2 years of support is far too little to warrant spending that much. Unfortunately most are content in switching phones out annually.... this has made OEMs complacent when it comes to patches. Also don't forget there have been instance where Google themselves have refused to issue patches themselves (I wonder why...).
  • Android gets a solid 5 years of support. APIs, apps, and features will be added and updated through Google Play Services for several years. Android version updates matter less and less every year. Microsoft never supported their phones as well as Google. Even two year old phones like the X3 will never get an update to the API or even browser to support PWA properly. Windows Phones were always poorly supported.
  • I agree on this, Android is really good as a mobile platform, take for example the Solitarie game made by Microsoft studios, it runs like a charm on a $50 1GB RAM smartphone, so the days where people said Windows Phone was fast and Android was slow are over. Steve Ballmer was right when he said Microsoft should allow Android apps to run on Windows, too bad Satya Nadella didn't continued with Nokia X project.
  • 5 years of support really now? That is only true for 0.1% of android devices not all android devices.
  • Every single Android phone is regularly updated by Google as long as it has at least Android 4.0 which was released in 2011. Google Play Service updates are seemless and include new APIs, features, and security updates when possible. You are totally wrong. Microsoft doesn't support their 2011 mobile platform at all and hasn't for a few years now. Microsoft's mobile support pales in comparison to Google's. https://www.androidpit.com/google-play-services-what-is-it-and-what-is-i...
  • Or on the other hand... my phone came with Android 7.1 and I got the upgrade to 8.0 quite quickly but it has completely destroyed my battery life and performance. Wish I hadn't "updated"
  • story of my life.
  • Quadrooter was a few years ago now. I see no reports of it actually being used and Google updated the Play Store quickly to check for this vulnerability. This is actually a good example of security in Android. It required you to install an app that took advantage of the exploit so it was easy to prevent. Google also quickly blocked it and released patches so devices would not be vulnerable at all. Was a Quadrooter exploit ever actually successful or was it just another theoretical vulnerability?
  • This initiative could potentially grow into e.g. Microsoft insider platform for PWA. We get to feedback what PWA apps we like to see in store and get their feedback and milestones how Microsoft plan to populate store with PWA apps
  • HBO would be nice since there is no UWA.
  • Didn't AT&T acquire HBO, CNN and Warner Bros for $85 Billion?... I wouldn't hold my breath for a UWA.
  • I thought the Bing crawler was going to be adding PWAs like these?
  • It potentially could but don't hold your breath. It could take months if not years.
  • What do I think? I think you and Microsoft should give up with this idea of populating the Store with BASIC Websites under cover. Performance-wise Apple is dominating the app world, because of the Obj-C (and now Swift) are reaching almost metal. Neither .NET or Java provides such optimization, what's left for Web tech. Native apps (on iOS) are always going to be prefered. Also, when exactly do you and Microsoft think this strategy is going to be competitive to the insane catalog of more than 2.5 million specific dedicated super quality apps for iOS? Unlike past times, this time the client software game is irreversible. What's next AAA games as Websites? Ah, yes the Cloud-powered game streaming, that's totally coming to masses in the near 5 years. PWAs and other related tech, Bridges, Cross-platform solutions and such are just laughtable initiatives born out of desperation. Noone said something remotely close to this statement for Apple's dedicated Store and mini apps idea back in 2008 (except Adobe with their Flash out of fear, that turned out to be reasonable), and obviously for a reason! Sorry for Microsoft. Google are fine.
  • On a PC, or even on aTablet, Apps where PWA is a valid option, there is more than enough power. Even my old Surface 3 (non-pro), displays websites as fast as any iOS App loading data from the web could do. "Games" (yes, in parathesis, we're talking grinding stuff, not real games) are another thing, there clearly PWA is the wrong choise. It's like a ferrari. 800HP. A semi-truck? Also 800 HP. But for both totally different use-cases. The truck is useless one the race track, the Ferrari can't even handle the weekly family groceries.
  • Why does Google push PWA too then? This is not just a Microsoft backed thing. PWA will become more developed with time, it has barely started. Not sure how you can compare it to iOS natively coded apps, OF COURSE native iOS apps are probably going to offer a better experience (at least for right now). Also no one is saying PWA is going to 100% replace native apps (on any platform), which is true for UWP too. You're not going to see like Adobe photoshop as a PWA or something. Specific types of apps will benefit from being a PWA. Lastly, the world isn't all apple/iOS. What good is an iOS app on an android phone or any other platform?
  • Google push PWA? Have you watched I/O 2018 and all its dev sessions? For Google its obvious that PWA is just another thing that's nice to be there and nothing more. Android native is the real deal. Don't listen to Rubino, Google literally don't give a crap about PWA. They're adopting a JetBrains language called Kotlin to produce the same native robust and solid apps as with Java for Android as well as their somehow secret new OS - Fuschia. Don't blindly trust anything biased WC tell you. Research and educate yourself. Check the amount and quality of dev resources for PWA and Android in Google's developer network and compare the dedication
  • Yet you have iOS. apps like sworkit which was even feature in the app store homepage and runs as html 5 hybrid app thanks to the Cordova framework. And its not the only HTML5 hybrid app on the app store.
  • Fact is though, people don't give a **** if it's written in this or that language, if it's native or an under cover webpage. They need the most important apps. 2.5 million quality apps? Where? Who cares? You know, about 1/3 of those have 0, as in ZERO downloads. People don't need them, they need the important ones. And, most of those can easily run as PWAs without the user ever knowing. And, it's not an replacement for native programing on Windows. It's a way for MS to be able to provide users with alot of the apps absent from the store today. Swift reaching more metal? It compiles to a llvm bitcode, and when you upload Apple translates the bitcode into the target instruction set (such as ARM machine code) with the llvm back end. This is called AOT, ahead of time compilation. Now, in the case of UWP there are exceptions from the norm as those are AOT as well. I'm not doing a Swift vs C# here, but saying Swift is better is just wrong. But Windows store apps is not going to be PWA only. And, there are several AAA UWP games. Sea of Thieves etc.