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TikTok arrives on Windows 10 and Windows 11 as a Progressive Web App in the Store

Tiktok Store Windows 10
Tiktok Store Windows 10 (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • TikTok is now available for Windows 10 and Windows 11.
  • The app is a Progressive Web App (PWA), although it delivers the full functionality of the mobile apps.
  • Later this year, Windows 11 users will also be able to install the Android version if they prefer.

Amongst the hubbub of Windows 11 arriving yesterday for those on the Windows Insider program (and qualifying hardware) was TikTok appearing in the Microsoft Store for Windows 10 and Windows 11.

Of course, it's not a native app built for Windows, but is, instead, a progressive web app (PWA). This is a similar strategy to the official Twitter and Facebook apps, which leverage Microsoft Edge to power the app experience.

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

The TikTok app, however, is quite helpful. Not only can you log into your account, but you can direct message others and even upload videos. There are also the usual functions like For You, Following, LIVE, and suggested accounts ensuring you can now waste hours at work when you should be using Microsoft Office.

The one thing TikTok is missing, though, is a dark mode. The bright white background becomes a bit overwhelming on a laptop or PC, but hopefully, TikTok can add this feature later. Being a web-based application, TikTok can make on-the-fly adjustments to the app without users needing to update through the Store.

Progressive web apps are becoming increasingly important to fill in the mobile app gap for Windows. Even Instagram is reportedly getting ready to finally let users upload photos via the web through its PWA. And, over time, we'll see these PWA become even more native-like, making them nearly indistinguishable from natively-coded apps.

We will likely see more companies leverage Edge Chromium for official apps in the Microsoft Store. But even if not, there is no reason why you can't install Google Maps, Google Photos, Gmail, YouTube, Disney+, Amazon Kindle and more as "apps" for your Windows 10 PC right now.

That said, on Windows 11, some of this may be moot. With the coming addition of the Amazon Android app store, the ability to run Android apps natively, and even sideloading APKs, you can have a choice between PWA or Android. And really, that's all that matters in the end: choice.

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

  • another web crap
  • App platform surpemecist here ... lol
  • do you prefer a native or webapp?
  • I prefer whatever works. I use PWA for Twitter, Slack, TikTok, YouTube TV, Google Photos, Google Maps, Disney+, and now even Telegram. They are all excellent and do what I need them to do without a hitch. Since you disprefer 'web crap' you can't use a lot of those services on your PC, which means I get a better experience 🤷‍♂️
  • don't lie, daniel
  • Clearly, you don't follow the podcast or my articles here. I've been talking up PWAs for years. They're excellent on devices like Surface Pro X, but I also use them on the desktop. YouTube TV is a perfect example - why open a tab in the browser, when I can have the app pinned to my TaskBar and run containerized as an app including snapping it? The same goes for Hulu or Sling. Twitter's PWA is great and you could see nearly all my posts are from the "Twitter Web App." These apps are light, often just a few KB in size. On Surface Pro X or Surface Go with LTE I can use Google Maps with geolocation. Slack also runs better since it's not Electron as a PWA. I'm not sure what you do on a PC if you want to use any of those things, just not do it to spite PWAs? Seems weird.
  • "I've been talking up PWAs for years" bingo! No one took it seriously. Apple (with the webkit) gave up and made an appstore. Firefox gave up too. Only Google insists because their system is browser-based.
  • So many problems with your comment. Daniel isn't suggesting PWAs are a negative with his comment. Apple didn't "give up", never heard of iCloud? Apple doesn't make Web Services and certainly doesn't do cross platform. Mozilla didn't give up Firefox supports PWAs. Google using PWAs is a negative. I guess you missed how massively popular Google services are.
  • Apple doesn't embrace it because it is a threat to its app model/revenue. Hard to get a cut of an app if it's a PWA, or bypasses the App Store. Firefox market share 1/2 that of Edge now on desktop and will likely decline. "Only Google .." Oh, the only company with 60%+ market share (depending if look only at desktop or mobile too), who has Chrome OS, one of the fastest growing computers in K-12, and the one company who arguable sets standards. They also have the leading phone OS (70+%). All this teamed up with Microsoft, the company with the largest desktop OS market share by a mile as we comment on one of the biggest social networks dropping a PWA on Windows.
  • He is. Twitter is so bad it shows up on your browser history.
  • Not only do you not speak for me, but you're also wrong, as usual.
  • Shows up in your web browser. Guess you don't know what PWA stands for.
  • PWAs never get the same love as a native app. Just look at Instagram and Facebook. They just don't support app like features like notifications. The devs just compile the PWA once and forget about it. It's just a check mark for them.
  • Agreed, I've made a comment about this. PWAs need to be more than just a link to open a website.
  • I use Slack PWA and get notifications all the time, it's critical. Same with Teams. Same with Twitter.
    "The devs just compile the PWA once and forget about it."
    Not sure you know what a PWA is? It's not compiling. It's the actual website that is deployed. The PWA never needs updating as it is the site.
  • Defend PWAs all you want.. I know what PWAs are capable of. But in practice, the experience just isn't as good as a native app because the devs just don't care enough. Performance is terrible too.
  • By compiling I meant whatever the devs need to do to get their app into the Microsoft store. I know they have to go through some process to package it as an AppX wrapper with the manifest files and all that.
  • It's people like you believing they're tech experts why Google are pushing Android apps on ChromeOS over PWAs despite the later being much more suitable for a laptop. Guess you missed TikTok is useless without internet access.
  • ChromeOS specifically gives PWA versions of apps from the Play Store where applicable (e.g. Twitter) because of their better experience over android apps.
  • Another person who doesn't know what they're talking about. Compare Teams Web App and Desktop App. No difference.
  • Thank you for the joke about "...ensuring you can now waste hours at work when you should be using Microsoft Office." I am probably going to be in this camp! Haha. Windows and Microsoft is really getting into the news for good reasons these days. The decision to finally face a lot of the user experience and developer issues and solve them is a highly welcome, long overdue one. Just installed the TikTok PWA app and it's doing the job. I am looking forward to the deluge of apps coming to the store and holding out hope for a mid-range dual-screen device (in between the Duo and the Neo) running a flavour of Windows 11 and being able to provide a true Surface mobile experience running Windows in the not-too-distant future.
  • This is one of the great achievements of human history.
  • Like on ChromeOS it's very likely the PWA will perform better than the Android app. This is how it works on ChromeOS. The PWA generally offers a much better experience except for apps like Spotify and Netflix which need offline support. Both of these have decent Win32 and UWP apps respectively.
  • This is really interesting. This is actually a very good mood it's almost makes you think they might be something called Windows 11 Mobile coming around the corner 😂 I think something called Windows 11X is coming this October on the surface Neo.
  • I see no difference between using this and just having a shortcut to the website. It runs about 8 browser processes. PWAs need to be *more* than just opening a website in their own window. I'm not saying they can't. but I've yet to see evidence of it. The 'new' Twitter app is junk
  • "I see no difference between using this and just having a shortcut to the website."
    Here are a few ways it is different than "just having a shortcut to the website:" It's containerized, running separately from the browser window/tabs, like an app Can be app-snapped Can have a notification icon in the taskbar Can be pinned to Start, or taskbar Receive toast notifications Can auto-start with windows Can handle open-links defaults like an app re: Twitter, we all have opinions, but as someone with 65K followers who tweets a LOT because of their job, it is all I use, so I find it a bit hyperbolic to call it "junk." It may not be for you, or you prefer something else, which is fine, but I know I'm a more proflic tweeter than 90% of those who use Twitter, so 🤷‍♂️
  • I use Twitter, I was just saying the 'app' is pointless in it's current form. I don't disagree with you, like I said I know the apps can do all that but I've yet to see any of it in use. I never get a notification on the Twitter app, for example. I do get them on my phone which I see on the Your Phone notifications. The Tiktok app under discussion here looks, to me, exactly like the website with no extra functionality. I've always preferred UWP apps over 'progressive' apps. Tiktok is available in the Amazon store, so if I wanted it (which I really don't) I'm more likely to install the Android version on Windows rather than the PWA.
  • Why isn't the term PWA "somewhere" in the description? Also noticed that the Store's user reviews have gone bye-bye of late.
  • re: reviews, as a brand-new app, I see 15 ratings with a 3.1 average review or TikTok, so? re: why not put PWA in the description ... how many apps define its architecture in the description? You want apps to say things like "Win32" or "PWA" or "UWP" or "XAML based with a hint of WinUI" in the consumer description block? For what reason? Who, outside the 0.1% of users, knows or cares about that?
  • OK on the PWA thing, but there used to be place to click on user reviews where Overview, System Requirements and Related are. And while there are 10 starred reviews in the top image, where are they to read in the Store app?