Twitter updates its Windows 10 UWP app to PWA with support for push notifications

The UWP Twitter app for Windows 10 had more or less been left for dead. It hadn't been updated in forever, and was missing simple changes to the Twitter service such as the increase from 180 to 240 character tweets. Today, however, Twitter has finally updated its Windows 10 app, changing it from a UWP to PWA. This is good news.

Progressive Web Apps (PWA): What they are, and what they mean for Microsoft

The new Twitter app looks identical to the mobile Twitter PWA website you can find online, except now it's wrapped in a window that makes the app feel native. It also supports push notifications, meaning you don't have to have the app open to see any replies to tweets. It doesn't appear to support live tiles just yet, however.

Because it's the PWA version of Twitter, it has all the latest changes and enhancements you can find on the Twitter service, for better or worse. This includes character increase in tweets, bookmarking tweets, changing to the Twitter timeline algorithm, and a whole lot more.

The benefit here is Twitter no longer has to properly maintain the Twitter app for Windows 10. Now that it's a PWA, any changes it makes to the mobile website should automatically be applied to the PWA app, which can run in any platform that supports PWAs. This should mean Windows 10 users won't get left behind when big changes are introduced to the Twitter service.

Microsoft's Kyle Pflug, who works on Edge, chimed in on Twitter noting that all the features aren't here yet. When the "Spring Creators Update" rolls out more features will come online:

See more

The new Twitter PWA app is rolling out as an update for the existing Twitter app for Windows 10, which means you might have to reauthenticate your account once the update is installed. Let us know in the comments what you think about this new update!

Download Twitter for Windows 10 at the Microsoft Store (opens in new tab)

_Thanks for the tip, @win10fan!

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

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

  • It keeps popping up a request to update the review and I even updated it from 1 star to 4, but then it kept on popping up that window, so they got 1 star back... It keeps happening.
  • Not for mobile though.
  • For what I know, this will not update for mobile, because it lacks the framework to run PWA apps.
  • I have the old app installed for notifications, but pinned the pwa mobile site to my start on my 950, best of both worlds.
  • Service Workers are in the current build of Edge on W10M
  • Yes, but need to be turned on manually.
  • how do you turn them on manually
  • Someone below said its in about:flags and i verified its there
  • tanks you very much!
  • That's because Mobile is dead.
  • Thanks for the subtle wording. Very much to be expected from a Microsoft-centric site. NOT.
  • As if! :P
  • How can I downvote this comment? - Sent from my Lumia 950
  • Like trying to bring back Windows can't
  • Half of WCentral's articles clearly state mobile is not dead. Only phone production is dead. Which is it? Even if we can't manage technical accuracy, it would be nice if the messaging was at least consistent.
  • I can't.
    MS can, but don't bring it back, bring it back in a better form.
    (can you blame people for wanting W10m when they bought phones in 2016 and then MS ditched them?)
  • You can do that in the Windows Central UWP App. Feels good when you outsmart someone who thinks it's not possible.
  • Doesn't mean it does anything.
  • Actually you can downvote to your heart's content from the Windows Central app. Isn't that ironic.
  • I don't remember anyone asking your opinion Zac
  • I don't remember anyone here need some kind of approval to say anything. You know, like freedom of speech...
  • "Like" freedom of speech, or actual freedom of speech? ;)
  • so true, but hey some of the other writers kept confusing users n kept their hopes up
  • Please, no one confused anyone. Writers are as human as anyone of us readers and they write based on the info they have, which even if they have some insider information they don't always know everything.
  • So edgy❗
  • Is this update for rs4 and later?
  • yes rs4 and up
  • Yes, it's also on RS5.
  • Where's dat People Hub integration yo?
  • This gives me hope for more apps, however no dark theme, no live tiles, no autoplay for video. It's a start.
  • No dark theme is definitely a big turn-off. I assume that'll come eventually though. No autoplay for videos is more of a feature than a bug IMHO. :P
  • Saw it coming, it was the only way it made sense to discontinue the macOS app but leave the Windows app without updates.
  • Better than a cobweb covered UWP. I think this is welcome.
  • It would be nice to have it highlighted on the news itself that it is for RS4 only.
  • So eventually PWA will take over UWP, right?
  • No, for certain apps PWA may make more sense
  • No, that's neither possible nor desirable. PWAs are much slower than native apps - they are essentially JavaScript apps.
  • Not if they use WebAssembly.
  • For some cases probably, for others not. For most of the built-in apps of Windows and apps like a package tracker or Dolby Access (i.e. not web-based utilities), UWP probably makes more sense, but PWA is probably more sensible for things like Twitter or Facebook or any other web-based service that has a fully featured website.
  • In many ways, yes. Like almost no one used Twitter UWP app almost no one will use Twitter PWA for exactly the same reason - the web site is better. At least on the desktop and that is all that is left as of today. To put it simple - for the good apps it won't. This will be just another way to distribute bad apps, and as they are majority you are probably right - PWA will take over UWP.
  • Just installed it, and I gotta say, it's shockingly responsive. I almost expected the typical sluggish performance that we can expect from JS, HTML5 etc., but it feels native! I'm impressed.
  • Wish I could afford to leave win mobile.
  • you can pin the site
    for close to the same experience
    And in edge about:flags you can turn on push notification/background sync (under service worker)
  • Have you tried the notifications? Do you know a simple way to test that I did it right?
  • Dark theme is gone :(
  • Now I see it's not for production folks yet. Article wasn't clear on that point
  • I didn't get the new update yet, can't wait to try it!
  • I thought the whole idea and point was to not need an "app" with PWA? Isn't the savior is to have mobile sites, which work across all platforms (aside from Safari for now) be the way out of the app gap?
  • You're partly right. With PWA you do not need an app, but Microsoft will be putting them in the store for those that are stuck in the app paradigm.
  • no, but because without the store wrapper it doesn't work! Open Twitter mobile in Edge, pin it to the start menu. now open it from there and: you end up in the browser again, not in its own 'app' - like it does on Android. :-(
  • So, what I recommend is you click that link in the article that explains PWA, UWP, how it all works, etc. I hear it's AMAZING.
  • I didn't think their app could be worse. But, they proved me wrong. It's even more boring and painful to use than the UWP was. I'm going back to Tweetium.
  • It's a beta for Insiders so Twitter can get feedback. Service Workers aren't even enabled yet (and wont' be for a few weeks). Consider this just the start as Twitter will be adding features/fixes going forward. There's a reason why it's only on the WIP.
  • I like the old W10M app, still using it. No ads!
  • Looks like the dark mode is gone with it for good. What is the sense of the dark mode in Windows if only a couple of apps are respecting it. Hurts my eyes...
  • Well, since the desktop site of Twitter got dark mode last year, I would expect the PWA to get it as well further down the line.
  • No dark theme makes me sad. :(
  • Hmm besides there not being a dark theme anymore, the share contract functionality has also been lost :(
    EDIT: And it's both ways, can't share from an app to Twitter nor can share a tweet to another app.
  • awesome, the next half-baked effort by Microsoft that will get abandoned anyways shortly after :(
  • Except the effort isnt from ms its from the consortium which includes Google and apple so its likely it won't get abandoned.
  • Here we go again with the blame Microsoft script.
  • I'm confident they'll be worked out and new features will be added. PWA is still pretty new.
  • I hope they do the same for Facebook and Messenger as the store apps haven't really moved on since their release in 2016 and are way behind the website, android and IOS versions.
  • Who is 'they'? You realize Twitter did this, not MS. PWA is created by the same folks that needed to create the store UWP. They get the advantage of having to create the PWA once and having it work on any compliant platform as opposed to having to build platform specific versions. Facebook would still have to care. This just makes the result of caring a bit more universal. Actually embracing the universality incidentally supports Windows.
  • Well, I think that "they" Darren said also can be applied to Facebook developers as well.
  • By the way, for Facebook already has PWA app, but unofficial yet. It called Likebook for Facebook (available for PC and mobile)
  • #winning
  • Link does not work.
  • Sorry, I'm just not at all impressed with this PWA. Web site works a lot better IMHO
  • Is the update available on windows 10 mobile?
  • No and it never will be.
  • Wait, so it is a good thing now when big developers drop native Windows development? This isn't going to end well. Why bother using Windows when an app is available anywhere? This just opens the door to competitors. This is exactly what ChromeOS wants.
  • Nadella doesn't see the need for windows on a desktop.
    That's why he admitted Windows 10 is the last version. Listen to what he says, same as mobile.
  • There are a lot of apps that will continue to thrive on an OS (UWP for Windows) because of their complexity and feature richness... MS Office, Photoshop, many games, Inking/Design apps, iTunes (if it every comes), etc. Some current UWP apps will thrive as PWA... Starbucks, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Some apps that developers have abandoned on Win 10 anyway would thrive as PWA... Intuit's Mint for example. Some apps that developers simply can't afford to, or it doesn't make financial sense to develop on 3 different platforms will thrive as PWA... banking apps, credit card apps, apps created by government agencies, apps created by nonprofits, major airline apps, etc. Some apps that have never been on the store would thrive as PWA... Voxer for example. In order for UWP to survive the store must survive. The store will survive if people can get the apps they need, the apps their friends and family are using on other platforms, on the MS store. PWA is good for the store... is good for UWP.
  • PS. Go to the MS store and look up Top Paid Apps... those are pretty much so the ones that will thrive as UWP. Then do a search for Top Free Apps... those are pretty much so the ones that will thrive as PWA.
  • Not one of those apps you mentioned in the first paragraph are UWP...
  • Actually some of them are. I'm pretty sure the MS Office mobile apps are UWP apps, which are good enough for what most of us use Office for, outside of the actual "office". And even there, how often do I use Win32's Mail Merge feature anymore? How often do I use Clipart (I think it's called Smart Art now)? Never! To be sure full blown Office has its place, but I can't help thinking that soon even full blown MS Office will be for sale and downloadable from the store itself. Not sure if the design and inking apps Photoshop Elements, Drawboard, Sketchboard, AutoCAD Mobile, and are UWP under the hood or just Centennial apps, or if every single game on the store is a pure UWP app or just a Centennial port. But really what average joe actually cares what's under the hood? In fact as a developer I often don't care. As a developer all I really care about is making a great app I can be proud of, and that there are customers in the store that may see my app while browsing and click the Free Trial button or better yet the Buy button. If PWAs bring people more people to the store that's a good thing for my app whether or not its a pure UWP app, a Centennial app, or whether it was ported using some other bridge technology. Bottom line, more customers in the store can only help developers with more complicated, feature rich, apps for sale. I personally hope that the MS store sells all possible forms of Windows software some day, and kills off these malware infected freeware sites that have become the bane of PCs.
  • Oh dear, yet another #trollfail
  • How? How is it good for Microsoft to lose native development?
  • I suggest reading the WC article about PWA that was written a little while ago. But basically there are some apps that will be fine as a PWA, like twitter. But that doesn't mean PWAs are going to suddenly replace native UWP apps, especially if they need more power or advanced features. The win-win situation here is that if PWA becomes commonly used and is successful then many apps that normally wouldn't be seen on the Microsoft store will just be there now because developers don't have to specifically develop for windows 10. If a PWA app becomes popular enough and needs more advanced features then a developer is more likely to make a native UWP app since they already know it'll be downloaded by a lot of people.
  • Good luck with that. This article is an example of Twitter dropping Windows development. You know they will still have native apps on Android and iOS. The Windows experience will suffer and the app gap will widen. This doesn't bring Microsoft users in the short term, it will do the exact opposite if anything. If it is worth developing for Windows, then Win32 is likely your target. UWP is still feature incomplete.
  • I totally agree real0395. PWA has its place. UWP has its place. And Win32 still has its place. I see PWA as a win-win. Bringing folks to the store that might not have come otherwise. Microsoft pretending that they live on an Island and refusing to adapt to modern technologies and standards is NOT the solution as some folks on this site seem to suggest. I credit Nadella with trying to change that culture at MS. My only hope is that this Andromeda device really hits store shelves in 2018, that Nadella FULLY backs it, and that it runs PWAs well, UWP well, and eventually emulates Win 32 well (but I think they should release with or without Win 32 emulation).
  • That's a theory. It has many problems in reality. The first would be that most PWAs will probably never be tested with Edge. So they have a very good chance of braking something if not now then in some update. Of course, that's better than nothing. But people that want better than nothing will probably buy the cheapest Chromebook, not Windows machine. So to whom is that targeted then?
  • This is nice I suppose. I use Tweetium Pro on Windows 10 (just as I did on Windows 10 Mobile) and would rather support them than Twitter.
  • not got the update yet either! Been using the twitter app for Windows 10 for ages
  • Not all the update changed. It also removed the ability to resize to a small footprint. Back to TweetDeck for me.
  • Not a fan of this news. Despite its limitations, I really like the UWP app. It handles multiple accounts really well, and I love that I can size it down to a sidebar next to my browser, and the feed automatically updates with no user intervention.
  • I'm assuming since it's still pretty new it'll be updated with new features
  • Yes. It's not available to mass market yet.
  • Of course. But for now (and who knows how long), it's a worse app for me. But I do like that it will be updated regularly, unlike the old app.
  • Is the idea similar to WhatsApp Windows 10 App?
  • Can we please stop pretending that a PWA is the same as a real app? Seriously! Go to edge and hit share. can you share out to twitter? if not, then this over glorified web wrapper will not work for you. Do you have more than 1 twitter account? get used to using a 3'rd party app. And twitter isn't the only one I've got beef with. Pocket cast is an app that's in the store on the cheap. The iPad app cost around $4 and you get offline podcasts. you get playlist. actual settings that allow me to import and export opml files. The windows PWA cost $10 to use and it's a web wrapper that you have to be online to use. EVERY TIME WE ACCEPT A PWA, WE'VE SAID WE'RE CHEAP AND WE'LL TAKE WHAT WE CAN GET. There's almost a billion of us now. If this is the best twitter can do. If twitter will give us a cheap web wrapper that they WOULDN'T DARE PUT ON iOS & ANDROID. Then we need to start encouraging and rewarding up & coming competition. If some devs out there think they can make a better twitter or facebook (both of which are sitting on extra-crispy nerves.) So long as they make a windows app that is on par with what they have on Android and iOS, we DUMP TWITTER and ANYONE that thinks we can be won over with a web wrapper. As for me, I'm killing off my Pocketcast account.
  • does anyone know if it uses WebAssembly?
  • How can I login to my other twitter accounts ? I have logged in with my primary account but can't see how I can add work accounts …
  • You have to log out of your existing account before you can log into another account. It doesn't support multiple accounts, unfortunately.
  • Not yet.
  • Great, so no use to me at the moment. Is there a way to back to the old app ? I'm on skip ahead insider...
  • I created a suggestion about this in Feedback Hub yesterday:
  • Oh, come ON, people. As was clearly pointed out, the various services haven't been deployed for the PWA, so notifications, etc. aren't going to be available for awhile yet. They're trying to get feedback on the core aspects. Personally, I think it's ugly and painful to use compared to the UWP app, and BOTH the UWP and PWA are poor in design and experience compared to a number of competing apps (Tweetium, for example). THAT'S my feedback to them.
  • First it was Windows Phone 7, then 8, then 8.1, then Cortana, then 10, then Continuum, then various Creators Updates, then UWP a going to be the savior and PWA. I want Microsoft to succeed, I really do. I believe they have the best products and services on the market. The problem is many things never get released and the few that do get half assed support at best and zero marketing (with the exception of Surface, kind of). How can we trust them to stick with it this time?
  • I understand your comment but it's kind of out of place here because this is something theoretically backed by Google as well. This isn't Microsoft making up a new platform that they're trying to push onto others, but that they're joining in support. Microsoft obviously needs to support PWA well, but they're not "releasing" anything. The fact they will automatically add PWAs to the store helps a lot with discoverability Apple probably stands to lose the most from this.
  • How hard could it be to implement pwa support in W10m? The had phones but no devs, they killed the phones and still had no devs, they implemented pwa's and suddenly devs gets more interested, but now they have no phones. Some people still use W10m, and even if it would be pure goodwill I really think those of us who stuck with MS on the platform deserves a little love. I promise, I'll still buy the Surface Andromeda whatever it will be device.
  • Yeah, I think this whole thing has terrible timing, precisely because W10M users are the ones who would benefit most from this. Also the editorial line from WC seems to be that because they are all using newer Android phones, W10M stopped existing and it's a crime to be interested in it, not to speak to keep using it.
  • The article doesn't say anywhere that this is for Insiders only. I think it's a major omission and that's unprofessional to put out news just assuming every Windows user or even MS enthusiast is on Insider builds.
  • No seeing this in the UK yet
  • I wish they add dark mode. Then it'd be perfect. Facebook needs to go PWA next.
  • I wish they add dark mode. Then it'd be perfect. Facebook needs to go PWA next.
  • People often say why do want an app when you can just use your browser. Certain favourite websites like Facebook,Twitter, and Youtube I like to keep separate from other websites. I want these sites to be more like programmes and don't want the browser tabs up top. Another issue is the way links open, I use Facebook website in a different window because I prefer the website over the app(although in general I try to use apps for other stuff).If you open a link it will just open next to it rather than in your main browser window and also happens the other way round as well. Of course it's up to the individual if you want to do it from your browser then that's fine.
  • Push notifications doesn't work on the PC app. I keep getting this when I try to turn them on... "Unsupported browser
    It looks like your browser doesn't support push notifications." And no dark theme. Only thing I'm satisfied with is that they finally upped the character limit, which should have been done a long time ago. Disappointed in this update.
  • it's there an Auto-Refresh setting ?