Google announces Trusted Web Activity for Android

We discuss how publishers can leverage PWAs at the IAB publisher breakfast in Barcelona

This February, Google announced that it has introduced Trusted Web Activity for Android, in its Chrome 72 update.

Trusted Web Activity is an API for Progressive Web Apps, which allows content to be displayed fullscreen, with system-level features built-in, and a limited amount of native code meaning there is no browser UI visible in the app, including the URL bar.

In addition, this means that PWAs using the Trusted Web Activities (TWA) API are now supported on the Google Play Store.

Google allows PWAs to be published and discovered on the Play Store, as long as the quality of experience of the PWA meets set criteria and has a high-speed loading time. Web content in TWAs must achieve a minimum Lighthouse score of 80, and abide by all the current Google Play Store rules.

This development will enable publishers to create PWAs with more native features, without adding excessive amounts of Java. Whilst the publishing process is not straightforward, this does represent a major step forward towards the widespread adoption of PWAs and the changing face of web content. New developments that improve the publisher and user experience will always be welcome, but for digital publishers, adopting them will cause ripples that have to be considered.

To understand more about the role of PWAs and existing publishing features, such as Google AMP, Marfeel recently hosted the IAB Barcelona publisher breakfast, alongside Google.

We wanted to break down how this TWA update, and PWAs can be used by publishers in the current Google landscape.

Integrating PWAs at the IAB Publisher Breakfast

IAB Barcelona

Speaking at the event were:

  • Marc Trujillo – Senior Strategic Partnerships Manager, Marfeel
  • Luis Collado – Global Product Partnerships Manager, News & Publishing, Google
  • Margarita Savhenkova – Digital Content Manager, Grupo M Contigo S.L.

One of the major points of discussion at the event was how publishers can use Google AMP can be alongside a PWA, and ways to re-circulate users between the two.

We heard how Google AMP is built on the ability to provide almost instant delivery. But, Progressive Web Apps are loaded with more interactivity and features built to maintain engagement. This means that their first load is limited by the site’s Service Worker.

Therefore, a good strategy is to make the entry point into your site an AMP page, then load the PWA behind the scenes, directing your readers to your PWA pages from the AMP content.

Marc Trujillo, from Marfeel explained the importance of close integration between AMP and a PWA, to encourage this level of recirculation.

‘When you have a mobile site that has a different UX through various channels, your readers might get confused when not seeing the same branding depending on the traffic source. But with Marfeel’s 360º solution your mobile sites will all look and feel the same to keep your brand experience consistent and recognizable.’

The announcement of TWA, and the continued adoption of PWAs is a major development for digital publishers. However, it doesn’t come without its challenges. Utilizing the TWA api relies on creating a seamless user experience across every platform, and device.

Learning and development events such as the IAB publisher breakfast help us maintain the highest standards for digital publishing and user experience. Working with partners such as Google creates the closest possible integrations of new features, helping our publishers adopt new technology into their stack, seamlessly.

And you can join us at any time. See our list of upcoming events, and sign up to attend here.

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