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brochard
Making moves
Status: In review

Progressive Web apps are an important feature of a browser that Firefox is the only one missing.
For some, it can be the reason to switch to another browser.
In other cases like for the Steamdeck, it's what imposed the choice to only include Chrome in the SteamOS interface.
Other problem even for avid Firefox users, since I wanted Social apps on my pc I had to get them on the Microsoft Store which is an Edge PWA that opens every link in an Edge window, making me use this... other browser.

376 Comments
Спартак
New member

A few days ago, my Chromium-based browser got me pissed off because of being too laggy. I was an avid Firefox enjoyer back in the day, but switched at some point. So I thought it was finally time to go back to the firefoxy roots and was super excited at first, but then was largely disappointed when I read about the discontinuance of PWAs. Super sad, honestly, I really saw myself using all the new features Mozilla added over the years, but I'll have to continue using some other browser till they've fixed things...

xUxSxExR
Making moves

Yes. Also Webapps on Chromium Android work slightly better than Firefox Webapps for some reason.

But how is this not existent? As far as I know using Webapps is like a new Window, so its not comparable to an Electron App for example, where there is a different Browser instance hogging RAM.

So YES Webapps are awesome!

xUxSxExR
Making moves

Webapps also could be integrated like on any other Browser, starting with Opera, now Vivaldi, Edge and probably more. So display the Webapps in a sidebar.

 

Also when adding such a sidebar, make this sidebar customizable especially for addons! This could make firefox really awesome.

DonaldReagan
Strollin' around

By getting rid of support for PWAs in Firefox, Mozilla is effectively turning its back on the future of the open web. Progressive web apps (PWAs) are an important tool for developers and users alike. They offer a way to create rich, interactive web experiences that can be used offline, making them ideal for delivering content in areas with poor or unreliable internet connections. PWAs also allow developers to tap into native device features like push notifications and camera access—features that are not available through traditional web browsers.

Mozilla was a pioneer in supporting PWA development by offering built-in support for PWAs in Firefox OS — its mobile operating system designed specifically for HTML5 applications — and later added PWA support to its desktop browser as well. However, Mozilla has since removed this functionality from both products, citing performance concerns and a lack of interest from users and developers. We believe this is shortsighted: PWA technology has come a long way in recent years, addressing many of the early performance issues, and there is growing demand from both users and developers to bring back PWA support to Firefox.

PWAs offer a number of advantages over traditional websites and web apps, including offline support, push notifications, and access to native device features. Especially, offline support is one of the most frequently cited reasons for using PWAs. Many users find it frustrating when they try to access a website or app only to be met with an error message saying that there is no internet connection available. With PWA technology, developers can design applications so that certain content remains accessible even when there is no network connection — a critical feature for users in areas with spotty or non-existent internet service. Users also appreciate being able to receive push notifications through their PWAs once they’ve been added to their home screen — something that isn't possible with traditional websites, since notifications must be initiated by the users themselves through the browser.

Another little-talked-about reason is that PWAs offer a great way to escape the walled gardens of app stores. For small businesses and individual developers, getting an app listed in Apple’s App Store or Google Play can be prohibitively expensive and time-consuming. And even if you do manage to get your app approved for listing, there’s no guarantee that users will actually find it—the average iOS user spends less than 15 minutes per day using apps from the App Store, according to one estimate. In contrast, PWAs can be deployed directly on a website without going through any approval process, making them much easier (and way cheaper) to develop and distribute.

A final reason rarely discussed online is that PWAs offer a way to sidestep the issue of platform fragmentation. With traditional native apps, developers must design and build separate versions of their app for each different type of device — iOS, Android, Windows Phone, etc. This can be costly and time-consuming, especially for small teams or individual developers. In contrast, because progressive web apps are built using standard web technologies like HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript they can theoretically run on any devices that have a modern browser—including not just phones and computers but also smart TVs, gaming consoles which means that you have to develop only one version of your app that will work across all platforms.

A final reason rarely discussed online is PWA support can be a way to level the playing field for regional app developers. In countries with low internet penetration, it’s not uncommon for there to only be one or two major app stores—usually operated by international companies like Apple and Google. This gives these store operators an enormous amount of power over what apps are available to users in these regions, and makes it very difficult for local developers to openly compete. However, because PWAs do not require approval from any centralized app store in order to be distributed, they offer a more equitable and viable path forward for small businesses and individual developers to reach users directly with their products and services—regardless of where they live or which app store dominates their region.

Agenceici
New member

PWA is a technology that is becoming essential for any good browser. This is a strategic error that Mozilla risks paying dearly by becoming the last of the class. On the contrary, I believe that it should take this technology as a spearhead because there is a lot to do in this area which will probably replace most mobile applications.

Tingler
New member

@DonaldReaganwow. Comprehensive good reasons for PWAs.

Please mozilla bring it back. As many users stated it's the main reason some of your biggest fans have go to Google based solutions for some applications.

It's sad to see that you were pioneer of PWAs with Firefox OS when nobody else believed in it yet and now you are the only one who turn her back on PWAs.

Ricardo7
New member

não consigo tornar o navegador como principal por falta desse recurso...

I can't make the browser the main one because of the lack of this feature...

zanna
New member

I am a Linux user. Even if I always find all the apps I need, I am sensitive to the problem of apps being a closed treasure for the system they are developed on. Web apps allow me to use some services that, on non-mainstream OSs, wouldn't be available. That's why Firefox should be the first to promote them. I was so disappointed with Firefox being the only browser in 2023 not supporting them, that I tried to find an alternative; now I still use Firefox, but I need a separate web-app-maker application! And every time I tell my friends to switch to Firefox and come to the opensource side they say: "If it doesn't even support web apps?!"

Ud
Strollin' around

Is there any update from Mozilla part on all these comments?
Any job done? Is this coming?

zanna
New member

[EDITED] Sadly officially not. But you have the possibility to install apps from websites such as YouTube using the unofficial extension, that works perfectly for me! https://github.com/filips123/PWAsForFirefox

zanna
New member

zanna_0-1680521973814.png

[EDITED] Sadly non officially. But you have the possibility to install apps from websites such as YouTube or Mastodon using this extension that works beutifully: https://github.com/filips123/PWAsForFirefox

Anonymous
Not applicable

@zanna  I am not seeing that, did you change a config setting?

Ud
Strollin' around

Which version are you running?

MTpH9
New member

@zanna, I just check latest Nightly build and this is not true. Feature provided by this extention: https://addons.mozilla.org/uk/firefox/addon/pwas-for-firefox/

crabel
Making moves

Nice!

Microsoft has mad a PWA out of their Teams client (for Linux) recently and it annoys me to no end that I can't just click on links in Teams anymore since they open in Chromium automatically. Thanks for adding this back!