Microsoft has converted the web version of its online service Outlook.com into a progressive web app – at least partially.
With browsers based on Chromium, Outlook.com can now be used as a Progressive Web App (PWA). For example, under Chrome, the service can be installed along with the desktop icon. To do this, click on the plus icon in the address bar of your browser.
After the installation Outlook.com shows up in a customized browser window without any additional information like a native app. The basic functions of the Chrome browser are of course also available here. To do this, click on the symbol with the three vertically arranged dots in the upper right corner.
On closer inspection, however, it turns out that Outlook.com does not meet all the requirements that actually make up the term PWA. Especially offline use is not possible. Likewise, the app cannot be declared the standard mail app in the system and the notifications take the detour via the corresponding browser feature.
Nevertheless, the first implementation is a real step. Microsoft is also moving in the right direction with the work on a Google integration that we reported on here.
This is a Progressive Web App (PWA)
Progressive Web Apps combine the advantages of native apps in terms of interface usage, local data management, the ability to display notifications and a few more details with the uncomplicated, fast availability of Web-based offerings and their immediate up-to-dateness, which does not require an update process.
The PWA is designed to make as many – if not all – device- and browser-specific features usable as possible. This happens progressively. The more powerful the device and the browser, the more powerful the app. Only open web standards are used for creation.