Lately, companies like Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, and Apple are in the process of adopting a modern web application standard. The applications developed under this standard, although web-based, behave more like native apps. These Progressive Web Applications (PWAs) can be hosted directly on their web servers.
A Progressive Web App, when installed, will get you a home screen, taskbar, and desktop shortcut. Other features of a PWA include syncing and offline support, notifications, among many.
Progressive Web Apps are something we may see more of in the future. They provide a good way of using or working on a site in an app-like manner. The only difference is, you don't install the app. To the credit of a PWA, we can say that they offer an immersive and full-screen experience, while also offering web push notifications. PWA can be thought of as a modern web page. They offer app-like features and can easily be added to your home screen. Another advantage of installing a PWA is related to internal storage. If your device’s storage capacity is nearly full PWAs enable you to use sites in an app-like manner without installing the app.
As of now, Of late, Google Drive has emerged as a Progressive Web App. Google Drive PWA can be installed on computers and similar devices. PWA is treated as a native app after its installation on your device. A Google Drive PWA implementation will make everything look similar to a built-in native app. Although it needs internet connectivity, this PWA takes less space than the usual non-native apps.
Before using the Google Drive PWA, you need to install it in your preferred device. The installation process is pretty simple but varies according to the platform of your device.
Installing Google Drive Progressive Web App on Windows, Mac, and Android
- Use the Chrome browser to install the Google Drive Progressive Web App on Windows10, MacOS, and Chrome OS. On opening Google Drive in Chrome, simply click on the ‘+’ icon in the URL bar. Click install in the pop up asking for permission to be installed. Google Drive PWA website window will open up along with all the shortcuts on your desktop.
- A mobile version of Google Drive PWA is available for android users. Simply go to Drive in the Chrome browser of your mobile device and tap the hamburger icon. Click ‘add to home screen’ to get the PWA.
- After installing this PWA, the next step is using it. Let's see how.
Using the Google Drive PWA
One can't deny the convenience that Google Drive offers to users and developers. Not only does it provide anytime and anywhere access to files, but it also syncs them between two devices. Now that Chrome apps are almost dead, Google Drive PWA provides users with a native app-like experience. The PWA bears a considerable resemblance to the browser website. Every single task that a browser helps you achieve is possible with Google’s PWA. let's go through some of them.
1. Uploading files and folders
Click the +New icon to upload new files and folders in the Google Drive PWA. it can also be achieved by dragging and dropping the files from your desktop to the drive. Files and folders on the PWA can be viewed and accessed by double-clicking on them.
Files and folders of different types are shown in two ways. A preview appears with all kinds of Microsoft Office and Image files. A separate Chrome tab gets opened for G Suit files like Docs, Sheets, Slides, and drawings. You can edit the files after they open on the new tab. You cannot edit inside the Google Drive PWA.
2. Create download links for files
Google Drive PWA allows you to share any file by creating a download link for it. Right-click on the file you want to share and choose the ‘get shareable link’ option. Use this link to share the file with anyone you wish.
You can also limit file access to people. Right-click on the file and click ‘share’. Enter the email address of the person with whom you want to share the file. You can also choose what type of activity they can perform on your file. Google Drive PWA gives you three options in this regard. You can permit them to view, comment, and edit the document. After selecting the type of permission, click ‘Done’.
3. Accessing Google Drive offline
Google Drive PWA ensures that you keep working even in the absence of internet connectivity. To ensure this seamless offline connectivity with Google Drive, the first step is to add Google Docs Offline Chrome extension. For doing this, head to Google Docs Offline web store page and click ‘Add to Chrome’.
Grant the pop up permission to ‘Add Extension’.
After the extension is added, open Google Drive PWA and click the Settings symbol that looks like a cog. Choose Settings and check the box present next to ‘Sync Google Docs, Sheets, Slides & Drawings files to this computer so that you can edit offline.’ That’s it, the process of file syncing will automatically begin. Syncing time may vary depending upon the number of files.nd client-side programming can be accomplished easily with this technology. Thus, it’s a time-effective and low-maintenance solution for developers.
4. Uninstalling Google Drive PWA
As simple as it is to install the PWA, its uninstalling is equally easy. Just look at the top of your app and find the symbol with three dots. Tap it, then choose ‘Uninstall Google Drive’ from the list of options. The Google Drive PWA will be uninstalled.
With Google Drive PWA, Google has made it possible to offer its users a more native and convenient experience. Indeed, the file-sharing options and offline syncing features stand out in this regard. Although some G Suite files still need editors as you cannot edit them inside the drive, it seems that Google will eventually make it possible. A point to be noted regarding Google Drive PWA is that it is also available for Android phones. However, the experience of the standard Drive app remains unmatched. Meanwhile, other PWAs offered by Google, like YouTube, Stadia, Photos, continue to provide a smooth native experience.