Chrome 57 Beta Integrates Progressive Web Apps More Deeply into Homescreen

Google Certified Associate Android Developer, Chrome beta adds web app to Home screen, CSS Grid Layout.

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A new feature added to Chrome for Android in 2016 provided developers an ability to let users add their site to Home screen for fast and convenient access by using Android shortcut.

Since, these web apps like installed native apps don't show up throughout Android, and developers been asking for web app to show up in the app drawer—Google is rolling out a new version of this experience in Chrome beta that will integrate Progressive Web App to Home screen much deeper than before. For example, "Progressive Web Apps will now appear in the app drawer section of the launcher and in Android Settings, and will be able to receive incoming intents from other apps," writes Google.

When long pressesed their notifications, "will also reveal normal Android notification management controls rather than notification management controls for Chrome."

Even more, Google says they'll ensure this same mechanism for installing Progressive Web Apps are available to all browsers on Android.

Chrome beta adds web apps into Android Home screen

Chrome beta adds web apps into Android Home screen

The newest Chrome 57 beta channel release for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, Mac, and Windows brings features such as CSS Grid Layout, improved add to Home screen, and Media Session API.

CSS Grid Layout is now available providing developers to arbitrarily place web elements on a grid with full control over their flow, sizing behavior and responsiveness to fit current screen size.

If you're not aware, "CSS Grid suuports a two-dimensional grid-based layout system, optimized for responsive user interface design. Elements within the grid can be specified to span multiple columns or rows. Elements positioned in a CSS grid can also be named, making layout code easier to understand."

Improved add to Home screen as mentioned above, "will now make PWAs appear in the app drawer section of launcher and in Android Settings, and will be able to receive incoming intents from other apps."

Media Session API let developers customize lock screen UI and notifications with media content. By providing "metadata to browser about the content being played, developers can create rich lock screen messaging with included information such as title, artist, album name, and artwork," says Google. Additionally , "site is now able to respond to user actions taken on the notification itself, such as seeking or skipping." See the full changelog under the post.

Chrome 57 Beta media Session API

Chrome 57 Beta media Session API

While on Android, a new Associate Android Developer Certification by Google, that was announced at I/O 2016, has certified over 322 Android developers spanning 61 countries.

"Google Certified Associate Android Developer certification allows developers to proven their competency and earned the title." The certification process consists of a performance-based exam and an exit interview.

Here's how this works? "The cost for certification is $149 USD, and this fee includes three exam attempts. After making payment, the exam will be available for download, and you have 48 hours to complete and submit it for grading."

In the exam, "you'll implement missing features and debug an Android app using Android Studio. Those who pass this exam, will undergo an exit interview and will be asked questions about your exam and you'll need to demonstrate your knowledge of Associate Android Developer competencies."

Interested, test your Android development skills to be a Certified Associate Android Developer, get started HERE. Also, watch out this short video for a quick overview the certification process:

Lastly, get a sneak peek at Android Nougat 7.1.2 incremental maintenance release and public beta rolled out to eligible devices already enrolled in Android Beta Program including Pixel and Pixel XL, Nexus 5X, Nexus Player, and Pixel C devices. Also, an update for Nexus 6P will be releasing soon.

To opt-in your eligible Android phone or tablet devices (if not already enrolled0, visit android.com/beta.

Further, Google says that the final release of Android 7.1.2 is just a couple of months away. And, like beta, it'll also available to Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, and Pixel C devices.

Full changelog of Chrome 57 beta features release:

  • When a video enters fullscreen on an Android device, Chrome now automatically locks the screen orientation according to the aspect ratio of the video.
  • Sites using continuous setTimeout() will now be throttled when using loops to drive out-of-view frame animations, improving performance for users.
  • The Fetch API Response class now supports the .redirected attribute to help web developers avoid untrustworthy responses and reduce the risk of open redirectors.
  • The new padStart and padEnd formatting tools enable text padding, facilitating tasks like aligning console output or printing numbers with a fixed number of digits.
  • Service Worker Navigation Preload is now available as an Origin Trial, allowing developers to parallelize the network request for the main resource alongside service worker startup.
  • The Payment Request API can be made available inside an iframe by adding the allowpaymentrequest attribute.
  • PaymentMethodData now supports basic-card, so developers can refer to all card types with a single method identifier, rather than individual data types.
  • To simplify the migration from HTTP to HTTPS, stored credentials for HTTP forms are now transferred to the HTTPS version of the site, and the Credential Management API now supports filling credentials from matching subdomains.
  • The caret-color property enables developers to specify the color of the text input cursor.
  • To preserve consistency with other on<event> attributes, ongotpointercapture and onlostpointercapture are now part of the GlobalEventHandlers mixin.
  • Support is now available for text-decoration-skip: ink to make underlines skip descenders, the portion of letters that extend below the text's baseline.
  • New text-decoration properties are now available, allowing developers to specify visual effects such as line color and style.
  • The PresentationRequest constructor has been modified to accept multiple URLs via a sequence<DOMString>, in addition to the existing constructor that takes a single URL.
  • The new AudioContext.getOutputTimestamp() method enables developers to synchronize DOMHighResTimeStamp and AudioContext.currentTime values.
  • AudioBufferSourceNode, OscillatorNode, and ConstantSourceNode now inherit from AudioScheduledSourceNode, consolidating functionality.
  • The new cancelAndHoldAtTime function cancels future AudioParam events with times greater than or equal to cancelTime, allowing developers to preserve the value of the scheduled time in a direct way.
  • Developers can now construct WebAudio-specific events such as OfflineAudioCompletionEvent and AudioProcessEvent.
  • To increase user security, Chrome's XSS Auditor now blocks entire suspicious pages by default, rather than selectively filtering out the suspected reflected XSS on the page.

About The Author

Deepak Gupta is a IT & Web Consultant. He is the founder and CEO of diTii.com & DIT Technologies, where he’s engaged in providing Technology Consultancy, Design and Development of Desktop, Web and Mobile applications using various tools and softwares. Sign-up for the Email for daily updates. Google+ Profile.