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Progressive Web Apps still have a long way to go

Progressive Web Apps still have a long way to go

We live in an app-centric world. Even those products and experiences that advertise focusing on your documents first mostly stop at the boundaries of the app. Crafting such apps isn't easy, especially when you want to support all the incompatible platforms in use today. There have been and continues to be numerous attempts at crossing those platforms but one solution seems to reappear time and again, a solution harnesses the power of the web, the one platform available on all platforms. Progressive Web Apps, as the current incarnation is called, has definitely gone a long way from the earliest Java applets but is still far from becoming the all-in-one solution its proponents try to advertise.

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Microsoft and Google team up to improve web apps on Android

Microsoft and Google team up to improve web apps on Android

There are many operating systems available today, from Windows to macOS to Linux to Android to iOS, a bit far too many for developers, especially lone ones, to support equally. There is also no shortage of frameworks and tools, like Qt or Google's Flutter, designed to make that a little less painful but the one platform for that truly permeates all of these is the Web. That is basically the appeal of the new generation of web apps, called Progressive Web Apps, and two of the world's larger software vendors are working together to make PWAs more like first-class citizens of the Google Play Store.

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Google’s new social network Keen: How does it work?

Google’s new social network Keen: How does it work?

Keen is a new social network from Google and the creators at Google Area 120. It's an experimental sort of system in which users can create a "Keen" with a set of keywords for their interests. These "Keens" automatically retrieve "resources" (webpages and articles and such) for the user at user-set intervals of time. You can also "collaborate" on a Keen. But what's all that mean, and why should you care?

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Google Sodar app practices social distancing in an odd way

Google Sodar app practices social distancing in an odd way

Remember the joke about there's an app for almost anything and everything? Apps have become so common that it's no longer a joke. It's our reality already. So when an app that lets you practice social distancing pops up, it's not really a surprise. But, as with anything related to Google, it isn't just a simple instructional or informational app. Instead, Sodar shows you just how far you should keep people away, at least as long as you're looking down on your phone.

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Stadia wireless controller finally works wirelessly on PCs

Stadia wireless controller finally works wirelessly on PCs

What is the point of a wireless controller if you can only use it with a wire? That may be the question that popped into the minds of early Stadia subscribers who found themselves forced to attach a cable to use the Wireless Stadia Controller on anything other than the blessed Chromecast Ultra. That question has now finally become moot as the Wireless Controllers can now ditch the wires if playing on a PC or laptop Chrome browser. Android users, however, are still out of luck.

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Your WiFi is about to get a whole lot faster [UPDATE]

Your WiFi is about to get a whole lot faster [UPDATE]

This week the FCC opened up 6GHz band to Wi-fi for the everyday average user, and for other unlicensed uses. This was the next big step - the biggest step, from a regulatory standpoint - toward the biggest upgrade in Wi-fi since 1989. The FCC vote opens up more space on which data can transmit over the internet, to cut down on congestion for everyday citizens. There'll be more space on which data can move, and with 6Ghz, that data can be transmitted a whole lot faster, too.

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Chromebook Google Play Store installing web app versions of Android apps

Chromebook Google Play Store installing web app versions of Android apps

Chromebooks and Chrome OS have always been designed with a "web-first" experience in mind. Back then, however, that experience was less than ideal due to the lack of apps and immaturity of the web app ecosystem. Fast forward to today, Progressive Web Apps or PWAs have made significant headway into creating an experience almost on par with native Android apps. That, in turn, seems to have made Google confident enough to start making PWAs the default when you try to install an Android app from Google Play Store on Chrome OS.

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DuckDuckGo Tracker Radar adds some automation to protect your privacy

DuckDuckGo Tracker Radar adds some automation to protect your privacy

The Web is home to a never-ending game of cat and mouse between privacy advocates and a large number of advertisers. Web browsers have finally become more attentive and more forceful in protecting users by marking and even blocking trackers that are often used to identify and keep tabs on them. Some of these trackers, however, may not be enough, efficient, or even unbiased, which is why DuckDuckGo developed its own tracker data set and is now releasing it and its software for everyone and anyone to use to protect themselves online.

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Chrome adopting new video ads rules that will also affect YouTube

Chrome adopting new video ads rules that will also affect YouTube

Google is in a rather ironic but favorable position when it comes to Internet ads. It derives a huge chunk of its revenue from them but also makes a web browser that promises to protect its users from malicious agents, most of which operate through ads. Its solution was to help form a coalition that will develop industry standards that sift the good ads from the bad ones. That coalition's latest focus is on misbehaving video ads and its new rules that Google has chosen to implement in Chrome will, again ironically, force it to change how YouTube ads behave as well.

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Apple Arcade Takeover: Watch as video game characters invade

Apple Arcade Takeover: Watch as video game characters invade

In February of 2020, Apple initiated a self-takeover of its website with a promotional sort of design invasion. They used characters from some of the biggest names in video games that were part of the Apple Arcade universe, allowing them to jump over, drive by, and swing through their hardware products on their main Apple.com webpage. We've done a little documentation here so you can see this invasion in the future.

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Flashpoint is saving 36,000 Flash games from going into the night

Flashpoint is saving 36,000 Flash games from going into the night

Flash has become the bad boy of the Internet and few will argue that it needs to go. But while its retirement solves a lot of security problems on the Web, it also creates a mass grave for interactive experiences that, at one point in the past, entertained hundreds of users. Yes, these are the Flash games that represent an important chunk of gaming history. Fortunately, a group of enthusiasts has come together to preserve all of that via the Flashpoint launcher.

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Chrome Apps support on web browser ends this year, 2022 for Chrome OS

Chrome Apps support on web browser ends this year, 2022 for Chrome OS

Google is one company that doesn't shy away from killing off products, whether or not people have become dependent on them. Sometimes, like with the case of Google+, the impact may not have been so severe. Other times, it sends users into a riot, like with Inbox by Gmail, Chrome Apps sit somewhere in between but, as always, Google's word is pretty much final and users will have to bid farewell to these apps as early as June this year.

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