Progressive Web Applications set to change Mobile Gaming
Progressive Web Applications or PWA for short, have been floating around the internet for quite some time but do you know exactly what they are?
The easiest way to explain exactly what a Progressive Web Application is that it is an advanced website providing a hosted array of applications rather than being a dedicated application themselves. PWA is better than standard web applications as they provide an offline mode to the application, they are providing the user & have a much more enriched user interface.
Now how does this affect mobile gaming? Well, recently Google has announced that Google Stadia will enter the iOS app market as a Progressive Web Application, rather than going through Apple’s App Store. Google’s software developers decided to go on the PWA route as entering the App Store with Stadia will go against Apple’s terms & conditions. The plan comes after Google announced the Stadia will be supported by Android phones & is being rolled out on the Google Play Store.
What is Google Stadia & what impact will it have?
What is Google Stadia you ask? Google Stadia is a cloud gaming service created by software developers at Google. Stadia was brought out to introduce entry-level gaming to those who have extra time to kill yet do not want to spend top dollar to enjoy some immersive gaming.
Google Stadia coming to iOS would be a big move in mobile gaming as the mobile gaming industry will be evolving to include more titles, higher graphical gaming, a more fluid & solid platform for all users. It is rumored that it would also feature cross-platform gaming meaning users of Android can play against iOS & normal Stadia players.
It isn’t just Google Stadia who is entering the iOS market & Android Market via Progressive Web Applications. XCloud by Microsoft, Luna by Amazon & many others are tapping into the same market as Google with its Stadia cloud platform. Let’s have a look into both Microsoft’s & Amazon’s solutions.
Amazon with its Luna cloud gaming platform is let to enter the PWA world around the same time as Google with its Stadia. It is reported that the Luna software development division worked closely with Apple’s Safari development team to make sure the PWA Luna will be fully compatible with Safari on iOS, causing no errors & providing an immersive feel of gaming. This puts Amazon ahead of companies like Epic & Microsoft in this segment. Amazon Luna, just like Google Stadia, provides gaming for all users, making it a cheap entry point.
Then we have Microsoft with its xCloud PWA system coming in a little later than Google Stadia & Amazon Luna. The three applications provide the same result of cheap entry point gaming, yet each does it in different ways & provide different accessories to match each platform. Currently, xCloud & Stadia are available on the Android Game Pass section, but Luna is not. Amazon Luna is set to be the first PWA brought to iOS in 2021.
Why & how will PWA’s change gaming on mobiles
Progressive Web Applications are simply a more powerful version of a traditional website, giving a full layered interface as if it’s an actual dedicated application built for a particular platform. They provide the full application experience whilst not even taking up any room as everything is online rather than physically stored on the device the PWA is accessed from. Some of the options that PWA’s provide that make them almost the same as a traditional developed application are:
- Push notifications.
- Offline modes.
- Splash screens.
- File system accesses.
And much more. The best & largest advantage of Progressive Web Applications is that no manufacturer currently can block them from being installed (accessed) by any mobile.
Now just like benefits, each PWA comes with its drawbacks also. Currently speaking PWA’s are only new to the market & are yet to become more advanced. Currently speaking, PWA’s are quite powerful, they can do a lot of things that normal web applications can’t do & a lot of things normal iOS or Android developed applications can do. As the APIs that are used in the PWA’s get more advanced, so will the API’s meaning it will harness more power to do more functions & in return provide a much more immersive & extensive gaming platform. But this comes at a price, the more the API’s advance, software developers gain more access to your device’s storage, functionality & much more. Whilst this is no surprise, it can pose a threat to some people who value their privacy.
2020 has brought a lot of wonderful technological advancements to the mobile industry, Progressive Web Applications being the latest in the mix. PWA’s in 2021 will provide a fully immersive gaming experience to those who don’t want to spend top dollar to play entertaining games in their spare time. Some examples of PWA’s are Google’s Stadia, Amazon’s Luna & Microsoft’s xCloud. Whilst Stadia & xCloud are available on Android, in 2021 it will be available on iOS via the Safari web browser. These will shape the gaming industry on mobiles giving a fully seamless experience whilst not hogging much room on the device it’s set up on. Hopefully with PWA’s, big companies like Apple can tweak their terms & conditions to allow such platforms to trade their services without Apple interfering on the App Store retrospectively.
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