Video conferencing services became the bread and butter of labor, school, and even social life for the past year and a half. Each of the contenders has its quirks and preferred ways to access its services. Zoom began as a standalone app but has enabled a version that runs inside an internet browser. On the other hand, Google Meet starts from the other direction and has embraced a browser-only experience on desktops. That’s changing now with a passionate desktop app for desktops, but because it seems, it’s a Progressive Web App version of Meet instead.
Google has been heavily pushing the adoption of Progressive Web Apps or PWAs within the computing industry. Quite just a wrapper around web apps, these PWAs attempt to offer an experience like regular desktop apps, both in appearance and behavior. Unsurprisingly, Google is now presenting the Meet PWA because the best thanks to using the service on desktops.
Google doesn’t enter much detail about the differences between Meet on the online and the Meet PWA. Instead, it says that it’s all the features, and perhaps the restrictions, of the online experience. The one key benefit is that Meet not has to live inside a browser tab, suggesting no more frantic switching between tabs. But, of course, you’ll always detach the Meet browser tab if you wanted to.
Although Google won’t block the utilization of Meet for Web, it’s recommending that users on Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, and Linux use the PWA instead. However, it still requires those to possess Chrome installed and requires version 73 or later. “Installing” the Meet PWA is as simple as visiting Google Meet’s home page and clicking Chrome’s Install icon on the address bar.
This announcement is a minor change that would benefit Google Meet’s image within the process. A PWA elevates its status as a daily desktop app while still letting Google specialize in developing the online experience that applies to both PWA and browser versions. That said, Google Meet may have also lost some users recently after the corporate implemented the top to free unlimited group calls last month.