Earlier this week, Google began rolling out Chrome 42 with support for website notifications and an improved “add to home screen” function. With those two new features, Google is clearly making a big push towards web apps on both the desktop and mobile. Now, Google has launched a new Spotlight page to highlight some of the best mobile web apps.
On the Spotlight page, Google highlights the sites and apps that it loves and offers up interviews with the developers. Currently the featured sites include HN Premii, an optimized Hacker News reader, Merry Pixmas, a fun 3D CSS transformation site, Oh h1, an addictive puzzle game, and SVGOMG.
Clicking through to any of those four websites brings up the site’s PageSpeed UX score, PageSpeed score, and Speed Index (3G) score. Below that information is a question and answer session with the developer, as well as notable features and possible improvements for the site.
It’s notable to see Google pushing so hard for web apps as opposed to dedicated apps for specific platforms. It makes sense, however, that Google would want to keep users in the browser. Doing so would allow the company to more easily push ads onto users and therefore track them.
The addition of the “add to home screen” feature and support for push notifications is also huge, as it allows users to avoid giving apps a long list of permissions to get simple notifications and updates. Facebook, who will rollout out push notifications and home screen prompts soon, is a prime example of this. Other examples include ESPN.com sending scores and breaking news, while Amazon could send deal notifications and shipping updates.
You can view Google’s new Spotlight website here.
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