In addition to rolling out an Android widget, YouTube Music is now getting a Progressive Web App for desktop playback. This PWA provides faster access to Google’s primary streaming service and supports media keyboard shortcuts.

Progressive Web Apps allow web services to offer native experiences on desktop and mobile. YouTube Music’s PWA lets you bypass having to enter in your browser and instead just click a Windows desktop or macOS dock icon.

It should load an experience identical to the current website. A top bar provides primary access to the Home feed, video Hotlist, Library of saved items, and Search. Depending on the window size, the text switches to just icons.

Media controls are docked at the bottom with play/pause, backwards, and forwards always in the bottom-left, while album art and track details are centered. Volume, repeat, and shuffle round out this strip. Tapping slides up full-screen controls, larger cover art, and a now-playing queue.

The best part of this YouTube Music desktop PWA is the ability to use your device’s media keyboard shortcuts to play, pause, and skip.

In Chrome, you should be prompted to “Install” right from the address bar when this experience is available. If you’re impatient, visiting Overflow menu > More Tools > Create shortcut… will add the icon immediately to your OS. As of posting, the YouTube Music desktop PWA is still rolling out, and not yet live on any platform. Google is also offering the player as a Chrome and Microsoft Edge extension, but it’s not accessible yet.

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Abner Li

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