The COVID-19 pandemic led to a huge number of video calls and a massive boom in sales of Chromebooks. As a result, Google’s desktop platform has gotten more attention from apps. Today in the midst of Google I/O, Cisco announced that Webex is getting an official PWA for Chromebooks.

PWAs, Progressive Web Apps, are a sort of in-between when it comes to web apps versus native apps. PWAs often offer native features such as notification integration and offline access but without the need to download a sometimes sizeable app from an app store. Google has embraced PWAs in the past with products such as Drive, and Zoom overhauled its Chrome OS experience with a PWA last year.

The new Webex Meetings PWA for Chromebooks delivers a new experience separate from the traditional web client, as well as the Android app that Cisco has made available and “optimized” for Chromebooks. This also opens the door to more advanced features such as background noise removal and real-time translation.

Webex also touts the benefits for administrators managing a fleet of Chromebooks:

From an IT administrator’s standpoint, the Webex Meetings PWA provides more control over managing Webex on their Chromebooks, too. Webex can now be pre-imaged and installed on Chromebooks before distributing to users.

The Webex Meetings PWA offers all the meeting capabilities that the users currently enjoy on their browser-based Meetings web app. Webex users can now download the Webex Meetings PWA from the Google Play store and access it as an application on their Chrome OS device. Then they can simply start/join meetings and webinars right from their desktop, without having to go through the browser.

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