With a majority of Indians using low-end smartphones, Google is focusing on progressive web apps to help developers tap into consumers in smaller towns and cities of the country. Progressive web apps allow developers to offer an app-like experience to consumers on mobile web while requiring a fraction of data used by native apps. “We see a growing set of adoption for progressive web apps in India,” said Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, vice president-product management of Chrome at Google. “Flipkart was one of the early adopters. Since then, companies like Housing.com, MakeMyTrip, MagicBricks and Snapdeal have launched similar web apps.” MagicBricks is a division of Times Internet Ltd, part of the Times Group that publishes The Economic Times. India’s largest cab-hailing application Ola is set to announce on Thursday a progressive web app at Google’s annual developer conference Google I/O in San Franscisco. “As the first ride-hailing app in the APAC region that is using PWA technology, this represents an important development that will enable us to reach an ever greater number of customers and driver-partners in rural India,” said Ola chief technology officer Ankit Bhati. Similar to the Ola’s native app, users can book a cab across all categories on this mobile web app and pay for their ride via Ola Money. The app also comprises features like OTP verification for rides, maps for pick up and drop location, ride later options and Share Pass, among others. These web apps can also be added by users to their home screens, allowing them to be launched like an app as well as sign up for notifications from the web app. – Mumbai Samachar



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