Mu-43 is now a progressive web app (PWA)

Amin Sabet

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Mu-43 is now a progressive web app (PWA). This means that on supported platforms, you can now install Mu-43 as an app so that it is readily available to be opened via an icon on the home screen. On desktop devices, it can be opened by searching your system or even pinning the app to your taskbar or dock.

Unfortunately, Safari on macOS and all browsers on iOS still do not support PWAs 🙁.

The way to install the app will vary depending on your browser and device type. I've attached some screenshot examples. On supported phones, there is an option to install on the bottom of the off-canvas menu:
Screenshot_20210331-083650_Chrome.jpg

When browsing Chrome on desktop or Android, the app can be installed via the address bar:
mu43pw.PNG Screenshot_20210331-083643_Chrome.jpg
 

robcee

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actually, they do support installation on iOS, though I haven't tested it for this site.

You can do it, but clicking the Share button (bottom row of icons in Safari with the up arrow) and selecting "Add to Home Screen" on the menu portion.

Once there, opening the icon will open a "chromeless" web app.

Should be mostly supported doing that.

Edit: ok, it's not chromeless. I've done this for a couple PWA's that I've built and I get the app without loading the rest of Safari so not sure what header needs to be set to make that work. I'd have to research more. Still, it's half-way there. :)
 

stevedo

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What benefit is there to me as an end user? I did a little research on PWA's and can understand how they can benefit developers i.e. only need to develop one app for multiple platforms.

Maybe as an end user I will get the same experience across multiple devices/platforms. Perhaps initial install and subsequent updates are easier.

For a website like mu-43 I just don't understand the benefits for me as an end user. PWA's can work offline, I doubt that will help with a forum such as this. Amin says I can pin the app to my taskbar, I can pin a shortcut directly to mu-43 on my taskbar without a PWA (I run Edge chromium version on Windows 10). Surely for a forum like this the browser is my app?

I'm not trying to knock Amin's efforts here. Far from it, I really appreciate what he does. I'm just trying to understand a little better.

PS are there ways in which I can manage notifications and app permissions in PWA's? How would I know if a PWA had "hidden" permissions or installed another PWA?
 
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Amin Sabet

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I'm no expert, but a couple things stand out to me. One is that it makes it easier to put a shortcut on a home screen. Yes, that can be done without a PWA, but most people aren't that techy, and this makes it easier.

Second, it gives a little more real estate on a phone screen by removing the browser bar at the top of the screen and the tab switching bar at the bottom of the screen (in my case, Chrome on Android).
 

Amin Sabet

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Also, Chrome-based apps have support for application badging, which allows the app to indicate unread messages or alerts directly on its icon.
 

Amin Sabet

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Someone else with a better answer:

Screenshot_20210331-184432_Chrome.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 

dancebert

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The way to install the app will vary depending on your browser and device type. I've attached some screenshot examples. On supported phones, there is an option to install on the bottom of the off-canvas menu:

Does that mean it installs from an unknown source, and hasn't been vetted by Google Play Store or the App Store?
 

John M Flores

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Thanks, Amin. I use TikTok's progressive web app on my desktop. It's nice to have a separate icon in my Start menu and nice to have it separate from other tabs.
 

stevedo

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Does that mean it installs from an unknown source, and hasn't been vetted by Google Play Store or the App Store?

I use a Samsung phone. Go and take a look at the permissions that some of your apps have. For example, Chrome, by default, has the permission to "Install unknown apps". Google Play Store has the permission to "Change system settings". The default Messages app (SMS) has permissions to "Change system settings" and "Install unknown apps". There are other common apps I have installed which do the same. I have to modify the permissions of any installed apps to deny these permissions. Everything still works.

My point is that these apps come from a vetted source. It's interesting that when I install an app that installs with, for example, "Install unknown apps" permissions I'm never asked if I want to allow it. I wonder why? As far as I can see there is no requirement for a PWA to be vetted in any way. There is an option for PWA's to be submitted to the Play Store but it's only an option.

With PWA's I currently have no idea what permissions they have if I install one. Can a PWA install and, for example, access you contacts list without you knowing? Can a PWA have permissions to make system setting changes without your permissions? Can a PWA install another PWA without you knowing? What security context do they run in? Can they install silently without me knowing?

Apparently Google have put a lot of effort into promoting PWA's. On that basis I currently do not trust them at all. I do not fully understand how PWA's work and need to do some more research. I will not be installing any PWA's for now.

I still don't understand why, as an end user, I would want to install a PWA?
 

L0n3Gr3yW0lf

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@Amin Sabet, I found this website that claims to hold the Mu-43 app, don't know if it's a valid or safe version so I would like to ask you because I couldn't find the app in the Google Play Store: https://appadvice.com/app/mu-43-forum/1245597436

After searching the forum web page have I found this topic, would a permanent banner on the website to link for this post or link to where we can find the safe version of this app be of help to the users (even the lazy ones.... Though I swear I wasn't trying to be lazy).

PS: I'm trying to find a solution for the problem of vertical pictures being flipped horizontally when I try to upload from my Samsung Galaxy Note 8, the issue seems to persist on the Web page (through Google Chrome) and on the PWA app. The pictures I'm trying to upload are SooC JPEGs so they have the correct orientation information in then and they are displayed properly everywhere (meaning all apps) on my phone. (Unless there's a built in UI button for image rotation that I'm to blind to see, which it wouldn't be a to far fetch "feature" of me :p)
 
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RAH

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It doesn't have to, does it? As I'd rather not have that.
Better a bunch of tabs, than a bunch of open windows.
I think it "has to" because that's the point of using it. If you'd rather have a bunch of tabs, you'd use the previous method of going to the site via your browser (i.e. don't use the app).
 
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