Google AdSense Announces Deprecating Mobile Apps for a Progressive Web App & Why It Matters to Your Business Descisions

Adsense Progressive Web App
Adsense Progressive Web App

In July 2019 the Google AdSense team announced they are in the process of deprecating their iOS and Android mobile applications and will provide a single, Progressive Web Application, for AdSense customers.

If you are wondering if your business should pursue a progressive web app or native app, this could serve as a nice example of a somewhat complex application leveraging the web as its only customer channel.

AdSense is not the first Google product to adopt PWAs, the Maps team and I believe GMail are also available as a progressive web app.

Google is not alone in the adoption of PWA over native apps, many other high-profile brands like Starbucks, Twitter, Tinder, Pinterest, Uber and Lyft are just a few of these high-profile names to adopt progressive web apps. Many are in the process of phasing out their native applications as well.

Netflix announced late last year they are phasing out mobile payments from their applications and was one of the early adopters of PWA technology for their platform. That's right https://netflix.com/ is a PWA and provide the exact same experience as the native application.

Spotify is another company I have written about. Their music streaming platform is available as a progressive web app, but they have not started to promote it as a primary engagement channel. At the same time, they are fighting Apple over their heavy sales tax practices in the native apps.

With this in mind, we have reviewed our mobile strategy. As a result, we will be focusing our investment on the AdSense mobile web interface and sunsetting the current iOS and Android apps. By investing in a common web application that supports all platforms, we will be able to deliver AdSense features optimized for mobile much faster than we can today.

The announcement article seems to emphasize the AdSense team has decided to phase out the native solutions because it is not worth the extra engineering resources required to maintain multiple user experiences when a common solution can serve everyone.

It is important to note this include iOS AdSense users. iPhones seem to create the most concern among business stakeholders regarding progressive web applications. The great news is PWAs work great on iOS despite a few platform limitations. If the Google AdSense team feels confident enough to phase out their native iOS application, you can too.

This is just another high-profile native vs PWA story. Each week businesses from around the world connect with me about phasing out their mobile apps for progressive web applications. To have another Google service adopt PWA as their client interface platform is great news.

Even though I don't personally use AdSense I am anxious to see what the team has planned for the upcoming PWA. It should have some good UI components and user experience affordances we can all learn to improve our applications.

But most importantly it is a somewhat complex application experience that should not only give the overall market more confidence in the web it can be a nice case study in a line of business application. That should also make enterprises more comfortable in adopting progressive web applications as their primary line of business solution.

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