Chrome has put a hold on the need for PWAs to operate offline.

 Google has confirmed that their proposals for Chrome to include Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) to provide functional offline support have been postponed.

One of the key advantages of having a Progressive Mobile Interface over a regular website is that the app can be used offline because it is "loaded." Google revealed in February that PWAs would be required to operate in any way while offline. To that end, Chrome 89 now has the option to run checks to ensure that an app's offline version loads properly before allowing it to be installed.

For example, despite being based on web technologies, Chrome Labs' Squoosh will run completely offline because all of the work is done on your computer. Of course, certain installable web applications, such as Twitter and Stadia, require an internet connection to function properly, and some developers can wish for their ad-supported software to only run while connected.

A PWA will not have to provide any features when offline under the proposed provision, which was due to take effect in August 2021 with Chrome 93. A simple "offline fallback tab" will suffice, informing the user that internet access is needed. When browsing the PWA offline, Chrome will merely verify if the app returned a correct page.

Today, Google has updated their guidance about the offline requirements of PWAs, putting the planned change on hold, with no proposed date for it to be reintroduced. According to the update, the decision to pause the requirement was made due to issues discovered and feedback given by the web developer community.

In the meantime, Google still strongly recommends web developers create at least a simple offline experience for their Progressive Web App if only to improve and personalize the experience and offer something better than the Chrome offline dino.

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