Let’s call it what it is: Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) were a great idea full of potential but they never really caught on. One reason for that was that although you could add any website to the Home Screen in Apple’s iOS, it always felt like nothing more but a fancy bookmark. Your PWA would get a nice app icon and open immediately, but it had no access to crucial system level features like notifications.
This changed yesterday with the release of iOS and iPadOS 16.4 beta 1. What nobody would have deemed possible for years finally happened: Apple added support for Web Push to home screen web apps. Developers can now use the Push API, Notifications API, and Service Workers to send system notifications after asking for permission. Those notifications will work exactly like other app notifications. They will show up in places like your Lock Screen or in Notification Center and you control them via the system settings.
One more thing…
iOS and iPadOS 16.4 will also add support for the Screen Wake Lock API, the Screen Orientation API, the User Activation API, and Web Codecs API video support.
The Web platform always wins.