Tech Industry

Blurring the CNET Tech Today lines: Website or app?

We're bringing CNET's daily top 10 stories to the web with Chrome's new "progressive web app" technology.

What makes you use an app over a website? Is it slick animations, fast performance, the ability to read offline, or notifications? Or is it that an app sits just a quick tap away on a device you carry everywhere?

For most people, the answer is probably all of the above -- even if you've never thought about it. There's only one drawback to apps: there are usually a lot of steps a reader needs to take before they can actually enjoy an article.

Consider this. CNET readers must go to the app store, find and install the app, and if they get through all that, they still have to find interesting content. Compare that to web pages, where readers can discover content directly via search and social media, there are far fewer steps before they get to reading an article.

So, how can we can get the best of both worlds, the easy access of the web and the superior user experience of apps? No surprise, it's a key company in both web and app development that has the solution, Google.

We've partnered very closely with Google to bring Tech Today (our popular iOS app for tech news) to the web by building a "progressive web app (PWA)." It's a hybrid product that exists both on the web and can be added to your homescreen with all the great features of an app, such as offline capability, performance, etc. You can try it right here.

We chose to start our exploration of PWA technology with Tech Today, as it's specifically designed to give our readers a fast glimpse at the most popular, most important articles of the day. You can see it in action below at the Chrome Developer Summit, too:

This has been an awesome project, and we're very pleased with the results. As one of our engineers put it, "We were one of the first publishers on the web, one of the first with an app, and now we're one of the first to do both at the same time!"

More than 20 years later, CNET is still at the forefront of technology, both in our coverage and the tech we use to deliver it. We're excited to see where this journey takes us. Check out Tech Today, today!

Special thanks to Scott Wagner and Stephen Archer, the primary engineers responsible for building the Tech Today Progressive Web App.