'Boots UK' PWA/UWP now available

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More and more, web sites are becoming Progressive Web Applications (PWAs), meaning that they can provide an 'app-like' experience even to casual web browsers. And even under Edge under Windows 10 Mobile. What this also means is that it's trivial to wrap these PWAs up as a UWP application in the Microsoft Store, something which Microsoft has been doing on behalf of companies that don't want to get involved in managing this themselves. In this case it's Boots UK, a good online resource for health products in particular.

And yes, what's provided in the Store is no different whatsoever than visiting boots.com on the web in Edge, but you do gain more screen real estate, since the packaged PWA does without the URL bar. So it's a win overall - then add in that you get a guaranteed 'good' Start screen tile/logo.

From the Store description:

Discover the world of Boots at your fingertips. You can explore and buy Boots’ widest range of products straight from your device, as well as accessing the latest news and unlocking exclusive offers just for you by linking your Boots Advantage Card. 

* My Offers: add your Boots Advantage Card to personalise your app. You can easily see how many points you have and browse your offers. Simply load your offers to your Advantage Card ready for when you shop in store, then all you need is your Advantage Card to get redeeming!

* Shop: purchase all your favourite items from the widest range of products on boots.com, you can even collect them from your nearest store the next day using Order & Collect

* Store Locator: the handy store locator can help you find your nearest Boots store and the services it offers 

* Health & Pharmacy: renew your repeat prescriptions, use our online clinics to access prescription only medicines without a trip to the GP and also use the vitamin reminder to ensure you always stay up to date with your vitamins and supplements

* Photo: customise and print photos and create posters, canvases, collages and photo cards. Use the Same Day Collect service to collect selected gifts and prints in as a little as an hour from selected Boots stores

* Appointments: book and manage your appointments for in-store health and beauty services

* BootsWebMD: access GP-reviewed health information about health and well-being subjects that matter to you

Here's the PWA in action:

Screenshot, Boots UKScreenshot, Boots UK

Yes, it's a shopping web site, but it's well done and there's no URL bar. And I've only included the navigation controls for context, these can be swiped away too, as needed. Shown on the right is the hierarchical hamburger menu.

Screenshot, Boots UKScreenshot, Boots UK

The 'store locator' falls down at the first hurdle in that I couldn't get it to pick up my location - maybe this another limitation of PWAs under the version of EdgeHTML that we're having to live with under Windows 10 Mobile?

Great to see as a Brit - more sites/PWAs like this, please. It's not blindingly fast, but it's a small step up from having to use Edge and favourites, etc. Comments welcome from fellow Brits!

Source / Credit: Store