Microsoft Edge may soon let you open links in web apps

What do you want to know

  • Microsoft Edge Canary has a new option to open links in Progressive Web Apps and Installed Web Apps.
  • This feature should make PWAs and web apps look more like native apps.
  • It looks like the feature can bypass the need for developers to register their site, allowing PC users to open any web application via a link.

Microsoft is working on a new feature for its Edge browser that will make Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) and web apps more native. The new option allows users to configure Edge to open links in associated Progressive Web Apps or installed Web Apps. For example, a person can configure their browser to open the YouTube PWA after clicking a YouTube link in Edge.

First spotted and shared by Leo Varela, the feature can be enabled now via a flag in Edge Canary. Searching for “Enable open support links in installed web apps” should bring up the option in edge://flags in Edge.

Developers can already save apps to open when a related link is clicked in Edge, but this new feature works with websites installed as apps. Varela believes the option can circumvent the need for developers to register their web applications as link managers.

Source: Leo Varela via Reddit (Image credit: Source: Leo Varela via Reddit)

An entry on Edge Insider’s feature roadmap appears to reference the same feature that was spotted by Varela. “Starting with Microsoft Edge version 97, you can choose to launch the browser in a PWA rather than the full native browser,” the roadmap says. This entry mentions a target release date of Q1 2022, which has already passed.

The open link option works with installed web apps or PWAs, as noted by Varela.

Assuming the feature works as its description suggests, clicking any link in Edge should be able to open a PWA.

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