Google wants to build the next generation of web apps now

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Google has announced a new Advanced Web Apps Fund, which is set to include in its scope anything that "improves the web as a platform for advanced apps”.

Google admitted that it doesn’t have a precise definition for what “advanced apps” are, but said it generally considered them to be websites that have an app-like interface and significant client-side functionality. 

The tech giant cited libraries and tools that make it easier to build advanced web apps, such as improvements to Bubblewrap and drivers supporting WebUSB, as well demo apps and tutorials showcasing "unique or powerful" use cases for advanced web apps as examples of what they want to invest in.

What's eligible for investment?

Google highlighted its previous investments in portable binary-code format WebAssembly, its introduction of APIs such as File System Access and WebTransport, and how these moves have assisted bringing apps like Photoshop to browsers everywhere.

“Though the Chrome team has been working hard to build new capabilities, we're responsible for only a small fraction of the work,” said a Google spokesperson. “Web app developers depend on countless others in the community who have built a strong ecosystem of APIs, tools, demonstration apps, and other materials.”

They added: “To help recognize the importance of this work and to enable more people to spend time on these projects, we're thrilled to announce today the launch of the Advanced Web Apps Fund: a new fund to support the web as a platform for advanced apps.”

Interested in applying?

If you want to be considered for an investment, you’ll need to create a short document describing what you’re proposing and then fill out this submission form.

Applicants submitting existing projects will also be able to file a GitHub issue from within their project. 

All applicants will need an Open Collective account. You can apply for a project of your own or nominate a project that you think deserves support. 

If you don't own the project, you'll need to ensure that the project’s core maintainers would be willing to accept the code changes you’re seeking funding for, as a prerequisite for sponsorship being approved.

There’s no deadline to apply, and Google says it will we’ll evaluate proposals on a rolling basis.

Will McCurdy has been writing about technology for over five years. He has a wide range of specialities including cybersecurity, fintech, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, cloud computing, payments, artificial intelligence, retail technology, and venture capital investment. He has previously written for AltFi, FStech, Retail Systems, and National Technology News and is an experienced podcast and webinar host, as well as an avid long-form feature writer.