Have you heard about Web Capabilities Project aka Project Fugu? Chances are, you probably haven’t heard about it (unless you’re reading this well into the future), but it is one of the most exciting initiatives in the web being undertaken right now. Spearheaded by Google, Microsoft, Samsung and Intel, there are some heavy hitters supporting this.
At its core, Project Fugu is an initiative to bring native application features into the web to close the gap between web applications and native applications. This means that you do not need to use a wrapper to get access to native features, further blurring the line between native and web.
As you can see on the Project Fugu status page, many features are already available in the latest version of Google Chrome. Some of the most exciting and already shipped features include:
- Shape Detection API – Quite possibly one of the most exciting shipped features, this API allows you to build web applications that can read QR codes and identify shapes and text in things
- Web OTP API – One time passwords (OTP) are now quite common and this API makes it easier for web applications to implement OTP support using text messages
- Web Share API – Chances are, you have heard of this API. It allows web applications to show a sharing dialogue, which native users are already accustomed to
- Contact Picker API – As the name implies, it allows web applications to access the contacts list, which has been a feature that native apps have always supported
- Periodic Background Sync API – Allow web apps to periodically sync data in the background like a native app
Perhaps one of the most exciting things about this project besides native features being made available in the browser is you (yes you) can suggest your own features you want to see in Project Fugu over on the tracker here. And the spreadsheet available here, you can get a visual progress update on what the status of certain features are.
While the ambitious project is still relatively new and browser support does not really extend that far beyond Google Chrome, things are looking promising for the future of the web and progressive web applications. Not having to use wrappers which can introduce performance problems is always a positive.