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It is not fine if you're creating apps that don't have a backend.

Honest question - If you're creating an app like that, is a PWA really the right way to go? Aren't there other options available (such as creating a native app with a SQLite database)?

Sure you can do that. But now you need a Mac, probably an iOS device and pay $99/yr to Apple. If you're just providing a small one-off solution for a particular problem that you're not monetizing, the above may pose a serious problem.

For example, I (used to) maintain a tool that is essentially a save file viewer, but must store some data for decryption of said files. It's an Electron app, but could work as a normal website for the most part as well. I got a prototype of that up and it stores the required data in local storage. I don't want to maintain and host a backend for it, and I'm not too hot on paying Apple's developer fee for it, either.

You may say it's a fringe use case, and it probably is, but it's very much legitimate. I don't know why they couldn't have made storage for longer than 7 days with an extra permission to be requested.

Honest answer, it depends on the app. For some cases sure, just throw it in cordova and be happy.

It is my own personal take that PWAs are more powerful than we give them credit and that they could be used for private apps without backends where you leverage the benefits of web distribution while keeping data private. Doing the native/hybrid app forces you into dealing with gatekeepers, distributing on the web does not.

There's swathes of apps that will never be allowed on popular app stores (gambling, porn, sometimes apps that Google or Apple doesn't want competing with their own services). You can created a native app but it'll only be usable on Android.

Native applications also require acquisition of a Mac and a $99/year membership (iOS) and $25 (one-time fee for Google Play). A web application is mostly hosting costs which can be near free if you use the right cloud services.

I don't know of an alternative that will let me develop a small tool that will be free to develop and distribute, is not subject to restrictive store policies, works on desktop and mobile and is capable of things like accessing the device's camera and location when necessary.

I'm personally a fan of PWAs because they can't secretly write identifiers to my phone's SD card, they can't extract my contracts, they can't monitor my location in the background, etc. Sure, modern smartphone operating systems allow you to set up proper restrictions, but that puts the responsibility of making applications behave on me instead of on the phone.

Sure, native applications have their place (geofencing, native performance, file system access, system APIs) but in my opinion so do PWAs.

What if I want to create a porn app which Apple does not allow to be present in AppStore?

Can you describe this porn app which also benefits from being a PWA and doesn’t need a backend?

Well it isn't now, no, because Apple have made the platform unsuitable for it. But it was fine.

If you don't have a backend and don't want to use sqlite or something externally you can't save your data with the expectation it won't get erased. Before this change someone could manually clear storage, running out of space could trigger erasing this, etc. Now things clear after 7 days.

If you care about saving that data forever don't use local storage. Just like don't expect cookies you set on the client not to be modified by the client.

It is fine if your apps use only 1st party scripts and not 3rd party scripts.

> If your web application does experience website data deletion, please let us know since we would consider it a serious bug. It is not the intention of Intelligent Tracking Prevention to delete website data for first parties in web applications.

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