SPH team wins Google hackathon

SINGAPORE - A Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) team won a Google hackathon last month, beating seven other teams from regional tech companies and start-ups in the food, transportation, home renovation and mobile app development industries.

The four-man team from SPH Digital had created a working prototype combining two technologies - Progressive Web Apps (PWA) and Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) - that helped The Straits Times website perform better on mobile devices, especially Android ones.

The Straits Times Agile Tech team was the only one at the Google PWA/AMP Hackathon which created a prototype that used both PWA and AMP.

Team member Ken Chua Wah Soon said he was pleased with the fruit of the team's labour - a website "that loads in less than three seconds, and offers offline browsing capability", he said.

PWA gives users an app-like experience on the mobile browser. This means that it can send notifications, work without a network, and be saved on a user's home screen without having to be downloaded, among other functionalities.

Out of a total score of 100, a tool used to diagnose the quality of PWAs gave the SPH team 95.

Mr Julian Tan, head of SPH Digital, said: "This win shows the commitment SPH Digital has in exploring what can be done with the latest technologies to ensure that our digital products are always stable, secure, and at the top of its class."