What are progressive web apps?
A progressive web application combines the best online and mobile apps by utilizing cutting-edge technologies. In other words, it is a website created using web technologies that functions and feels like an app.
The unique properties of PWAs allow web developers to enable users to install web applications on their home screens, get push alerts, and even work offline. This is thanks to recent developments in and out of the browser, such as the availability of service workers or cache and push APIs. Using the current APIs, progressive web apps provide greater functionality, dependability, and installability while reaching anybody, anytime, and on any device with a single codebase.
What are the key frameworks/technologies in play?
The most popular PWA frameworks are:
Key advantages of Angular are:
- Methodology used is precisely defined, hence easy to implement
- The addition of CLI has reduced the framework’s learning curve
- Involves IntelliSense & Typescript
- Backed by Google, hence excellent support
Key advantages of React are:
- A penetrative ecosystem
- Code maintained by Facebook ensures smooth operations & support
- The framework helps create scalable and flexible apps
- Code used for web apps can also be used for native apps
- Thanks tovirtual DOM, the rendering process is speedy
Key advantages of Vue are:
- Supported by big players like Laravel and Alibaba
- Simple code that is easy to learn
- Quite a simple framework with similar concepts to Angular and React
Key advantages of Ionic are:
- Can be procured for free as the framework is open-source, thus reducing the development cost
- Easy to learn
- User-friendly maintenance because of built-in tools
- Has a large community of users
- Features an extensive library where APIs can be accessed without coding
Key advantages of Polymer are:
- Allows complete support, including routing, data tier, and responsive layouts
- Easy to understand API
- Presence of embedded development tools make external debugging tools redundant
What are the advantages of progressive web applications?
A PWA is compatible with all operating systems and mobile devices since it works through a browser (tablets and smartphones). Thus, a PWA does not require to be installed on the user’s smartphone. And since PWA is technically a website, it could also benefit from SEO to improve its search ranks. Moreover, a user does not have to manually update a progressive web app, as all the updates are carried out automatically.
Some of the key features of progressive web applications that make it crucial for businesses are:
- Offline mode availability
If the internet connection is slow or non-existent, websites fail to show the content properly. Mobile applications enable users to browse through the content and use it even when not connected to the internet. As a result, mobile applications are more accessible and boost participation. PWA development provides the same feature.
- Mobile-like operation
Design-wise, progressive web applications are identical to mobile apps, but they also incorporate website features such as dynamic data and database access. Most PWAs take advantage of existing frameworks and UX/UI to provide a better experience than traditional websites. They also function similarly to websites and are search engine indexable, which enables brands to increase their market presence.
- No stressing about app store submission
Companies don’t have to promote their PWA in app stores, saving them plenty of time and effort consumed by app store submissions. Brands can also send new updates to users without having to wait for approval – the changes are downloaded and updated instantly when users reopen the app.
- PWA enables the use of hardware features
Progressive web apps allow for the inclusion of different mobile functionalities, such as push notifications. A key aspect is that developers have total control over their executions, opening up new marketing and sales channels for companies. Additionally, PWAs can take advantage of mobile device hardware functionalities like the geolocation and camera.
Which successful businesses use progressive web apps?
Major global businesses have switched to progressive web apps thanks to their growth potential and reliability. Some of the most popular and successful businesses that use progressive web apps today are: Starbucks, Spotify, Pinterest, Uber, Flipboard, or Soundslice.
Are there any disadvantages to progressive web applications?
- Restricted support – browser, hardware, and software
Since they’re Android-centric, progressive web apps don’t run on popular browsers like Safari, Internet Explorer, and Edge. With a 55% user base in the US, Safari dominates the browser market in North America. It also implies that a majority of mobile users don’t have access to progressive web apps.
However, the latest versions of Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera adequately support progressive web apps. Progressive web apps are still comparatively new, and so most of the devices’ hardware and software don’t fully support them.
2. No download store presence
Progressive web apps aren’t available on Google and Apple app stores.
App stores play a crucial role in serving as an ideal catalogue that allows users to identify and choose the relevant applications. They are also helpful in establishing trust with potential customers through a social proof medium such as reviews. Since most consumers look for applications through these stores, there’s a chance your progressive web app may be overlooked.
Who would benefit from a progressive web application?
The choice of a progressive web app over a native or hybrid app is determined by the company’s objectives. Because of the restricted browser, software, and hardware support, a progressive web app may not be the smartest solution if you want to target bigger mobile audiences across Android and iOS. It may, however, be the way to go if you’re on a budget, your customers are based in areas with limited internet access, or you want your mobile web endeavour to be as engaging as a mobile app.
Is progressive web app development the future?
Experts have already forecasted PWA as a rapidly evolving technology that will continue to serve for the foreseeable future. Several data-driven business apps that do not require native development and deployment will eventually be developed as PWAs; business-to-employee applications are an example of this. Some native applications make for ideal PWA prospects, and it makes no sense to spend a lot of effort and money developing them when there exists a more feasible alternative.
New generation smartphone users, on the other hand, do not download and keep as many apps as they previously did. This is why businesses will look for ways to lower the barrier to entry and the cost of mobile development – and that’s where PWA comes in.