Progressive Web Apps is the new buzz in the web development community. In the past, we have seen separate web development for desktop and mobile devices. With the passage of time, responsive web design came into existence. While native apps are still in use, there is no way they are going to fade away with time.
Talking about Progressive Web Apps, they have been popular over the past few years. The popularity of PWAs is mainly due to addressing the problems persisting in native apps and responsive web design.
Before we move further, let’s discuss what is Progressive Web Apps all about.
What is Progressive Web App?
A Progressive Web App is all about delivering a native app-like experience to the users by utilizing modern web techniques.
According to Google, “Progressive Web App uses modern web capabilities to deliver an app-like user experience”.
The application built on PWA is a mix of both mobile applications and traditional web pages. They are highly secure, responsive and scalable. However, it does not only relate to responsive web design, rather it is much more than that.
Alex Russel, an engineer at Google was the first one to devise the concept of Progressive Web Apps.
Progressive Web Apps can support the following features like:
- Home Screen Icon
- Push Notifications
- Splash Screen
- Geo Location
- Offline Mode
- Background Synchronization
- Accessing Media Features from Audio, Video and Camera Devices
Overall, you do not need to develop a separate mobile app for the same project. Will Progressive Web App will be the future or just a hype, which would fade away over the time. Let’s have a look at why PWAs is the future of apps.
1. Seamless Access for the Users
Progressive Web App will be trending in the mobile experience. Unlike a native mobile app, PWA does not need any download or installation. For instance, if you want to buy a product from a popular e-commerce app store, you have to go through many phases.
Firstly, you need to search in the marketplace, download it and allow permissions to use your contact info or access media files. However, in the case of PWAs, the customer can search your website through Google and immediately access PWA without any downloading or wait.
It will also help users to use it anytime without paying extra for the data charges to download it. Moreover, users don’t need to uninstall the app in order to free up some space on mobile. Overall, users will directly access the app without any installation or any other fluffs.
2. Offline Access to Content
App working offline might be astonishing for many of you, but PWA is all about access to content offline. Service workers, which is the core of Progressive Web App, works in the background, even when the website is not accessed.
It helps the app to work offline, send push notifications along with reloading content in the background, and start processes based on program logic. Service Workers use cache and gather API to quickly load your PWA.
3. User Engagement is Higher
You may have come across many websites showing you a dialog box with Allow and Deny button to click. By clicking the allow button, you will get the updates from the website when you are away. The same thing was introduced by Google Chrome app, which reads, “Add to Home Screen”. The main advantage is that with a single click, you can add the website to the homepage. Likewise, in PWA, the link-adding feature will allow the app to be cached and you will be given app access directly from the home screen.
AliExpress observes 104% increase in conversion rates and users now visit twice as many pages per session, and time spent per session increased an average of 74% across all browsers.
4. Fine-tuning Made Easier
The benefit of developing a Progressive Web App instead of a native app is that you don’t need to contact app store to make tweaks. Unlike in native app, you have to inform app store about the adjustments and updates to fix the bugs and errors. This might take a week or longer to deploy the updates and adjustments. While in PWAs you can fix the bugs and errors on the go and don’t need to waste time on writing two separate codes for Android and Apple devices.
5. PWAs are More Secure
As a web developer, you may know how much Google encourages websites having https instead of HTTP. Cyber threats are always top of the list for web and app developers. In the past, HTTP was not secure enough to protect users’ information.
Websites are now being programmed in HTTPs and it is easy to launch a Progressive Web App in a secure environment. While entering personal information in PWA such as credit card information or contact details, they may feel secure and have peace of mind.
6. Speed of PWAs
Progressive Web Apps are highly reliable and efficient when it comes to speed. Java Scripts and Service Workers runs separately from main web thread. This allows PWA to load instantly, regardless of how slow your internet speed is.
The capability of caching the information in the app and browser allows PWAs to work faster. They have smooth scrolling, animations, and navigations, allowing users to perceive it as a native application.
7. Native App Flexibility
Accessing PWA in your browser allows you a similar experience as that of a native app. The shell of Progressive Web App imitates like an application and replicates any gesture you might experience in native application. It can also handle online ordering, loyalty programs, and customer information.
Web users can be asked to save your PWA to their home screen as a bookmark or shortcut, allowing them to instantly access whenever they want.
Progressive Web App is the future of web development without any doubt. In the future, e-commerce sites, restaurants, and media sources will transition from native app to Progressive Web App. However, still in the initial phase, many of the developers would be actively looking for ways to make most out of the opportunities given by PWAs.