The biggest question in developing technology that people and developers within the mobile app industry have a huge debate over which one is better? Mobile applications or mobile web experience?
We all know mobile applications are much better. But now we have a new trend that makes use of both mobile applications and web browsing. These are known as Progressive Web Apps. Making use of PWAs will help in improving the user experience.
PWAs are relatively new and people are yet to explore and understand the working and features of this technology. A lot of us have heard of them, but we are not too sure if PWAs are actually beneficial for us or not. This is why today we are going to discuss PWAs and why they are becoming so popular.
What is a Progressive Web App?
PWAs are those apps that introduce design elements to a mobile browser and brings other technologies and features that are basically associated with native apps. The reason why PWAs are great to use and increasingly popular is because they allow you to browse the mobile site and experience it as if you are using a mobile app.
PWAs is a new concept. There was no such term before 2015. PWAs have certain characteristics in common.
- Progressive: The apps need to support progressive enhancement, thus the name. The apps will work for any user, no matter which device or platform it is.
- Discoverable: PWAs are easily discovered by service workers that use search engines to find them.
- Linkable: These apps operate on the web, thus they are linkable by definition and easy to share.
- Responsive: PWAs are easily responsive so they fit all forms like desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
- App-like: By nature, PWAs look and interact like a native app.
It’s not just the look and feel of PWAs that is similar to native applications, but also the navigations and interactions. PWAs come with an HTTP connection which makes sure that the content has been breached. Users can be contacted through a push notification on a PWA. PWAs are installable and can also be kept on the home screen. There is no need to download PWAs. You get a full screen browsing experience with PWAs.
Benefits of Progressive Web Apps:
A PWA can function offline, have mobile-specific navigation, send push notifications, and can be easily accessed through home screens. PWAs can be discovered without going to an app marketplace and so there is no need to download them. This is an amazing benefit as it doesn’t put you through an app approval process. Users can easily discover you through a web browser. The chances of being discovered on an app store are less.
PWAs are also quick and easy to install for the users. They take up much less space than the native apps and also do not consume as much data. From a user’s perspective, PWAs offer all these benefits and still look and work the same way as a native app. This is what improves the user experience. There is an instant response to commands, so there is no lagging or scrolling issue, which can be experienced in a traditional mobile site.
Regular maintenance of an app is instrumental to its success. Maintenance is expensive for native apps. But its extremely easy to maintain a PWA because they update automatically. Like a native app, you don’t need to release a new version every time to update the app. Users will feel secure and will be willing to trust PWAs more.
The core of your PWA is the service worker API, which can handle many different processes. The service worker API modifies the resource request and navigation. The complete control over how the app behaves is entirely up to you. It’s also operated on HTTP which is secure. The service worker API, just like the PWAs, is relatively new. In the future, it will grow and be more functional than it is in the present.
Is it right for you?
We have talked about everything you must know about PWAs in this outline. There are a lot of benefits that are to be offered by PWAs, only if you are ready to take them. If you are still confused or not too sure about how PWAs will help or benefit you, get in touch with a mobile app development company and you will find all the right answers to your questions.
Rajiv is one of the founders of Nimblechapps, a web and android game development company based out of India. At Nimblechapps he overlooks delivery, product development and often lends a hand to the in house development team. His personal interest include Travel, Food and Motorcycling.