You may not have heard about them yet, but Progressive Web Apps are about to change the app development landscape. Though announced in 2015, the they have really been gaining popularity this year. Before it becomes the ‘in’ thing, let’s learn what the buzz all is about.
What are Progressive Web Apps?
PWA’s are the latest game changers in the app world. They create fast, robust applications that benefit the users, irrespective of their connection speed or device constraints. PWA’s are built with a collection of design concepts, technologies and Web API’s that work synchronously to provide an app-like experience on mobile. This means you can build reliable web applications that load instantly, regardless of the kind of network connection the user is on. In other words, this app is designed to work offline and in areas of low connectivity. With the help of pre-caching, the apps stay updated, serving the newest content to the user. PWA’s run on HTTPS, install app banners, use push notifications and more. Under the hood, they grant full access to the requests and responses made to and from the applications, giving you ultimate control. The best part is that you don’t need to be a sage to unlock all these prominent features.
The Perfect Balance
With PWA’s, the users don’t need to install softwares, nor do they have to visit an app store. They can enjoy the features of a web application by just visiting a URL. Stats also show that people like using mobile web instead of installing software, especially when they do not use that particular app over and over again. The app makers also feel the same, thanks to the accelerating costs. Progressive Web Apps work and perform like standard apps, maintaining proper customer experience and engagement, without diving into the hitches of maintaining an authentic application.
Features of the Progressive Web App Concept
Besides offering engaging, and faster solutions, the concept of PWA’s also bring along some great benefits and features:
Since a PWA is primarily a website, it needs to be discoverable in search engines. Discoverability is a major advantage over native apps, which still lag behind in web searches.
Since PWA’s get delivered through the HTTPs protocol, they are more bulletproof. The secured connections further mitigate the chances of hacking or snooping and ensure tamper free content and data transfer.
Similar to websites, one can easily share a PWA with just a URL. Websites can easily direct users to the app and users can easily bookmark and share with others.
As per the definition, a PWA can work on any device and improve progressively, exploiting the features available for the user’s browser and device.
The user-interface of a PWA should fit all screens or devices. All you need to worry about is improving the performance of the application with high quality code.
Once a website meets the requirements by Google, various browsers have started to prompt visitors to install the PWA on their home screens, which allow easy access to the icon. For a website to be eligible for in-browser prompts, the website needs to be hosted on a secured TLS connection. Some browsers like Internet Explorer and Safari do not support this feature.
The Future of Progressive Web Applications
Companies that don’t want to hire developers to create, test, and maintain native apps can opt for Progressive Web Apps. These can be developed and installed inexpensively and work on different devices and platforms.
Unlike typical websites, PWA’s can also use features like media storage, camera, GPS and more. Since people do not have to download anything to use these applications, PWA’s appeal to users looking for swift solutions. The platform is also expected to work faster on various devices than other formats, thus reducing the reversal time for both the users and website owners.
Developers and companies will certainly continue to explore PWA’s in the coming years, and with good reason.