What are progressive web apps?

progressive web appsWhen discussing the future of web development, many mention: progressive web apps also known as hybrid apps – a perfect mix of a mobile and web apps. Therefore it’s important to understand what they are and the benefits they could bring to app creators (developers and enterprises) and end users.

Progressive Web Apps – basics

  • PWA – regular pages or websites, hybrids between native and a standard web apps, that appear to users as traditional or native mobile apps, but allow faster development of new features by developers due to only one base code
  • Progressive – they work for every user regardless of the browser they use and where they are situated in the world
  • Instant loading – without any need to go to app stores, search and download, Progressive Web Apps can be found via Google and launched directly increasing number of users: according to Comscore Mobile App Report, over 50% of America’s smartphone users download zero apps a month – each step to download an app reduces about 20% of the app’s potential number of users.’
  • Immediate changes – without involvement of app stores and weeks of amends process to follow, new builds and adjustments can be implemented straight away
  • Responsive – Progressive Web Apps fit any device and their new features all behave exactly the same across platforms (web, desktop and mobile)
  • SEO-optimised – benefiting both parties: app developers and owners they bring SEO values as search engines are able to find them
  • Secure – as most websites are being programmed in HTTPS today, Progressive Web Apps are more secure
  • One code for Android and iOS – they’re not particular to any one device, which means developers no longer need to write separate code for Android and Apple devices
  • Offline – users can load them (fast loading time) offline from the home screen
  • Shareable – they can be easily shared via URL
  • Add to home screen – PWA can be easily added to the home screen
  • Push notifications – necessary to re-engage and share news with users can be received even when the browser is closed

Are Progressive Web Apps the future of apps?

‘From a user’s perspective, one of the more notable benefits of progressive web apps is a vastly improved app cross-functionality. What this effectively means is that switching between apps, and sharing information between them becomes less intrusive or frustrating. Instead, it’s much faster and more intuitive. Basically, it’s like Facebook Instant Articles or an in-app browser for Slack.’ {Quora}

 ‘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.’ {IQVIS}

 ‘The most significant advantages of PWAs are the most considerable downfall of native apps. Specifically, it is incredibly hard to connect users to a native app. Not only does a person have to be made aware that the app exists in the first place, but then they must endure a long journey to actually download and use that app. Not to mention, apps have to be published to the App Store, Google Play or another marketplace, which introduces a tedious third party to the mix.’ {Betanews}

Users of Pinterest’s PWA spend 40% more time on the site compared to the previous mobile website. Ad revenue rates also increased by 44%, and core engagements shot up 60%. Flipkart saw 60% of customers who had uninstalled their native appreturn to use the Flipkart PWA. Lancôme saw an 84% decrease in time until the page is interactive, leading to a 17% increase in conversions and a 53% increase in mobile sessions on iOS with their PWA. {Forbes}

If you’re interested in other technical news, why don’t you read about latest Android 8.0 Oreo compatibility rules or iPhoneX apps.