Progressive Web Apps: The Next Mobile Experience?

By Andrew Gazdecki

TeroVesalainen / Pixabay

You may not have heard of them yet, but Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are about to change the mobile landscape. While introduced in 2015 by Google, PWAs have gained popularity this year. So before it becomes all the rage, what are Progressive Web Apps exactly?

What is a PWA?

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In the most simple sense, PWAs are mobile apps delivered through the web. This technology allows PWAs to deliver an app-like experience on your browser. It feels like a native app due to the use of an app-shell that provides app-style navigations and gestures. Since progressive apps are built on the web, they are not tied to specific devices. A PWA displays seamlessly and identically on all devices, including desktop, mobile, tablet, or whatever comes next.

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What’s more, service workers enable a Progressive Web App to load instantly, regardless of network quality. In other words, this web app is designed to work offline and in areas of low connectivity. With the help of pre-caching, it stays up-to-date, serving the user with the newest content upon launch. Similar to an app, the user is able to save the PWA to their home screen to access it at any time. Making it installable, without the hassle of downloading it from the app stores.

PWA vs. Native Mobile App

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While native mobile apps provide the highest quality user experience, they come with friction for both the user and the developer. One of the biggest differences between PWAs and native apps is the presence of the “app store middleman”. For Progressive Web Apps, this middleman is completely taken out. For app developers, no app store means you are no longer restricted by iOS and Android’s rules and guidelines. A developer will not have to go through an approval process, allowing the app to be used as soon as it’s ready. There is also no need to manually update the app, as the revised app version will instantly and automatically be available to everyone.

From the perspective of the end user, they are able to access the PWA without having to download it from an app store. Instead, a PWA is linkable, which means anyone can launch the app straight from a URL. You can share it on social media, email, text message, online ad, or link it to a QR code, and the user will instantly be immersed into an app.

By removing all this friction, it will be much easier for users to have access to the app. As the diagram below shows, with every step of the native app download process, 20% of users are lost. Consumers find it tedious having to find the app in the app store, wait for it to download, and worry that it’ll use up all their storage space before they can start using the app. Because PWAs drastically reduce the amount of steps they need to take (essentially making it a one-step process), there is a much Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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