All About Progressive Web Apps (PWA)

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In this blog, we have covered everything about progressive web apps from basics and compared it with regular mobile apps.

In today’s time, only a website is not able to cater to businesses to expand their customer base and improve sales and revenues. Mobile apps are considered to be the best way to lure and sustain customers. By letting them explore everything about the brand, in terms of their products and services, and thus improves its demand in the market.

A native mobile app has become a common choice among businesses for offering plenty of benefits including improved customer engagement, customer loyalty, smooth internal communication, and lots more. But, it also has several shortcomings like time-consuming development process, higher development cost, etc.

PWA development fixes almost all shortcomings of native apps and thus witnessed its growing acceptance among different industries. In this post, we are going to cover everything about progressive web apps from the basics.

What are Progressive Web Apps?

PWAs are the modified version of web apps developed on technologies like HTML5, CSS3, etc. These apps loads, functions, and has UI design just like a regular app. It combines functionality and features of both web apps and mobile apps and thus lets you get advantages of both. It’s deployed on the cloud server (provided by Amazon Web Service and others) and can be accessed smoothly through the specific URL. PWA can deliver a native user experience.

How does Progressive Web App Work?

PWAs are regular web pages or a complete website that works like modern mobile apps. And let users get a similar experience of using native apps. As mentioned above, PWAs enable users to get combined benefits of both modern web browsers and mobile apps.

Differences Between Progressive Web App and Mobile Apps?

PWA performs like regular apps. Still, there are certain differences between them:

Installation

PWA

Users don’t need to install PWAs to use them. they can be directly accessed by users through URLs.

Mobile App

To use a native or hybrid mobile app, users need to first download the app from the app stores (Apple Store or Play Store) and then install them on their devices to use.

Offline

PWA

PWA leverages service-worker technology, which gives it the potential to work offline smoothly. But, users can access only limited parts. They can’t submit any filled form or make a booking online for any services.

Mobile App

Offline accessibility is the most popular attribute of regular mobile apps. It lets users access everything even if the internet connection is slow or disabled.

Update

PWA

PWA has the potential to get updated automatically. So, users don’t need to download or install the latest version of the app.

Mobile App

A regular mobile app needs to be updated to allow users to access advanced features and functionality.

Storage

PWA

Since progressive web apps are accessed through URLs, they don’t use the device resources. Thus these apps don’t cause any kind of device drainage issue.

Mobile App

A heavy regular mobile app causes higher battery consumption and occupies storage space, consumes mobile data, etc.

Discoverability

PWA

PWA is SEO-friendly. So, it can be searched easily through any search engines, like regular websites.

Mobile App

One can discover regular apps on app stores and search engines. But, it’s not easy to get indexed in search engines.

You may also like to read: Why is React Native App Development Future of Hybrid Mobile Apps?

Sync Device Features

PWA

It comes with certain limitations in this arena. Though PWA lets users avail advantages of accessing device features, but is unable to provide a certain set of features. It facilitates users to establish certain connections, but only via API, especially for social media login.

Mobile App

Regular apps can sync completely, with device features and let users gain various advantages.

Security

PWA

PWAs work on HTTPS, which facilitates browser-to-server encryption. The app is secure as similar to any website.

Mobile App

A regular app leverages multi-factor authentication, certificate planning, app stores’ security guidelines, etc., to improve its security layer.

Cost

PWA

It is developed by adding the service worker to the web app. The development process is smooth and quick. This reduces app development costs.

Mobile App

A regular native mobile app is developed on Java or Kotlin for Android and Objective-C or Swift for iOS. It makes the development process lengthier and time taking, and the mobile app company has to involve a lot of resources, which increases the development cost.

What is a Good Framework to Build Progressive Web App?

PWAs are developed using several frameworks. Some of the popular progressive web app frameworks are:

  • Progressive web apps react
  • Progressive web apps AngularJS
  • Polymer
  • Lighthouse

What Browsers Support Progressive Web Apps?

Since PWA works on service workers, which is supported by all major browsers, be it Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera, and others. No matter which browsers users access, they can get a seamless experience of using progressive web application software.

Take a look at how many versions of the following browsers support service workers.

Browsers Numbers of Versions
Chrome 40+
Firefox44+
Safari11.1+
Edge17+
Opera27+

Do Progressive Web Apps Work on iOS

PWAs are no longer available only for Android users but also for iOS users. It’s compatible with every major platform and browser, which supports service workers. The launch of iOS 11.3 made feasible for iOS users to access PWA.

Besides the major iOS update, Apple also launched service workers with Safari 11.1 to run PWA on iOS devices flawlessly.

However, iOS Safari is still not able to deliver the smooth experience of running PWA to users as other platforms such as Chrome, Firefox, etc. due to missing certain features like push notifications, background sync, and others.

Are Progressive Web Apps Future of Apps?

The above discussions reflect that PWA includes almost all the features of regular mobile apps. So, it is becoming one of the biggest rivals of mobile apps and earned a huge response from startups. This is not the limit – PWA also has certain advantages over regular apps as well.

  • PWA development process is less time consuming and thus cost-efficient. So, it is the best solution for startups or small businesses.
  • Users don’t need to download and install PWA on their devices, as it can be accessed through URL.
  • It gets updated automatically. So, users don’t need to download the latest version of the app.
  • It requires less storage space of the device. This encourages users to use PWAs.

Should Enterprises Build Progressive Web Apps?

PWA is a new and growing technology. So, if you’re planning to restructure your enterprise marketing strategy, it’s not wise to ignore it. All you need to focus on is that new tech demands more resources and costs. If it doesn’t, it’s good to include PWA in your mobile strategy.

The most interesting thing about PWA is that it is developed with the pre-existing site code and several features are integrated as per the targeted browsers and devices. Besides, it also includes a similar advertising model that of a website. The progressive web apps also help in improving website ranking in Google and other search engines.

So, these are the reasons why enterprises are advised to go with PWA to harness numerous advantages to discover new opportunities and scope for business growth.

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