Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are gaining a lot of attention these days because they’re really user-friendly and offer a great experience. They blend the best features of both websites and native apps. This makes it easier for developers to create web apps that load quickly and work well, without needing to use hybrid frameworks.
I think Progressive Web Apps are the future of websites. In this article, I’ll go over why they’re so beneficial and how they’re used. Let’s dive in.
An Introduction to Progressive Web Apps
Most developers have at least heard some buzz around Progressive Web Apps. These are widely supported by tech... Read more
What Exactly Are Progressive Web Apps?
The phrase “Progressive Web Apps” was first introduced by Alex Rusell, a Google Chrome developer, and Frances Berriman, a designer. Alex described PWAs as “websites that have taken all the right steps to be more like apps“.
Alex also mentioned that websites evolve into PWAs as you use them more. They gradually gain features like apps, earning the right to send you notifications or appear on your home screen. He concluded by saying that PWAs can offer an even better experience than traditional web apps.
Web Apps vs. Progressive Web Apps: What’s the Difference?
Web apps are applications that run in your web browser. They’re better than regular websites because they feel more like the apps you’d download on your phone. However, they do have some limitations.
Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), on the other hand, are like upgraded web apps. They can use your device’s built-in features like the camera and also offer offline access and push notifications.
Why Should We Use Progressive Web Apps?
Native apps – those you download from app stores – are fast and work well even when your internet is slow or non-existent. Websites and web apps, however, can be slow and don’t work well without an internet connection. That’s why most people prefer using native apps.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) was a project started by Google to make websites load faster on mobile phones. However, AMP doesn’t work offline and isn’t as fast as native apps. That’s why PWAs are important – they offer a great user experience even when the internet is slow or unavailable.
Why Choosing Progressive Web Apps Makes Sense
According to a 2017 report by comScore, people spend about 77% of their time on their top three apps, while the rest are rarely used but still take up device resources. Also, half of the users don’t download any new apps in a month. This shows that people are hesitant to add more apps, giving PWAs an advantage.
People generally use websites on desktops but prefer mobile apps on their phones. This is because desktop computers have more resources, and mobile apps are faster and use fewer resources.
Additionally, developing native apps can be expensive, especially if you need to make them for different platforms like Android and iOS. PWAs, however, are more cost-effective because they work across multiple platforms.
What Are Progressive Web Apps?
Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are a special kind of web application that offer more features compared to regular websites or web apps. Here’s what sets them apart:
- Responsive: They work on any device, regardless of screen size.
- Offline Access: They can load even when you have slow or no internet connection.
- App-like Experience: They feel like native apps on your device.
- Always Updated: They update automatically without requiring user intervention.
- Secure: They use HTTPS for secure data transfer.
- Searchable: Their content can be found by search engines.
- Engaging: They can send you notifications to keep you engaged.
- Installable: You can add them to your home screen.
- Shareable: They have URLs, making them easy to share.
What’s more, PWAs can access some of your device’s features, like the camera. However, they can’t access certain features like your location, phone, or SMS.
Note: To learn more about PWAs, you can read this post.
How to Create a Progressive Web App?
Google offers a Progressive Web App Checklist to help beginners build their own PWAs. This checklist outlines the essential features for both basic and advanced apps.
Are Progressive Web Apps the Future?
While PWAs may not replace native apps entirely, they offer many advantages and are gaining support from major platforms. This suggests that they will become increasingly common in the future.
For example, Apple has added PWA features to Safari, Google supports PWAs on Android, and Microsoft is also adding PWA support to its Edge browser. All of this points to a growing role for PWAs in the tech landscape.