A Progressive Web App (PWA) is an application that’s built and lives on a web but will function more and more like a native application. It is an enhanced version of a web app. Being a PWA gives a web app extra capabilities, things like offline usage, push notification and most importantly users of the web app can install it as a normal app on their mobile phone or computer. So PWA is trying to bridge a gap between a native app and a web app. But they might not have all the capabilities that the native apps offer, with the native application user can access resources such as the phone’s camera and its sensors. The support for using these hardware resources is still limited on the PWA side but it’s growing, it’s a technology and Google is continuing to push it hard.
The capabilities provided by PWA is that users get to use their app offline and get to send push notifications to the users. Google also allows developers to add their progressive web app to the Google Play Store and it is expected since PWA as a concept was introduced by Google in 2015 and they sort of standardized it. So Google is more forward with respect to PWAs and with respect to the support they provide. These web apps have been growing in popularity over the past few years. In 2018, PWAs started officially working on 6 browsers including Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, Opera, and Samsung Internet.
Benefits of Progressive Web Applications development for Business:
Initially covering the benefits by understanding Google’s own (F.I.R.E.) principle that stands for Fast, Integrated, Reliable, and Engaging.
1. PWAs are fast which is very important because according to Google’s research approximately 53% of users will abandon a site that takes longer than 3 seconds to load. So what makes them fast? – Well, PWAs are fast because their pages are pre-cached. This tends to result in readers returning to reliable fast-loading sites and increasing the traffic and visitor retention of those sites. These applications also feel fast to users, what that means is things like how long it takes to get useful information on the screen. For example – Starbucks Coffee PWA exhibits placeholder boxes before the content is accurately loaded onto the screen.
2. PWAs are Integrated which means that they feel natural to the user and on the user’s device, this is because of APIs. PWAs are able to launch and behave in the same way that other native applications do and also take advantage of the capabilities of the device through the use of APIs. APIs supply user engagement benefits and positive application integrations. For example, having Google Pay integration will offer a seamless, and positive payment experience for the end-user.
3. PWAs are Installable which means it emulates the behavior of negative applications that can be installed on to the home screen of the device and then be able to re-access the PWA via an icon. The ability to send Push notifications to the use, again making the PWA act and feel like a native app.
4. PWAs provide a reliable experience to users. With service worker technology and speed service workers also bring offline capabilities to the world of PWA. This has ultimately made it possible for pre-caching pages for offline use. This is great for readers who are in poorly networked areas or using potentially low-quality hardware, as they can still have a great experience, and interaction with the PWA is a reliable framework to use. Another reason why PWAs are reliable is because of their “Seamless Upgrades”. PWAs are hosted on the web, users do not need to install app-updates and developers are able to re-deploy the new version instantaneously. The beauty of PWA is the responsive design capabilities which make the content look great across all devices.
5. PWAs are Engaging as these are attractive and easy to use and provide a positive user experience. Because of the variety of web components available, developers are able to design PWAs just like native applications. Various web components available today include: Soundcloud, Facebook comments, YouTube videos, menus, and more – all the features make the existing website ‘rich’ and all the setup and services of converting a normal website to PWA are provided by the PWA development company. One more point is about the time and cost savings for development teams. Developers don’t need to build an IOS application and an Android application and then work to get them on to the app stores. PWAs are a universal choice, that works across a range of devices, and screen sizes which save development time and money.
6. To provide website and mobile app-like experience across devices and browsers, PWAs need only one code base, which indicates it needs only one software platform, one team, one test approach, and one digital product roadmap to plan, design, create and achieve both a website and a mobile app-like background. PWAs not only reduce the cost of product design, development, and maintenance, they also save money for organizations by allowing for quicker delivery of new features and bug fixes.
7. As the technology is dynamically growing at an incredible speed, and innovative brands are more strategic thinking towards implementing more forward-looking technologies to avoid rapid cycles of strategy, design, production, and re-construct for digital solutions. PWAs are fundamentally versatile and continually growing to meet the new functionality advancement. PWAs are erected for transition, ensuring that companies should avoid investing in one-off websites and mobile apps that ultimately need redesigns to meet emerging demands and technologies from the end-users.
8. The growing support for PWA development is driven by demands from prominent brands seeking to take complete advantage of their capabilities. To create a faster user experience with an enhanced interface, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest have invested laboriously in making its website a responsive PWA.
Media powerhouses like Forbes, the BBC, and The Washington Post have also launched PWAs to disseminate their content more smoothly across consumers and assorted classes of devices, from desktops to cell phones. The PWA landscape is rapidly developing the e-commerce vertical and big businesses like Pinterest, Starbucks, Twitter, Washington Post, the Weather channel and much more have launched their PWAs in the last few months.