Progressive Web Apps or PWA continues to be popular as the ideal mobile web solution. It has come as the single most important technology to transform the way web apps behave. Thanks to the overwhelming popularity of the native features and user experience that leading websites are trying to deliver for years, the websites are increasingly losing the distinction from mobile apps in terms of usability and native user experience. Finally, as the logical progression in this direction we have Progressive Web Apps or PWA, a technology primarily meant to deliver native user experience through web apps.
PWA is a unique technology in respect of providing users with a lightweight web solution with more user-focused attributes and lightweight as well as low-footprint user experience. In spite of all the buzz about this technology, we nevertheless should look at the ways PWAs can transform the mobile experience. Let us begin with the basics.
What is Progressive Web Apps (PWA)?
Progressive Web Apps or PWAs can be best defined as web apps with look and feel of native mobile apps. While it can run on all browsers including chrome, opera, safari or Mozilla, It can also be accessed easily from the home screen of the users just like any other app. Being installed on the homepage or kept right inside the app drawer it can send push notification messages and its settings can be tweaked from the system settings.
Key advantages of PWAs
The loud buzz around the PWAs is justified because of the wide-ranging advantages it offers for the web apps. From fast-paced loading time to native user experience to optimum security, there are too many benefits that PWAs offer.
Let’s explain some of these advantages in detail.
Highly Responsive or Mobile Friendly
Progressive Web Apps are tremendously responsive or mobile-friendly. PWAs automatically adjust the screen layout of the device. This is why it is an ideal web solution for a wide range of devices including mobile, tablet, laptop and desktop, PWAs typically fit into any device.
PWAs also offer optimum security compared to the traditional web apps just because these apps are accessed mainly through HTTPS. It makes sure that no tampering attempt with the app remains unsuccessful.
Frictionless User Experience Across Devices
With unmatched flexibility, PWAs remain compatible for a wide range of devices. While the native apps require their corresponding mobile platforms like iOS and Android, the same PWA can be accessed across all devices of different OS platforms.
Progressive web apps are developed to load faster than regular websites. Allowing instant loading like the native apps, PWAs ensure great user experience benefits for users of all types. By allowing device-level caching, PWAs reduce the amount of data needed to respond to user requests and hence the loading time gets faster.
Unlike the regular websites, PWAs allows sending push notification messages to the users for different purposes. This is a typical native app feature that thanks to PWA technology even web apps are going to be benefited from. This is particularly beneficial for certain niches like the eCommerce where push messages help boosting the retention rate and the number of app launches.
Unlike regular websites, progressive web apps help to activate these alert notifications through the mobile browser irrespective of whether they are running or not. This helps the websites to get in touch with the users in a more personal manner than the regular web interface.
Great performance irrespective of network condition
One of the biggest advantages of Progressive Web Apps is that it can just allow users to access content and certain functions even when the network connection is slower and not so satisfactory. Moreover, PWAs can also work offline or without the complete availability of network connectivity. There are many e-commerce and business websites around the world that really could reduce the data usage thanks to PWAs.
A native look and feel
The biggest selling point is that the user cannot recognise any considerable difference between PWA and the native app with respect to look and feel. A PWA in look, feel and features completely behaves like native apps. Users can get all native features such as push notifications, easy integration with the OS system, home screen access with an icon, etc.
One of the best advantages of PWA is the easy way you can make people install without raking your brain on the app visibility in app marketplaces. There are considerable pains and complexities involved in convincing the user to download an app. Thanks to PWA technology the user is now able to install the app just with a single tap on the screen. Such a smooth and easy installation makes users prefer PWA in comparison to the heavier native app.
Thanks to the in-device local caching system that PWAs are equipped with, progressive web apps are able to respond to user requests even without an available connection. Just because the data of the PWA is stored locally in the device, the already seen PWA content can be accessed without an Internet connection.
One of the most amazing features of PWA is that it is easy to update. Unlike the native apps that need to create updates for the app stores to approve, the PWAs are updated as soon as the web app is updated with new features, content or design elements. Users of PWAs can readily use the updated app as soon as it is updated from your end.
Lightweight and Low Footprint
In spite of the fact that PWAs just like native apps can be loaded with a bounty of features, they mostly remain lightweight. PWAs in byte size is extremely smaller and rake less device memory than the regular native apps. For example, the Pinterest PWA for Android and iOS only weigh 150 KB compared to 9.6MB and 56MB respectively for these mobile platforms.
PWAs in more ways than one has come as a value-added solution for the mobile web users and are providing an alternative to native apps as well and this shows why PWAs are becoming popular.
Author Bio: Atman Rathod is the Co-founder at CMARIX TechnoLabs Pvt. Ltd., a leading web and mobile app development company with 13+ years of experience. He loves to write about technology, startups, entrepreneurship and business. His creative abilities, academic track record and leadership skills made him one of the key industry influencers as well.
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