Progressive Web Applications – The Future

A world not depending on App stores for native applications…Yes it is on the way. Progressive Web Application is coming. Progressive Web Applications (PWA) takes advantage of the latest technologies to combine the best of web and mobile apps. It is a website created using web technologies but acts like an app.

Progressive web apps take advantage of the much broader web ecosystem, plugins and community, and the relative simplicity with which to deploy and manage a website compared to a native application in the respective app stores. It makes our website load faster and with better performance. Its features include push notifications, offline mode, installing to the home screen and more.

For all mobile applications currently we need to go to play-store to access the application and install it on any smartphone. But with PWA applications it can be directly accessed without modifying the user experience.

Now let us look at the popular apps such as Facebook and Twitter, all of which have a separate smartphone app instead of downloading it from the play store that can be accessed through any web browser. Web apps and mobile applications have the same content in this scenario but look, sound, user experience, internet use and user-friendliness differ inherently.

The difference between mobile devices and websites has been successfully bridged by Progressive Web Applications (PWA), providing the best from both worlds.

Features Of PWA

It works on any device and enhance progressively taking advantage of any features available on the user’s device and browser.

As it is a website it will be discoverable on search engines which is a great advantage when compare to native applications.

It can be installed on the device’s home screen, making it readily available.

Users can experience Sleek mobile experience, Push notifications etc.

 Use Cases

PWA has already been adopted by several organisations and has a high success rate, strong user interaction , lower memory consumption. Companies such as Alibaba, Book My Show, Trivago, Pinterest, OLX, Starbucks, Wego, Twitter Lite, Forbes, Simple formula, Make My Trip have introduced PWA and reached a success rate of 50 percent in their business offering while utilizing PWA.

Flipkart uses a progressive web app for its popular e-commerce website, Flipkart Lite, and SBB uses its online check-in method with a progressive web app, enabling users to access their tickets without an Internet connection. When they used PWA technology, Twitter saw a huge increase of 75 per cent in tweets.

Benefits of PWA

Now, Let’s take a look at the benefits of PWAs.

Offline Mode – One of PWA’s best features is that its contents can also be stored on offline mode. It solves one of the big challenges for any product growth, and therefore the customer stays connected when there is no internet or limited bandwidth contributing to higher user experience levels and higher revenues.

Better performance –The use of ‘service workers’ technology and its cache mechanism lead to the quick response and instant loading capability of PWA.

Ease of Access – When you want any app to be on your phone you need to go to play store, download the app that leads to memory space problem and increase download time. To install the applications, PWA needs only the connection which can be shared with users.

No installation and manual updates required – Let’s consider if a user wants to use the progressive web app from Twitter, they don’t have to install it from the play store/Appstore. The user can then access it by visiting mobile. twitter. com and log in without any interruptions and delays.

Low Development cost: PWA’s unique advantage is that it aims to create one single application for multiple platforms, accessible from any device. Thus it helps to reduce total costs.

Enhanced Security: PWAs rely on HTTPS to provide data safety and minimize the risk of security issues.

No Dependence on App Distribution Services: App distribution services, such as the App Store , Google Play or Microsoft Store, generally set high software requirements which are included in their databases. Meeting their requirements may become quite a time- and effort-consuming process. Applications often delete applications from databases without warning in some situations, if a client fails to meet any of the criteria. So, PWAs allow producers to avoid complex reconciliation procedures as they do not need to be stored in similar services.

Challenges

Any software or technology transformation is a hassle and has many obstacles to it. While there are more challenges like battery drainage when transiting native applications to PWA, PWA is not a website it is a technology that uses a combination of web and native mobile applications that need to fit on the screen and across all OS and platforms. IOS versions (under 13) do not support PWA technology.

Apple views it as mobile / web mobile in HTML and not as PWA. PWA’s application also requires ‘React’ and ‘Angular JS’ and these two frameworks can be embedded and configured in the PWA making process. Having said that, performance problems occur as Java Script uses ‘single-threaded’ programming language and it is more difficult to access it with other important features such as Bluetooth, proximity sensors, ambient light, advanced camera controls and others, and there is little clarification on when advanced camera features can be accessed.

Future Of PWA

Progressive web applications are the way of the future, which is why you should consider switching to them now to get the most out of their capabilities for your business.

Any technology comes with its own pros and cons. When technology progresses, the drawbacks can be considerably outweighed. After just a few years, PWA will become the next bandwagon technology and end-users should not be surprised if they don’t support older mobile device / web browsers. As Alex Russel’s Egalitarian Mobile Apps said, they’re all websites that take all the right vitamins.’

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