Progressive Web Apps Are The Future — Here's Why
Progressive web applications offer a number of benefits over mobile and native mobile apps that combines the best of both.
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In this "mobile-first" era, the number of smartphone audience far exceeds the desktop audience. A study by Statista shows that mobile devices (excluding tablets) accounted for 51.2% of webpage views worldwide in April 2018.
Responsive mobile websites and native mobile apps capitalize on this ever-increasing smartphone audience. Businesses are reaching out to their mobile-based audience with responsive websites and native apps. But with the advent of superior technology, the days of native apps and web apps are almost gone. Read on to discover more about it.
The Rise of Progressive Web Apps
The recent times have witnessed the rise of a new genre of technology called the progressive web app (PWA). As the name suggests, PWAs are really progressive and there’s no wonder why most of the global companies and organizations are adopting them. They are the future of web development.
What are Progressive Web Apps?
A progressive web app is a better web app with a chain of progressive elements. It can be defined either as a mobile app delivered through a web browser, or a website with the mobile app functionalities.
In the words of Alex Russell, who coined the term along with Frances Berriman, “Progressive Web Apps are just websites that took all the right vitamins.”
PWAs are simply websites built with progressive technologies delivering the functionalities and experience that equal that of a native mobile app.
Why Are PWAs Better?
PWAs are websites that intelligently combine the best of both worlds: mobile websites and native apps. Therefore, they fare better than your responsive mobile websites and native mobile apps. Check out some of the reasons that help PWAs to excel.
1. Make the Process of Getting the App so Easy
PWA allows you to have the cool experience of installing it directly from the browser window without even visiting the app store. It liberates you from the need to locate and download it from an app store. Yes, PWAs can permanently live in your home screen or desktop without being downloaded (unlike the countless number of native/hybrid apps in your device)!
2. PWA Works Offline
After finding a place in your device’s home screen, PWA works offline just like your native app. Offline access helps you to browse content even though you don’t have internet access.
3. Combine the Best of Both Worlds
PWAs combine the deep engagement feature of native apps and the greater accessibility feature of mobile websites. A Web App Manifest File enables a super-engaging full-screen experience. The web technology called “Service Workers” enable periodic background syncs and help in re-engaging users with push notifications. PWAs have access to your device’s functionalities just like native apps.
4. Responsive and Browser-Independent
PWAs are perfectly compatible irrespective of browser choices. They are cross-platform and work perfectly on all device types – desktop, mobile, and tablet.
PWAs are easily discoverable as they are crawled by search engines, unlike the native apps. You can search for them and get results just like any regular website. With a robust SEO strategy, you can enhance the online presence of your PWA.
PWAs take less time to build and update. You can launch the app to market without going through the tedious process of creating different versions for Apple and Android devices. As they are fully indexable by search engines, you can avoid the cost of extra app store marketing efforts.
7. Less Data Usage
PWAs offer engaging user experience without consuming valuable data. They are lightweight, load faster, and use less space. As PWAs occupy less space, it makes significant storage space available resulting in better device performance.
PWAs are proving to be the best way to offer the best of both a mobile website and native app to your target audience. A good PWA is indeed revolutionary as it has the capability to replace your business’ mobile site, its native app and maybe even its desktop site. If you are taking a milestone decision to establish a mobile presence for your business, it’s advisable to go straight for a PWA. Those who already have a strong mobile presence can eventually move to this progressive technology.
Published at DZone with permission of Preethi Philip. See the original article here.
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