It's been years since the first smartphone came out. The era of native apps began. Apps are still a big part of our everyday lives, and many business owners have asked themselves more than once, "Should we have an app?" That question can only be answered with "it depends." Building and maintaining a native app is a lot of work and usually costs a lot of money. There is a better choice, though. The progressive web application , or PWA, gives you the best of both a native app and the technology we use on the web.
What is a PWA?
There are a lot of sites on the web that are progressive web apps. Think about twitter.com as an example. If you go to that website on your phone, you can add it to the home screen. Now, when you open the Twitter page you saved, you'll see that it looks and works just like a native app. There isn't even a browser window. It doesn't matter if you run it on an iPhone or an Android phone. Just sign in, and you're all set. This is one of the best reasons to build your web app with a PWA in mind.
PWAs are gaining popularity. Many big sites, like Starbucks. com, Pinterest.com, the Washington Post, and Uber.com, are progressive web apps (PWAs). You can add them to your home screen, and they work just like their native apps.
How does it work?
Technically, it is a website that can be installed. A service worker lets scripts run in the background, even when the user isn't looking at the app. A PWA has a special manifest that tells the browser what it needs to know to cache certain resources. This makes the app work without an internet connection.
When you go to a website with a manifest like this, you'll see a "Add to home screen" prompt. When you click the "Accept" button, a PWA will appear on your home screen just like a native app. Now that it has been cached, you can use it without an internet connection.
Why a Progressive Web App is a Good Idea?
Discoverability:People can find your app outside of app stores and marketplaces by using search engines like Google to crawl PWAs. This is a big deal, since the Apple App Store has almost 2 million apps and Google Play is getting close to 3 million.
Reliability: PWAs can work even when there's no network or on slow networks like 2G. They don't need to be connected to a network to work.
Responsiveness:PWAs can be used on all devices, like desktops, laptops, tablets, and phones, even though they only have one codebase. There is no cost to make or keep up multiple apps.
Operating system agnostic:It doesn't matter if you have an Android phone or an Apple phone; you'll be able to access a PWA.
Engagement:With a PWA, you can let people know when there is new content or to keep them engaged.
Linkability:PWAs can link to an app at a URL without a complicated installation process or app market. Send the URL, just like you would with any other website.
Better performance:PWAs give users the best possible performance, including animations that move faster and more smoothly.
Installability:A PWA can be found on the home page of a device or in an app launcher. It can be downloaded straight from a website, so you don't have to go through app stores or marketplaces.
PWA technology:What do PWAs need to work?
To set up a Progressive Web App framework, you must make sure of a few things:
A secure connection (HTTPS)
For the PWA to work, you need to provide a secure server with an HTTPS connection. This is how you can keep user information safe and add an extra layer of security to your website.
PWA Manifest file
You need to make a simple JSON file called a "PWA manifest file." This file tells the browser how your PWA will look and act once it's on a user's mobile device.
It has basic information like the name of the app, and the icons or colors it uses, and is meant to make the app feel more like a native app.
Important:Google Chrome needs the PWA manifest file to show the "Add to Screen" prompt.
Example of a Progressive Web App
Today, there are a lot of Progressive Web Apps, so there are a lot of great Progressive Web Apps examples. Here are some of the most well-known PWAs that you probably already know.
Google Maps:Who hasn't used the Google Maps app? You can get live navigation, and you can also use it when you're not connected to the internet, which is a huge benefit in some rural areas.
Pinterest:When Pinterest saw that their website was slow and not getting many conversions, they made a PWA. It helped with performance, engagement, and getting people to click.
Forbes:a top business magazine in the US, decided to step up their game by making a PWA to improve the experience for mobile users. It sped up the time it took to load and made their mobile engagement rates double.
Starbucks:Use the Starbucks PWA on any device to order your favourite drink.
Uber:This PWA has full integration, allowing users to use it quickly and easily online and offline.
Google Photos:It lets you look at your photos online or when you're not connected to the internet. It also lets you back up your most important memories.
Spotify:It is a well-known music streaming service that has both a native app and a PWA, and the PWA is growing quickly.
Flipkart:It is a smooth and fast PWA where you can read hand-picked news stories.
Find out more about Keryar's PWA Framework
Keryar’s (website development company in Anand) Progressive Web App gives eCommerce vendors who want to close their mobile gap a lot of useful business tools: