Progressive Web Applications
Progressive Web Apps (PWA) combine new technologies with established best practices for creating reliable, accessible, and engaging experiences. They give users a native-like experience with a user friendly opt-in installation flow.
Progressive Web Applications are
A PWA should launch and give users meaningful content regardless of network conditions. The level of offline functionality will depend on the application – some applications will be able to function completely offline, while others will display meaningful placeholder data informing the user that they are offline. In no case should the application break or become unresponsive.
Progressive Web Applications should be able to adapt to different screen sizes and orientations, ensuring that the user experience is great for all users. A good responsive design helps to ensure that your application will continue to work with new devices in the future.
Traditionally, native applications have been much more engaging than web applications. Having an icon on the home screen makes it easy to get into the app and push notifications can help alert the user of important information that requires their attention. With Progressive Web Applications, users can now get the same benefits with web apps.
Progressive Web Apps are secure by default. The technologies powering PWA require apps to be served over HTTPS to work.
Why build a PWA?
For many companies, especially those building apps for internal use, the cost of developing, testing, and maintaining applications for several platforms is unreasonable. Gartner predicts that by next year, up to 20% of companies will abandon their native mobile applications. Instead, they believe that PWA will become a more viable alternative to them.
One app, every platform
Progressive Web Apps allow you to deliver user experiences that rival native apps without having different development teams and needing to deal with distributing binaries and updates. By focusing your efforts into building one app, you can deliver better UX and
PWA technologies are championed by the big hitters: Google and Microsoft. All Android devices are PWA compatible and Microsoft is building several of its next generation apps like Outlook and Teams as PWA. Apple is also implementing support, which will ship in Safari 11.1 and iOS 11.3.
Who is already using PWA?
Even though Progressive Web Apps build on new technologies, they are already widely in use in the industry. Some of the larger showcases for PWA are:
Great for all, awesome for most
The great thing about PWA is that even though all browsers do not support the underlying technologies, you can already roll them out without worries. This is because all the used technologies are progressive in nature. This means that those customers that have support for them will get an enhanced experience, but all customers will get a great basic experience.
In fact, several companies, like Alibaba, have shown that by simply focusing their efforts only on a PWA app instead of having separate native apps increased conversions and average purchases.
Start with building a great web experience. Enhance it with PWA tech for the majority of users that have support for it. Your customers will thank you.