Why are Progressive Web Applications so Important?

Nidhi Inamdar|September 30, 2022|12 Minute read|
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Introduction

In the dynamic landscape of technology, Progressive Web Applications (PWAPs) emerged as a revolutionary evolution a few years ago. Offering offline capabilities, home screen installations, and push notifications, PWAPs simplify cross-platform development, enabling the creation of scalable and efficient applications.

Technology keeps evolving and every year something new has been added to the systems or applications. A few years ago the concept of PWAPS came into existence. It was simply a process of evolution. Now you can do things like work offline, install on home screens, or send push notifications. This simplifies the process of cross-platform development and lets you create scalable and efficient applications.

Key Takeaway

Explore the world of Progressive Web Applications (PWAPs), where a single codebase powers applications across browsers, desktops, and mobile devices. From the history and defining characteristics to the advantages, components, and notable examples, discover how PWAPs elevate user experience and accessibility.

What is the history of PWAPS?

History of PWAPS

What are Progressive Web Applications?

They are the applications in which the concept applicable is one it is created; you can use it everywhere. It means they can all be powered by a single codebase and run in-browser as websites or web apps, on desktops, and mobile devices. Since they may be run straight through a web browser and then optionally deployed on the device from there, Progressive Web Apps are potentially more readily available to users than standard store-based apps. Since they don't have to install your app straight away, consumers may be more eager to try it out at first and are less likely to be concerned about things like permission and background activity.

To understand more about the concept let us take a look at the differences between native apps, hybrid apps, and progressive web applications-

Native Application

  • "Traditional" applications developed for a particular platform
  • Use frameworks such as Ionic, Cordova, Phonegap, React Native, etc.
  • Modern online applications that are set up to facilitate installation and make use of common device resource APIs (usually built using Angular and React or trendy frameworks like TypeScript or Svelte)

Hybrid Application

  • Need it for distinct codebases and related overhead.
  • In most cases, share codebases (at least in part).
  • For any platform (web, mobile, and desktop), a single codebase.

PWAPS

  • Can utilize all of a device's hardware and inherent capabilities.
  • Can utilize the majority of a device's hardware and inherent capabilities
  • Robust access to a device's native features, which is less than native or hybrid apps but sufficient for the majority of use cases

Exploring the Advantages of a Progressive Web App

  • PWAPS are identified with fundamentals like:
  • Quick
  • Dependable
  • Integrated (with the underlying devices)
  • Engaging
Benefits of PWAPS

Quick

  • According to Google research, "53% of mobile users abandon sites that take more than 3 seconds to load," and according to research, "If you want to grow your audience and increase your revenue, your web's Initial Meaningful Paint will take less than 2 seconds. Just one delay in mobile load speeds can affect the conversion rate by up to 20%. Always keep in mind that time is money, especially when exploring the web.

Being accessible in offline mode

  • If the internet service is spotty or nonexistent, websites won't correctly show their content. On the other hand, mobile apps are frequently self-contained and enable offline use. They thereby provide better availability and promote participation. PWA also provides this.

Simple search

  • Search engines rank progressive web apps similarly to regular websites. This offers two significant benefits. A search engine, first and foremost, aids in attracting visitors to an application. Second, it makes it easier to find a PWA online. One drawback of native apps is that they can be hard to find outside of the specialized platform where they are located.

Cross-platform

  • A progressive app offers some of the advantages that a cross-platform solution has over a native one. The ability to save money is one benefit. Because a PWA was created as a website, there is no need to construct separate Android and iOS solutions, which sharply lowers development costs.

But there's also something else to think about. To guarantee that every user can access an application, a progressive web app should be able to function in all browsers.

Major PWA Components

The truth is that creating progressive web applications is not as difficult as it may seem. An app must have six components to function properly and have all the functionality it needs.

  • Tools and Technologies
  • App Shells
  • HTTPS
  • Service workers
  • Web app manifest file
  • Push Notifications

Technologies and tools 

  • Choosing the right frameworks and tools for a progressive web app is the first step. Angular, React, Polymer, and Vue.js are frequently chosen by developers.
  • A PWA must have a server with an HTTPS connection since it ensures the security of application data. A website won't display if any links are not secured in an application; otherwise, some browsers won't display it.

Service members

  • One of the main technologies that make it possible for a PWA to function is this one. Service members are accountable for:
  • Application offline functionality, 
  • sophisticated caching, 
  • performance of background operations even when the device is not in use, 
  • management of notifications, and others.
  • Additionally, service workers can simplify the conversion of a standard website into a progressive web app by controlling several internal application activities.

App shell

  • When consumers use an application for the first time, they see a template for the user interface, or "app shell." After that, the application shell is cached and made offline accessible. Additionally, consumers don't see a loading spinner during content changes; instead, the material is cached. Because of this, it has a faster feel than a static app.

Manifest file for a web app

  • A manifest file outlines to a browser the name, background color, icon, and other parameters for the program, as well as how it should run and look. Additionally, this file enables the addition of a PWA button on a phone's home screen.
Using push notifications
  • Push notifications can increase application engagement by up to 88%, which is one of the benefits of using a PWA over a standard website. Such a feature makes it easier to reach visitors without the need for extra work, promotes their engagement, compels them to take action that will increase sales or brand exposure, and so on.

Despite the advantages of alerts, it's not a great idea to overuse them as they could irritate consumers and produce the reverse of what you intend. Push alerts ought to be precise, timely, and relevant. Giving users the information they need at the right time is what this entails.

When to Create a Progressive Web App?

Understanding the primary distinctions between the characteristics of progressive web applications and mobile apps is crucial before examining specific situations. Using this comparison will enable you to select the best choice for each unique circumstance.

Some notable variations

  • Because a PWA uses a single codebase for multiple platforms, it is simpler to create and maintain than a native app.
  • A native app has more chances to incorporate additional security features like login, authentication systems, and others. A PWA provides a superior level of built-in protection via an HTTPS connection.
  • A PWA is simpler to install since, unlike native apps, it is not necessary to locate an app in a specific store, install it, and grant access to the phone's storage.
  • Because there is no need to create separate iOS and Android versions, creating a PWA is less expensive than creating a native app. Additionally, a specialized team works on a native app, which drives up the development and turnaround times.
  • A PWA is weaker than a native app in terms of power and user experience.
  • Both a PWA and a native app can be used offline, but a PWA has restrictions and can only show cached data, whereas a native app has practically all features available.

In light of the distinctions between a PWA and a native app, a progressive web application might be the ideal option if the business:

  • Needs to build a quick and cost-effective solution. 
  • The company is in its early stages and needs a quick start.
  • It is time- and money-constrained.
  • It needs to reach a broad audience and be quickly accessible to individuals without additional effort. 
  • It doesn't need an app with particular features.
  • It needs the app to produce an MVP.

An excellent choice for businesses involved in e-commerce, marketing, and news reporting is a progressive web application. However, it is not limited to those areas; a business from any sector could select such a solution.

A native app, however, is more appropriate for:

  • Offering an enhanced user experience 
  • Comprehensive functionality
  • Increasing subscriptions
  • Establishing a solid brand image
  • Assuring app connections

Let us look at some of the famous examples of PWAPS.

  • Tinder

With the help of this well-known app, you can meet new individuals or possibly your true mate. The basic goal is to horizontally browse through a list of potential matches and "like" each person's profile photo that appears. You could begin texting with the person you "loved" if they did the same. Additionally, you may add some personal details about yourself and see what others have to say about you. You can even upgrade to a premium membership to see more people nearby.

  • Wikipedia

It is a well-known resource that is used by everyone to seek information. Everybody can contribute to the encyclopedia Wikipedia. The participants' competency is not subject to any official standards. Paradoxically, though, the finished Wikipedia articles' quality is equal to that of the top encyclopedias in the world, like Britannica, for instance. Additionally, this encyclopedia is the largest in terms of volume; there are already over three million items in a hundred different languages.

  • AliExpress

In 2016, the well-known online retailer AliExpress released a progressive web app.
Users preferred to communicate with the system through a website, which was less engaging than a mobile application, which presented a challenge for the organization. Therefore, it was necessary to add mobile app capabilities like high performance and the capacity to work offline to the platform's web version. The business then decided to develop a progressive web app.

  • Uber

Regardless of the speed of the Internet connection, Uber's tiny PWA provides consumers with an experience similar to an app. If a user has a low-end smartphone and cannot install the native Uber app, they can still access the PWA.

The company calculated that after the PWA's debut, 30% of consumers were requesting rides using a PWA rather than a mobile app, demonstrating the value and success of the program.

According to the experiences of well-known businesses, installing PWAs can greatly increase user engagement and aid in retaining new users. PWAs are therefore increasing in popularity.

Many businesses are unaware of the revenue they lose when customers choose not to install native apps or when they find a website uninteresting or difficult to use. A progressive online application can re-engage both groups, improving user happiness and conversion rates.

What is the history of PWAPs, and how do they simplify cross-platform development?

A: PWAPs emerged as a natural evolution in the tech realm, introducing features like offline work, home screen installations, and push notifications. This history reflects a paradigm shift, simplifying cross-platform development by allowing a unified codebase for applications accessible across various devices and browsers.

What are the advantages of Progressive Web Applications, and how do they differ from native and hybrid apps?

A: PWAPs offer quick and reliable performance, integrated functionalities, and engaging user experiences. Notably, they excel in offline accessibility, simple searchability, and cost-effective cross-platform development. Distinct from native and hybrid apps, PWAPs provide a balance between accessibility, cost-efficiency, and a seamless user experience.


Therefore, get in touch with Lucent Innovation - a digital solutions platform to learn more about our web app development services if you want to construct a progressive web application but aren't sure where to begin. We're prepared to assist you and respond to all of your extra inquiries.

Contact us: info@lucentinnovation.com

Nidhi Inamdar

One-stop solution for next-gen tech.

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