So when you thought that a mobile application or a hybrid app was just as cool and made you looked at the top of your game, comes this genius, well designed -PWA, progressive web app.
Progressive Web Applications are the future of web development and mobile application development. It’s has a feature of a web application that can function very well on your mobile and then you can easily convert or have it as your native app on your headset.
Want to know what’s even cooler, well ones you access any of PWA’s you can download the content from the browser itself in the background. It then stays with you, and you can access all the content on that website even when offline.
What makes PWA different from native apps?
Native apps are great, they are smooth, fast and they do not lag, apart from having a fantastic interface and user navigability. The thing is that Native apps are designed to provide all these features, but you have to download them separately from App Store or, and they occupy a considerable space in your hard drive.
Also if you do not have a net connection that app will not load at all and in case of slow connection, you will have trouble loading page, page lag and a lot of annoying time spend to get the app working.
But when it comes to progressive web apps they are your best companion; they have all the features of an excellent mobile app sans the connectivity issue. That means, firstly a PWA can easily be downloaded from its website without the trouble of going to the marketplace.
Secondly, it becomes a native app after the download and works efficiently even offline. That means you can have access to all the content on the app even without network data or wi-fi. Also, the PWA does not occupy a lot of space on your mobiles hard drive and its cost of development is comparatively lesser than web development.
A study concluded that on an average user dedicates 80% of his time to only three or four apps tops and rest of the apps on the user’s phone are nothing but, considering the cost of getting an app is more than the cost of developing a website.
So how can PWA’s be of any help here? Well, progressive apps technology is evolving very fast. Offline working. Full screen, push notification and splash screen support are some features that PWA have which even native apps have, but the catch is, progressive apps are cost saving. They save both time and money as compared to getting a native mobile application( which tend to increase if you chose to have different apps for different platforms).
According to my understanding, Native apps are not in any significant danger as of now, unless progressive web apps acquire almost every functionality and ease of native apps sans its disadvantages and cost of development. Now if this happens, the PWA’s are a sure shot into the future. The progressive apps are conceptualized to have all of the best features of a website and a native app, combined to give excellent user satisfaction.
To further add to the article, let’s take a look at the advantages of progressive web apps:
- Loads instantly: The progressive apps are so designed that no matter the network connectivity at your end, it will load easily and instantly. Also not to forget they can load and function without the network as well.
- Option to add on to the home screen: The web app feature in the progressive app to install banners on home screen help you save a lot of time and makes it easy to launch the app or return to it within one click from the browser.
- Secure: These progressive web spas are very safe as they are https secure that helps to lock the communication between user and app, thus ensuring complete safety of your personal information fed on to these applications.
- Responsive:The progressive web app is very responsive, they can easily adjust to any screen or medium be it your phone, laptop or tablet. So you no longer require to have a different coding to fit into different screen sizes.
- Widens your market: A Progressive app has an extensive reach, since within one app development you can capture all different platforms and mediums that users use to connect like Android, ios or any mobile, or tablet, etc. this expands the usability of the app and helps to reach out to a maximum number of people.
Apart from what is mentioned above, the best deal of getting a progressive app developed is because you do not have to install it before using it. Unlike conventional websites that require user clicks or native apps that need downloads to get their business going, a progressive web app can do both the things at the same time. It provides a seamless experience between applications.
That means when you click to any link on a web page, instead of the link opening in a browser, it will open in your application. So longer hurdling between apps and browser links to look for things you want to see.
Give all of the above, the PWA have their drawbacks as well, which I think should be taken care of before they challenge the native apps. The first and the foremost thing is that a progressive app has less compatibility or integration with smartphones or their hard drives like Bluetooth or NFC and even the sensors like fingerprints, accelerometer, etc. this is a significant drawback as it sets back PWA from being used in wearable technology like fitbits, smartwatches or wireless earphones.
Till the time the progressive web apps can be used to its fullest capabilities, without leaving a stone unturned, be it smartphones, smart devices or wearable technology or other gadgets that gets your job done, it would be a little too early to comment on the future of PWA’s or the stake of native applications.
But what is still worth taking the impression is that a Progressive app helps you reduce the lead time in development, simplify updating app procedures, a Unified experience for all your customers, increase in engagement and ease of access.
Although, the iOS platform not very much support the ideologies of the progressive app yet Google’s stand on taking the switch to PWA is, however, to be seen.
So whatever your call is, it’s worth considering that progressive web apps have or can develop a stake into the future. But what could be more intriguing is, if a hybrid model can be developed that maintains equilibrium between platforms and mediums and offers features of both native apps and progressive web apps in one.