Have you ever heard of Progressive Web Apps? Discover everything you need to know in this post! The rise of Progressive Web Apps is as inevitable as that of the mobile app a decade ago. Providing benefits to both mobile users and site owners, Ian Naylor, founder and CEO of AppInstitute (DIY App Builder) explains us why Progressive Web Apps are worth investing in now.
Progressive Web Apps just work
There’s no need to develop an iOS app and then an Android app, and then update the iOS app’s code base when Apple decides to move to a new architecture again. Progressive Web Apps work on any device and automatically adjust to the right screen size.
As ever, Apple is lagging a little behind the curve here, but has already started incorporating development features for service workers, a key technology part of any PWA into Safari and iOS. And when Apple gets onboard with a technology, most others will too.
PWAs work like apps, but at website speed
PWAs provide users with standard app-like interfaces and all the common furniture of an app, but they work at the speed of a website, that’s essential when every second counts for a conversion or engagement, and the data all resides on your standard web servers or databases, reducing the need for duplication.
Developers can deliver that app-like experience without the friction, making PWAs something of a hot trend. But they would be for nothing if there was no business benefit, so consider the greater number of conversions, and the faster load times that PWAs bring, all of which are essential metrics for any business effort.
Progressive Web Apps don’t need the internet
The key selling point of traditional apps is that they could work offline. In today’s 4G going on 5G world, that is less of an issue, but even so a Progressive Web App can happily work offline and then update data in both directions when connectivity is next available.
The web app can also be updated constantly, with no need to submit app updates, or to wait on app developers for the latest code build. There’s also no risk of the PWA being forgotten like those zombie apps, as people still focus on the website. PWAs are also secure by default using HTTPS and transport layer security for encryption, and as a website, it is easier to share links or content than with an app.
PWAs use less resources
All a PWA will take up on a user’s phone is some screen space on the home page for an app icon, and perhaps 1MB of local storage. With users being pushed to eek out storage by non-upgradeable iPhones or ever-growing app sizes, companies with larger apps can afford to breathe and let the PWA do all the work.
Push notifications come to the web
Progressive Web Apps can send out push notifications just like a traditional app, helping bring visitor and the site owner together. Store updates, new products or services, time-limited sales, all this information can be sent direct to the user, without the need for unread emails, tweets or Facebook posts.
Websites remain searchable
As a website, the content can still be found by search engines, boosting discoverability. Compare that to information or data locked away in traditional apps that remains sealed in an uncaring ecosystem.
By keeping all data resident on your existing web services, cloud services or data server use is kept to a minimum and there is no duplication of data, ensuring analytics can be handled efficiently.
The mobile app will not go away, but for many businesses, there is little need to have a website and an app, the PWA helps resolve this conflict and enables companies and users to enjoy the benefits of both.
As the mobile audience continues to grow, and more people abandon the computer, then the PWA gains more relevance and users will expect more from their web apps without expecting to have to download a full mobile app. A PWA gives them the features they need and expect, while looking right on their device and providing consistency across a company’s brand and services.
What do you think of Progressive Web Apps? Please share your experience with us below!