A Beginner’s Guide to Progressive Web Apps

Progressive Web Apps are the need of the hour.  We have witnessed a shift of users from desktop to mobile phones. People prefer mobile applications over web applications. This is why PWAs is gaining popularity. It was started by Google back in 2015 but has gained momentum now. Mobile applications are more popular right now because they offer certain benefits and additional features over web browsing.

Native mobile applications are used widely and offer simple yet unique solutions for enterprises. But, businesses which have switched to Progressive web apps have noticed an increase in their customer engagement rates and economic figures. Since everything today is in mobile phones, a brand needs to create a unique space in the digital world. If you want to market your brand the right way, you need to choose the right tools.

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What Is PWAs?

PWAs or Progressive web apps is similar to that of a website. It operates as a native application but also carries the usability of a website. It is an amalgamation of both native apps and website, created to function with additional features.  This gives you more accessibility, usability and seamless browsing experience to the users.

The latest technology is used to provide users with the combined features of an application and a website. Imagine using a website which is developed by using the technology for a website but works like an application. With improvements in the browser and the push APIs, users can now install web apps on their home screens. This will allow them to get push notifications and even work when they are offline.

On comparing PWAs with a native app, progressive web apps seem to have the upper hand. These apps utilise greater plugins and are easier to run and maintain.  Any developer who creates for both web and mobile knows how much coding and APIs are put in. So, you would appreciate this technology where you do not need to maintain separate APIs for different versions of your website. Unlike native apps, you won’t need API fragmentation.  This means that handling and running this app will become an easier task.

Why Are Progressive Web Apps A Better Choice?

Top UI/UX developers create progressive web apps for a brand, wherein the best technology is used to make web apps feel and look like native apps. Choose the right team of developers for this task. The team will ensure that the user-experience is seamless. So,  no matter which system you use, you will be able to access all the content easily.  The ultimate goal is to deliver features where a user doesn’t realise the difference between website browsing and app surfing.

One of the best parts is that a progressive web app is designed to make the most out of both web and native apps. The word progressive here refers to an app which runs on any device seamlessly and progresses by taking aid of the features accessible on the user’s device.  A PWA is visible on search engines. This enhances searchability. Mobile applications will lie behind but web apps will have better visibility. The app works smoothly even in areas of low connectivity or offline. This is why a progressive web app makes a better choice in today’s digital era.

When companies go for PWA, they have seen a reduction in development costs. A web app does not need different versions for different devices. In addition. Web apps reduce the requirement for space on devices by 25%.  Research shows that businesses which have a PWA have seen a 68% spike in mobile traffic. The page views have increased by more than 133%.  The engagement and conversion rate has also increased. If you’re still confused between native apps and PWAs, let’s dwell a little deeper.

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How Do Progressive Web Apps Work?

A Progressive web app is normally made of HTML, JavaScript and CSS3. Web app manifests and service workers combined form the technology behind creating web apps.

Web app Manifests

The term basically refers to a JSON file which decides how an app would look on the devices of the end-users. It guides what the users can launch and how will the app appear during the launch. A developer will get control a few things as listed below:

  • Page Orientation. You can decide to run the app in a landscape mode. Even though a larger number of apps go for portrait mode, opting for the latter will provide your app with better UX if you enforce this while launching.
  • During the launch of your web app from the home screen, ensure to use a splash screen. If you avoid a splash screen, the screen will appear white
  • If you decide the theme colour while the launch, you can save hours on the development period. Setting the theme colour will control the UI elements, ensuring they match the site colours.

Service Workers

As the name suggests, Service Workers are scripted files which run autonomously of your website. Wondering how your app works offline?  These files do that while keeping the background sync. This technology allows you to get push notifications on the web app, and also control features like geofencing. Service Workers can only be recorded on sites served securely.

HTTPs

In order to ensure that progressive web apps are safe and secure, they must be extended through a public webserver like HTTPs Protocol. We selectively go for HTTPs because it supports Service Workers.

Where Do Progressive Web Apps Fail?

At present, Progressive web apps are not supported by all mobile browsers. This means that you can run PWAs on specific browsers only. Browsers like Safari do not have service workers which makes it impossible to run web apps.

A number of business applications support the feature of geofencing. But, PWAs currently don’t support the feature. Web apps have basic features like background sync and working offline.

There are various features where web apps lack. Features like accessing contacts, calendars, alarms and browser bookmarks.  There is no aid to support features like interceptions of calls or SMS, accessing voicemail or even making a call. On the other app, any business a world consider going for a native app to access such features.

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Conclusion

Progressive Web Apps haven’t been utilised to their full potential. Enterprises are trying out this technology and it is gaining popularity. A number of companies are shifting to PWAs due to their varying features and benefits. A brand can build itself on the digital platform only when it has the right team of developers.  This is why it is important that you hire a team which has the right tools for your requirement. Techronus believes in providing you with the right team to create your digital presence. Our core team of experienced developers will focus solely on your project to deliver you quality services on time.  With the latest technologies and the right tools, we aim at increasing traffic and creating customer engagement for your brand. This will ultimately increase sales and monetary gain for the brand. We are eager to assist you in building your business empire. Hire Dedicated Developers or Contact us now for immediate assistance.

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