October 31, 2018
The idea of ‘Progressive Web Apps’ created a history.
Having a great potential to cater to the mobile and web platforms’ needs, it is worth to discuss, even now. A few years ago, the popular debate of mobile app vs. mobile web became the reason behind the existence of PWA.
Why we are talking about it?
According to cloudfour.com,
Put it simply, Progressive Web Apps are web applications that load in a web browser just like web pages or websites. It gives you a rich mobile experience via native-like functionalities such as the ability to work offline, push notifications, and device hardware accessibility.
It feels like a native app and offers the same experience as a native one. There is no need to download it from an app store. It loads, runs, and functions in a web browser.
According to one Statista report,
The number of mobile phone users is forecasted to reach 4.68 billion by 2019.
Going further, in 2016, an estimated 62.9 percent of the population worldwide already owned a mobile phone. This will round up to 67 percent by 2019.
This represents a clear picture of the mobile-first approach everywhere. The rise of mobile apps also denotes the ‘app-for-everything’ era.
On the other hand, web app development is also evolved to a great extent. Right from the static websites to dynamic to the single-page web application, many concepts and technologies have been introduced and used. Web developers are giving priority to responsive web design and exploring ideas like progressive web app and cross-platform applications.
While there is an app for almost anything, users are finding it difficult to install, maintain, and use various apps in one device.
The factors need to be taken into account are:
PWA bridges the difference of web and mobile and provides users with superior and native-like performance in a web browser. In the simplest terms, it is a type of mobile app delivered through the web.
To facilitate installation, PWA provides “Add to Home Screen” popup which allows users to easily install the app on mobile devices. This feature is one of the significant reasons behind the popularity of the app. On the acceptance of the prompts, the app will be installed easily and quickly.
You will be surprised to know that the number of search engine users is projected to reach 236.4 million by 2019.
Generally, the user prefers the search engine on their devices rather searching for a solution directly in the app store. On the other hand, mobile search is vital for businesses with a growth rate of 146% every year.
“Progressive web app leverages web and mobile platforms to prove its ability to surpass native application in terms of usability, user experience, rapidity, financial feasibility, and overall efficiency.”
Native Applications and Responsive Web Apps have some other stories to tell. Native apps provide superior user experience but take higher time-to-market at a significantly higher cost. The responsive web app also offers native-like experience but it requires extra efforts for compatibility.
Thinking the same, designer Frances Berriman and Google Chrome engineer Alex Russell first introduced the term “progressive web apps” in 2015 thinking to combine mobile experience and support from modern browsers.
After choosing PWA, organizations are observing a dramatic rise in engagement and ROI. However, there are several questions and factors that need attention before you jump to the conclusion.
Progressive Web App
|A native app is built specially for one platform||PWA is an app that runs in a browser and behaves pretty much like a native app|
|The separate code base for each platform such as Android, iOS||Don’t need separate code base, don’t need to install from Google Play or App Store|
|Unbeatable user-experience due to native hardware access||Superior user experience through modern web standards|
|Requires higher budget to write platform-specific code||Relatively cheaper than native app as runs on multiple platforms with a single code|
|Need to download from the app store||“Add to Home Screen” prompts and runs directly in a browser|
|Requires more space||Very little space is used|
|Needs higher data consumption and network||Works well in slower network and offline|
Responsive Web Design
|Responsive web design ensures consistent UX experience on various devices and platforms||It is an advanced form of a responsive web app with the mobile-specific environment|
|The single code base for mobile and web platform||Single code base with the mobile-first environment|
|Plus point of automatic adaptability according to screen sizes and resolutions||An extra benefit of “Push notifications” and “Add to home screen” Prompts|
|Seamless user experience due to responsiveness||Rich user experience through the support of modern browsers|
|Performance varies based on different platforms and devices||Superior and unvarying performance|
It is clear that PWA has extra advantages over responsive web design, web app development, and native app development in terms of cots, user experience, time-to-market, and optimization of an app.
“Top Progressive Web Apps Score 85% In SEO.”
Any app needs to have deeper engagement model to create success stories. It is difficult to maintain the same level of engagement ratio once the app is downloaded.
Through push notification and add to home screen, PWA wins the battle of user engagement. With the notably faster load time, offline running functionality, responsive design, secure structure, and lower data usage, it is very easy to optimize with necessary keywords in order to reap the benefits of an online presence.
Retailers often try various tactics to lure their customers whether it is a native app or responsive design. Putting a lot of emphasis on mobile-first user experience, retailers are relying on progressive web app development to provide app-like experience with higher conversion ratio.
It solves the fundamental problems of lower mobile conversion rates, such as
Year-over-year technology gets changed.
Mobile experiences have taken center stage with never-before features and use cases.
“Mobile strategy is no longer ‘secret sauce’ of today’s era, it is a necessity.”
With iOS 11.3 launch, Apple has started supporting the basic set of technologies for PWA. A progressive web app is often considered as ‘high return on low investment’. It provides a superior user experience in a cost-effective way.
“Weekly active users on mobile web have increased 103 percent year-over-year overall, with a 156 percent increase in Brazil and 312 percent increase in India. On the engagement side, session length increased by 296 percent, the number of Pins seen increased by 401 percent and people were 295 percent more likely to save a Pin to a board.”
– Pinterest Engineering team in one Medium Post
Global brands have adopted PWA to provide flawless experience and accessibility across the platforms and devices. It emerges as a key technology to target web and mobile audiences at the same time.
Additionally, it performs well in unreliable and slow data connections making it popular among users who have experienced the problem of losing signals, 2G networks, interrupted transactions, and unsuccessful processes. This often leads to losing potential customers. Here, PWA gives an additional advantage of accessibility and usability, even in slowest connection.
Here’s an example of Trivago, a leading hotel search engine:
Among users whose sessions are interrupted by a period offline, 67% of those who come back online continue browsing the site.
– Think with Google post
Also, it can be used to check the products or services customers want before they download it from the store. There are many similar scenarios where PWA works just remarkably well.
At present, modern technologies have taken web app development to the next level. PWA is a lot more than this. There are many things to consider before its adoption and to take a deep dive into benefits, drawbacks, needs, and results. We hope you enjoyed reading about PWA! We are one of the leading progressive app development company aiming to provide more robust, scalable, and usable apps regardless of domains and business sizes.
Stay connected for more such articles on PWA and its comparison with the other types of apps. We welcome your comments and suggestions!
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