A Beginner’s Guide to Progressive Web Apps

Today the Internet isn’t split between mobile and desktop. With the advent of smartphones, growing numbers of users began browsing the web on mobile devices.

Mobile apps soon surpassed websites when it came to digital media usage. Businesses started shifting their focus from websites to apps, as applications allow them to offer more content and better engage with their users.

According to a study, with every move between a user’s first interaction with an app to the user beginning to use the app, an app loses 20 percent of the user count.

But it is equally important to note that according to Cisco Annual Internet Report which assesses digital transformation across various business segments, global mobile devices will grow from 8.8 billion in 2018 to 13.1 billion by 2023.

Therefore, it is quite clear that today’s internet is mobile. And it comes as no surprise that if you want to have a market presence in today’s digitalised world, it’s time to go mobile.

While native mobile apps are one of the most popular solutions, Progressive web apps are garnering a huge amount of attention and rightly so. Companies that went PWA noticed a huge spike in their engagement rates and revenue figures.

Progressive Web Apps are the next big thing for the mobile web, since it combines the best of web and mobile applications. Originally proposed by Google in 2015, PWAs have already garnered a lot of attention due to the relative simplicity of development and the near-instant wins for the application’s user experience.

Progressive Web Apps aim to combine the functionality of mobile devices with the accessibility, discoverability and user-friendliness that shapes the foundation of modern day Internet.

What is a Progressive Web App?
A progressive web app is a website that functions just like a native app. It has all the functionality of a native app and still manages to deliver the usability of a website.

PWAs are intended to address a range of problems ranging from inadequate networks to data obstruction or total lack of connectivity.

Google describes PWA’s as web experiences that are:

  • Reliable: Loads instantly and never shows a website to be down, even under unpredictable network conditions.
  • Fast: Responds easily to user interactions, with silky smooth animations and without janky scrolling
  • Engaging: Feels like a normal app, with an intuitive user experience.
  • Progressive web apps take advantage of the latest technologies to blend the best of both online and mobile applications. Progressive web application development is increasingly becoming the norm for the future. For businesses trying to optimise user experiences, PWAs fit right in the requirements in terms of budget, feature, development time and more.

    At WebNinjaz, we develop quality Progressive web apps that render an experience that is so consistent and seamless, that users can’t really tell the difference between a PWA and a Native mobile application.

    PWAs offer an enhanced user experience through progressive enhancement. Robust PWA solutions are useful in accelerating the technological capabilities, empower companies and add the right balance to the business.

    Since the advent of PWAs many businesses have leveraged the power of this platform to reach new markets and enhance their user experience. Afterall, Progressive web apps are simple to develop, test and maintain, post deployment.

    What makes an app a Progressive Web App?
    There are some distinguished characteristics and attributes that make an app a PWA. Mentioned below are some striking progressive web apps features:

    1. Progressive:
    A progressive web app should work on any device and operating system. The app enhances progressively taking advantage of any features available on the user’s device and browser. The method of gradual improvement is a basic principle of how a PWA operates.

    2. Responsive
    A PWAs UI must fit any form factor and screen size. A progressive web app looks good regardless of the device, has a near native look and feel and offers a seamless experience across all devices.

    3. Connectivity Independent
    A PWA is progressively enhanced with service workers that lets it run offline.

    4. App- Like Interactions
    A progressive web app looks and feels like a native app and is built on an application shell model with nominal page refreshes.

    5. Fresh
    This implies that whenever new content is published in the app, it should be made accessible to the user once the user is connected to the Internet. Thanks to the service workers process, PWAs are transparently up-to-date.

    6. Safe
    Since a progressive web app renders a more intimate user experience, so to prevent spoofing and interception of data, the app is hosted over HTTPS.

    7. Discoverable
    Since a PWA is a website it should be identifiable by search engines thanks to W3C Manifests and service worker scope registration allowing search engines to find them. It is a major advantage over native apps.

    8. Re-engageable
    PWAs also remind users to engage more with the app by means of push notifications.

    9. Installable
    A progressive web app can be installed on the home screen of the device making it readily accessible.

    10. Linkable
    PWAs are zero-friction, zero-install and easy to share.

Leave a comment