There’s bread. There’s chicken. There’s cheese. Let’s make a sum of all these. And then, there are pizzas that are a whole lot greater than the sum of its parts. That is what it is like using Progressive Web App over a web application and an app. This is the farthest that internet has gone far with respect to giving its users an interactive session without a lot of efforts while still fitting it all into a box. Ever since Google decided to erase the thin line it had drawn between web-based pages and native apps, the internet is getting overcrowded with Progressive Web Apps.
Here we talk about why PWA-s were introduced in the first place. Now, if you take a good look at your apps, you will realize there are at least a dozen of them that are hardly used but just sit there consuming space. Moreover, think of all the data you spent on getting the app installed for using it just a few times. PWA-s have this on the check by consuming only in KBs as opposed to native apps that consume in big numbers of MBs. Also, the updates don’t require an installation (AGAIN)! In PWA-s it is automatically done. In short, PWA-s make the most out of both the web applications and native apps feature the internet has to offer so far.
So, what is this progressive web app development? It is a website that looks just as graceful as an app and also behaves in the same way as that of your mobile application, making it capable of being added to the main screen of the smartphone, send push notifications, access the hardware of the device and work offline. Does it seem too good to be true? We assure you, you read it right.
FRUITFUL SIDE OF PWA-s
Let’s get a bit into its details, for it is unfair to not talk about its eminence. PWA’s construct makes it fast, reliable, engaging and economical. The benefits that stand out of the chart include:
- This allows its user to have all the benefits even when they are offline. While most web applications land us into poorly built dinosaur games on chrome, these won’t drag you into such a misery. Imagine losing all your data that you had just added to the page and losing it all in a blink of an eye? It tends to get more infuriating with more data!. The point is, this improves the availability to the users by a great deal.
- Coming to its next benefit, it doesn't have that mundane look that all your favorite web pages carry. They have a more app-like design that is friendly enough for the novice users while still managing to be engaging enough for the experienced users. This look also comes with the functionalities like that of an interactive web application. This includes dynamic data and database access. On the whole, it is really up to the developer to choose the ratio of web-like and app-like details in his progressive web app page. Another mention-worthy point is that it majorly differs from the native app by being able to be accessed by URLs that are indexed by the search engine. This tends to a lot of advantages from the business’ point of view.
MAJOR PERFORMANCE BOOST
- The improved performance is a catch. PWA’s layout that is based on a very smooth underlying technology eases the user’s experience. All the contents in the page including the images, spreadsheet etc. come and go as smooth as polished silk. Lot of us tend to snap if a website takes a little longer than expected to load. This is rectified by using a progressive web app page over an app. This also allows the creators to pump in features and updates without approvals from the Store and there is no need to work around the rules of the store with the PWA's. Twitter Lite saw a whopping increase of 65% in pages per session, 75% in Tweets, and a 20% decrease in the bounce rate with the introduction of its PWA. It loads in less than 3 seconds for repeat visits even on the forbidden slow networks.
- Unlike the mobile applications, one does not have to go through the procedure of getting to app store by dodging all advertisements on their way. With the entry of PWA's, this has been made really simple and easy. You get in on your home screen in one single click that will mostly be available on homepage of the website.
CATCHY HARDWARE FEATURES
- Another add-on to PWA's is that it features push notifications. The control over how to, when to and everything about it is all in the hands of the creator. Push notification, being directly displayed on the phone, attracts a bigger crowd over the usual email based newsletters and notifications. This makes a world of difference in the ever-growing universe of E-commerce.
FLIP SIDE OF THE PWA-s
Going by the alchemist law of equivalent exchange, it is only inevitable that something as ingenious as the PWA's has some downside to it. Let’s jot it down one by one.
- You will be missing out on the significant traffic that comes in through being on Play store. For someone not so well established, Play Store can help them a great deal by paving way for some audience. So, depending on the amount of need, this could turn out to be a major disadvantage.
- Plugins can’t fetch data from google app or the facebook app. Instead, the user will be redirected to log in through the browser. At the end of the day, they are browser dependent. This restricts the creators from taking benefit of the features that are specific to the apps that are installed already.
- At times, they will be unable to access some of the latest hardware installment. Some of the key re-arrangement features are limited to Android. Although, the others are still in progress. Once a newly built feature is enabled, it has to be updated to be available for the PWA-s as well. This gives an edge to the web applications over the PWA-s.
- PWA-s work through a browser. Sometimes, it might so happen that a particular browser hasn’t made itself fully supportive, functionally with respect to PWA-s. So, when such a browser is set as default it fails to support certain aspects of its functioning. In such a case, worry not, there is a solution that is not far fetched. It can easily be worked around by installing a browser that is well designed to support PWA-s. Since this is not specific to a single PWA, right after this is done, all of your PWA-s will become fully functional.
Before you grit your teeth about the disadvantages, we suggest you go back to the advantages section and take a moment to absorb the magnitude of all the good it puts forth. The versatility offered by the PWA's outweighs its disadvantages by a pretty big number. If the native app and web applications edged over themselves and were presented to us, they would probably be called the PWA and that is exactly what a PWA is. With all the above said it can be said that to prep yourself up for the future, you need to get your hands on PWA's now!