Progressive Web Applications – The Future of Web Development

Progressive web applications have created a lot of buzz in recent times, and experts claim it to be the future of web development due to the increased usage of mobile devices. A progressive web app provides a seamless user experience just like a native app. Combining progressive web apps with web stacks (HTML, CSS, and JavaScript) gives users a smooth native app-like feel and functionality.

It utilizes the latest web techniques and helps you overcome the problem faced with the loading speed of traditional websites. Due to slow connectivity, the majority of the time, you are greeted with an error message. PWAs solve this problem by offering the best working even in slow or no connectivity. The application built on PWA can work both as a traditional website and a mobile app.

Let us discuss a few features of progressive web apps that make them necessary for the web development industry.

Features of Progressive Web Applications

1. Responsive and Cross-browser Compatible

PWAs are developed using the progressive enhancement principle that is a web design strategy. Its primary motto is to provide smooth operation and content availability to everybody, irrespective of browser type. So, PWAs are compatible with all devices of different screen sizes and browsers of different specifications.

 

2. Seamless User Experience

The progressive web app can revolutionize your mobile experience. You are not required to download or install any app. For example, if you want to purchase any product from an eCommerce store, you have to go through a series of steps, from downloading an app to making a final purchase.

However, when Progressive Web Apps come on the table, you can directly navigate the website with PWA and instantly access the app without installing it. This is as simple as it sounds.

 

3. Offline Access

The progressive web app allows you to access the content both offline and on low-quality networks also. It might be surprising for you, but it is true. The core of PWA, service workers, keeps on working in the background even when you cannot access the website. 

 

4. Easy Installation

Distributing progressive web apps is extremely fast, comfortable, and easily accessible as compared to app stores. They do not belong to any operating system, app store, or other platforms. You can share PWA through a URL, and the user can save it to their home screen with one tap.

You visit the site and add it to your home screen for future access. You can access the app directly from your mobile home screen in PWA by allowing the link to add the feature. It is similar to the allow and deny notification dialog box that pops up when you land on a website for the first time. 

 

5. Push Notifications

Push notifications are used by app or website owners to reach their users who have subscribed to them directly on their devices whenever something new happens. It is a means of increasing engagement with your users. The progressive web app uses web push notifications to engage your website visitors, like updating users about an upcoming sale.

Even action buttons can be integrated with a few lines of text to enable users to take immediate action after reading the notification. A push notification service provider provides push events, and the service worker listens to them. Finally, the notification is sent to the user’s device even when the browser is not open.

 

6. Instant App Updates

Publishing an app for the first time is a daunting task for new publishers as they fear getting rejected by Google or Apple. Also, users are required to update all the native apps from time to time for smooth functioning. In native apps, you have to upload updates on the Google or Apple platform, which then has to pass a review process. It might take a lot of time. There is a possibility of your application update being rejected. 

However, in PWA, you as a publisher have complete control over the content, can implement patches instantly, and your users always have access to the updated version of your app.

 

7. Fix Bugs and Errors

In the native app, you have to contact the team to fix bugs and errors. This process may take several days to complete. However, when you develop your app with the progressive web app, you can fix the errors yourself, and you also do not have to do coding separately for Android and Apple devices. 

 

8. High Loading Speed

Progressive web apps can load instantly even when the internet speed is meager, or there is no connectivity. The reason is that both the service worker and Javascript run separately in the backend. The user experiences the same smooth navigation and scrolling as in native apps.

Many websites, such as Pinterest, Starbucks, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., have opted to provide their users with a mobile-first experience. And, this has increased the engagement on their site manifolds.

 

9. Cost Effectiveness

Nowadays, more and more developers are looking for alternative solutions to publish their apps due to the overcrowdedness of Google and Apple platforms and their ever-changing publisher policies. Progressive web apps represent the power of the latest web technologies that are beyond imagination.

It is cost-effective as there is no need to code differently for Android or IOS. In native apps, separate coding is required that leads to an increase in the development cost. Also, native apps require constant maintenance and up-gradation. In PWAs apps, various browsers, such as Chrome, Safari, etc., support its features, making it more cost-effective. 

 

Bottom Line

This has to be mentioned that progressive web apps are the future of web development, and there is no doubt. Most sites, such as eCommerce, restaurants, hotels, and social media, have to switch from native app standards to progressive app models to sustain their presence and increase user engagement on its highest level.

However, PWA is still evolving, and developers are constantly devising new ways to extract maximum benefit from progressive web apps’ opportunities. This piece of article has covered all the significant features of the progressive web app possibly. If you remember any other feature that we may have missed, you are more than willing to share it in the comments below.

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