The Internet has changed the way it used to be some two decades back. Websites were the main buckets of information at that time. And, those were limited too. All we knew was Google, Yahoo, Wikipedia, and some few more websites. But now the time has changed. The ample use of smartphones in our daily lives is changing the definition of the word ‘Internet‘. With a smartphone in almost every hand and cheap data charges with high speed, it is becoming easy for people to access almost everything. But all those information we used to get on the internet two years back, the value of that has been changed. Everything evolved just like how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly. E-commerce Websites, video content and more innovative blogs took over the way we used to access the internet and gain what it wants us to. And with the advancements in smartphones, the era of Mobile Apps is booming. Mobile Apps have changed our lives. People are shifting towards Mobile Apps and spending less time on websites. Websites are still the most visited, but people spend way more time on Mobile Apps. Everyone is running towards apps. Whether a small business, a startup, an enterprise or a mid-size company. As everything turns towards the Mobile Apps, there are some Technologies in the Mobile App Development that will take it to another level. Talking about those, they are creating a revolution and will do huge miracles or we can say some impossible things we never thought. These technologies are Augmented Reality, IoT, Wearable Devices, Blockchain, M-Commerce, Progressive Web Apps, and On Demand Apps, etc. Today we will talk about PWA. Yes, you read it right. PWA stands for Progressive Web Apps. You must have seen an option in your browser that says “Add to your Home Screen”. If you have never heard of it, don’t worry. But if you have seen it and curious about what it is, Yes! That’s for the Progressive Web App. This is going to be the next big thing in the world of Mobile App Development. So don’t make it long and lets come to the point.
WHAT IS PROGRESSIVE WEB APP?
Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are Web Apps who look like exactly the same as native Mobile Apps. They provide the same experience as Mobile Apps but consumes very less storage in your phone. We don’t need to install Progressive Web Apps like the Mobile Apps and there is no App Store or Play Store involved. It’s that simple. Just visit a website that has PWA supported, and then there is an icon named “Add to Home Screen”. Just click on that and an app will sit on your app drawer instantly. That is what a PWA is. There are lots of benefits when we talk about Progressive Web Apps. They require very less bandwidth and consumes low storage on your mobile phone. They can even work offline. As websites are implementing PWA, we can say that it will be a threat to Mobile Apps as there are lots of advantages of Progressive Web Apps over native Mobile Apps. But everything having advantages has disadvantages too. Progressive Web Apps are cheaper to develop but they lack some functionalities. They fall short in terms of features when comparing to Mobile Apps. But as the industry is growing and new inventions and improvisations are coming day by day, we can’t assume what will happen.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF USING PROGRESSIVE WEB APPS?
- 1) PWA has improved performance. Approximately 50% of users will close a Website if it is slow. And slow means, if it is taking more than 3 seconds to load. Even if the website loads fast, they expect it to be fast after loading too. As we know, Progressive Web Apps provide faster experience, it is a great advantage over other available options.
- 2) PWAs can work even if there is no data transmission. They can be cached and that makes them load even when offline. Now this will be a great advantage for businesses and e-commerce sites as they have catalogs and they can convert their window shoppers to users making an actual purchase.
- 3) Another great advantage of Progressive Web Apps is that it doesn’t require any kind of installation as it can be saved directly from the website to your smartphone’s home screen. It also saves storage on your phone.
- 4) Development of PWAs is very cheap when we compare it to Mobile Apps. PWA costs 75% less than the Native Mobile Apps.
- 5) They also provide the Push Notification feature. You are in love with this, aren’t you?
WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES OF USING PROGRESSIVE WEB APPS?
- 1) Progressive Web Apps consumes more battery than native apps. High-level code is used to write these PWAs so that the mobile phone has to work harder to understand and present it to the user.
- 2) We know that there are millions of people out there on App Stores searching for apps. Now, for PWAs, it is a disadvantage too for not being listed on App Stores as they miss out that much traffic.
- 3) PWAs lacks some functionalities. They can’t do everything a native mobile app can do.
ARE PROGRESSIVE WEB APPS THE FUTURE?
Now as we know the advantages and disadvantages of the Progressive Web Apps, we can talk on this. When talking about the future, it can’t be said that progressive web apps will replace native apps in the future. It can but not for everyone. It’s because native apps use mobile hardware with full features and PWAs can’t. But at the same time, we have seen some great advancements in the mobile web design in the past three years. There are more effective mobile responsive designs that make it easy for websites to work better in mobiles. And with Progressive Web Apps, it will surely be going to be a big thing.
WHAT ARE THE EXAMPLES OF PROGRESSIVE WEB APPS?
Flipkart launched Flipkart Lite, a faster version of its website and also that can be saved as a Progressive Web App. Flipkart is the largest E-commerce website in India. It’s lite version delivers faster user experience and it has increase conversions for Flipkart. As a result, people are spending more time on it with spending very fewer data.
A social media website, Twitter launched its Progressive Web App version Twitter Lite in 2017. Twitter has 80-85% of its users surfing on mobile so it was a great decision to provide a faster user interface to them. Results are great as users start spending more time than before.
Uber rolled out its Progressive Web Apps such that user with low storage spaces on their phones can install the app without any storage limitation. Uber PWA is way faster than its native app.
Pinterest is a photo & video sharing application where users can share pictures and videos of almost anything. Food, interior designs, and DIYs are the most popular categories on Pinterest. But for a social media site like Pinterest, speed is a must factor as slow performance will lead to loss of traffic. So, Pinterest noticed that its website is getting slow that’s why they rolled out Progressive Web App for Pinterest. It results in 60% more engagement than before.
Google’s navigation service and the number one app for navigation and location. It needs to be best and as Google has such a huge audience base, they will never out such great opportunities. Google launched its PWA that supports live navigation and some more great functionalities at much higher speeds and better performance.