A Beginner’s Guide to Progressive Web Apps

A Beginner’s Guide to Progressive Web Apps

Mobile phones and tablets are now the devices of choice for most people outside of work. Mobile devices now account for two times the user internet consumption than computers. The usage of mobile phones is projected to grow sevenfold in the coming decade.

It is now more necessary than ever for companies to offer apps that provide a good user experience. But here’s the rub: due to limited storage space on mobile devices, the average user downloads an estimated zero native apps in a month. Enter Progressive Web Apps.

Progressive Web Apps or PWAs are a workaround to the problem of users not downloading native apps. All the big names and many smaller companies are utilizing this technology to drive up sales and keep consumer interest. In this text, we will explore Progressive Web Apps and how they can help any company in today’s world. 

What Is A PWA

Progressive Web Apps are mobile websites that can act like native applications. PWAs offer an approach midway between a mobile webpage and a native app. With the best of what both have to offer.

The technology and programming behind PWAs are pretty technical. Don’t worry we will keep it simple for this article. We will go over some benefits Progressive Web Apps can provide.

PWAs are built using a modern JavaScript framework that allows a mobile site to work like a native app. Users can add an icon to their device’s home screen just like a native app. When the PWA is opened, it offers many of the benefits of a traditional app. It can work offline or with a sketchy internet connection. A PWA has the look, feel and responsiveness of a native app.

Here’s a breakdown of why so many people are choosing PWAs:

Reliability. They load instantly, and they can function with a slow connection or no internet.

Fast. The PWAs will respond to users quickly and smoothly. They have clean animations and no jerky scrolling. 

Intuitive. A PWA feels and acts like a standard app giving an intuitive user experience.

Progressive Web Apps are about making web browsing more reliable and enjoyable. It won’t replace the need for native apps. People will always want a native app on their mobile devices for their most used services. But PWAs can improve the user experience of a website they use without having to download a native app. If you are interested in beginning the process of building a PWA, a company like Notify Visitors may be able to help.

PWAs vs Native Apps

There are many benefits to PWAs and native apps. If you are wondering which is better for your business, the answer depends on many different things. Each offers its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Here’s a list of the key differences so you can make the decision to pursue one or the other, or both.

Installation and Platform Availability

The most significant difference between PWAs and native apps is how a user interacts with them. Native apps are downloaded through the app store on a mobile device. These apps are designed and specifically for the users’ operating systems, meaning a company has to choose to make an app intended for IOS or Android or in most cases both.  

Native apps come with the constraint of the choice of the user. They have to weigh out their options of apps. If they are running low on space, they may choose not to install a native app on their device.

A PWA is different because the programming behind it works across operating platforms. This means you only have to develop one Progressive Web App to reach IOS and Android users. 

Progressive Web Apps also offer the benefits of being similar to native apps in look and feel, but they run through the user’s mobile browser and don’t take up much space on a device. 

Users find the PWA by searching for it in their browser. The experience of the Progressive Web App feels intuitive and looks similar to a native app. They are capable of adding the app to their home screen with an icon just as they can with a native app. On Android devices, this is a simple prompt that appears. For IOS, the technology needs some fine tuning, but with the popularity of PWAs, it should become more user-friendly any day now.

Are you ready to update your website yet? Nevina Info Tech may be another great choice to help you build your website into a Progressive Web App.

Offline Usage

One of the biggest benefits for mobile apps is their ability to work offline or with a slow connection. The user can access information and use the app without many limitations. This benefit is now available on a mobile web page through Progressive Web Apps. 

PWAs use cached data after being installed on a device, offering a seamless experience with no or slow connections. This means that no message pops up on the phone saying a connection isn’t available. This encourages usage and keeps the user on the PWA.

This leads to one of the most prominent features of a Progressive Web App, the Service workers. In a nutshell, a service worker is the technology that allows the PWA to work offline. Service workers are basically JavaScript files. They run independently from the web app itself and fetch cached data. They also enable push notifications even when the mobile device is offline.

Storage, Data, Power and Updates

One of the best benefits of a well made PWA is it uses less of a phone’s resources. It doesn’t need as much space on the device to operate which encourages users to use a Progressive Web App instead of a traditional mobile application. PWAs require less energy to run, meaning a PWA doesn’t drain the battery as fast as a native app can.

A PWA can also help reduce data usage for the user by up to 92 percent. This is due to the Mobile PWA’s ability to store and recall cached data without re-finding it. This is an essential feature for users, especially those with costly mobile data plans. We strongly recommend a PWA for companies in developing countries. 54 Solutions may be a good place to start.

PWAs not only save on storage and power but also, because they are web-based, don’t require the user to update the app. Many users have reported getting annoyed by constant updates for an application. A PWA makes updating automatic, and the user will barely notice any change.

Conclusion

If you are considering getting a Progressive Web App for your business or web site we recommend the investment. A PWA will encourage users to your site by offering an intuitive and fast experience. In the mobile phone world of today, it is vital to stay current on the latest technologies so you can remain competitive. If you are interested, Web Design Birmingham may be a good place to start.


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With a digital marketing background in advertising production and transcreation agencies, Sergio Arboledas now works as an SEO Specialist at MintTwist, an award-winning creative digital agency in London that delivers campaigns across web design, paid media, SEO, content & social.

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