PWA - Progressive Web Apps

What are Progressive Web Apps?
The concept of progressive web app or PWA was approached by Google in late 2015. They are basically web applications (Website) but have look and feel like other native mobile apps. PWAs enabled websites can offer functionalities such as working offline, push notifications, and device hardware access.
Benefits
1. SMALLER AND FASTER
They are much more smaller in size than native apps. They don’t even need to install. That’s why they are not wasting disc space and load very fast.

2. Responsive Interface
PWA supported web pages are capable to fit in every screen sizes automatically. It could be smartphone, tablet, desktop or laptop.

3. No Updates Required
Most of the mobile apps need regular weekly updates. Like the normal website, PWAs are always loaded latest updated version whenever the user interaction happens and no App or Play Store approval required.

4. Cost Effective
Native mobile apps need to be developed for both Android and iOS devices separately and their development cost is very high. On the other hand, PWAs are had the same features but the fraction of the prior price.

5. SEO Advantage
Progressive Web Apps are discoverable by search engines and load super-fast. Just like other websites, their links are sharable too. This, in other words, gives good user experience and result in SEO rank boost.

6. OFFLINE CAPABILITIES
Due to the support of service worker API, PWAs are accessible in offline or low internet connections.

7. Security
PWAs are delivered over HTTPS connection and secure user-data over each interaction.

8. Push Notifications
By the support of push notifications, PWAs can interact easily with the users and provide a really amazing user experience.

9. BYPASS THE APP STORES
PWAs don’t need the App store or Google play store support. Their updated version can be directly loaded from the web server without the requirement of app store approval. On the other hand, native apps need days of approval if any new update required. There are possibilities of getting rejected or banned.

10. Zero installation
During browsing, progressive web app gets its own icon on phones and tablets, just like a mobile application, but without the need to go through the tedious and slow App Store installation process.



Disadvantages
1. Less access to system features
Currently, Progressive Web Apps have limited access to native system features than native apps. Also, all browsers are not supporting its full features but maybe in near future, it will be the new standard of development.

2. More Android – Less Apple’s iOS
PWAs are currently, most supported by Android devices. Apple’s iOS is only partially supporting.

3. No review standard
PWAs don’t need any kind of review system which is applicable for native apps from the app store. It may make the process faster but lack of promotional benefits from the app store.

Progressive Web App Checklist
The checklist for PWA is extensive. I have described its main few items here.
1. HTTPS
2. Web app manifest - manifest.json
3. Service worker
4. Responsive design
5. App icon
6. First load fast even on 3G

Conclusions
There are huge possibilities offered for Progressive Web Apps. Although there are lots of features and browser adoptability expected in near future. But, whatever already exists in the market is enough to show a strong mobile presence.
If you want any consultancy to implement Progressive Web Apps on your existing website, then please drop me an email (tricksbysam@gmail.com / contact@tricksbysam.com) and I will revert back to you as soon as I can.