Technology is ever changing and with the rapid growth of smartphone adoption, businesses are changing the way they market the products and services. As mobile evolves, the technology that comes with it also evolves. Here comes PWA- the next big thing for mobiles.
Most of you must have heard about PWAs (progressive web apps) at some point in time. Before looking at the benefits of considering PWA for your next project, let’s first know what exactly PWAs are.
This Progressive web apps tutorial will help you to learn more about why your next project should be a PWA.
Progressive Web Apps have enhanced mobile web performance and are transforming the way web applications used to be. In general, a PWA is a web page or website that looks and feels just like a native mobile application or a traditional application to the user. It runs on all browsers irrespective of opera, chrome or Samsung internet browser, and the users are not required to download it from the app store. Just click on the link and PWA will be installed on your smartphone.
A PWA works in the same way as it would work with full internet access even in the absence of a network. It combines the benefits of mobile experience with the features of modern browsers in order to offer the functionality of both mobile apps and website while offering offline capabilities, enhanced performance, and speed. It is also known as hybrid web apps or installable web apps.
Big players such as Flipkart, PayTM, Twitter, Wikipedia, MakeMyTrip etc. have recently launched their PWAs to offer mobile experience to users, without installing the app.
Hope you clearly understood what Progressive Web Apps are. And now, let us see the benefits of building Progressive web apps.
PWAs use a small amount of data compared to native applications. For example, if a native app consumes 10mb of data for processing a request, a PWA consumes only 500kb of data for the same request to process which is very less when compared to native apps.
The cost of building a PWA is much cheaper than building a native app. Building both an iOS and Android application (native app) can cost $20k – $80k, while a PWA can be designed for a small amount of cost at around $6k – $10k.
PWAs are highly responsive and progressive which can be used across all devices regardless of the browser being used and screen size.
As PWA is very similar to websites, you can see the updates when you open the progressive app and it doesn’t require a manual update.
Unlike native apps, there is no need to install a PWA from the play store, which is tedious. A PWA will be installed on the user’s device only after permission from the user to do so.
PWAs are linkable and shareable easily through URLs which means it can drive huge traffic and boost the searchability and accessibility of your app.
Cyber threats are constantly evolving more dangerous and challenging. As we all know, HTTP was not secure enough to protect the data, websites are now being programmed in HTTPs, which is the secure version of HTTP. And PWAs are highly secure when compared to traditional apps because they always served over encrypted HTTPs, which means data cannot be vandalized. This makes the user feel secure to give their personal data in PWA such as contact details or credit card information.
“PWAs are well suited for India, where the mobile web allows publishers to reach a large audience across a highly diverse set of devices and bandwidth,” said John Pallett, product manager at Google.
With a wide range of most exciting features such as quick updates, faster navigation, offline working mode, sending push notifications and many more, it is gaining ground among the public. The web reach of PWA is much higher, it receives 11.4 million unique users when contrasted with web reach of a native application which receives only 4 million users every month.
Let’s have a look at the comparison between PWA and Native App in terms of different features.
Home screen access
Requires no updates
Low data requirements
No download required
Shareable and Linkable
Table: Comparison between PWA and Native App
Progressive Web Apps are more reliable, fast, and engaging too. They have changed our insight about web apps and opened new doors for delivering consistent and immersive user experiences regardless of the platform. PWAs will give users a better browsing experience while helping businesses attract more customers which ultimately results in more profit and sales.
Example: Flipkart has seen 50% increase in the new customers after the launch of its PWA. It also reported that nearly 60% of users who are currently using its PWA had previously uninstalled its native app in order to save space in their smart phones.
Besides offering better user experience, PWAs may prove that it is from an SEO point of view too.
It is a fact that PWA speeds up the process of your app being indexed. Similar to web pages, each and every PWA page is followed by a unique URL. So, it will be very easy for Googlebot to crawl and index it. And as it is already optimized for mobile, it would help accelerate the indexing process.
As the Progressive Web Apps are displayed on the users home screen, it will prompt them to visit the website regularly. Apart from this, it will also allow you to implement push notifications in order to promote your campaigns and remind the users to return to your site too. This will drive more traffic to your app.
PWAs works much faster than traditional websites. As there is no need to download the app, all the updates will be done without any effort from user’s aspect. And from the sales perspective, the increase in speed leads to increased conversion rates and performance
PWAs are turning hot in today’s evolving world of technology. Popular websites like Tinder, Instagram, and Starbucks, are developing their Progressive Web Apps. Browsers like Samsung Internet, Firefox, Chrome, and Opera already support PWAs. And now by default, Service Workers are enabled in the Microsoft Edge on Windows Insider Build and latest Safari Technology Preview. So, we can say that Progressive web apps are the future of web development undoubtedly and they will become more predominant as the technology advances.
According to a report from Gartner, PWAs will replace 50% of mobile applications both in B2C and B2E by 2020. Getting started with progressive web applications are the best choice for App development companies as they support all key features. If you are a developer and have worries about user engagement and offering better user experience, this is the best choice for you.