A progressive web app is easy to understand however, is much harder to explain exactly “what” it is and how it all works. To the ones that has really no clue about web apps, mobile apps, web sites, web pages coding languages both client side as well as server side etc. or just learning how to develop web pages, web sites and the like, it will seem total nonsense in the beginning, but as time marches on more and more will become clear.
Let’s start by imagine your cell phone, the games, the financial apps, YouTube, Google, chrome, photo editor, coupons app, camera/video apps, well you get the picture. All of these are mobile apps downloaded from Apple or Google Play store, well progressive web apps are mobile apps like those mentioned but they don’t need downloading from Apple or the play store in order to be used. They are from a website or webpage instead. In addition, along with not having the limitations or restrictions of mobile apps. They are a type of web page so their delivered differently to the user instead of a distribution system.
This type of apps work in most browsers, they are “app” like with being independent of connectivity, in other words, they are mostly stand-alone. Their features are “app” like with how they do not slow down the functionality, the device or the website. Some of the features these apps use are push notifications, adding to home screen and others are regularly added as the demand warrants.
These type of web apps have been developed and built in a cross platform solution, which the goal was to help the developers build more manageable yet dynamic apps to meet the needs of demand. There are many different characteristics so that they may work more smoothly with native apps. The following is some of the more important ones of most of the progressive web apps that are in development.
• Progressive – Will work with any browser, for all users.
• Responsive – Fits all form factors as well as works on most all devices.
• Runs Quicker after Boot – Because nothing has to be downloaded repeatedly, the
app reuses the content as needed, the web app uses redundancy to render
• Connectivity Independent – Which means its great in low signal or offline.
• Mobile App Like – More comfortable to the user with app like feel & ease of
• Always Up to Date- With the service worker update process the app remains
always up to date.
• Safe/Secure – Since it uses the HTTPS protocol, the content safely kept hidden
from unwanted snoopers.
• Discoverable – It is identifiable as an application even with search engines.
• Keeps User Engaged – With the push notification function it can easily keep
the user engaged.
• Easy Install – With icons from the app store, links can be stored on home
screens to keep things organized.
• Shareable via Linking – No complicated installations & with app like linking,
sharing is easy.
• Can Load Offline – Does not have to be online to load contents or the user to
be able to use it.
The best part with these type apps is the ability to give the user experiences with the progressive enhancements features, that the other types can’t. One attractive feature is how the progressive web app(s) are so much faster than the native apps and the difference is noticeable right away. Hard to believe but the difference in loading and internet speed between mobile data and the app speed is upwards of 65% at times. How the apps built, along with how it carries out its functions may seem the same as the native apps however, on the inside they are very different. The PWA does not transmit any data over the internet it uses what information is already stored within its reach. It really delivers a great user experience and comfortable feel while having a powerful and robust platform easily scaliable & gives more safety and security considerations for the end user.
The best feature of the entire PWA experience, I believe is the fact that anyone can construct and build their own PWA with more confidence even easier than ever before with very little formal training,. This means with a little research, reading, planning along with the abundance of free coding and tutorial sites on the internet, there is really no reason why a user could not just build their own specialized PWA if they chose to. This would save money off the bat, also, the app would have exactly what the user would require, none of the extras like ads, nag screens nor would anyone have it unless the user were to decide to share it for some reason. With some studying and patience, this could be a truly future project, especially if the user has some ideas for special functions of the PWA that none other has lastly, it could even generate revenue or funding down the road, it’s something for the user to think about and explore.
These type web apps are truly versatile and much easier and safer to use than the native apps or older protocols. The future for these type apps are full of possibilities and the users really should take a closer more detailed look at this new upcoming way to be productive on and off line.