Progressive Web Apps - The Next Step in Web App Development

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Progressive Web Apps - The Next Step in Web App Development

A Progressive Web App is a mixture of a mobile and web app! But what does this exactly mean? And how are these different from Traditional Web Apps and Native Apps?

  • PWAs are Progressive— These apps work for every user, regardless of the browser that you are using or even where you are situated in the world! So whether you are using Chrome or Opera or whether you are living in India, UK or even North Korea, it doesn’t matter! Progressive Web Apps will work just as well because they’re built with progressive enhancement as a core tenet.

  • Responsive— ProgressiveWeb Apps will fit any device! Be it a desktop, a mobile, a tablet, or even something that hasn’t been created yet!

  • Web Apps that don’t depend on connectivity— With the help of service workers, Progressive Web Apps can even work on low-quality networks, or even offline!

  • App-like feels— Progressive Web Apps feel just like an app. They have app-style interactions and navigation.

  • Fresh — Thanks to service workers, your Progressive Web App will always be up-to-date with the latest updates!

  • Safe— Progressive Web Apps are always served via HTTPS, ensuring that no-one without proper authorization can tamper with your app.

  • Discoverable — According to the W3C manifest, Progressive Web Apps are classed as apps. It e isasier to find a Progressive Web App thanks to the service worker registration scope that allows search engines to easily find them.

  • User Engagement— PWA features like Push Notifications make user engagement very easy!

  • Installation— Users can “keep” the most useful PWAs on their home screen without the hassle of app stores.

  • Linkable — PWAs can be easily shared via URL and do not require complex installation.

Native Apps vs. Traditional Web Apps

Let’s do a brief comparison between Native Apps, Traditional Web Apps.

# Native Apps :

A native mobile app is a smartphone app that is coded in a programming language like Objective-C for iOS or Java for Android operating systems.

Native apps have the following features:

  • Fast performance and a high degree of reliability.

  • Complete access to the phone’s hardware.

  • Native apps can even modify system settings.

  • Native apps can even access the phone’s various devices and features, such as the camera and address book. It can also use the phone’s telephony features to send messages or to make calls.

  • Native apps have slower iterations. What this means is that it takes a while for updates to be available to users. This is because Native Apps are usually found in app stores, so any update sent by the developer has to go through the store’s regulation before it is made available to the public.

# Traditional Web Apps :

Traditional Web Apps are apps that have the following features:

  • Real-Time Delivery — Depending on the speed of your internet, the web app will be instantly delivered to you.

  • Web apps are built using standard HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

  • Limited access to the device’s features. So while your app may be able to access features like camera or location services, it won’t have access to your mobile’s telephony features.

  • Web apps depend on internet connectivity. Without a proper connection, all that you would be able to do is play with the Chrome Dinosaur.

  • You cannot install the web app on your device.

  • Any update will be instantly delivered to all the users. Unlike native apps, web apps don’t have to bother with any kind of app store restrictions.

#Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) :

Along with the features that I have mentioned above, PWAs are also defined by the following features:

  • The low friction of distribution — PWA updates are instant! All the users will get the prompt instantly and simultaneously!
  • Just like a traditional web app, PWAs will also have limited access to the device’s features.
  • A major disadvantage of PWAs is that iOS is yet to provide support to PWAs. But developers at Apple seem to have started working on providing the support.