What are progressive web apps and why do they matter to you

If you are keeping up with the latest trends you have probably heard of progressive web apps (PWAs), but do you really understand what they are? Learn more about progressive apps to discover their value and why you should consider using them.

Native Apps

To understand what a PWA is and what makes it unique, you must first have a proper understanding of native apps.

Native apps have been around for about the last ten years. Developers must create two versions of native apps, one for iOS devices and the other for Android devices. Users can find this type of app available for download in either the Apple Store or Google Play Store.

Progressive Web Apps

Newer than native apps, PWAs are intended to make obtaining an app easier for users. PWAs are instantly installed from the user’s browser, without having to navigate to the app store. In addition, progressive apps work on multiple browsers and devices, eliminating the need to create separate versions for each device.

Other than what has just been explained, some other requirements for web apps to be considered PWAs include:

  • App navigations and interactions;
  • Frequent updates;
  • Security through TLS,
  • Search engine visibility.

As a developer, it might help you to understand what makes PWAs so great for users. Here are the reasons why!

  • They load quickly;
  • PWAs are constantly updated,
  • They perform well on old and new versions of devices. But of course, they do best on newer versions.

What do progressive web apps include?

  • Homescreen;
  • Taskbar;
  • Shortcut icon on the home screen;
  • Offline support,
  • Push notifications.

progressive-web-appPWAs Vs Native Apps

The biggest difference between a progressive app and a native app is the method of delivery. The former is installed from the web and the latter needs to be downloaded from an app store.

After that, a progressive web app’s functions are identical to those of a native app. In fact, the goal is to make it impossible for users to tell the difference between the two types of apps.

The ease in obtaining a PWA, while keeping it just as user-friendly as a native app, is what makes progressive apps so promising for developers.

Progressive Web App Advantages

Let’s do a quick recap on the benefits of PWAs:

  • PWAs only need to be developed once, saving both time and money for developers. Native apps require two versions, one for android users and another for iOS users, which costs more time and money for development. This extra cost might even hinder the development of future apps.
  • PWAs are easier for users to obtain since they can be installed right from the browser. To download a native app, users must find it in either the Apple Store or Google Play Store. This is an extra step that could possibly drive potential users away.
  • PWAs take up less space on a phone, which users should appreciate.
  • A progressive web application is easy to share thanks to its short URL.
  • As a website, a progressive web app can be found by search engines. Google’s algorithm has been updated to favor PWAs, which means your target market is more likely to find your app when searching the web.
  • Users have the option of saving the PWA in the favorites folder, making it easy for them to go back to it and use it more often.
  • PWAs are quicker to update, making it easier for developers to keep apps relevant to the needs of users.

Progressive web apps offer plenty of benefits to both users and app developers. If you are considering building a new app, you might want to make it a progressive web app.