Progressive Web Apps have been in the market for a long time. Although, they have gained popularity recently to bring a native-app-like experience into the browser. It can be accessed via the home screen of any smartphone.
PWA has incorporated many of the functionalities of the native apps to provide a similar user experience. They are the next thing in today’s world, especially when it comes to the eCommerce business. They are completely taking over the native web apps by combining the best of both.
They have been rolling in the mobile world for a long time, and some of the best examples are Twitter. PWA’s advantages over native apps are PWA is more reliable as they will load instantly even when connected to a slow network or offline.
Coming to the response time, it was observed that PWA respond quickly to user interactions with smooth scrolling and clean animations. It gives a feel to the customers as if they are using a rich native app.
According to a Google Senior Software Engineer, PWA is a website that has taken all the essential vitamins that have enabled it to curb all the shortcomings of the performance, web quality, lack of internet connection, and ensure a convenient app.
Today, progressive web apps are accessible via most smartphones and desktops across a variety of browsers. Although PWA works across both Android and IOS, the users are restricted to some functions based on the specifications of Safari.
It can be added via multiple browsers for Android users, and it supports various features such as a Camera, Play Store, Speech Recognition, Payment system, Geolocation, and sensor support. Desktop PWA’s are supported on Chrome, Linux, Windows, and macOS.
Advantages of PWA Over Native App:
1. Space Efficient:
As PWA is not a mobile app, users no longer have to download it using the apple store or google play store. Hence, they consume almost no space, and if the user wants to add it on the home screen, that can be done without installation.
, Unlike a native app, updating the PWA is much more comfortable, and the users no longer have to update the app manually; they will be automatically updated when the site is updated, ensuring all the users have the latest version of PWA.
3. Cost Efficient:
PWA’s are comparatively very cost-efficient. The same PWA can be used on any operating system, unlike native apps that need to be developed specifically for different operating systems. Hence, the development phase and the testing phase become more manageable and less time-consuming.
4. App Icons:
Using PWA, the users can easily keep an app icon on their device’s home page, making the application easily accessible. This can indeed increase brand awareness and increase the chance of engagement.
5. Wider Market Reach:
To bring traffic to the website, the Progressive web app can be leveraged to help merchants enjoy a broader reach on the web, particularly among the companies with poor Internet Connections.
6. Low Data Consumption:
In the less developed countries, usually the mobile data is much more costly than the developed countries, and that’s why PWA is a better option because they are smaller in comparison to regular apps and require a lot less bandwidth as they can utilize the data from the cache.
There is a myth revolving around the people that the search engines can’t index PWA, and hence, they are not SEO friendly. However, that is untrue. They can easily be indexed just like any other website. Although, the SEO practices used to ensure indexability might differ.
One of the reasons behind that is most of the websites use Server Side Rendering to load everything on the server. A rendered version is sent from the server to the user’s browser when a request comes in.
Although it is pretty straightforward looking at the downside, it can be slow whenever there is an internet issue.
On the other hand, PWA uses client-side rendering. Using this method, the data is rendered on the client, so instead of sending the entire page from the server every time the user is switching a page, the user receives a small string of data resulting in a faster speed.
Looking at all the fantastic advantages of PWA, the question that should arise is why not PWA? They are lightweight, faster, and require less budget to develop and maintain. Many people are not even aware that the PWA can be a great alternative to mobile and web apps.
Since the time PWA has come into existence, developers have been continuously improving the features and trying to minimize the difference between the features of PWA and the native apps.
Looking at the potential it has, PWA is the future in 2021! According to a Facebook Connect’s session from a couple of months ago, it seems that the browser within Facebook’s Oculus might start supporting PWA soon. Also, Microsoft announced that PWA’s would be available both from the Microsoft Store and the browser.
Although 2020 was an unusual year for everyone, we can already look at the progress that is taking place in 2021. For the native apps, the data’s privacy and making the data safer is still an issue that needs to be solved, and hence, a lot of users might shift to PWA.
Many cloud gaming products are leaving Apple’s app store and developing the PWA for IOS devices. That will help the Apple users explore more about PWA and provoke the developers to solve the bugs further and improve the platform.
Adobe announced the retirement of PhoneGap and is in favor of PWA some time back. Looking at the technology side’s requirements to develop a PWA, those are pretty common and easy to learn and implement.
Progressive Web Apps have already set their foot in this business and have been continuously evolving. Many companies have already started adopting them because of all the reasons discussed in this article.
To overcome this fierce competition, PWA can be developed that can be beneficial to increase user engagement and provoke the customers to buy the products. The focus is not only on developing the PWA but also on the technologies needed to build apps.
It is equally important to spread awareness about PWA because many people are not even aware of this app, and hence, one of the main motives behind this article is to make people know about progressive web apps.
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