Progressive Web Apps (PWAs): A growing tech trend of 2021

Progressive Web Apps

Even before the times when the number of applications on mobile kept multiplying, the web browser was a destination for all the exploration of a particular brand or company.

The native applications may have changed the tangent a bit but not completely as still most of us prefer to check the web presence of a brand and then decide to whether download their app or not.

Progressive web applications (PWA), bridge together the base and perks of online website browsing with the feel and looks of a native app. No doubt, the hottest topic in tech discussion communities is PWA.

Moreover, today the most business has their own app to engage the users and provide a more personalized experience. But again, the adaptability of an app depends on the device it is run on, which comes to the need for developing apps compatible with both Android & iOS OS.

Here, the Progressive web app steals the deal as they are highly compatible with all the web browsers -Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Opera, and Safari browser.

Thus, the rising demand for PWA sites online.

What is PWA?

Introduced by Google in 2015, Progressive Web applications are web application that runs on a browser without the need to be installed.

They can be explored from small screens of phones to desktop screens, as they have icon settings right as per your screen size.

PWA provides a full-screen experience with push notifications capabilities just like any regularly installed app on the device.

With a snippet of code, known as the service worker the PWA can function offline or on a low connective network and to sent notifications. Service workers are the reason behind the outstanding UX of PWA.

And as described by  Google, the creator of PWA:

PWA is

  • Reliable- Can be operated offline and over unstable network conditions and provide secure experience with its SSL certifications
  • Speedy-Owing to the service worker, they can catch up with the devices and integrate seamlessly.
  •  Engaging-Can we used PWA from any device and browser, as it has good integration.

PWA vs Native applications:

Native applications are familiar applications that are built for particular operating systems iOS or Android.

They may provide more control and better operational feature than a web-based app. But PWA stays ahead in the following criteria:

  • No need for downloads
  • No update to be done
  • Run cross-platforms
  • Contents are at a single base
  • Indexed by Google
  • Lesser time to market and development costs

Features & benefits offered by PWA:

  • Adaptivity: A PWA can work on any device mobile, laptop, tablet, etc as it can be accessed via a browser of your choice.
  • No downloads requirements:  No hassle is needed to search the app on the app store and install it on your devices as PWA can be simply searched on the web and bookmarked. This saved the storage of the user’s devices without taking away any of their UX.
  • Faster in response: PWA is known for a blazing loading speed, which is critical to UX and SEO. Also, they can be accessed in network conditions or no network conditions.
  • Offline compatibility: Users can get a smooth experience without any hiccups during their time on an app while navigating on PWA. Owning to offline access, the unique feature of PWA. This drastically reduces the abandonment rates of the site and also promotes a delightful experience.
  • Better security: Progressive web applications use HTTPS that keeps the site from anonymous or unauthorized access. Making it 100% secure.
  • Automatic Updates: As PWA is a web application and not a native app on a user device that needs to be maintained by the user. PWA is auto-updated by the brands from time to time.
  • Analytics integration: Google analytics can be easily integrated with PWA to better understand the user’s requirements. And to outline new updates needed as per the browsing behaviors of users.
  • Gives out Push Notifications: Like any native app, PWA can also send Push notifications to devices when the user is not on them. For example, Flipkart PWA sends customers notifications for their incomplete purchases.
  • More Payment choices: As the PWS is built on the open web, APIs of a wider range of payments methods can be integrated. Providing more choices to the customer to choose from.
  • Size: PWA is lesser than 1 MB! This is way lowers than any application present in the app store.
  • Progressive: Owing to the number of features of PWA they offer relatively more functionality that can be enhanced by using better compliable devices.

5 Frameworks to use for PWA development:

  1. Angular
  2. React
  3. Vue
  4. Preact
  5. PWABuilder

Some reasons to move to PWA:

  • When your business lacks a native application or needs an update for better UX, a PWA is a better choice to start with. This cancels out the need to have a native app with an alternate web app with cost-saving development.
  • When applications have good functions and features for users to have memorable experiences but still hold a low downloading rate due to their size. You can opt for PWA for developing a Lite version of your app instead of removing some of the functions or features to reduce the size.
  • When your business is delivering products or services, you can have a PWA-based site that provides your audience the main shop-like experience and your native app is like a catalog with channels to make a purchase.

Well known examples of PWA:

  • Alibaba: With its presence in more than 200 countries, Alibaba wanted to have a more engaging experience for its users on the Mobile web page. As the mobile is a primary mode for its discovery. It wanted to prompt Users to move to its application but found a certain percentage of the users liked to stay on the browser. They updated their website to PWA and found an increase of 76% in the conversion rates of its customers.
  • Flipkart: India’s most reliable eCommerce site struggled to provide a faster and better engaging user experience. As a solution, the company decided to launch Flipkart Lite a PWA that integrates web and native Flipkart app features.
  • Pinterest: A social networking Initiative Pinterest found that only 1% of its Mobile searches were downloading apps due to its poor mobile web experience. They turned to PWA for its rescue and redeveloped their website with and observed a hike to 44% from 1%.
  • Spotify: Despite having successful Desktop and mobile applications, Spotify decided to get PWA. So the users can enjoy the best of music at their disposal on any browser of their choice. PWA provides UI that adapts to the specific needs of the user that stimulated the popularity of the brand. Spotify can now be found on almost every home screen of the devices.
  • Uber: Uber realized that customers need to book a cab from anywhere at any time, with or without good connectivity of their internet. A native app can not adjust to, so an answer was Uber PWA to support the access to the cab booking services despite the poor or low network signals. With this, the customer now has an easy-loading web app with a native-like experience.

Takeaways:

With the growing likeness of the user towards PWA, the demand to have a PWA version of their native app is increasing in the business people’s mindsets.

Which might keep the PWA trending for years to come. And investing in a progressive web app may worth your time to have improved customer experiences and SEO rates for your web brand face.

Recognizing the wide-scale potential of PWA, Esurgent Pvt Ltd can help you take advantage of this trend and assist you to develop a Progressive web application for your brand with its unique solutions by a well-calibrated team of IT professionals.

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