The world is filled with apps for shopping, transportation, booking movie tickets, and even finding the love of your life. The number of apps available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store far outnumbers the needs of users! Every other emerging industry is introducing an app to maintain visibility and popularity among the general public. But do all of these apps offer an efficient user experience? Do all of their interfaces really appeal to the users? Not really!
This is exactly where Progressive Web Apps (PWA) come into play. With the increasing use of smartphones and the growing demand for a seamless user experience, progressive web applications (PWAs) have emerged as a game-changer in the fields of mobile and web development. PWAs are a combination of web and mobile technologies that provide a native-like experience to users on the web.
WHAT ARE PWAs?
They offer many benefits over traditional native applications, including faster load times, improved accessibility, and increased offline functionality. Their relevance is further reinforced by the support of major tech companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Apple.
BENEFITS OF PWAs
Progressive web applications are known for providing an effective user experience with their unique features. The various benefits of PWAs include the following:
- Faster loading times: PWAs are designed to load quickly, even on slow or unreliable networks, thanks to their optimized caching strategies.
- Offline functionality: PWAs can work offline, providing a seamless experience to users even when they don’t have an internet connection.
- Increased engagement: PWAs provide a native-like experience to users, leading to increased engagement and lower bounce rates.
- Easy to discover and install: PWAs are easily discoverable through search engines and can be installed with just a few clicks, eliminating the need to go through app stores.
- Improved security: PWAs are served over HTTPS, providing a secure environment for users and protecting their data.
- Cross-platform compatibility: PWAs can be accessed on any platform, providing a consistent experience to users regardless of the device they are using.
- Better performance: PWAs are designed to be fast, efficient, and responsive, providing a superior user experience compared to traditional websites.
- Lower development costs: PWAs can be developed using existing web technologies, reducing the cost and time associated with traditional app development.
DISADVANTAGES OF PWAs
Like any other technological advent, PWA also has its fair share of disadvantages to look out for. Some of them are as follows:
- Inability to access app stores: This has the drawback that users must first visit the website in order to add the app to their phone.
- Reduced functionality: Not all of the device’s features can be used (for example, you cannot access contacts, calendar, Bluetooth or NFC). A native application is frequently preferable to a PWA when your application has to utilize a device’s hardware extensively. For instance, Bluetooth-based solutions are typically created natively.
- Still in the planning stage: The PWA is still being developed, as is its compatibility with (mobile) browsers and operating systems. For instance, Apple doesn’t support every PWA feature, thus in some circumstances the user experience would be more constrained. It is presently not possible to send push notifications, utilize Face ID or Touch ID, use Siri or Bluetooth, or send push notifications.
- Execution: Performance-wise, a PWA can produce good results, but native apps still outperform PWAs by a wide margin. It might be smarter to select a native app over a PWA when entering a competitive market where you must entice the user.
- Hostility from Apple: Though tech giants like Microsoft and Google are working harder towards promoting PWAs, Apple hasn’t really been welcoming to this newly found technology. Safari doesn’t fully functionally support the working of PWAs, reducing its benefits accessible to the apple users.
IS PWA REALLY THE FUTURE?
PWA (Progressive Web Apps) has become increasingly popular in recent years and is expected to grow even more in the future. According to various reports, PWA’s market size is estimated to reach $10.44 billion by 2024, growing at a CAGR of 31.9% from 2019 to 2024.
Some of the biggest companies, such as Starbucks, Uber, Make My Trip, Soundslice, and Alibaba, have already adopted PWA and seen significant improvements in their user engagement and conversion rates. This is a clear indication of how big PWA is in today’s world and its potential to grow even further in the future.
Thus, in short, progressive web applications can indeed be considered the future of mobile and web development. Citing the multiple advantages they offer over native apps, PWAs could very well be the effective tool required by companies and developers to communicate with their audiences. The future of web development is certainly going to be largely influenced by PWAs.