Let’s face it, we spend a lot of time on the internet. Most of this interaction takes place in your palm, inside your mobile devices. Right from browsing Instagram feeds to glancing through an e-commerce website, there is a lot of web surfing a person does throughout the day. Typically, there are two ways these interactions occur, through websites or through mobile apps.
From a development perspective, native mobile apps are expensive and take more time to build whereas progressive web apps (PWA) costs much less and usually has a faster time to market. PWAs take the best of being a native app and a responsive website. There is nothing radically new in PWA, it is essentially a set of best practices to make your app act like a native app that can be installed when the user visits a website that supports PWA. Google has a checklist on how to make a PWA.
If a website support PWA, on visiting them you get a pop up to “Add to Home Screen”. See an example in below GIF. On clicking add, the app gets installed in background and is available via the app drawer on your phone. It also works offline.
There are tremendous values in PWA. Below are few of them:
(i) No need to download native apps which are more memory intensive
(ii) Low bandwidth consumption – good for developing countries
(iii) Less friction, customer journey time reduces as compared to installing native apps
(iv) Provides cross platform capability
(v) No dependency on app stores
(vi) Costs less than native apps or hybrid alternatives
Having said that, it still isn’t a full replacement for
Read more about PWAs here: SmashingMagazine