The web development environment has transformed with the demand for more scalable and cross-platform web and enterprise applications in ever-changing market equilibrium. To help enterprises address business needs and connect with customers using a range of devices and platforms seamlessly, legacy web apps have given way to progressive web apps (PWAs) that can be easily accessed by mobile users.
Progressive web apps use modern web capabilities to deliver a reliable, fast, and engaging experience for users on their preferred devices and platforms. It also provides personalization and caching capabilities which ensure faster loading and less data usage. Programmers can code these apps once and deploy them everywhere. According to the latest Google survey, progressive web apps are used by more than 11.4 million users as compared to a meager 4 million users of the native app. The report also predicts that the presence of a progressive web app will gradually eliminate the need for a dedicated native mobile app in the near future.
A progressive web app can be deployed in two ways—ship the app to an app-store or host it on a web server. Several firms in the social media and hospitality industry are increasingly moving to progressive apps. Pinterest, a social media sharing platform, has reportedly leveraged progressive web apps to increase core engagement of their users by 60%. It also increases the time duration of each user visit by 40%. Likewise, online travel and hospitality marketplace, Trivago, has boosted their user engagement by 150% with the help of progressive web apps.
Below are seven crucial factors that make progressive web apps a cornerstone of future web development:
Progressive web apps allow automatic bug-fixing and patch or update deployment without contacting the app store, which guarantees timely update of the system. It also eliminates the need to write distinct versions of the same patch for Android and iOS platforms.
Conventional web apps use HTTP protocol, which does not offer the desired level of security needed to shield sensitive or confidential user data. On the other hand, a progressive web app uses HTTPS protocol that inhibits hackers from extracting information from the browser and prevents malicious code to enter the website.
The app-shell model splits application logic from content. This shell-driven segregation of content offers users rich functionality, native-like app experience, and seamless transition between views. Further, content is cached and rendered on repeat visits irrespective of connectivity.
#5 User Engagements
Web app manifest gives developers the ability to control the way an app renders and launches itself on the mobile. Several other parameters such as screen orientation, home page, and choice of the browser can be customized by the users. Further, user-generated data enables decision-makers to track specific buying trends or overall consumer behavior, which ensures that they see what they want to buy.
#6 Hybrid Functionality
Progressive web apps combine the finest features of the legacy web portal such as outreach with the strength of a typical native web app that allow it to run for a longer duration. The hybrid functionality of the app offers a real-time value-added experience while using shopping carts, payment gateways, etc., which run in a distributed and multi-user environment.
#7 Memory Management
Traditional web apps occupy a lot of storage space. However, progressive web apps pre-cache content so that they can load instantly on the device the next time it is accessed. Therefore, there is minimum impact on memory, irrespective of the number of progressive web apps installed on a single device.
Progressive Web Apps: Making the Cut
Progressive web apps have added a new dimension to the web development environment. They are now touted as the future of app development. With few companies interested in native apps and most of them deserting mobile-only app development, progressive web apps have started dominating the market.