header thumbnail image

What are Progressive Web Apps

May 11, 2021 - Fifteen

Google has put a greater focus on the mobile user experience in recent years. Mobile traffic is at an all-time high, and it’s only expected to rise even further soon, which is why Google is focusing more than ever on enhancing the mobile UX.

However, it’s not all about adding Google AMP, a contentious solution for mobile-first indexing; at the Chrome Dev Summit in 2015, Google went even further and announced Progressive Web Apps (PWA). It was a step in the right direction for improving conventional websites and mobile applications.

It wasn’t widespread at first, but that changed over time. PWAs had made fantastic careers stand out from mobile websites all over the world by 2016.

What exactly is a PWA?

A progressive web app (PWA) is an app made with web technologies we’re all familiar with, such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, but with the look and feel of a native app. You can transform almost any website into a progressive web app with a few clever additions. This means that, in comparison to a native app, a PWA can be developed relatively quickly. You can also include many of the features found in native apps, such as push alerts, offline support, and more.

Many of the websites you visit on the internet are simply radical web apps. Take, for example, twitter.com.

You can add the website to your home screen if you visit it on your smartphone. When you open the Twitter site you saved, you’ll find that it now looks and behaves just like a native app. There isn’t even a browser window. It makes no difference whether you use an iPhone or an Android phone to run it. You just need to log in to get started. That is a significant advantage of designing your web app with a PWA in mind.

PWAs are becoming increasingly common. Many popular websites, such as Starbucks.com, Pinterest.com, WashingtonPost.com, and Uber.com, are available as PWAs installed on your home screen and have a similar experience to their native apps.

The fact that all PWAs run in a web browser is their most striking aspect. Web browsers function as virtual machines for these applications, allowing PWAs to run in their settings. Though native apps need the use of an Android or iOS operating system to run, PWAs only need a browser.

The majority of web browsers support PWAs. On the other hand, others are only getting started with the technology (Internet Explorer or Safari), while others have already done so (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Edge, and Brave).

PWA (Progressive Web Application) Architecture

The PWA architecture consists of the following components:

Worker in the Service Industry

In a browser, a Service Worker is an abstraction layer that connects the backend and frontend.

It’s a javascript file that links to the HTML code of the website. The Service Worker is in charge of all user requests and has access to the cache and database for data storage. It means that a PWA can function even if the user goes offline or has a slow internet connection.

Manifest for a Web App

The Web App Manifest is a JSON file that defines a PWA’s key parameters. It can, for example, specify the name of an app in a browser, the app icon to use, how a PWA will be displayed, and a variety of other features. PWA is installed as a standalone device on a mobile screen using App Manifest.

HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP

The HTTPS protocol ensures that data sent via PWAs is safe. HTTPS uses the SSL protocol to encrypt data.

It means that software developers can use PWA to build banking or finance apps that require personal data encryption.

App Shell is the component that gives PWAs the appearance of native apps. An app shell is the skeleton of a PWA’s Graphical User Interface (GUI). It is made up of the bare minimum of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and it helps you load the essential elements of an app and inject the data you’ve loaded into it instantly.

Notifications by Push

A pop-up alert on a website is known as a push notification. It usually helps users download an app to their mobile device and subscribe to news alerts and updates. After that, even if the user does not visit the website, subscription notifications with the latest news and updates can periodically appear on their smartphone.

What are some of the benefits of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)?

Webmasters can benefit from Progressive Web Apps in a variety of ways:

  • A PWA is much less expensive to create than a native app.
  • It is not difficult to keep a PWA up to date.
  • PWAs can be updated regularly.
  • There’s no need to depend on app stores. PWAs can be self-promoted by webmasters.
  • A Progressive Web App’s contents can be indexed and therefore ranked by search engines.
  • There are no restrictions in terms of the platform. This means that a PWA’s content can be viewed on any mobile device.
  • Web content can be accessed over nearly any service quality. The PWA’s “installation” strengthens the bond between the user and the web material.

Why Google favours Progressive Web Apps?

It’s no surprise that Google encourages the use and adoption of Progressive Web Applications, given that smartphone apps account for the vast majority of mobile internet use. This ensures that search engines like Google have restricted access to user data and, more significantly, the apps’ contents cannot be crawled completely.

Thanks to Progressive Web Apps, Google, and other search engines will now collect data on user activity even while using applications. PWAs can also be used to view Google advertisements at the same time. As a result, PWAs will represent an extra revenue stream for Google.

Verdicts

Progressive Web Apps have already proven to be a technology with significant benefits for many companies. They allow businesses to meet their target markets better, attract customers, and boost sales. Furthermore, in contrast to native and hybrid apps, PWAs are much less expensive to build and maintain. As a result, we anticipate that more companies will turn to PWAs soon to reap commercial benefits and remain closer to their customers.

Back to Blog

Get In Touch
Footer Call to Action
Sending