Web applications can be regarded as a piece of a program that a user can access through his browser. During the past few decades, especially after the technological revolution, web applications became easier to access leading to more user interactions. A web application runs primarily on a web server that is hosted and maintained by the owner of the application. All the users interacting with the server act as a client and they communicate with the server by sending and receiving requests and information. This two-layered architecture is regarded as the “Client-Server” method.
In the late 2000s after the mobile market started growing, all the big companies started developing their websites and applications to launch on the mobile OS. This led to the growth of the Google App store and Apple’s App Store. Over time, the majority of the business started shifting towards mobile because of better accessibility, which paved the path towards the development of Progressive Web Applications.
Progressive Web Applications are a shortcut of websites that you can keep on a mobile home screen and they give the usability and feel of a natively developed mobile application. The PWAs act just like a mobile application except that they are developed on Html, CSS and interact directly with a web server.
Progressive Web Applications bridge the gap between mobile applications and web applications and are a combination of both.
a.) Progressive Web Applications utilize the same code written for websites for functioning. It means a single code can lead to multiple outputs like a website and a PWA.
b.) PWAs work on fast APIs for effective communication of data and information. They are easy to install and use in most cases.
PWAs have gained huge popularity over the last couple of years and many big brands have launched their PWAs and have largely benefited from it. The three main characteristics of any Progressive Web Application are:
In today’s stacked market where brands are trying to exploit every possible resource to gain more customer engagement, PWAs offer a full package to not only attract customer’s attention but also improve the brand’s image. PWAs are getting famous among all the big brands because of the solid foundation and multiple advantages PWAs provide for the growth of a company. Brands look for better traffic on both website and mobile applications and PWAs do the same. The main benefits of using PWA are discussed below.
Progressive Web Applications are built just according to the needs of the user. A customer needs a ready to be used application that can be downloaded and installed easily. PWAs skip all the hassle of going to the play store, checking requirements, and installing the application. Rather, PWAs can be installed with just a single click and they are immediately ready to be used. This saves the time of the customer and resultantly improves engagement in the application.
All the people working in mobile application development know the struggles and hardships of pushing an update to an application. Since PWAs are not connected to any foundation like the play store, they are very easy to update. In fact, the web servers respond with the updated information to any request hence making it real-time updating of application. This ensures 99.99% uptime of the PWAs making them more reliable compared to native mobile applications.
Typical native applications work on a three-tier setup whereas Progressive Web Applications work on two-tier architecture. PWAs offer much faster functioning and lesser loading time than mobile applications. This leads to minimal packet loss with almost zero bounces in loading a page. It makes an application not only fast but also smooth which makes it overall better than other applications.
Mobile phones have limited storage and native mobile applications generally take larger space since they have more integrated plugins and frameworks in them. On the contrary, Progressive Web Applications take lesser space in mobile’s storage. They work in a similar way to deferred components where the data not to be used all time is accessed only after a request from the user. Due to lesser space occupation, they work smoother and faster with a better response time.
Progressive Web Applications are just a single click away from functioning. They do not have a set of requirements essential for downloading like mobile applications in app stores. They often work on all android versions and have no minimum requirements of storage, RAM etc. This is a very beneficial factor for people trying to access PWAs from lower specification mobile sets. It increases the traffic and engagements on and Progressive Mobile Application manifold.
This is a unique feature that comes with all Progressive Mobile Applications. Offline mode enables the user to surf through the application even when there is no active internet connection available. It works on the head of cached data that loads the components of any Progressive Web Application. This increases the interactions of single PWA exponentially. In some of the advanced PWAs, your choices and changes made to PWA in offline mode are reflected after the internet connection is established.
Platform Independence depicts that Progressive Web Applications can be used on all mobile sets. Because they are not built on the dependencies and frameworks of mobile applications, they usually are deployable on all mobile phones.
Security is a top-notch distinguishing feature of all Progressive Web Applications. All the requests generated and received are secured through the “HTTPS” security panel. This leads to minimal data breaches and data leakage. Native mobile applications also have good security but the fact that data is processed through third-party frameworks and plug-ins, the data is not relatively secure which leads to packet losses or even leakage of packets making the entire data flow faulty.
There are many other bright aspects of Progressive Web Applications which give them the feel of almost a native mobile application. Most of the PWAs have a feature of push notification to highlight any new content or news. PWAs also have an icon that represents them like any other mobile application. PWAs are built in a fashion to give the experience of a native application. Their page loading, data representation, opening, and closing of an app, data caching is similar to mobile applications hence making them alike.
In recent times, everything is going digital. There is an online war between brands to establish superiority over others by providing better online services. Progressive Web Applications make a huge difference in the campaign of any brand. They are more customer-friendly in a lot of aspects and gain you a huge edge over other brands in terms of engagements and marketing. Brands use Progressive Web Applications for their growth in certain ways which are described below.
Getting more leads and engagements on your page or application helps you in securing a better page rank and revenue. Progressive Web Applications help you in getting tons of traffic on your web server that helps in improving the outlook of any brand and keeps it ahead of competitors. This automatically makes your brand more searchable and the interactions increase exponentially. This factor contributes a lot to the long-term growth of any brand.
In today’s time, mobile applications are a better way for the progress of any brand. Progressive Web Applications look almost like any native mobile application and give you a real-time experience of mobile applications. This escapes any brand from the hassle of building a mobile application from scratch.
Any brand or start-up works on limited resources and can’t always go all out on expending resources on the development. Progressive Web Applications solve the issue by giving an alternative to a mobile application. It saves brands from investing money and time in the development of a mobile application. Furthermore, there is no need for maintenance of the application since it is controlled through the website. A single code can be used both as a website and mobile application saves a lot of money, time, and labor.
With a lot of options in the market, an application must be inch-perfect and flawless. When an application takes time to load or is poorly built, the customer instantly looks for other options and leaves the page. Progressive Web Applications are faster and smoother to give customers the best experience without wasting their time. Brands capitalize on this fact and make PWAs as efficient and effective as possible. A comfortable environment is provided to the users for the best experience and indeed gaining their trust and satisfaction.
Scalability is the ultimate goal of any brand or start-up. Progressive Web Applications are the foundation on which the growth of a business can be mounted. PWAs automatically work with SEO to help create more engagements and leads for the business. It is less effort, more reward in the case of PWAs for the progress of a brand.
Examples of a few of the most common Progressive Web Applications are discussed below
Starbucks is a popular brand for ordering food, especially coffee. They launched their PWA which was highly efficient and user-friendly. Starbucks PWA allowed surfing through menus, customization of orders, putting the order in cart – with and without an active internet connection. All the changes are stored in the cache and once the connection is restored, the changes appear in PWA. Their app consumes 99% lesser space as compared to native counter-part whereas is about twice the faster.
Uber is a leading company for booking rides for your trip. Recently, they built their PWA keeping in view the users with low-end devices and poor internet connection. The use and feel of the PWA are quite similar to a native application. However, it works perfectly fine for 2G and 3G networks and devices with low RAM. This PWA alone gives uber a huge advantage over other competitors by facilitating low-device customers. The PWA mainly works on an active internet connection. Its size of 50Kb is even much lesser than Uber-lite which is 12MB.
MakeMyTrip is a commonly popular application primarily in South Asia used to manage your tour and transportation. It has an overwhelming amount of around 8 million users per month mainly from mobile devices. It launched its PWA and the results show a big spark. The engagements on the web page tripled while the loading time was reduced by around 40%. It significantly lowered the bounce rate and traffic on the page went exponential. This PWA worked hugely in favor of MakeMyTrip and barely cost them any amount.
Spotify is our favorite platform to listen to all types of songs even with property rights at a minimal cost. The company went on to make its PWA after a rift with Apple’s commission and the PWA gained them big success over time. The PWA has a unique and blending UI that changes progressively with time and the working is a lot faster. The PWA of Spotify is easily accessible and indeed is a win-win situation for both Spotify and its users.
The leading car brand, BMW is the number one favorite of all car lovers. BMW always keeps up with technological advancements and improvises accordingly. Their new PWA is just fantastic. With high-resolution images and videos and large data, the PWA still loads four times faster than its website. They have massively gained an audience with their PWA as the report claims around 50% increase in clicks on mobile PWA and a 50% increase in their audience.
The social media platform, Pinterest has all sorts of things all over it. The PWA of Pinterest was formed on the poor performance of its mobile application. The development of PWA proved as a charm for Pinterest as their engagements went up by 60% and time spent on the application also increased massively. It led to an overall 44% increase in revenue. The load time and the response time of the application also got better as more and more audiences got attracted to the PWA.
Progressive web applications have done wonders for companies in all industries and are surely an opportunity for you as well. At such a minimal cost, the results are marvelous and surely worth a shot.