Progressive Web App is nothing but a normal web application in browser connected to the backend via web services which uses various web application capabilities in order to deliver an app-like experience to users on a smartphone.
PWA is a website which you can pin on your home screen and when you launch a PWA, it doesn’t feel like you’re in the browser. It looks like it’s an application. It’s really hard to differentiate.
The reason what makes a progressive web app unique is its ability. These web applications can work offline and in the background through service workers to pull or push the necessary data from the server.
“Progressive Web App is a development approach of using a set of technologies that allows web content to have an app-like experience, including offline functionality, notifications, and device access.”
Why should you use PWA over normal application?
There must be dozens of applications in your smartphone that you are not using them all the time but are in use on rare occasions. (Here I am not talking about email, social media or games). Those applications just sit on the top right corner of the screen and occupy precious space. And you don’t dare to delete them.
It probably takes around $45,000 to $50,000 if you want to hire a dedicated app developer to build your custom application. On the top of it, the application needs maintenance, regular updates, new features and the list goes on.
Google and Microsoft already are embracing Progressive Web Application.
Why does Google even care about this?
The reason why Google is embracing Progressive Web App is because it’s business model relies on the web, not on the app store. Google is worried about more users getting to use Google services on the apps built for mobile device than going on the web. If an application fetches data directly from the website without going to the web, it affects advertising revenue. Advertisement plays the key role in Google’s revenue.
If you are using the web in one way or another you are consuming analytics, advertising and more. So, Google actually wants this to happen.
Why does Microsoft even care about this?
Unlike Google, Microsoft’s business model doesn’t rely of the app store, but still, Microsoft has failed to attract the attention of app developers to persuade them to build apps for the Windows platform. Even the Universal Windows Platform attempt hasn’t been very successful in gaining the attention of developers. And they have to fill the app gap problem anyhow and this is the optimum solution.
Progressive Web app is going to be a containerized version of the native web application. More importantly, PWA never needs to be updated over the store, since it’s pulling data directly from the website. There are lots of PWAs already out there, including Instagram, Twitter, OneDrive, Starbucks, Uber, Lyft, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Uber and more.
All the major companies are embracing this breathtaking technology. Why? Because companies hate paying developers. They would rather prefer a best in class web development team to make a PWA website and it’s good to go.
For obvious reason making a prediction about new technology is always difficult. But tons of major sites already support it, and “technically” it is officially not yet launched. In the upcoming year, we will be seeing a lot of uptake from developers.
Here are few important links to better understand Progressive Web Apps:
Popular Website Links using PWA:
- PHP / Laravel
- REST / JSON
- Java SPRING