Introduction To Progressive Web Apps
Progressive web applications are a relatively recent trend in the app development space that is slowly but steadily taking over traditional web apps. They are associated with attributes of being lightweight, responsive, multiple platform availability, faster processing, native feature stimulation, easy accessibility, etc. These attributes make PWAs fit for both businesses that require rolling out an app in the market quickly with minimal coding and businesses that target exploring the new web app development trend to leverage its benefits. PWAs have now overcome many initial challenges and are attracting big brands too.
What Makes A Web App Progressive?
Web apps that are delivered using the web with native-like features to provide the user with a smooth and advanced experience are considered progressive web apps. They are used to amalgamate the user experience of a website and mobile application in a faster and easily accessible way. Here are some of the features that distinguish PWAs from regular web apps:
- App-like features
- Browser compatibility
- Cost efficiency
- Full responsiveness
- Safe and secure
- Faster performance
What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using PWA?
The development of progressive web apps has a series of advantages and disadvantages over normal web apps. We have tried to compare these apps on various parameters, and these are our findings.
Advantages of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)
1. Easy Installation And Platform Independence
Because they are directly delivered through the web, they do not require installation such as with native apps. Users can use them as easily as browsing the web with added features and faster return times. In case users wish to install these apps, the process is very simple and quick. PWAs being platform-independent, they are supported by both iOS and Android equally well and can be used on all new devices.
2. Relatively Low Costs
A normal web application's systems development life cycle consists of extensive processes. Creating a dynamic web application that fulfills user requirements takes a lot of time and effort. But with progressive web app development, that time and effort can be slashed to a great extent. There is also no requirement to hire large developer teams for this job. All this ensures that PWAs are functional with relatively low costs.
3. Offline Capabilities
One of the other considerable advantages of PWAs is their ability to support offline mode. Google offers a number of official libraries that can be used to ease the development process to achieve this. The capability can also be used as advanced caching strategies to enhance user experience with reduced page load time and network traffic.
4. Improved Performance
Progressive web apps have time and again proved their high and steady performance even compared to some native apps. With limited downtime and consistent user experience, businesses investing in PWAs can expect a higher ROI than most web apps. Some large businesses have also reported reliable performance from PWAs on slow or unreliable networks. This can be credited to the lightweight of these apps.
Disadvantages Of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)
1. Issues With Legacy Devices
Since progressive web apps are a relatively new concept, they are not compatible with legacy devices that run outdated browsers. Many users still operating on old devices might face these issues and complain to the businesses. In the future, we might see some solutions to overcome this issue.
2. No Room For Innovation (Fewer Functionalities)
Unlike traditional web apps, PWAs have a limited scope of functionality. Web apps can have so many features that actually help solve a wide range of problems and perform various processes. But since progressive web apps are lightweight, they only have a limited number of features to be used by the users.
3. Limited Hardware And Software Support
Their novelty is one of the concerns for various issues. Many hardware and software platforms do not still support all functionalities of PWAs. For instance, iOS does not support the home screen shortcuts and progressive web app notifications yet. Many advanced features such as GPS support, phone camera, biometrics, etc., are also not available when working with PWAs.
4. Limited Browser Support
Despite their cross-platform capabilities, PWAs are essentially Android-centric. They cannot run well with other browsers such as Edge and Safari. These browsers are currently being worked on to provide support for PWAs.
Is A PWA Suitable For Your Business Growth?
Reliable tools and simplified processes can catapult business growth in any industry. That is where progressive web apps can surely provide impeccable aid. The following three factors are a few of the many that make PWAs suitable for business growth:
Platform-Specific User Experience
Writing a single code base that runs on different platforms to provide a platform-specific user experience increases user satisfaction. This, in turn, calls for new users.
The varied platform support also helps reach a larger number of users than before, including mobile and web.
Simple App Development
The app development process is relatively simple and faster than legacy web apps which helps save time and money.
What Is GeekyAnts’ Experience With PWA Development?
The choice of whether to go for a PWA or not is mainly based on the requirements of each project. At GeekyAnts- App Design And Development Studio, we recommend building PWAs for projects with uncomplicated web app development requirements. Our team of experienced software and app developers are keen on delivering quality solutions as per the pre-defined timeline and client requirements. Over the years of experience in the industry, we have emerged as a reliable PWA development company and garnered positive feedback from our clients.
What Is The Future Of PWA?
Despite the slow progress as compared to initial estimates, the future of PWAs remains promising. Many big brands have already transformed their web presence with suitable progressive web apps that are delivering impeccable performance. A majority of cross-platform app development frameworks and libraries, including Flutter and VueJS, support PWA to enhance its platform independence. In the future, we can expect PWAs to provide increased native features support, reducing the dependency on native apps.