IT Strategy

Is a Progressive Web App the Future of Multi-Platform Mobile Development?

In this article, we’ll elaborate more on the PWA as a primary cross-platform mobile app.

Do you know how much time a typical American spends on their mobile phone? On average, Americans spend 5 hours a day on their mobile phones. Because this trend of mobile devices overtaking the presence of other devices is growing, businesses are rapidly adapting to it. The end goal is to provide a pleasant user experience. 

Therefore, businesses have two ways to gain mobile presence, by investing in native apps or a progressive web app. The difference between a native app and a progressive web app (PWA) is in the way users access them. For instance, progressive web apps are delivered through the web and are accessible for multiple platforms. They are created by using a certain programming language, such as HTML, Javascript, or CSS

Native apps need to be downloaded from an app store and added to the screen on the mobile device. When you create native apps, choosing the framework React Native for platform mobile app development will make them available on both Android and iOS. The progressive web app is the future in cross-platform development due to the similarity with native apps experience, but no need to install it through the app stores. 

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In this article, we’ll elaborate more on the PWA as a primary cross-platform mobile app. Some of its basic functionality includes push notifications, work offline, device hardware access, applicable for both Android and Apple operating system devices. 

What is a Progressive Web App (PWA)?

What Is a Progressive Web App (PWA)

The progressive web app approach is somewhere between mobile apps and mobile websites. These web apps can run within a browser. PWAs are available and can be opened by almost any device, desktop, or mobile. The PWA cross platform development tools and technologies that are used to build apps are HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and JS frameworks such as Vue or Angular. A great example of PWAs are Twitter Lite and Uber. 

Some benefits that users and businesses get if they choose PWA is the following:

Quick page loading

Just by using service workers for caching, request processing and other functions PWAs are 2 to 3 times faster than regular websites. The quick response and loading speed results in an improved user experience that boosts the conversion rates. 

No need for installs or updates 

PWAs don’t need downloads or updates because they act as a regular website. Users can open them through a web browser and installation is optional. This is unlike native apps that require a download. In case you want to download the PWA app to your computer, the web app manifest which is a JSON file will tell the browser how it should act when the app is installed on a desktop or mobile device. 

Taking up less space

When compared to native apps, PWAs are much lighter and don’t take as much space. 

Available offline or with a slow Internet connection

The caching information in the Service Worker file will make the PWAs load even if other web pages don’t.

How do Progressive Web Applications Work?

The progressive web application development is done on service workers in JavaScript. The needs and tasks of service workers are defined beforehand and kept separately as a script. As a result, there is a proper configuration of the elements, so the PWA can load content even before the user clicks on the URL link. 

These apps will automatically cache in the background, which later on enables working while offline. There also aren’t any delays when it comes to calling a different web page. When the progressive web app is launched there has to be an application shell that will adjust the view according to the device that is viewing it. The application shell is also responsible for making sure that the design, look, and appeal are very similar to a native application.

What are the Key Components of a PWA?

What Are the Key Components of a PWA

We have gathered four features that make PWA special. The four pieces that compete with the PWA puzzle are the following:

Service Worker 

The service worker makes the website feel more like an app, enabling websites to download and cache files on a device. Whenever a user accesses a PWA, the service worker takes over, downloading the first view as well as other background content. When the content is cached on the device, the loading is faster. Service workers are also enabled to send push notifications, providing access if there is limited connectivity or the user is offline. 

Secure HTTPS

The delivery of a website happens over a secure connection because of service workers. However, this wouldn’t be a big issue for PWAs and websites because according to Google’s recommendations, everything should be delivered over HTTPS.

Web Manifest

It is the JSON file providing basic meta-information about the app. Some of those are app icons, background color, name, etc.

An Icon

It is an image that the user will see on their home screen as soon as they install the app.

Final Thoughts

Whenever you have a mobile application idea, you should be aware that by working with the right web developers you can get a quality, future-oriented app.

Progressive Web Application (PWA) is truly considered the future of multi-platform development because of its application on several devices, the improved speed, and the easiness that requires no installation or updates. Its availability on both Android and iOS makes PWA an app of the future. 

So, for now, explore something more into this topic and see what amazing things PWA can offer you!

IT and talent solutions
Intersog is a leading IT solutions provider in the United States and other countries. The company has provided agile software engineering and staffing services for Fortune 500 corporations, tech startups, and SaaS businesses for over eighteen years. Why Intersog.