There’s always talk of the latest trending mobile applications in the air – in today’s internet-driven culture, mobile apps are always centerstage, always in conversation – to the point where their aesthetic and functioning have created a particularly distinguishable user experience defined by convenience and comfort. Mobile applications have indubitably established themselves as preferable in the consumers’ minds at large. In light of this, many corporations are turning to “progressive web applications” – websites that function and feel like mobile apps.
Progressive web applications combine the best of both worlds – web and mobile apps; it is practically a website designed using web technology, but it functions and feels like using an app. Developments in browsers, Push APIs and Cache along with the utilization of service workers have allowed web developers to work offline, receive notifications and install the web application on to home screens.
Progressive web applications as opposed to native mobile applications in app stores can make use of the availability of the world wide web’s huge ecosystem, community and plugins, and are easier to deploy and maintain for developers. Since any user will have to run identical versions of the website code (unlike native apps whose versions are fragmented), developers need not take heed of maintaining the API with backwards-compatibility.
Why use Progressive Web Applications?
Mobile applications usually involve a relatively long time commitment from consumers. They have to browse and identify, download, install and open it for use. This may not seem too significant, but studies indicate that apps lose about 20% of its users along the way.
However, when mobile apps deliver push notifications, they can significantly increase customer retention. Mobile apps can perform better than websites since they consume lesser data and work faster. Customers are also more likely to reopen apps than websites.
Progressive web applications combine these functional, user-friendly features of both mobile apps and websites. They can engage and retain customers easily, while delivering a user-friendly and high performance experience.
A progressive web application can serve as a platform for customers to frequently return to, and it is not a compromise compared to a website. Progressive web applications may require businesses to make choices about what functionalities are accessible offline, and the course to navigate the user through while providing an app-like experience.
The concepts and characteristics of progressive web applications can also be applied to better websites that may already have user interfaces that function like apps.
A progressive web application can be defined by the following features:
- Dynamic and Resourceful
A progressive web application is, by definition, capable of working on any device and enhancing the user experience while utilizing any of the device or browser attributes to be progressive. Modern APIs, innovative new APIs and Web Assembly can enable users to access systems of files, and use clipboards and app icon badges.
Progressive web applications can be installed onto the devices’ home screens so that they become readily available. They are launched in distinct windows rather than browser tabs and this changes users’ perceptions of it; they are enticed into interacting with it more frequently. It feels like it came with the device as it can be searched for on the device and switched to using the app switcher.
- Device-friendly UI
The user interface must be able to adapt to innumerable distinct devices and their various features like screen size and form factor. Some keyboard shortcuts that may have been reserved for the browser experience, can become available with web apps. They are capable of registering content from another application or being the default to manage various kinds of files.
Any network request may be intercepted via the service workers and since progressive web applications are more personalized, they must be protected by hosting over HTTPS. This can help businesses avoid a man-in-the-middle attack. Web apps also offer a user-oriented model of permissions, coupled with the built-in security of the web that alleviate user concerns over security and privacy.
New content must be updated whenever users connect to the Internet.
Websites must use URI in order to show the present status of the progressive web application. It can reload whenever the app’s URL is shared or bookmarked.
Mobile apps incentivize users into reopening through push notifications, and a web app must similarly be able to use notifications strategically and effectively.
- Function like an app
Progressive web applications look like native apps and are designed based on an application shell model, while minimizing page refreshes.
- Accessible through search engines
Since progressive web applications are practically websites, they come up in search engine results when anything related is input in search bars. Native applications lose out to web apps at this point too, since they are not as discoverable.
- Fast & Independent of Connectivity
One of the most significant attributes of progressive web applications is that they can work with low connectivity or even offline at high speeds. This helps in keeping users engaged as scrolling, functioning and animation remain smooth. Users should not have to wonder if any interactions like clicking buttons may have been missed.
Digital customer interactions can transform your brand image, and a well-designed progressive web application can give customers the impression of a business that knows what it’s doing. NetFriday offers you web development services that can deliver a progressive web application with the following core features:
- Installable from any web browser
- Adaptable to the idiosyncrasies of your industry and your business
- Optimized for speed and high performance
- Follows all web content accessibility guidelines
- Discoverable among top search results using SEO
- Functioning on any screen size
- A customized offline page
- Usable with whatever input type – touch, keyboard, stylus or mouse
- Permission requests for the use of powerful APIs are contextualized and used only when absolutely required
- Coding best practices that allow for the introduction of new details anytime
NetFriday can design a progressive web application that is swift, user-friendly, practical and loaded with diverse functionalities. NetFriday delivers the web app experience that can make your brand persist in consumer minds.