What is a PWA?
Today, more than 60% of total internet usage is happening via mobile phone. Portability, cheap hardware, easy access to internet and the increased number of services on the internet and on the 4G/5G networks are some of the reasons why.
If companies have a dedicated native mobile apps, there's a possibility that many users will prefer their web responsive version to avoid downloading and installing due to memory and hardware constraint or some other personal preference.
Let's take the example of Whatsapp, on your phone. When there is no network, you can still open the app, check past messages and even reply to someone. When the phone gets the internet connection, the messages are being automatically sent in the background.
This is what PWA promises to provide in web apps. It enables web apps to load when there is no network, sync in the background and seamlessly do things while providing a native-like experience for your users.
Progressive Web Apps are user experiences that have the reach of the web, and are:
Reliable: load instantly and never show the downasaur, even in uncertain network conditions;
Fast: respond quickly to user interactions with silky smooth animations and no janky scrolling;
Engaging: feel like a natural app on the device, with an immersive user experience.
This new level of quality allows Progressive Web Apps to earn a place on the user's home screen.
When launched from the user’s home screen, service workers enable a Progressive Web App to load instantly, regardless of the network state.
53% of users will abandon a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load! And once loaded, users expect them to be fast—no janky scrolling or slow-to-respond interfaces.
Progressive Web Apps are installable and live on the user's home screen, without the need for an app store. They offer an immersive full screen experience with help from a web app manifest file and can even re-engage users with web push notifications.
The Web App Manifest allows you to control how your app appears and how it's launched. You can specify home screen icons, the page to load when the app is launched, screen orientation, and even whether or not to show the browser chrome.
PWAs Come to Desktop and Chrome OS
Google I/O '19
Progressive Web Apps aren't just for mobile any more, they make it possible to deliver high quality, capable apps on Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome OS.
We'll dive into the key things you need to know about how to build them, some of the unique features they offer, best practices you should be following, and how some of our favorite desktop PWAs were built.