Progressive Web Apps combine the best of web and app experiences. Progressive Web App development solves the problems of modern app users: complicated installation processes, long download times and lack of engagement. It makes every interaction with the user count, starting with the first launch. Let’s look into how this happens, and what it can mean for your business.

Progressive Web Apps is a concept developed in response to a need. Engineers observed that web apps lack some of the advantages of mobile apps, while mobile apps struggle with problems web apps don’t have. To fix both issues, they created something of a compromise between the two: apps that run in the browser but offer the level of experience available to native mobile apps. No install required.

Progressive & responsive approach

One of the main goals of PWA is to create apps that can work for every user and deliver a high-quality experience, regardless of browser, system, device or internet speed. Thanks to their responsive web design, they look beautiful on a phone, tablet, or a high-resolution desktop screen.

Push notifications

Having the ability to alert users to events, incoming messages and the like can be extremely useful. This becomes possible with PWA. Services workers in the background allow you to send notifications to users on any device - as long as they’ve agreed to receive them the first time they launched the app (or possibly later). This is great for engagement, re-engagement and usability, as users receive gentle reminders of what they’ve indicated is important to them.

System & browser compatibility

Progressive Web Apps are supported on all major modern browsers, including Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Edge. And even though not every browser has ServiceWorker support, it’s perfectly safe to use the functionality in your app - it won’t break the experience of those users who don’t have it. As more browsers add full PWA support, the number of users reaping the benefits will rise.

Offline mode and support for low-speed bandwidth networks

Here again the magic of service workers makes it possible for users to enjoy your app (with limited functionality) offline or when they’re experiencing a slower connection. The app will load instantly when launched, improving engagement and user satisfaction. “53% of users will abandon a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load,” according to Google. Clearly, it’s worth it to make that an extremely unlikely event.

Mobile app advantages

Progressive Web Apps offer interfaces similar to native mobile apps, including custom splash screens on launch and the option to add the app’s icon to the user’s home screen. This means that users can effectively ‘install’ a Progressive Web App without ever visiting an app store or looking at a download progress bar.

Web app advantages

Progressive Web Apps are web apps, so they get all the perks. The can be indexed by search engines, linked to by sharing the application’s URL, and they don’t require download or installation. Users can easily find an app like this simply through Googling it.

Safety and self-updates

Progressive Web Apps are always up-to-date because they use the service worker update process. They are also served via HTTPS, a secure communication protocol, so you never have to worry about data leaks or security breaches.

Conclusions

PWA experts stress three main characteristics of Progressive Web Apps: reliability, speed and engagement. These apps meet users’ needs fast, regardless of network conditions, and offer a satisfying experience as well as great re-engagement options. Best of all, building them isn’t a complicated enterprise - they can be created at about the same rate as any other web app, provided the development team knows what they’re doing. Check out this selection of amazing Progressive Web Apps - maybe you’ll be inspired to make your own!

If you like the benefits of Progressive Web Apps but aren’t sure they fit your project, we’re here to help. iRonin’s experts have years of experience in building commercial web and mobile software projects. We’re happy to offer our advice.