Mike Mukul

Mike Mukul

Why Choose a Progressive Web App?

Learn more about the features in this latest technology

A Progressive Web App is a web application that looks like and acts like a mobile app, and these apps are the latest in the tech world. It is a downloadable technology that looks and acts like a mobile app. Why should you choose a progressive mobile app over other mobile technology? Here we list out the features of a progressive mobile app, and how it compares to a mobile app.

Why a Progressive Web App?

For a quick overview, here is a chart to show the difference between a progressive mobile app and Mobile App. [Get a quote now].

 

Features

Progressive Web App Mobile App

Development Time

Fast Slow

Cost

Low High

Updates

None

Required
Data

Saves Offline

Saves Offline

Version Control

None Required

Required

Device Accessibility Yes – Limited as of now

Yes

Download

Not Required, Accessible Online Required
Search Engine Accessible Yes

No

A progressive mobile app is hassle free. Typically, to use a native app you have to find it in an app store, download the app, install it and only then can you use it. Let’s be honest, many users don’t want to go through that many steps to get your app. So they won’t.
The result: less downloads, fewer customers.

A progressive mobile app uses modern web technologies like Service Works and Push APIs, but acts like a mobile app. This means the app can be installed on the home screen, used offline and will send push notifications, which is typically expected from a native mobile application. PWAs are easy to deploy and maintain in comparison to native apps. In native apps it’s a headache to handle the backward compatibility of the APIs to support all installed versions of the app.

A progressive mobile app is made to use immediately on the web. It will provide you the option to add it to the homescreen of your device, but you aren’t tied to downloading it. This takes away the multi-step process of native app installation. Progressive mobile apps use the capabilities of modern web technologies and provide an app-like experience.

Characteristics of a Progressive Mobile App

No Dependency
Made to work on any type of device or browser and use the features of that device/browser.

Discoverable
The platform of a PWA is on the web. In reality, it’s a website, so it is discoverable in search engines.

Looks like a Native App
When a user interacts with a PWA it has the feel of a native app.

Shareable
Since it uses the web, the PWA is shareable via URL. It’s helpful to maintain the state of the app.

Installable
It can be installed on any device and added as a home screen icon to easily launch like a native app.

Available Offline
These apps work in low Internet connectivity or offline mode by using the service workers.

Responsive
A PWA must fit with device form factors: size, shape, style, layout and position of the PWA’s major parts.

Updated Content
As mentioned, it works in offline mode, but needs Internet to provide any new content to the users.

Secure
All the content of PWAs is safe and served via HTTPS.

Components of Progressive Web Apps

App Shell

The application shell is a wrapper of basic HTML, CSS and Javascript – containing the app header, font info – and helps to load the user interface quickly. Progressive web apps store the application shell in a browser cache so that it will instantly load every time. In native apps the application shell is part of the application, but Progressive Web Apps fetch it over the network. A progressive web app caches the app shell separately than the content of the app. This makes for a faster download of design and content.

Service Workers

A progressive mobile app has a script that runs behind the scenes, kind of like a middleman between a request and the server. Service works are independent from the web pages and facilitate different features that do not need web interface (like background syncing or push notifications).

Service workers listen to the events whenever a network request occurs and control it to allow or not allow it to go to the remote server. As just a script file that runs in the background, service workers depend on the developer to effectively manage push notification, caching, and other requests.

App Manifest

App manifest is a JSON file that contains the app’s metadata information.

This is the file that enables browsers to provide an option to install the app on the device home screen. This file includes various items like the name, theme color and icon size for the app. There can be more than one icon size defined in this file for different devices.

Many online tools are available to generate the web app for you, like Web App Manifest Generator. This manifest file is the key that tells browsers that our responsive website or webapp is installable by linking it with a main HTML page. Below is a sample manifest.json file

manifest.json

{
  "name": "Event Management",
  "short_name": "EventMgmt",
  “description”: “Event Management Progressive Web App”
  "lang": "en-US",
  "start_url": "/events",
  "theme_color": "#acdee7",
  "display": "standalone",
  "icons": [
           {
             "src": "splashscreen.png",
             "sizes": "192x192",
             "type": "png"
           },
           {
             "src": "logo.png",
             "sizes": "100x100",
             "type": "png"
           },
           {
             "src": "banner.jpg",
             "sizes": "300x100",
             "type": "jpg"
           }
 ]}

Conclusion

Making a mobile app is high cost with very little ROI. By offering your customers a progressive mobile app, you save them thousands while opening their company’s marketing to the mobile crowd.

Here at IT Hands we want our customers to get the best return on their investment. That’s why we provide a team that can build progressive mobile apps, a web- and mobile-friendly technology. Email us at solutions@ithands.com to get a quote.

IT Hands provides quality, custom web development services to web companies and ad agencies. Our globally-dispersed team is a tight-knit community focused on delivering excellent results using agile processes. In over 16 years, more than 350 clients have been thrilled by the competency, trustworthy consultation, increased capacity and cost effectiveness we bring to every project.

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