Advantages of Progressive Web Applications
Traditional Web Apps
Traditional web apps are different from native apps because rather than a screen icon; they are made accessible through a web browser. Web applications are beneficial because unlike native apps, they are easier to maintain - due in part to them possessing common code across various platforms. One of the biggest selling points however, is avoiding the process of having to get listed on app stores.
Web applications are not without their own shortcomings though; considering they are not installed directly on your mobile—without internet connectivity, a web app is relatively useless. Hybridizing mobile and traditional web apps create a new entity though, one that takes advantages of the strengths in both native mobile and web applications: Progressive Web Apps.
Progressive Web Apps
Progressive web apps are progressive because they work in old and new browsers, although they do benefit when used with modern browsers. They also deliver a more app-like user experience. Similar to native applications, PWA’s can have icons placed either on your desktop, or in your toolbar, providing easy accessibility. By combining both native and traditional web applications, PWA’s are able to achieve the benefits of each, while mitigating their shortcomings. In fact, Pinterest – a popular image sharing site – experienced a 40% increase in time spent on their site, and 44% higher user generated ad revenue after implementing their new progressive web app.
A major advantage to using progressive web apps is the avoidance of app stores, and their strict limitations. Another important benefit not to be overlooked, is the growing presence of “app fatigue”. The 2017 U.S. Mobile App Report revealed a shocking 50% of smartphone users in the US don't download any applications per month. By focusing more on the user experience, PWA’s can provide more value to your customers, and your organization.
Arguably one of the most important features of a progressive web app is its flexibility. Although originally intended for mobile use, PWA’s function just as well on desktop, television, and tablet screens. Offline mode is also of benefit, because information a user has previously accessed is made available for use without the need of an internet connection; something native apps have yet to acheive.
In terms of maintenance, progressive web apps also boast simplicity over their app-store-distributed counterparts. Rather than having to submit an update package file to the store, PWA’s can simply be updated directly through the server.
So far you might be thinking – “why would anybody choose native over progressive web apps?”. However, there are a few shortcomings associated with obtaining your own web app. The main downfall is the lack of support on iOS devices, limiting your applications reach. Secondly, unlike native apps downloaded directly onto your phone, these web applications are unable to sync with your phones functionalities. Things like GPS location, calendars, contacts, or any other features native apps typically interface with, are unavailable to PWA’s.
Progressive web apps are changing the face of software development. Not only do they experience a variety of user benefits, but they also improve performance overall—see Pinterest’s Progressive Web App Performance Case Study. Increased time spent on site, increased ad revenue, as well as conversions are just a few of the benefits you can expect from replacing your native application with a web application.
Overall, PWA’s are:
- Easier to develop
- More useful for users
- Easier to install, maintain, and keep secure
- Easier to grow as your company grows
- Can be run on any type of device (desktop, mobile, tablet)
Let's discuss your next web-based application. Contact us directly at 1-800-650-8882 or fill out a contact us form on our website and we'll help you determine how to make your next web app a massive success!