The average user abandons a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. PWAs ensure a powerful, fast and intuitive user experience every single time.
What are PWAs?
Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are web-based applications that utilize the functions of native apps within a browser. Google introduced this technology to the market and touted three main benefits:
- Reliability — regardless of network conditions, PWAs load in their entirety and provide the user with full functionality. That means offline work is no obstacle.
- Speed — Every user interaction is countered with a fast reaction. There are no issues as they click and scroll through the application.
- Engagement — Though PWAs are not native applications, they offer the same type of immersive experience as the most popular apps on the market. Including:
- Adding the App Icon to your Mobile Phone Screen
- Push Notifications
- Seamless Payment Integration
Engage your users today and develop a PWA
How do PWAs work?
Progressive Web Apps employ many of the same features as native apps, such as push notifications and full screen UX. However, there are three key factors that separate PWAs from their native competition.
- Service Workers: This is the technology that powers PWAs. Essentially, this is a worker script that continues functioning in the background, independent of the functions within the PWA. More specifically, the service worker does the following:
- enables offline functionality
- creates and sends push notifications
- caches content
- sends network requests
- responds to changes in connectivity
- updates background content
- App Shell: This is an app design approach that loads and caches both your UI shell and the content within as two different entities. This means all the familiar aspects of the PWA will load immediately, with the updated content following soon after. App Shell design gives the impression that the PWA is working at full functionality at all times.
- App Manifest: PWAs can easily be installed on the home page. In the past, apps could be pinned to a browser’s home page, but this version of the app lacked the full functionality users expected. Now, a manifest file is written to link to the app’s main HTML page and even install a native banner.
Why you should use PWAs
There are several reasons that PWAs are beneficial.
Developing a native app can cost ten times as much as a PWA. The more platform capability you add to your app, the more expensive it gets. PWAs give you the reach you seek but at a price that doesn’t blow your budget.
Research indicates that most users spend the bulk of their time on three apps, despite having dozens downloaded to their devices. Designing and releasing a native app is no guarantee that it will be downloaded or engaged with at all. Since PWAs can be installed on users’ home screen (smartphone), you can easily gain more visibility for your app and even encourage more consistent engagement through the use of push notifications.
PWAs are secured through HTTPS web addresses, and almost all major browsers offer full support. Google Chrome, Opera, and Firefox offer full functionality. Microsoft is currently working on updates for PWAs. Apple’s Safari browser currently offers limited functionality, but has promised new improvements in the near future.
Today’s mobile devices are equipped to handle full browser experiences. Advances like the A8 chip, found in the latest versions of Apple’s iPhones, has a speed 50x faster than that of the chip in the first iPhone. Therefore, PWAs can and will work very smoothly on mobile as well as desktop devices. Thus providing a mobile solution that doesn’t require different apps for different OS’.
Recent studies have shown that mobile apps, and the entire app store model, are no longer effective. 90 days after installation, nearly all daily users have cut down their use of an app or discontinued using the app altogether. As PWAs are directly accessible through a web browser a user isn’t required to download and install your app. Your app is directly accessible to the via the browser that they are already. Additionally, a PWA can send push notifications even when the browser is closed encouraging the users to return and engage with your content. This means higher retention rates, which in turn translate to higher conversions.