Why Your Company Needs a Progressive Web App
Progressive web apps or, as they are also called, PWA are a completely new concept combining features of both mobile and web apps. That is why they promise their owner stable operation offline along with high speed and performance.
Roughly speaking, a progressive web app is a website looking like a mobile app but working as a web app. On the one hand, such a concept may seem perspective and promising but, on the other hand, can cause certain difficulties.
Can’t your business really do without a progress web app? Let’s figure it out together with Umbrella IT company who knows web and mobile development from A to Z.
ADVANTAGES OF PWA APPS
As you already know, progressive web apps for business are a relatively new type of apps occurred in 2015. Nevertheless, in such a short period of time, it has become popular within many large companies like Telegram, Aliexpress, Flipboard, and others.
What are the benefits of progressive web apps over others since they have rushed into IT market?
- COMPATIBILITY WITH ALL THE PLATFORMS
Since a usual app can’t work on all platforms simultaneously, you will probably wonder which platform to choose. For example, you won’t be able to use iOS or Android apps on your computer. However, this becomes possible with PWA applications.
Since a progressive web application works through a browser it is compatible with all the devices and platforms. And due to the adaptive design, any browser will display an optimal beforehand prepared version of the interface for each screen size and resolution. So it will be easy and convenient for users to use such an app wherever they open it.
- QUICK INSTALLATION
Users do not need to go to official web stores, search for the right application and wait installation time. Instead of this, they can save the website shortcut to the home screen and use it as a usual app.
All the important components of the app have already been saved into your web browser's cache when you first visited the website. Therefore, when you add an application shortcut to your device there will be no need to download it and you will be able to immediately find the desired icon on your home screen.
- APP SMALL SIZE
Probably sooner or later all the users face the problem of a lack of memory on their devices, and to make room one has to sacrifice his favorite photos, musical compositions and, most often, rarely used applications.
Progressive web apps solve this problem: since the main components of the PWA application are saved in the browser's cache, the size of the app becomes minimal and takes up very little space in the phone memory. Therefore, even if the users’ devices are out of memory, it will be unprofitable for them to delete your application due to its small size.
- OFFLINE OPERATION MODE
Though PWA apps work through the browser of a device they have an offline mode. So all the functions users are able to use having access to the Internet will also be active in the offline mode.
All the users will certainly appreciate this advantage of PWA since it makes these apps irreplaceable in any business. For example, having built a route for a long trip you won’t lose your way when the Internet connection is not available. Or you won’t definitely miss a reminder to take medicines on time when your device is not connected to the Internet.
- PUSH NOTIFICATIONS
Speaking of reminders: progressive web apps can not only send notifications to the users but also do it offline.
So, even if any user has not opened your application for a long time and has probably forgotten about it completely you can gently remind yourself with the help of a push notification once a user has the Internet connection and tell him about the news of your app. For example, you published a new article on the blog or added information about new places in the city, and maybe you have a promo action and discounts in the app.
Unlike usual applications, users of progressive web apps won’t even notice when exactly the update takes place.
Today all the browsers use the Service Worker API script allowing to open a page in the background mode inaccessible to users where the update process takes place. As a result, users will only see the result of the update, namely, the updated version of the app having restarted it but not the process itself.
Since PWA apps are websites and have their own URLs you can use the most popular SEO methods to have your application ranked higher than the other ones in search engines results for certain keywords and phrases.
For example, you can:
- Use meta tags
- Add keywords to the application code
- Make link building
- Fill the app with bright and unique content
- Insert keywords into app texts
DISADVANTAGES OF PWA APPLICATIONS
As you can see, progressive web apps have a number of undeniable advantages over usual applications. Nevertheless, this does not mean they have no disadvantages.
Let’s take a look at the problems you are to face choosing a PWA app for your business:
- LACK OF KNOWLEDGE
As you already know, the concept of PWA applications is quite new and, accordingly, it has many pitfalls which no one has ever faced.
Today there is no large community of PWA application developers, unlike usual apps. And this means that you and your team may become pioneers in this field and find solutions to emerging problems yourselves.
- NOT SUPPORTED BY SOME BROWSERS
Though progressive web applications are compatible with all the platforms, not all the browsers support them.
For example, Chrome and Opera have already begun to support PWA apps. Firefox and Microsoft are planning to add this feature in the near future. But Apple gives no comments on its plans to support this type of applications yet.
- ANALYTICS MESS
Since PWA applications work as simple websites, you can track all the data about visitors and users with the help of various analytical systems, such as Google Analytics.
However, the analytics from Google can track actions done by users online only. So it remains unclear how you can gather data about offline usage of the app. Probably you will have to develop custom tools yourself to be able to track this information.
- RISK TO LOSE NEW DATA
Undoubtedly, the offline mode is a great advantage. However, there is a certain risk that having worked offline your new data won’t be saved but lost.
If your app works incorrectly or has some bugs the new unsaved data may not be synchronized or not fully synchronized with the rest of the data. This can lead to a loss of information important for a user once he exits the offline mode. And for sure this can seriously worsen the reputation of your application.
- NECESSITY TO LOG IN ALL THE TIME
Every time a user opens your application the browser page reboots. This may cause a problem that each time a user opens your app he will have to log in once again, i.e. to enter his email and password or use social networks.
The necessity to constantly enter the data will only make a user feel uncomfortable and annoyed what may eventually lead to the fact that he will refuse using your app and find a competitive replacement.
WHO PWA APPLICATIONS WILL PERFECTLY SUIT
Progressive web apps features are over along with our article. But now you know both pros and cons of progressive web apps. However, the strengths prevail.
In any case, Umbrella IT advises owners of the following businesses to take a closer look at this type of application:
- Social media platforms
- Electronic newspapers and magazines
So PWA applications are perfect for those who plan to develop a bright application with minimal functionality and a large amount of content.
It is unlikely that users will download some heavy application to occasionally read interesting articles and find out the news happening in the world. But they will gladly add the icon of your app to their home screens to come back when they have a minute.
If you are ready to create a convenient and memorable application for your business and want to discuss all the development details ‒ feel free to email the Umbrella IT team or click on the button below.