What Are Progressive Web Apps & How Do They Work?

January 30, 2023

There are a few different kinds of applications for devices in the wild, including native Android, native iOS, and conventional web apps. But a new breed of software is making waves in the industry called a Progressive Web App.

Progressive Web Apps are an exciting innovation in web application development. PWAs are growing in popularity, and it’s easy to see why.

Progressive Web Apps, also knowns as PWAs, are websites designed to look and feel like native mobile apps but without the need to download or install anything.

Read this guide to answer the following questions:

  • What are progressive web apps exactly?
  • What are some progressive web app examples?
  • What’s better in the progressive web apps vs native web app debate?

What are Progressive Web Apps?

In a nutshell, Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are websites designed to look and feel like native mobile apps. Typically, they’re created with technologies like JavaScript, HTML, and CSS and can be implemented on any web server.

PWAs are designed to provide a user experience that’s like a native app. They may offer features such as offline support, push notifications, and home screen shortcuts. Some well-designed PWAs may have advanced capabilities like accessing a device’s camera, microphone, and GPS. Moreover, PWAs are designed to be responsive. In other words, a nicely crafted PWA will be aesthetically pleasing and respond quickly on any device, regardless of screen size or resolution.

PWAs offer many benefits over conventional websites, including faster loading times, offline support, and the ability to send push notifications. Created by a top web app development team, Progressive Web Apps can be quite secure too. If you’re interested in developing an app for your company, PWAs are worth exploring.

What Are the Advantages of Progressive Web Apps?

Here are some of the advantages of Progressive Web Apps:

  • Faster loading than conventional websites, even on slower Internet connections.
  • An offline or low-quality mode that provides accessibility to users with an unstable Internet connection.
  • Easily accessible across multiple platforms, such as mobile devices and desktops. 
  • Some advanced user engagement features found in native apps such as push notifications.
  • Integration through app icons on a user home screen.
  • Linkability to specific URLs without a long or sophisticated installation process.
  • Progressive enhancement and cross-browser support.
  • User re-engagement through updates and new content.
  • Good security when developed with HTTPS.
  • Less data usage than conventional web apps.
  • One-click access when saved as a home screen icon.
  • Businesses may gain better conversion rates.
  • Lightweight despite being responsive and offering some advanced features.

How do Progressive Web Apps work?

Progressive Web Apps are made with web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Advanced PWAs take advantage of sophisticated technology like React Native. They may leverage special APIs to access native mobile hardware, software, and operating system features such as the camera, the file system, and push notifications.

When users visit a PWA-enabled website, their browsers automatically download the necessary files and store them in the cache. This process ensures that the PWA will work even if the user is offline or if the internet connection is slow. It also means that users don’t have to download a native app.

How Can Someone Make a PWA?

Your in-house development team can create a PWA with special tools like React Native, PWA Builder, and Angular CLI. However, it’s best to work with a team of specialists like Guaraná Technologies. We have the skills, experience, market expertise, and qualifications necessary to develop high quality software for mobile devices.

HTTPS and Progressive Web Apps

As you probably know, Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is an application protocol for distributed information systems, while Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is an extension of HTTP that uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) to encrypt and decrypt data. PWAs that use HTTPs secure communication between a user and the software by encrypting the data that travels between a device and a website.

Progressive Web App Examples

Uber, the incredibly successful ride-sharing company, opted for a Progressive Web App instead of a native app because of their rapid expansion into different markets.

Their ever-growing speedy expansion into different markets required a quick, responsive, lightweight, and device-agnostic app that could take advantage of some device features and perform optimally even when Internet connections are slow.

A cost-effective PWA served their needs perfectly.   

Other examples of PWAs include software from Starbucks, BMW, Flipboard, and Pinterest.

Progressive Web App vs Native App: Which is better for your business?

Let’s start by defining a native app. A Native App is a mobile app developed specifically for a particular platform, like iOS or Android. Native apps are written in specific languages that work with a platform, like Objective-C or Java. They are typically deployed through app stores, such as the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

On the other hand, PWAs are designed with modern web technologies and deployed through a web server.

The advantage of developing a PWA is that it’s cross-platform. In other words, your users can access it on an iOS or Android device. Modern PWAs are responsive and adaptable to different screen sizes.

In general, PWAs are cheaper to develop, take less time to launch, and can be updated without going through the app store approval process.

Monetizing PWAs is possible. Developers can utilize paid promotions, advertisements, and ad network connections to generate revenue through Progressive Web Apps.

However, while advanced PWAs can offer some native features like push notifications, they can’t offer all of them. In addition, PWAs can have some issues with web browser compatibility and support.

Meanwhile, native apps can take full advantage of a platform’s elements, such as operating system and device hardware features. When optimized, native apps offer users a better, more familiar, and more consistent experience to users than PWAs.

But native apps can suffer from performance issues on older hardware or when the connectivity is poor.

The type of app that works best for your organization depends on its needs. For low-cost development and fast cross-platform reach, a Progressive Web App may work best.

But a native app could be better if your enterprise needs sophisticated software that can be deployed through an official mobile marketplace and takes advantage of a platform’s complete features.

We Are a Top Progressive Web App Development Team

Whether you need a hybrid or native mobile applications, or a sleek PWA, you can rely on Guaraná Technologies. We can develop cutting-edge web applications and extend your mobile digital product to the web, allowing even more users to have an unmatched experience and boost your market reach.

Our team of skilled and experienced developers and designers can design, develop, and deliver aesthetically pleasing, easy to use, and fully functional progressive web apps for any sector.

As a team experienced in building cross-platform mobile apps and web applications, we deliver a similar experience across PWAs and native apps.

If you’re looking for mobile app development in Toronto and Montreal, rest assured that our team has expertise in many programming languages and technologies to deliver an excellent product to our clients.

We leverage languages and frameworks like React Native, Angular JS, JavaScript, Ruby on Rails, Node JS, and Mongo DB to create fully functional web apps and a superior experience. After carefully studying the needs and goals of your project, we’ll utilize the progressive web app creation tools for your objective.

Stages of PWA Development

Developing a PAW requires several stages.

  • Market: We identify the concept and objective of the application by working closely with the client and understanding their goals.
  • Design: Our experts create the components required for the Progressive Web Applicatioon. We create a visual guide to serve as a reference.
  • Development: Our development services are end to end, so your PWA is seamless and engaging. After continuous development and testing, we start the pre-launch marketing phase to connect with your potential users.
  • Launch: Guaraná Technologies continues support after launch. We monitor user feedback, perform A/B testing, and ensure the launch process is smooth. In addition, we complete any maintenance and offer key insights into user interactions.

The Future of Progressive Web Apps

Progressive Web Apps are gaining popularity because of the advantages they offer over conventional web apps and native apps. Not only are they quick and responsive, but they can function offline. They’re more flexible, too, as they can work on any web browser. With HTTPS, they can be quite secure.

PWAs face some challenges, though. They can’t use certain device features like native apps and aren’t supported by all browsers and devices.

Still, the future of PWAs looks good. As browsers develop, the support for PWAs should improve further.

by Guarana

Filed under App Funding


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