Journal for Developers

Understanding Progressive Web Apps

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Progressive Web Apps are experiences that combine the best of the web and best of the apps. No installations are required for progressive web apps and are useful to the users from the very first visit in a browser tab. In this journal entry, we will be understanding progressive web apps in a slight more details.

Understanding Progressive Web Apps

The app becomes more and more powerful, when the user progressively builds a relationship with the app over time. PWA loads quickly even on uncertain networks, sends out relevant notifications, icon is available on the home screen, and loads as a full-screen experience.

Progressive Web Apps are:

Reliable: Load Instantly even in flaky network conditions. The instant loading is handled by the Service Workers.

Fast: Users expect to loading time to be less than 3 seconds and they will tend to abandon your site if it takes more than the speculated time. And once the page is loaded they expect them to be fast – no janky scrolling or slow-to-respond interface.

Engaging: Progressive Web Apps are installable and live on the user’s home screen, without the need for an app store. They offer an immersive full screen experience with help from a web app manifest file and can even re-engage users with web push notifications.

What is a Progressive Web App?

A Progressive Web App is:

  • Progressive – Works for every user, regardless of browser choice because it’s built with progressive enhancement as a core tenet.
  • Responsive – Fits any form factor: desktop, mobile, tablet, or whatever is next.
  • Connectivity independent – Enhanced with service workers to work offline or on low-quality networks.
  • App-like – Feels like an app, because the app shell model separates the application functionality from application content.
  • Fresh – Always up-to-date thanks to the service worker update process.
  • Safe – Served via HTTPS to prevent snooping and to ensure content hasn’t been tampered with.
  • Discoverable – Is identifiable as an “application” thanks to W3C manifest and service worker registration scope, allowing search engines to find it.
  • Re-engageable – Makes re-engagement easy through features like push notifications.
  • Installable – Allows users to add apps they find most useful to their home screen without the hassle of an app store.
  • Linkable – Easily share the application via URL, does not require complex installation.

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