PWA’s have recently generated a lot of hype, with many claiming that they represent the future of Web Development, particularly in terms of mobile devices. A progressive Web App is basically just a web application that gives users a native app-like experience using contemporary web technology. These web apps use progressive enhancement to provide push notifications, background synchronization and caching.
PWA’s have been around for more than 2 years, but the response has been rather limited. A selected few major players have embraced this mentality, although most haven’t really do so. The ideal browsers to test your PWAs may be Chrome and Mozilla as Apple hasn’t got into this yet.
PWA is it really a Good Option?
On one side, we have native applications, which are undoubtedly quick and effective in most situations. On the other hand, certain websites are rather slow, and as a result of network problems, it only becomes worse.
In order to address these challenges with slow connections, Twitter and Google started the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) in 2016. PWA’s operate without a glitch in every possible situation. There is never a difficulty when there is a strong connection. The problem emerges when we get the error page and there is no connectivity.
But if our connection is slow, this might become really annoying. We can only see a blank screen while the website appears to be loading. We wait patiently, but the website never appears to load. The best thing about Progressive Web Apps is that they provide the best user experience in both slow and no connectivity situations.
Why using PWA is reasonable?
A study found that an average user spends 80% of his time using apps on just three different apps (For me its Chrome, Quora and Medium).
The other apps mostly do nothing during this period, using up valuable memory. Additionally, developing an app is around 10 times more expensive than developing a website for the same purpose. If you want to create and maintain distinct code bases for other platforms like Android, iOS, and the web, the cost might increase significantly.
Native App features that PWAs can use:
- Full Screen
- Offline Working
- Push Notifications
- Splash Screen
Progressive Web Apps have access to several other such features. The above details just scratch the surface of what PWAs are capable of. However, certain traditional functionalities are currently limited to native applications.
Native App features that PWAs can’t use now:
- Phonebook Access
- Modifying System Settings
PWAs are developing quickly, so maybe these functionalities will be included soon.
Major Components of PWA:
It is important to note that the service worker doesn’t simply cache the response data; it also caches the entire actual response, including all HTTP headers. This implies that your application doesn’t need any special code to manage the cache; it can just send network queries and process the responses.
It is a JSON file that specifies an app icon, the program’s start options (standalone, full-screen, in the browser, etc.), and any other relevant details. It may be found in the app’s root. Each page that has to be displayed must have a link to this file.
The following code is added to the HTML page’s head section:
<link rel=”manifest” href=”/manifest.json”>