This article introduces the topic of Progressive Web Apps: What are they? What makes them different? What are the benefits for companies?
What are Progressive Web Apps?
The web is considered a unique platform that enables worldwide user-centered communication. Because: the answer to the question of whether and how long the user stays on a website is up to him alone. Whether and how he shares content is also up to him. Apps and web apps provide them with applications that set new standards in terms of function and reach.
Progressive web apps, on the other hand, are hermaphrodites; they form a symbiosis of an app and a responsive website. They combine all the advantages of native apps, but do not have to be installed on the smartphone. For Google, PWAs are easier to crawl and the programming effort for companies is significantly lower and less expensive. The user experience goes significantly beyond that of a "normal" website, because PWAs load faster and still offer similar functions as a native app. The fact that such apps also work offline is another advantage.
Google in particular supports the development and use of such Progressive Web Apps. Why? Search engines such as Google and others have only limited access to native apps on smartphones. The user data that is so important for them remains largely hidden from them. PWAs, on the other hand, also allow search engines to obtain this data. But that's not all: Google ads can also be played out in Progressive Web Apps. This would open up another source of revenue for the search engine giant.
Progressive Web Apps and their characteristics
Progressive Web Apps are web applications that are designed to combine performance, reliability and installability. This gives the user the feeling of using an app. With the help of modern interfaces, recipients on different devices can be reached with the same code and still ensure maximum performance. Progressive Web Apps provide a reliable user experience characterized by fast load times and fluid, easy interaction.
The expectations of users have shifted; they not only want a responsive website, but also expect up-to-date content that is played even when the servers are busy. PWAs are installable and - unlike a "normal" website - are displayed in a separate window. Similar to an app, the user has the option to search for the web application on the end device. The web application is able to handle content from other applications or different file types. In addition to the aforementioned features that PWAs have in common with a website, apps offer other advantages. These include installability and offline mode, as well as the ability to send push messages to users.
Benefits for Businesses
Companies that have integrated such web applications into their user experience have achieved impressive results. The time spent on their website improved significantly, as did traffic and bounce rate. Content is accessible across different platforms, but the user can still use it as with a native app. Important for the playout in Google's search results: the search engine giant can index PWAs like websites. This is another reason why they are crucial when optimizing mobile devices.
User behavior and the possibilities of Progressive Web Apps
Progressive web apps are becoming increasingly popular. According to a study, smartphone and tablet users spend the majority of their time with apps and clearly prefer them to browsing in the browser. Nevertheless, it is relatively difficult to persuade users to install an app. This is evident in the number of websites visited: on average, each user visits over 100 different websites per month, but installs only a vanishingly small number of apps. Used wisely, Progressive Web Apps can give a company an increase in sales of around 20 percent.
Differences from other forms of application
One of the most significant differences between a native app and a PWA is that it runs in the web browser. Regardless of the device on which the PWA is installed, it always runs in the browser. However, this also has certain disadvantages. For example, only Chrome supports PWAs with all their functions, while Safari does not. Nevertheless, it is to be expected that all major Internet players such as Google, Apple and Co. will support and further develop the technology in the future because they have recognized the potential.
The differences between PWAs and apps are increasingly narrowing, as already many apps are no longer true native apps, but rather hybrid versions. These "hybrids" can be installed as an app as well as run via the browser.
The functions of a Progressive Web App are aligned with the usage framework. If the end device is only compatible with parts of the application, the user can still use it.
See the entire blog series on Progressive Web App here.
- The Progressive Web App and its uses
- How a Progressive Web App(AmPnBsP) works;
- Why a Progressive Web App is part of the digital future - benefits of using it
- Creating a Progressive Web App and the requirements.