Technology is ever-changing and that leads businesses to evolve their use of technology at the same pace in order to outsmart their competitors in their respective business domain.
Since 2000 web development technologies have shifted from static to dynamic with the help of PHP, .NET, Java, client-side tools, and responsive web designs. However, with the launch of iPhone in 2007, the paradigm shifted to native apps and the whole app economy begun which has already experienced multi-fold exponential growth.
Native apps opened up a direct channel to reach consumers and it has quickly grown into one of the most powerful channels for businesses to transact, drive loyalty and direct one to one conversation with the customer.
Native apps offer the advantage of better user experience & better performance at runtime compare to load anything on browsers. Native apps also empower apps to use OS dependent features like geo-location, photo gallery, contact lists, NFC, Accelormeter, Gyroscope and usage of other Sensors and more.
Currently, the native apps are facing challenges like,
- Availability of Limited Memory on devices – Smartphones with limited available memory is a hurdle. Users are reluctant to download apps even though the app is useful.
- Native apps need to be developed for both platforms – iOS and Android
You cannot just go with one platform and expect the growth irrespective of the geography you are targeting!
- Maintenance cost of native apps are higher for both platforms
- Uniform experience for both platforms is a challenge and many apps fails to provide that to the users
As mobile evolves, so does the technology that comes with it. So what is next to overcome the challenges of native apps?
In 2015, designer Frances Berriman and Google Chrome engineer Alex Russell coined the term "PROGRESSIVE WEB APPS" to describe apps taking advantage of new features supported by modern browsers in their native operating system (OS) that are reliable, fast, and engaging.
As the title of the post suggests – it’s the future! Progressive Web Apps are beautiful!
So, What is Progressive Web Apps?
“A Progressive Web App uses modern web capabilities to deliver an app-like user experience.” – Progressive Web Apps
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.
Embracing change can be extremely difficult when you’ve dedicated years to learning the tricks of your trade, but with a little humility and some self-awareness, you can avoid being the old crank pining for the good all days.