The web browsers of today and the apps on which they run have evolved and are markedly more powerful and feature-rich than they’ve ever been.
Moreover, web apps are as becoming as performant and capable as their native counterparts.
As the W3C standards have become more universal across web browsers, access to device features like camera, GPS, GPU, and motion detection have become ubiquitous virtually on every device.
Eventually, downloading apps from the Apple store or Google Play Store onto your device will soon become a thing of the past and all of your apps will be hosted on the cloud.
Progressive web apps (PWA) are technically regular web pages but can appear to the user like native mobile applications.
This new application type attempts to combine features offered by most modern browsers with the benefits of the native app experience.
Google is actively pushing the PWA model for mobile apps — and for good reason. According to Mobile Metrix, the average number of native app installs per month is zero.
Many think having a native app can encourage consumers to engage with their brand better and can increase repeat business, but research shows that this may not be the case.
According to Ankur Singla, Founder of Tapzo, about 60 to 80% of of users uninstall any app that they install within 90 days (except for the top 10 apps). The reasons are lack of storage or users reconsidering their use.
With PWAs, on the other hand, users will be able access to the app across every device (Android, iOS, Windows and Web) without every having to worry about storage, updates, and download time. Better yet, developing PWAs costs a fraction of developing native apps.
Unless the app requires a lot of processing power, like a 3D heavy video game, it’s best to ship it as a PWA and forgo the Android and IOS platforms.
Here’s an example of a successful PWA built by WEGO, the travel search engine.
Image credit: Vexels