Are Progressive Web Apps the Future?

There’s been a lot of buzz around Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) lately, with many claiming it to be the future of web development, especially as we continue to use our mobile devices more. PWAs are basically web applications that use modern web techniques to deliver a native app-like experience to users. 

What is a Progressive Web App?

PWAs are web apps that look and function just the same as native mobile apps. They work on any browser and users don’t have to download via the app store. Just tap the link and the PWA is installed on the user’s device.

Just like a native mobile app, a PWA will be displayed on the homepage, in the app drawer, can send push notifications and integrate into your system settings.

How do Progressive Web Apps Improve Browsing Experience?

Fast & Streamlined

Progressive Web Apps are based on new technology known as service workers. These provide instant and reliable loading irrespective of your network connection. For example, Flipkart Lite is a PWA specifically designed for users with 2G network access.

Increased User Engagement

You may have observed that while accessing sites with PWA features prompts users to ‘Allow’ sending of notifications. This a powerful, but subtle message, particularly in the case of social networking websites. As a user, tapping ‘Allow’ will let the website notify you of messages or updates, even when you’re not on the site. Google has also added the ‘Add to Home Screen’ function.

Just two taps are required to add the site to their home screen. This makes it easier for users to return. Once you’ve added a PWA to your home screen, the app is cached and you’ll have a direct link.

Offline Access

Thanks to service workers, offline access of a previously visited site is now possible. Services Workers are basically scripts that work independently of your app and respond to connectivity changes, network request requests etc. Businesses have been able to use this technology in many different, creative ways. The Guardian even built an offline crossword puzzle when there is a loss of network connectivity, leading to more customer engagement.

How can Progressive Web Apps Help your Business?

Many businesses that have decided to develop their own PWA have seen remarkable results; in 2015, India’s largest Ecommerce site Flipkart saw a 70% increase in conversions, 40% higher re-engagement rate and 3x less data usage. The Washington Post also saw an 88% improvement in load times for AMP content.

Here at Ascensor, we’re really excited about the new paradigm shift in branded mobile experiences. We’re already building more and more apps for businesses who get a lot of traffic from mobile devices and tablets. Have you thought about a Progressive Web App for your website? Get in touch with us today and get involved in the future of web development. 

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