In the ever-evolving landscape of web and mobile applications, a new player has revolutionized the way we interact online. Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) have gained significant attention recently, offering a compelling mix of web and mobile app functionalities. Delivering fast, engaging, and reliable experiences across various devices, PWAs are a game-changer for businesses and users alike. In this blog, we delve into the rise of PWAs, exploring their key features, benefits, and challenges that showcase their potential to reshape the digital landscape. Join us on this journey as we uncover the exciting world of PWAs and their impact on the web development future. We also explore why they are gaining prominence in the digital world and how they revolutionize the user experience.
The Mobile Application Revolution
Since the inception of smartphones, mobile app design and development has come a long way. Mobile applications have not only revolutionized the way users interact with technology but also how businesses engage with their customers. Mobile applications are a direct touchpoint for brands and businesses to connect with users and offer a personalized experience. Hence, brands can drive customer loyalty from users. Mobile app design and development should be immersive and interactive and should provide a priceless experience to users by engaging them. The reason mobile app design and development was taken to the next level was because of the limitations of traditional mobile applications. Some of the challenges faced are:
Higher Development Costs
Native and hybrid apps were two kinds of mobile applications that were designed by businesses for users. Although hybrid apps can run on both platforms (Android and iOS), their experience is no way near to a native app. A native application on the other hand requires separate efforts and financial resources making it an expensive option. Hence, native mobile applications were not accessible to everyone due to higher development costs.
App Store Dependencies
Mobile applications are to be published in app stores in order to reach customers. App stores (both Android and iOS) have certain guidelines and rules. It includes adhering to the regulations, and revenue sharing and requires app store approval. Since the process is complex and lengthy, traditional apps need to evolve to the next level for a better reach.
The mobile app design and development process is complex and hence, the size of each app is different. For example, a social networking app might consume less device storage space as compared to a gaming application. Traditional mobile applications require users to download and install apps taking up storage space on devices. Since the device storage is limited, it deterred users from trying new apps without having to delete the previous apps.
Updates and Maintenance
To enjoy the best experience and bug fixes, users are required to download and install newer versions of the mobile applications. While some users might not be able to do so, they would encounter compatibility issues. Mobile app design and development services need to improve their app over time hence, updating and maintenance is a strategic process.
Enter Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)
The new player we have been discussing up till now is PWA. A new approach to mobile app design and development, PWAs combine the mobile app and web app technology to deliver a unified experience of both worlds. Delivering a seamless app-like experience and user-friendliness of a web app, PWAs are the future of web development. The PWAs are distinct as compared to traditional applications, and certain factors set them apart. Let’s take a look at them:
Unlike native applications, PWAs are not required to be downloaded from app stores. Through web browsers, these mobile applications can be directly accessed. Users are not required to install or download the specific app; hence they do not consume any space/storage.
PWAs offer users offline functionality as they are built upon service workers. Being based upon service workers, PWAs work on low internet connection or even offline. Users can access some of the mobile application’s content without any internet.
PWAs are not required to be updated manually like native or cross-platform mobile app design and development. PWAs update themselves in the background allowing users to always use the latest version and get the best experience.
Why PWAs are Rising and Becoming Prominent?
PWAs are the future of web and mobile application development. With the mobile app design and development at the core, PWAs are gaining momentum. The rise of PWAs has seen users shift exponentially towards these applications and less priority to native apps. Although the experience of native mobile applications is still different and prominent, the rise of PWA is also astounding. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why PWAs are gaining prominent:
Native apps, as discussed before are expensive. For each platform, businesses need to employ different developers and put in their financial resources for both iOS and Android. On the contrary, building a single PWA for multiple platforms is cost-effective since it can run on both platforms.
Native apps require a specialized development team and considerable time to develop apps. On the other hand, PWAs can be developed faster as they are based on web technologies making up a significant portion of the codebase. Developers can leverage this technology to make the development process faster.
PWAs provide an enhanced user engagement experience. With an app-like seamless experience and web-like features and functionality, mobile applications can engage users and encourage return visits. With push notifications and no limit on size, PWAs offer a highly enjoyable and personalized experience.
Since PWAs are listed on search engines and are discoverable, they offer improved visibility. Users can reach out to the mobile applications and by getting an SEO strategy in place, businesses can attract new users.
The Future of PWAs
While the native apps have gained a significant market share, the PWAs are gaining momentum and catching the eyes of users. The future, however, is uncertain and only time will tell where the PWAs will go from here. There are certain challenges and considerations for PWAs that businesses need to consider. Firstly, mobile app design and development offer limited OS integration. Native apps are much more compatible and integrative to devices and operating systems, limiting the functionality of PWAs. Secondly, PWAs are reliant on web browsers but not all browsers support the latest features. Ensuring the same consistent compatibility across all browsers can be significantly difficult.
PWAs are not found in app stores. PWAs can be found on search engines but the visibility on the app store is much higher. People tend to search the app store for specific applications, hence this is considered as a limitation for PWA. Unlike native apps that can request push notification permissions during installation, PWAs must prompt users to opt in for notifications, which may lead to lower subscription rates. Nevertheless, the cost-effectiveness, accessibility and app-like experience make PWAs an attractive choice for businesses and users alike. As users are likely to discover PWAs, they will continue to rise in the mobile app design and development landscape. PWAs are revolutionizing the way we interact with mobile applications and web apps. As they continue to grow, the future will see everyone shifting their focus to PWAs.
How Can We Help?
If you are a business looking for mobile app design and development, or PWAs, Design Vikings is the place to be. With over 10 years of experience in the industry, we offer the best mobile app design and development services at affordable prices. We truly believe that you deserve the best without breaking the bank. With experienced and skilled mobile app designers and developers on our team, we offer all types of mobile development services including native app development, cross-platform app development and PWAs. Consult with our business analysts for the best advice and get a tailored service package made just for you within your budget.