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 Analyst     Jul,26 2018

Progressive Web App – An App for everything

Web development trend constantly evolving with the most advance platforms and modern technologies that ultimately deliver better user experience than ever before. Use of micro development making it possible to eliminate limitations accessing and using the app almost from any device that popularly termed as

“Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)”.

 

Progressive web solution combines best features, usability and viewing capabilities using web browsers and in-app mobile browsers, somewhat user can experience like a native mobile app at the same time. Progressive web app proven to be most effective and advantageous over traditional web app and native mobile apps.

 

 

Progressive Web App

 

 

Just few years back native mobile apps were considering to be for best user experience but frond end web technologies HTML5, CCS3, JavaScript significantly getting more capable and advanced to build hybrid mobile app and responsive web apps.

 

Progressive web apps are like an enhancement of existing web technologies that do not require separate bundling or distribution. It serves the key alternatively of native mobile app with a single web version that runs smoothly across all device and clients.

 

PWA

Advantages

 

Progressive

Build as core tenet with progressive enhancement for every user without restricting viewing, so can be best accessed without browser’s choice.

 

Like Mobile App

Feel like an app to the user with app-style interactions and navigation.

 

Safe

Serving with secure protocol - HTTPS to prevent snooping and ensure content hasn’t been tampered with.

 

Full Responsive

Best fit viewing experience across all devices desktop, laptop, tablet, mobiles

 

Discoverable

It is discoverable on internet search engine just like normal web using service worker scope to reach potential users.

 

Cost Effective

Development and maintenance cost is significantly very low in compare to native iOS, Android, Window, Blackberry Development. It is discoverable in search engine for new user acquisition in compare to native apps save marketing cost.

 

Publication of a progressive web app is as it would be for any other web page. Now, progressive web apps are supported by Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Safari browsers already.

 

PWA

Technologies

Commonly used technologies serving to create progressive web apps are service workers & manifest.

 

Service Workers

Service workers provide a scriptable network proxy in the web browser to manage the web/HTTP requests programmatically bridging between the network and device deliver content, even in offline mode deliver performance using cache mechanisms efficiently. Service workers components are effective to deliver performance for progressive web app like web and like a native mobile app.

Powers offline functionalities.

 

Key Properties of Service Workers:

 

    Trigger and keep alive by events relationship

    Synchronize data in the background

    Event-driven with time limit scripting contexts and running at the origin

    Natural endpoints for runtime services

    A script URL & Generic in nature

    Containing Registration

    Allocated ID or UUID

    Script resource map

    Skip waiting for the flags

    Service workers Benefit

    Easily handles push notification

    Capability to respond resource requests

    Receive centralized updates

 

 

manifest.json

 

W3C defined web Manifest.js is the key component to build progressive web app. Manifest allows to place metadata associated with a web application including:

 

Links to app icons or image objects

Preferred URL to launch or open web app

Web App Name

Configuration of Data

Default Web App Orientation

Display mode enablement

 

An App Developer can enable user agents to build progressive web app just like native mobile experience by tweaking, settings or manipulating metadata of the web manifest files.

 

 

App shell architecture

Rapid loading become vital and service workers better manages it while storing “Shell” or “user interface” of the responsive web app. Shell provides an initial static frame, a layout boiler plate or architecture where web content loads progressively and dynamically that make user engagement possible despite varying on web connectivity.

Few notable examples of leading PWAs are Google Maps, Uber, Twitter lite, Instagram, Angular PWA Guide & View More...

 

 

PWA

Angular

 

Finally, Angular and Node.js are already making platforms available to build Progressive Web Apps - PWAs, Learn More

 

No wonder if native mobile app to be replaced by PWAs sooner like “An App for everything”.