What Is A Progressive Web App Or PWA?

A Progressive Web App, also known as a PWA, is a type of web application that delivers an app-like experience to its users by harnessing modern web capabilities. PWA Apps must meet certain requirements and are usually accessible through URLs, indexed by search engines, and deployed to servers.

Required Features of a PWA

For an app to be considered a progressive app, it must possess some features, which are mentioned below.

  • Linkable: The app must be easily sharable via URL and should not require any complex installation.
  • Installable: The app can be kept on the user’s home screen. Users do not have to go through the hassle of app stores.
  • Re-engageable: The app must allow for audience re-engagement by possessing features such as push notifications.
  • Discoverable: The PWA should be identifiable as an “application” by using service worker registration allowing search engines to detect them.
  • Safety: The App should use HTTPS to prevent snooping, ensuring that no content is tampered with.
  • Updated: The app should always remain up to date.
  • App-like nature: The PWA should use app-shell models to provide users with app-style interactions and navigation.
  • Connectivity independent: The app should have the ability to work on both low-quality networks as well as offline.
  • Responsive: The App should fit any form, whether it be a mobile, tablet, desktop, etc.
  • Progressive: The Apps are built with progressive enhancement as a core tenet.

Advantages of using a Progressive Web App

There are several advantages that progressive web apps have over other “traditional” or “native” apps. These are mentioned in the brief below.

  • No Updates Required: Traditional apps usually require frequent updates which usually require a Wi-Fi connection to be downloaded. Such updates usually use up considerable data. PWAs do not experience such problems. As they work in a similar fashion as websites, updates happen “on use”. This means the updates do not occur in the background and happen automatically, making it a much faster process.
  • Low Data usage: There many developing nations around the world where the cost of mobile data is substantially huge. Users of these nations can use PWAs as they consume only a fraction of what is consumed by traditional applications. For instance, a native app that consumes 10 MB worth of data for an update is decreased to 500 KB for a PWA.
  • Low Costs: For enterprises, the costs involved with developing a native App is substantially more than developing a PWA. This is because a business that develops a native application must do it for both iOS and Android. This can drive the costs up for businesses. However, businesses looking to generate a better Return on Investment can go for developing PWA.  Developing a PWA can cost as little as half of the expenses associated with native apps.
  • Avoiding Restrictions: There are many legitimate apps such as apps for trading that are not available in certain countries from either Appstore or play store, due to some legal restrictions. Users from these countries can easily use the PWA version of these apps without any limitations or restrictions. 

Example of a Progressive Web App

From a user’s perspective, they can also benefit from using a PWA of their favorite tool or service rather than using a version for iOS and Android. A good example of this would be the PWA for IQ Option.

IQ Option is a well-known trading platform offering its trading services to users. It offers trading instruments such as CFDs, stocks, cryptocurrencies, Forex, indices, ETFs, and more.

IQ Option’s mobile and desktop apps have been considered as one of the most effective apps. They have produced apps for both Android and iOS devices as well as an APK (Android Application Package), which are all available for download on their official website.

However, besides this, they also provide a PWA version for their app. The IQ Option PWA does not need any separate downloading and installation. It is not restricted by existing Play Store and App Store restrictions and is thus available to all countries. This makes it possible for users to access the trading app from countries where it is outlawed by law. The PWA App also provides all trading instruments including the ability to trading in binary options. It can easily be opened from any mobile device, whether iOS, or Android.

Conclusion

Using a PWA instead of a normal native app can be advantageous both from the user’s as well as the enterprise’s point of view. The time is ripe for businesses such as start-ups’ as well as some established brands to explore progressive web apps.

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