A Progressive Web App (PWA) is a web app that uses modern web capabilities to deliver an app-like experience to users. These apps meet certain requirements, are deployed to servers, accessible through URLs, and indexed by search engines.

Progressive Web Apps are user experiences that have the reach of the web, and are:

  • Reliable
  • Fast
  • Engaging

Lets discuss the basic first.

Apps

Technically, apps got two categories

  • Native Apps
  • Web Apps

Native Apps are the apps which we used to download from play store or apple store or windows store. Native Apps are the apps which have developed to do operation of particular company or product.

Web Apps are the apps which we browse using the browser. Basically its a website, we browse and use it based on our needs.

PWA or Progressive Web Apps fills the gap between these techniques to provide more accessibility to end user and make engaging withing the product.

Target Audience

The world is moving towards portable devices. If we are building a application which basically serves via web browser, that can be build as PWA.

The above shows the Global User (Millions) of Internet. And we can clearly see the rise of mobile users drastically.

If we want to stay in the market, we need to support the latest technologies and adapt the same thing in our product.

PWA – FIRE

A Web Application should meet the FIRE to become Progressive Web Apps. And the FIRE is

  • F – Fast
  • I – Integrated
  • R – Reliable
  • E – Engaging

Fast

  • Respond quickly to user interactions with silky smooth animations and no janky scrolling.
  • So how fast a web app should load a page?
    • ~ < 3 seconds
  • 53% of users will abandon a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load! And once loaded, users expect them to be fast—no janky scrolling or slow-to-respond interfaces.

Bounce rate is 20% if your website takes more than 3.3 seconds to load.

And if your website takes more than 9.9 secs, the user have already started to leave your site.

Now, tell me how fast the websites we are developing/developed is loading?

Integrated Experience

Airhorner (https://airhorner.com/) is my favorite website which i used to show in demo whenever I go to public talks about PWA.

Any PWA should be really integrated in any platforms. Once it developed well adapted and integrated, the application will open in the dedicated window and let end users stays within the application without any distraction.

The integrated experience can be achieved with the help of Manifest. We already discussed about this earlier.

Reliable

Load instantly and never show the downasaur, even in uncertain network conditions.
When launched from the user’s home screen, service workers enable a Progressive Web App to load instantly, regardless of the network state.

Connection mode

Basically, we have following connection mode in Application

  • Perfect
  • Slow
  • Lie-fi
  • Offline

Perfect

When you are Perfect connection, everything happens as expected and you don’t have to worry about anything.

Slow

Slow is the one of the connection mode which suffers the user a lot. Everything will happen but not at the right time.

Lie-Fi

Lie-Fi is the connection mode which we usually experience in travel mode. There will be lots fluctuation in the connection type. Suddenly it goes to high and suddenly it goes very low.

Offline

When we are offline, we go mad.

A successful PWA should handle all kind of connection mode and keep the users engaged.

A user should get notified whenever connection is slow or unstable.

Engaging

A PWA should Feel like a natural app on the device, with an immersive user experience.

Progressive Web Apps are installable and live on the user’s home screen, without the need for an app store.

They offer an immersive full screen experience with help from a web app manifest file and can even re-engage users with web push notifications.

The Web App Manifest allows you to control how your app appears and how it’s launched. You can specify home screen icons, the page to load when the app is launched, screen orientation, and even whether or not to show the browser chrome.

Why build a Progressive Web App?

Building a high-quality Progressive Web App has incredible benefits, making it easy to delight your users, grow engagement and increase conversions.

  • Worthy of being on the home screen
  • Work reliably, no matter the network conditions
  • Increased engagement
  • Improved conversions

PWA of Twitter is just 0.6 MB.

What’s Next?

Approaches to making an web app into PWA

  • Offline first
  • Service workers
  • Indexed db and caching
  • Web App Manifest
  • Push notifications

We will discuss about these things in detail in upcoming posts.

Further Reading

Why build a Progressive Web Apps?

Progressive Web Apps – Web App Manifest

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