Progressive Web App (PWA), in general, is a term used to denote web apps that use the latest web technologies. As such, this year’s PWAs will be average web apps in a few years. [Wikipedia]
In 2015, designer Frances Berriman and Google Chrome engineer Alex Russell coined the term “Progressive Web Apps” to describe apps taking advantage of new features supported by modern browsers, including service workers and web app manifests, that let users upgrade web apps to progressive web applications in their native operating system (OS). [Wikipedia]
According to Google Developers, Progressive Web App is:
- Progressive — Works for every user, regardless of browser choice because it’s built with progressive enhancement as a core tenet.
- Responsive — Fits any form factor: desktop, mobile, tablet, or whatever is next.
- Connectivity independent — Enhanced with service workers to work offline or on low-quality networks.
- App-like — Feels like an app, because the app shell model separates the application functionality from application content .
- Fresh — Always up-to-date thanks to the service worker update process.
- Safe — Served via HTTPS to prevent snooping and to ensure content hasn’t been tampered with.
- Discoverable — Is identifiable as an “application” thanks to W3C manifestand service worker registration scope, allowing search engines to find it.
- Re-engageable — Makes re-engagement easy through features like push notifications.
- Installable — Allows users to add apps they find most useful to their home screen without the hassle of an app store.
- Linkable — Easily share the application via URL, does not require complex installation.
Key benefits of PWA include:
- Instant Loading — Service workers allow your apps to load nearly instantly and reliably, no matter what kind of network connection your user is on.
- Fast — Smooth animations, scrolling, and navigations keep the experience silky smooth.
- Secure — HTTPS secures the connection between you and your users, ensuring your users’ information is protected and isn’t tampered with.
- Responsive — Modern users live on phones, tablets and laptops; your apps and websites should do the same. Learn how to structure and code your content to look great on screens of any size.
- Add to Home Screen — Web app install banners give you the ability to let your users quickly and seamlessly add your web app to their home screen, making it easy to launch and return to your app.
- Push Notifications — Web push notifications makes is easy to re-engage with users by showing relevant, timely, and contextual notifications, even when the browser is closed.