PWA stands for a Progressive Web Application and it is a hybrid between a web page and a mobile app.

One advantage is that unlike traditional apps, the PWAs are developed using common Javascript, HTML and CSS and they run on top of a script called a service worker that will allow them to behave like a regular native app. Also, by using service workers the PWA can cache resources that it would usually have to be grabbed from the web. This allows for the data to be kept around for when is called and needed. It includes even eshop orders. This minimizes cellular data use as well, which should be a great consideration for any application.

PWAs do not rely on a lot of underlying code and this makes them much smaller that the native apps, making downloads very fast and also unlike the native apps, they will load and work regardless of your internet connection - slow or non existent, the PWA will still work.

They also share only one code base thus eliminating the need to maintain and keep track of multiple code bases.
Also when deploying a PWA, is pretty much like deploying a website, you dont need a Google Play store account or an App Store account - you just upload the code to the server.
PWA web pages can be accessed via a browser or can be translated to the homepage of any smartphone and accessed from there.
PWAs also share a lot of the functionalities of native apps and will provide a nearly identical user experience.

Updating PWA’s is also easy, just like a webpage, a PWA will automatically update when the website is updated, eliminating the need to manually update the individual PWAs.By behaving like this, they ensure all users they have the latest version of the PWA.

In terms of being cost-efficient, the same PWA can be used on any operating system, making the development and testing phases much easier and efficient.

Looking for more PWA benefits?
  • They have an app like interface, supporting app-like navigation and gestures
  • Improved safety as they must be accessed through HTTPS protocols
  • PWAs also install very easy, much faster than regular native apps.
  • They non-stop communicate directly with users through Push Notifications.
  • They are accessible via the web, Google Play Store and soon the App Store.
  • Worried about SEO? No need, the PWA’s are fast and responsive like any web page and have an average SEO score of 85, without going to deep into optimisations.
  • Across devices and platforms, PWAs support a range of features:
    • Geolocation
    • Camera
    • Sensors - Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Magnetometer, Pressure.
    • Speech Synthesis but only with headsets
    • Audio Output
    • Payment systems
    • WebAssembly, WebGL, WebRTC and others
    • Speech Recognition
    • Bluetooth/BLE
    • On desktops they are supported on Windows, MacOS, ChromeOS and Linux
Wonder if the PWAs can improve mobile ROI and KPIs?
  • In tests, it shows that they can improve the Time spent per session, Conversion rates, Mobile revenue, Load times.
    How do you know you are testing it the right way?
  • Make sure your website is served via HTTPS protocols
  • Is your webpage responsive on all mobile devices and desktops?
  • Test the service workers so that your PWA loads when your device is in offline mode - no internet - Include slow 3G and slow internet connections.
  • Validate your metadata.
  • Make all your tests across a variety of configurations - OS/Models/Browsers.
  • Chek your social media shareability and if the links can be opened via unique URLs.
Now, let’s look at The Cons of PWAs
  • They are better supported on Android than on IOS - where PWAs still have some issues. Apple is hesitant in allowing PWAs to access certain areas, like the cammera, different APIs or speech recognition.
  • Both platforms restrict the access to private information

It is estimated, by Gartner Research, that by the end of 2020, the Progressive Web Apps, will replace 50% of all consumer-facing apps.