With the number of options in availing technologies growing almost by the hour, this question may have popped up in your head whether you should invest in building up a Mobile App for your business or should you simply go with a Progressive Web App or PWA.
If you are looking to partner with an app development company in NYC, you will find plenty of high-quality choices in advising you on which way to go. But we just thought we would give you the basic information on what a PWA is to allow you to make an informed decision for the technology to choose.
We all have become used to having Internet access so universally available that we assume that every remote area of the globe we travel to will have Internet access. However, this is not even true within the US, much less around the world.
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What Are PWAs?
Have you ever been caught in a quandary where a perfect apartment or an adorable coffee table caught your eye browsing the net but find yourself unable to act upon it and purchase it before consulting someone? You catch up with that certain someone and excitedly pull up that page when duh, there is no Internet, and you’ve just run out of data. Yeah, PWAs were created to spare you such embarrassment.
A PWA can be a replacement, in some situations, for the modern-day version of native apps built with slick tools like React Native, Flutter, or Native App Development Kits. The only difference is that a PWA allows you to take the whole web browsing experience using advanced web functionality and encasing it in a native web-like instance. In essence, a PWA can do so because it is a web app that interacts with hosted browser sites in the background. It collects the data from the other features from the site and allows you to browse the site without continuous access to the backend server.
Having a PWA added to your home screen in practice means being able to browse a specific page, having access to your boarding pass, or being able to re-read that comment without having continuous access to the Internet.
How Can a PWA Provide Me with an Updated Page?
To understand the ability of any application to provide you with an updated page, we must understand first how an app can do just that. Understand that a native app captures and installs all the necessary components on your phone and can provide you with the last updated status of the app even when the Internet is not available.
A PWA does the same essentially and stores both the application and the essential data on your phone. In the case of a PWA, however, this is done more efficiently in the sense that along with getting the HTML, the CSS, and the images from the cache of your browser, a PWA can keep the page updated using network calls. Those network calls are made through the Service worker.
If the App Can Do All That Why Bother with a PWA then?
To put it simply, resource allocation. With an app, it can take up as much as 30-200 MB of storage space, and it constantly keeps updating itself using potentially a lot of bandwidth and data. A PWA, on the other hand, occupies as much as 1 MB in your storage. Additionally, with the user of the Service worker in the background the updates, replace the existing stored code and images instead of adding to it.
What Other Advantages Does a PWA has?
It’s Secure: The development standards require a PWA to operate on HTTPS, which keeps the connection between a PWA and its users secure.
It’s Reliable: Since a PWA gets updated in the background and uses a sliver of your memory and storage, it is very responsive and reliable. Since all the relevant data is cached, a PWA does not have to rely on the bulky processing of a native app or lags because of the quality of the Internet connection.
It’s Highly Integrated: With everything cached and updated when resources are free, and due to the lack of bulky splash screens and pre-loading requirements of a native app, a PWA runs much more smoothly, with instant navigation and fast scrolling.
In conclusion, given the list of features, convenience, and lack of bulky storage and updates, a PWA might be a better choice than native apps development. However, it is essential to note that a PWA is not a replacement for a native app in every instance. Apps that require frequent use of phone resources such as GPS, camera, or other assets in a phone’s hardware cannot be or are difficult to be replaced by a PWA.