Progressive Web Apps (PWA)

Progressive Web Apps (PWA)

In this world of rapid technological advancements, the name of the progressive web apps or PWAs fits right at home. Progressive Web Apps are an efficient type of applications that allow for reliability, capability, and reachability at a lower cost. Progressive Web App design is at the forefront of user accessibility. The lower cost comes from many factors, including the use of one source code. With this specialty, a PWA can act in the place of a mobile web app, an Android mobile app and an iOS mobile app (native mobile apps). As APIs or Application Programming Interfaces allow the source code to access the backend without the need for separate languages. A large amount of redundancies, especially for apps that do not need every available functionality, is taken care of this way.

What are PWAs and their benefits

PWA is an app built from commonly used web technologies, but with a feel and functionality that can rival native apps. Most of the features of mobile apps, like push notifications, can be offered via PWAs. PWA runs in the browser and, once saved to the home screen, functions like a mobile app. If it designs perfectly users will never know that they are using a web-based app instead of a mobile one.

By leveraging available software, PWAs earn the “progressive” portion of their name. Let us discuss the advantages, disadvantages and what exactly PWAs are. It is important to understand the type of software that best suits your needs. Here at Twelfth Dream, we want to make that decision informed and effective.  With lower file sizes and faster load times, your audience reach will increase. That’s why we hold a discovery session.

Progressive Web App design and programming gives you the best of both worlds

Web applications are known for their efficiency and using one codebase. But they do have their limitations as they rely on browsers to run. Native applications are effective and feel like another extension of the phone. They can interact with features exclusive to that phone. This ability comes from these applications being written in the platform’s own language. PWAs, however, use Native APIs to be able to run on many operating systems. Doing so allows the developers to take their code to platforms they were not able to before. And best of all, they would not need team members skilled in those platforms.

A PWA allows for unprecedented reach

Another benefit of PWAs is their immense reachability. Installing them is easier than the average native application. Users do not have to download a large file, but instead add the application to their home screen or start menu. This takes away from the storage worries that many users have nowadays. Think of every single application you have on your phone. After installing games, food apps, maps, and a whole assortment of others, your menu starts to look cluttered. You may even get a notification about your phone running out of space. Therefore, PWAs are very appealing to developers looking to cut size. A lower size means more users are tempted to install the application as it does not take up a lot of space. The new approach to Progressive Web Apps design is another incentive. You may have gotten a notification from Twitter or Facebook about their Lite version.

Successful examples of Progressive Web App design and programming

The Twitter Lite version has allowed the social media giant to massively cut their application size. Twitter Lite takes up 600Kb, while the standard app takes up close to 24 Mbs. The difference is astonishing. This lower application size does two things very well. The progressive web app design on it is marvelous too. A blueprint for other companies in the industry. It lowers space taken up and load times. The app marketplace is highly competitive, and the slightest wait time could mean losing users. Think of it this way. If someone lands on your app and it takes say five seconds for the page to load up. Meanwhile, a competitor in the same space has a similar page that loads up in a second.  At this point, you may have already lost that user. Not only page loading speed is important in mobile app design but also in web design.

The numbers don’t lie. PWAs reliability shines here. As Twitter reported when it launched Twitter Lite, they have seen “65% increase in pages per session, 75% increase in Tweets sent, 20% decrease in bounce rate,”. There are many other successful examples like Twitter that we will get to later down the article. Another user base you can reach with lower load times are those with a poor internet connection. Sadly, the current internet infrastructure is weak in many cities around the world. As it improves gradually, there are still users left with subpar connections. Being able to tap into that base could vastly increase your user base. Even being able to tell the user that the application is starting up can keep them around. If they run into an app being unresponsive due to a bad connection, they can just go to a competitor’s app.

Are PWAs the best choice for your business?

That is what we try to answer in our discovery session. When assessing your needs we will look at the following factors?

  • Is your target audience mobile based?
  • Would you need a mobile-specific web design or a PWA?
  • What does your budget and timetable look like?
  • Can your business specifically benefit from the pros that PWAs offer?
  • What platforms do your audience use and are they PWA-friendly?
  • What mobile functions are vital to your specific goal?

Where do PWAs fall short?

With the available APIs and Web Assembly playing a role in boosting PWAs, they have become more capable than ever. Currently, after the PWA is added to the home screen, it will have access to features that were reserved for native apps. Through creating an initial cache, users can even access the application while offline! All of these features come together to make PWAs a no-brainer. They are incredibly fast, reliable, and easy to install. The use of a single source code allows you to create one on a budget. This is especially useful for startups that may not have the large capital that native apps require. With all of that being said, the decision is ultimately yours. The choice must be an informed one. Here are a few drawbacks with PWAs:

  • You could lose on the traffic provided by the two app stores, as your app would have to be downloaded off of your website.
  • Battery usage is higher
  • Complex code means older devices may not function well with your PWA
  • A few functions like NFC and Bluetooth become inaccessible. It truly depends on what your app needs to do.

The Bottom Line and the accessibility of the progressive web app design

PWA design is all about considering the audience. If you are going after iOS users, the apps have been reported of having minor issues, specifically with Safari. Which is why, even though PWA programming seems easy, you should only opt for it after considering your audience. The benefits may outweigh the negatives, but again, it all goes back to the users you are after. Progressive Web Apps design allows for a streamlining of the process. But it is not as powerful as a native app. If you are unsure about this decision, seeking experts on the topic is a must. You can book a consultation with us, and we can help you weigh the options for your business.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a mobile app or PWA for my business?

It depends on your audience. Because of the easy installation of PWAs and their small size, user reluctancy is lower than other types of apps. They can even be linked and shared with ease. Your area of concerns would dictate which solution works best for you. The progressive web app design makes it more appealing to users on older hardware.

It also depends on the functionalities and features of the app. For example games usually perform better if they are built as a native mobile app, not a progressive web app.

That is what the discovery session is all about. Book a discovery session

How much does a Progressive Web App cost to develop?

Simple PWAs lie within the $20,000-$80,000 range, while the more complex the development becomes, they can border on up to $500,000. A typical feature-rich application usually costs between $120,000 and $200,000. It all depends on what the project needs the most. The progressive web app design aspect might be a concern or its many features, or both. You can contact us today for an estimate on your proposed PWA.

How long does a Progressive Web App take to develop?

A simple PWA can be developed within four months. The more complex the project becomes, the timeline can shift to six to eight months. You can book a discovery session today and we will be able to assist you with figuring out the potential time frame for your project. So, you can book a discovery session today and we can give you a time estimate on your project’s length. Get Estimate.

What does the process entail?

Once a discovery session is complete and we know more about you, your business, and the scope of the project, the real work begins. We can then provide a time and cost estimate to guide your decision. Our protocol involves a 6-step process and the use of the Agile SCRUM framework, which you can read about here. Team As A Service (TAAS) is the best choice for you. In short, the framework allows us to address complex and adaptive issues in a timely manner, while preserving productivity and creativity. Our goal is to design, code, test, and then deploy the highest quality for your project. Progressive Web Apps design is on the cutting edge of the market. With constant deliverables every two weeks, we can ensure maximum transparency.

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