The term “progressive web app” was coined by Google Chrome engineer Alex Russell, who used it to describe a new generation of web applications that load just like regular websites but take advantage of features supported by modern browsers, including service workers and web app manifests, to offer the user functionality such as working offline, push notifications, and other features that have traditionally been associated only with native applications.

Although a progressive web application (PWA) is quite a new phenomenon, an increasing number of companies has already been capitalizing on its extensive capabilities. They combine the capabilities of websites and mobile software that allow creating an immersive user experience and increase user engagement and conversion rate. In this article, we will get to know the pros and cons of progressive web apps and possibilities that PWAs open for businesses, including that if compared to web or mobile software.

Why You Need It

Low Development Costs

PWAs do not require different versions for various devices; a single progressive app meets the requirements of all endpoints on which it operates. So, it significantly reduces the amount of efforts that developers provide, and as a result, the cost to create a PWA decreases. The cost is three or four times lower than that of a native mobile app.

App-Like Look and Feel

Nowadays, mobile users prefer apps to browsers as applications compare favorably with browsers, as they are more user-friendly, can operate offline and have a more attractive interface. Progressive web applications provide an advanced user experience by combining the look and feel of mobile applications and the best of website performance. They have the design and settings that are very similar to those of native mobile software.

Regardless of technologies, tools and frameworks on which PWAs are developed, they provide the same user experience as native mobile apps do, and it is considered to be superior to that of websites.

At the same time, they have the same speed, responsiveness and comprehensive capabilities of websites with database access and automatic data. As a result, search engines index them, which is why systems such as Google or Bing can find PWA pages. When compared to mobile software that keeps its internal data only for its own use, the pages of these applications can be found on the internet, which may have a favorable impact on the number of page views.

Fast Installation

Unlike regular mobile applications, PWAs do not require a long and complex installation process, which significantly improves user experience. Users just download an app, quickly and directly to their devices, and they do not need to go to the App Store or Google Play. It streamlines the procedure and significantly reduces user abandonment. After users have downloaded an app, they can access it via a desktop icon.

Some browsers even offer call-to-action-like teasers that prompt users to download these apps when they visit respective websites. This functionality comes built into browsers and allows the apps to enhance their credibility and reliability. As this software does not require installation on devices, users can easily access the PWA via a URL, which significantly contributes to the high shareability.