What are progressive web applications and what are its characteristics?

What are progressive web applications and what are its characteristics?

At present, the market for mobile applications continues to grow. Perhaps it is because technology continually mobile devices is improved, but not only that, technologies that are related to the web and connectivity of these applications are also improved.

As a developer, you have options when creating an application. Everything depends on the purpose of the application, languages ​​and technologies you want to use, as well as the project budget. However, a couple of years ago has emerged a new initiative promoted by Google called progressive web applications. In this article we explore what they are and what are its main features.

What are the possible options for application development?

Within the field of application development, there are three possibilities in its creation: native applications, hybrid and web. Each of these applications has its advantages, disadvantages and specific technology used for its development.

Native applications are those that have been developed for a specific operating system, so take advantage of all the characteristics and functionality of the devices that use iOS or Android, as appropriate. The user experience is usually higher in these applications, but costs are increased because it is necessary to create applications for each operating system.

On the other hand, hybrid applications make use of standards development to be available on different devices and operating systems. Was developed as a single environment and adapting it to different operating systems is allowed, these applications represent a lower development cost. One of its major drawbacks is that its performance is slightly lower than that of native applications, like user experience.

Finally, web applications, as its name may indicate, are those which are accessed by a URL in a web browser and adapts to the screen format to simulate the environment of an application. Since it is available through the web user you do not need to install anything and are not in the market for respective applications depending on the operating system. Despite being one of the most economical with regard to its development, the user experience is not comparable to the two options mentioned above.

What are progressive web applications?

As we have previously seen, Web applications appear to be an option with much greater disadvantages. Of course, the cost is lower, but if you take into account that it is not necessary to install and therefore cannot perform a marketing strategy or have statistics by the application market, then it is not a great option for many Business. Especially when the market competitiveness of applications is so high.

Luckily, Google established the initiative of progressive web applications or PWA, acronym of its name in English “Progressive Web Apps”. It was in 2015 that Frances Berriman and Alex Russel coined this term to refer to applications that take advantage of new features supported by modern browsers. It would be a year later, at the conference Google I / O 2016 Alex Russel gave a clearer picture of the advantages and features of the PWA.

The definition given by Russel can dislodge the following ideas:

  • superior performance of Web applications on mobile devices
  • interface similar to that of native applications
  • Using offline
  • Send notifications

All these advantages sound quite attractive and is sure that if Google continues to promote these applications, only a matter of time before other developers choose to create progressive web applications.

What are the characteristics of these applications?

On the official Google site listed 10 key features of all PWA. We’ll mention below:

  1. They are safe. Using HTTPS to enhance security offering standardized web applications.
  2. They are progressive. Functional for each user, regardless of the browser as its principle is the progressive improvement.
  3. Responsive design. Available for PC, tablet, mobile or any other device.
  4. They work regardless of connectivity. Ability to work offline or low connectivity.
  5. and are updated. Always it kept updated by the Service Workers.
  6. They are like apps. Both their appearance, navigation and interactions are comparable with those of an app.
  7. They are contactable:It is identified as applications because they can be found by search engines.
  8. Accept installation. Users can maintain applications on the home screen as if it were a native application.
  9. Actions allow re-engagement. It maintains the interest and commitment of users through features like notifications
  10. They are linkable. They can easily share through its URL.