Daniel M

PWA or not PWA?

Skriven av Matilda Johansson

Here’s a summary from Rebel and Bird’s Meetup on Progressive Web Apps. Daniel Mijic, Growth Lead at Rebel and Bird, pointed out the details of what a Progressive Web App is and why it is a great advantage to build them.

‍Learn more about why you as a company should build Progressive Web

Apps instead of apps. To provide you with a brief background, the term Progressive Web App came in 2015 from Google Chrome engineer Alex Russell and designer Frances Berrima. Google and Microsoft are pushing hard for PWA. Apple, too, has begun to implement support for it. Below you can see how interest in PWA has grown over the past three years on Google Trends.

What is a Progressive Web App (PWA)?

- In short, Progressive Web Apps means that you can browse a web page on your mobile, choose to save a shortcut to the site on the mobile screen and thus access the site’s content directly without going through the mobile browser.

Unlike a regular web site, a Progressive Web App-customized site can use technology that was previously only possible in ‘regular’ apps, native apps. A PWA can push information to the phone and it can also access parts of a site’s content even if you are not connected.

The word Apps in Progressive Web Apps is a bit misleading as it is not about apps but web pages that behave like an app. Similarly, a PWA does not need to be updated when new functionality is available, like a native app, but updated automatically when the website does.

What technical advantages and disadvantages does a PWA have?

- The advantage is that it works on all platforms and screen sizes from the beginning. You don’t need to dedicate developers for each platform. The disadvantage is that the support for PWA varies between the different platforms right now.

You don’t need to upload anything in an app store. Therefore you don’t need to go through the approval process. Also, your users don’t use different versions of your app. In Google Play, you can let your users download your PWA directly. PWAs also rank in the search engines. It is the web. A PWA is easily accessible, and it’s like surfing on any site. You don’t have first to find it in an app store, then wait for it to download and then start using it. You only need a link to reach a PWA, and you can start using it directly.

Which well known Progressive Web Apps Are there?

- There are some PWA that I think most people know, but one that you may not think of is a PWA. We have Google MapsUber, and Twitter Lite, among others.

What to consider when choosing to build a new app?

- Can your current web solution with enhanced functionality such as; offline, push, found on the home screen, actually meeting the needs of an app previously met? Then you can ask the question, do you need a native app?

Review your digital solution or app, can you save money by building a web solution in the form of a PWA instead? Through a PWA, you can reach out easier and further develop it for cheaper money. If you need some advice, write to us and we will look at it together.

How Do I Know If I Have a Good Progressive Web App?

- To get a quick overview of what works on different browsers in different devices, visit What Web Can Do Today.

You can also test your code, or any site using Google Lighthouse to see how ‘progressive’ it is.