Introduction to Progressive Web Applications
Progressive Web Applications is one of the most advanced changes in the mobile web. It has revolutionized the mobile web domain. It was first proposed by Google in the year 2015. Almost instantly it gained a lot of attraction and attention mainly due to the relative ease of development and being user-friendly.
Progressive Web Apps combines the best of the two world’s i.e.; the best of the web and the best of apps. It’s a hybrid of both web and apps. They are useful to user’s right from the very first time as no install is required. As with more use, it builds a rapport and becomes more powerful and will load more quickly, even on vague networks, can send important push notifications, has full-screen advantages, home screen etc is some of the main features. It has brought about a new mobile surfing experience in itself.
Main Features of Progressive Web Apps
- Progressive – It works for every user, no matter which browser they choose to use. It is because it’s built with progressive enhancement as its core tenet.
- Responsive – It works for desktop, mobile, tablet or any other form which will is next in line.
- Independent connectivity – It has been enhanced to work offline or even in low-quality networks.
- App-like feature – It totally has the user-friendly app-style usage and navigation chiefly because it is built on the app shell model.
- Fresh – It is always an up-to-date cause of the service worker update process.
- Safe – Served via HTTPS it prevents snooping and ensures contents that cannot be tampered with.
- Discoverable– It is easily discoverable by the search engines as it is backed by W3C manifests and service worker registration scope.
- Re-engage able– Push notifications feature makes it easier for it to re-engage.
- Installable– It allows the users to keep the apps they find most useful on their home screen without the hassles of an app store.
- Linkable– It can be easily shared via URL. And does not require complex installations.
Service workers are the backbone technology behind Progressive Web App. They power offline functionality, push notifications, background content updating, content caching and a lot more of services and applications are herein attached with Service workers.
In other relative terms, we can say that Service worker is the worker script that works behind the scenes, independent of the app, and runs in response to events like network requests, push notifications, connectivity changes so on and so forth. In simpler terms, one can say that Service workers act as a proxy.
The App Shell is a simple design concept where the initial load of a mobile web app provides a basic shell of an app UI, and the contents of the app are loaded after. It is not a Web API or a framework, but it is the design approach that developers can choose to adhere to enhanced caching abilities of service workers.
Progressive Web Apps are the new Web APIs, design patterns, and marketing strategy. Some examples are Aliexpress, Dev.Opera, Currency Converter, Wiki Offline, Chrome Status. Firefox Platform Status etc. Flipkart made a major breakthrough with Progressive Web App in India and made history. The mobile web comes closer to parity with installable app store apps through app manifest and home screen install support, background worker functionality with Service Workers, faster load timings with App Shell backing and a renewed belief that web developers too can bring about a change and can build amazing and wonderful mobile app experiences that have revolutionized technology and made billions of lives easier.