Progressive Web App 101
What are PWAs?
Progressive Web Apps offer an app-like experience on desktop and mobile that are built and delivered via the web. PWAs are fast and reliable web apps and almost work in any browser. (check this link for supported browsers).
PWA’s will help you increase your business’ visibility by your app’s presence in search engine results. You can now optimize your SEO and take advantage of a level of discoverability far from what the typical app stores can offer.
So what makes it fast and reliable?
Progressive Web Apps don’t need to be installed to be visited, which therefore allows you to make your content easily accessible and eliminate the constraint of having to install the app, as in the case of native apps. A Progressive Web App will deliver this reliable performance that users have come to expect from any installed experience.
Progressive Web Apps can run in a browser tab but are also installable. Bookmarking a site just adds a shortcut, but an installed Progressive Web App looks and behaves like all of the other installed apps. It launches from the same place as other apps launch. You can control the launch experience, including a customized splash screen, icons and more. It runs as an app, in an app window without an address bar or other browser UI. And like all other installed apps, it’s a top level app in the task switcher.
Mobile & Desktop
Using responsive design techniques, Progressive Web Apps work on both mobile and desktop, using a single code base between platforms. Initially thought out for mobile, Progressive Web Apps offer a perfect user experience, by bringing mobile development codes to all other types of screens.
Great Example of a PWA launched in 2019
Aiming at providing accessible, user-friendly online ordering to all of their customers, Starbucks built a PWA of the ordering system, which delivers a similar experience to their existing native app. In other words, with its capability to run in offline mode, Starbucks PWA allows their customers to browse the menu, customize their orders, and add items to their carts – all without consistent access to the internet. Once online, they can view location-specific pricing and place their food and drinks order.
As most of the PWA is available without a network connection, it’s great for on the go customers who may go in and out of connectivity throughout the day or emerging markets like rural communities where the connection is less reliable. By launching the new ordering PWA, Starbucks has already seen significant results. The PWA is 99.84% smaller than Starbucks’ existing iOS app, making the web app a favorite amongst its users. As a result, they doubled the number of web users who place orders each day, with desktop users now ordering at about the same rate as mobile users.