Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

Progressive Web Apps are shaping up to be the future of website and web app development, allowing web app developers such as New Media Aid's app development team in Hitchin, Hertfordshire (only 25 minutes from Central London), to create user experiences that have the reach of the web and the functionality of native apps.

At their heart, Progressive Web Apps are just web applications. Using progressive enhancement, new capabilities are enabled in modern browsers. Using service workers and a web app manifest, your web application becomes reliable and installable. If the new capabilities aren't available, users still get the core experience.

Progressive Web Apps provide you with a unique opportunity to deliver a web experience your users will love. Using the latest web features to bring enhanced capabilities and reliability, Progressive Web Apps allow what you build to be installed by anyone, anywhere, on any device with a single codebase.

Fifty percent of smartphone users are more likely to use a company's mobile site when browsing or shopping because they don't want to download an app. One of the top reasons for uninstalling an app is the limited storage (whereas an installed PWA usually takes less than 1MB).

Progressive Web Apps provide a set of best practices and modern web APIs that are aimed at meeting your customers' needs by making your site fast, installable, reliable, and engaging. For example, using a service worker to cache your resources and doing predictive prefetching makes your site faster, and more reliable. Making your site Installable provides an easy way for your customers to access it directly from their home screen or app launcher. And new APIs like Web Push Notifications make it easier to re-engage your users with personalized content to generate loyalty.

Why would you want a user to install your Progressive Web Apps? To make it easier to come back to your site. Where an Android app install would add at least three steps (redirection to Play Store, downloading, relaunching the Android app at the top of the funnel), Progressive Web Apps installation is done seamlessly in one click, and it doesn't take the user away from the current conversion funnel.

Once installed, users are able to launch it in one click from the icon on their home screen, see it in their app tray when they are switching between apps, or find it via an app search result. We call this app dynamic Discover-Launch-Switch, and making your PWA installable is the key to unlocking access.

In addition to being accessible from familiar discovery and launch surfaces on their device, a Progressive Web App launches exactly like a platform-specific app: in a standalone experience, separate from the browser. Additionally, it benefits from OS-level device services such as the app switcher and settings.

Users who install your Progressive Web App are likely your most engaged users, with better engagement metrics than casual visitors, including more repeat visits, longer time on site and higher conversion rates, often at parity with platform-specific app users on mobile devices.