A Progressive Web App (PWA) is a web app that uses modern web capabilities to deliver an app-like experience to users. Progressive web apps could be the next big thing for the mobile web. This can work in conjunction with Cordova to provide a multiple deploy targets for all your users. You can deploy your app as a PWA as well as Native app and take advantage of both channels. A progressive web application takes advantage of the latest technologies to combine the best of web and mobile apps. Think of it as a website built using web technologies but that acts and feels like an app. Recent advancements in the browser and in the availability of service workers and in the Cache and Push APIs have enabled web developers to allow users to install web apps to their home screen, receive push notifications and even work offline. Ionic allows you to ship your app to not only the app store, but also deploy to the mobile web as a PWA.
Progressive Web Apps are user experiences that have the reach of the web, and are:
Reliable - Load instantly and never show the downasaur, even in uncertain network conditions.
Fast - Respond quickly to user interactions with silky smooth animations and no janky scrolling.
Engaging - Feel like a natural app on the device, with an immersive user experience.
This new level of quality allows Progressive Web Apps to earn a place on the user's home screen.
These apps meet certain requirements, are deployed to servers, accessible through URLs, and indexed by search engines. Take a look
What is required
To be considered a Progressive Web App, your app must be:
Progressive - Work for every user, regardless of browser choice, because they are built with progressive enhancement as a core tenet.
Responsive - Fit any form factor, desktop, mobile, tablet, or whatever is next.
Connectivity independent - Enhanced with service workers to work offline or on low quality networks.
App-like - Use the app-shell model to provide app-style navigation and interactions.
Fresh - Always up-to-date thanks to the service worker update process.
Safe - Served via HTTPS to prevent snooping and ensure content has not been tampered with.
Discoverable - Are identifiable as “applications” thanks to W3C manifests and service worker registration scope allowing search engines to find them.
Re-engageable - Make re-engagement easy through features like push notifications.
Installable - Allow users to “keep” apps they find most useful on their home screen without the hassle of an app store.
Linkable - Easily share via URL and not require complex installation.
Progressive Web Apps have few properties that most native apps do not (usually) enjoy: says Alex Russell, works at Google Chrome
· Zero-install. PWAs are just web pages. You can choose to keep them, but installing them is something you chose to do after you're already using them. Like regular web experiences, they start instantly and don't require a heavyweight commitment to get started.
· Install without App Store mediation. Users don't need to be directed to an App Store landing page or another indirect experience when keeping them.
· Update-on-use. Unlike the usual native app update strategy, PWAs are updated like web pages: using them gets you the latest version.
· Portability: these are just web sites that took all the right vitamins. There are many strategies for native app portability (including Hybrid apps), but unlike those strategies PWAs don't change your deployment and packaging model.
Obviously, there are downsides too, but for many businesses the ability to be re-engaging on the web without the upfront friction makes PWAs a no-brainer.
Native apps may do some things very well. Messaging and other “always on” apps benefit from native capabilities. But for many startups and e-commerce businesses, hese reasons and others make progressive web apps a good option.
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