Coined by Google Chrome engineer Alex Russell, PWA’s are said to be effectively bridging the gap between mobile apps and websites offering the best of the worlds.
PWAs fulfill user’s demand for sleek mobile experiences but are overwhelmed by the number of apps on their devices, making them reluctant to install new ones. Users can navigate to a PWA form any browser and get an app-like experience without downloading the PWA on the app store. It seems as if PWAs are the answers to all our problems, right? Offering better user experiences and easy accessibility via web browsers.
But are they really that great? Where PWA adds to Google’s bucket list of innovations and creations, native apps are the grubstakes of Apple preventing users from abandoning the app stores completely.
However, many leading companies have already jumped to the PWA bandwagon releasing their web applications with native functionality. Just like the native apps, PWAs have a lot of benefits but also some challenges too.
Let us look at some of the pros and cons of Progressive Web Applications:
- Easy accessibility: Its easy accessibility comes with a fact that users do not need to download any PWA in the App Store/Play store eliminating an extra step for the users.
- Always-up-to-date: Yes! You heard it right. You don’t need to update PWAs, they are done automatically.
- Efficient & improved performance: Speed plays an important role in the performance of an application. According to a survey, 53% of users abandon a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Once loaded, they expect them to be fast.
- Low data consumption: All PWAs require fewer data and low bandwidth than other traditional web apps. Since mobile data in the emerging countries has become much more expensive, PWAs remain at an advantage.
- Offline mode: PWAs is the light version of a native app and do not require a strong internet connection. It helps businesses to access products/services even when they are not connected to the internet.
As told earlier PWAs to be Google’s babies, native apps being the grubstakes of Apple lack some features too.
- Limited features: These apps lack some important features such as Siri integration, GEO-fencing, etc. other than push notifications.
- No iOS compatibility: Apple doesn’t allow PWAs to access most of the important features such as Touch ID, Face ID, Bluetooth, etc. on versions lower than iOS 11.3.
- Less data storage: The cache gets cleared after two weeks on an Apple device due to which the offline mode of PWA is not useful for an iPhone user. However, data storage becomes very less.
- No SEO advantages: Native apps have an advantage over PWAs as they cannot be downloaded directly. The content does not get crawled and appears in the Google search results for a better ranking.
Progressive web apps continue to conquer the market with big giants such as Amazon, Flipkart, Pinterest, OLX, Twitter, etc. have already launched the PWA version of their native apps. With advantages taking over the disadvantages and being there for relatively a shorter period, PWAs have already established its league. No company wanting to be present in the mobile era can afford to ignore them real soon.