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What is Progressive Web Apps and why you should care?

Mobile Development August 15, 2016

Originally proposed by Google in 2015, they’ve already attracted a lot of attention because of quite a few benefits that makes the developer’s life easier, while the user still get the same app-like experience. Progressive apps are definitely the next big thing that will keep mobile web alive.

Think of progressive apps as a website using the latest browser technologies, but acts and feels like a mobile app. Recent enhancements in the mobile browser like service workers, cache, push API and offline capabilities has enabled users to install web apps to their home screen, receive push notifications and use the app even if the device is offline.

The other benefits of progressive web apps are less development time, since you’re really just developing a web application. Every time the user is online, they’ll access the latest version of the web application, so your API development wouldn’t have to worry backwards-compatibility.

No need to list your web app on an app store and following rules to get your app approved to be displayed on the app store.

But native mobile applications do have its benefits. For instance, not all the device capabilities are accessible through the browser’s JavaScript API yet and might not ever be available. Cross-browser support is still incomplete and Safari and Internet Explorer is still dragging their feet, though they do openly show support for progressive web apps. At the moment a well-designed mobile application will still consume less data and be more performant than a progressive web app, but very soon this might be a different story.

This is a very exciting technology to keep your eye on because very soon this might cause some big changes in the mobile application space.