What are Progressive Web Apps – benefits and differences from native web apps and how 10xONE supports it

Mobile apps are apps that you can install on your Android or iOS (Apple) phone.

Usually when you talk to IT people or look at your phone today – the majority of them are native.

Native mobile apps mean that you need to go to the app store and find and download the app to your device. These apps eat storage space on your device and are needed to be refreshed from the app store.

In the past years a new type of mobile apps has been invented: progressive web apps (PWA)

Good news is that these type of apps give your users a native app-like experience.

But without the negative consequences.

Though they may have some constraints. If you are concerned what they are, read on.

If not, just start using or developing 10xONE solutions as apps – these will be PWA’s by default.

Just give it a try – you will love them.

PWAs will help you get to market faster and reduce app development and maintenance costs tremendously.

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Technology background – What makes a PWA?

If you are a business person, user, developing apps, you can skip this part.

Service workers

Service workers let you run background JavaScript jobs directly on the device. This reduces the need for round trips to the server. This means your PWA is more responsive (it gives immediate responses to the end user) and that it does not always need a network connection.

Offline cache

Service workers also allow your progressive web app to cache data locally on the mobile device. With functionality and data available offline, the app can work with no network connection and then sync with the server any changes made when the device is back online. You can also use offline cache to speed up, again, response times. When your end user saves data – you can immediately show that data has been saved – and then do the saving to servers in the background.

App manifest

Just like a native app, users can install a PWA on their devices. Each PWA comes with a JSON file called the app manifest. That specifies the icon, the app URL, and other associated data meaning that the user experience is nearly indistinguishable from a regular mobile app. And there is one benefit: it need not go through the app store anymore. So you can avoid all the approval process that comes with a native mobile app.

Responsiveness – screen size

PWAs are responsive by nature. They adapt to any screen size, and their behavior will be

consistent regardless of device screen size or type.

Native device capabilities

Just like a native app, PWAs can make use of a device’s hardware features and storage. Your app can also allow users to make payments through built-in payment systems such as Apple Pay or Google Pay.

Business Benefits of progressive web apps

From a development perspective, the benefits of a single codebase using standard web tooling are clear. But how do they help with user engagement and ROI?

Discoverability – google search indexing

As PWAs are just web apps, search engines index them just like any other website. With Google’s commitment to mobile-first indexing, PWAs rank higher and are commonly seen as snippet cards at the top of the first results page.

Stickiness

Once installed, PWAs become available on a device’s home screen just like any other app. Think of it as a portable web page that’s accessible with a single click or tap, without the user having to open the browser first.

High performance

According to a recent study by Google, 53% of users abandon mobile websites that take more than three seconds to load, so speed is critical to adoption. Since PWAs work offline first they load and run faster.

Always up to date – no need for app store updates

PWAs are always fresh. Each time a user connects to the server, the app can update

automatically over-the-air, with no need for manual user approval.

You can deliver improvements to the app much faster.

Responsiveness – screen size

PWAs are responsive by nature. They adapt to any screen size, and their behavior will be

consistent regardless of device screen size or type. With this they save you an immense amount of money you would need to spend on tailoring your app to different devices.

Shareability

PWAs can be easily shared and used via a link that doesn’t require a visit to the app marketplace or a lengthy download. Furthermore, when Android users can share links to PWAs with iOS users, they don’t need to distinguish the store being used to download the app.

Comparison table of progressive web apps (PWA) and native and web apps

  Progressive web app (PWA) Web application Native mobile app
Fast, reliable performance Yes No Yes
Multi-platform (mobile and desktop) Yes Yes No
Offline capabilities Yes No Yes
Advanced device capabilities (e.g., calendar, contacts,browser bookmarks) No No Yes
Support for demanding hardware usage (e.g. fingerprint or face identification) No No Yes
Integrations with camera, GPS, etc. Yes No Yes
Push notifications Yes No Yes
Storage requirements Very low None High
Distribution without app store Yes Yes No
Discoverable online Yes Yes No
Shareable and linkable Yes Yes No

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Summary – when should you go for 10xONE Progressive web apps?

  1. You struggle to find the resources to launch new projects or complete projects on time. PWAs are quicker to build than web and mobile apps, so they’re a smart
    option for teams that need to prioritize speed.
  2. You consumers may not want to install a full blown app due to their devices low memory or the need of going to app store, e.g. especially in low-loyalty parts of their customer journeys (e.g. onboarding journeys).
  3. You want to increase the reach of your mobile presence by providing a lightweight version of a mobile application to cater to users with lower-end devices or who are in areas with unpredictable or low connectivity.
  4. Experience common obstacles to delivering mobile applications to consumers and
    employees, such as app stores and lengthy approval processes.

Choose a native application if you need

  1. Integration with certain device capabilities, such as calendars, contacts, browser
    bookmarks, alarms or other applications.
  2. The ability to intercept SMS messages or calls or obtain users’ phone numbers.
  3. Demanding hardware usage such as fingerprint or facial recognition.
  4. The ability to launch without an internet connection.

How 10xONE Accelerates your mobile app Development

All solutions in 10xONE are available immediately on mobile as PWA

Once you’ve created a solution (which is in essence an app, with full of features) using our rapid, intuitive customization and dev tools, it will be immediately available as a PWA, so you can spend more of your time bringing greater value to users and less time repeating code.

No additional knowledge required
10xONE  takes care of the manifests and service workers necessary to create the PWA automatically in the background.

Single code base
All the settings, workflows UI front-end and back end settings and customizations and code for your solutions are the same. There is no need for a separate setup. It saves you an immense amount of development and support time.

Data sync framework
Keeping local and server data in sync is no small task. 10xONE does it for you.