What are Progressive Web Apps?

If you have wondered whether web apps will ever behave like modern mobile apps with enhanced features, then you are in for a treat. Technology giants like Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Mozilla have come with a newer technology involving web applications known as Progressive Web Apps (PWA’s). These apps behave similarly to native apps with offline support, syncing and push notifications which can run on all browsers and platforms.

‘Progressive’ term represents the enhanced features that are added to the normal web applications such as web camera, location services, and other trackers frequently found in mobile applications. These apps can be installed directly on to the web browser and a shortcut icon will appear on the home taskbar. When you launch this app on your screen, it will start performing its tasks quickly and send you instant notifications even if you’re offline.

How do Progressive Web Apps Work?

Progressive web apps are websites that behave like a mobile application with many features technically present in a native app. These apps are enhanced with modern APIs to make them reliable, capable and installable on any device anywhere. PWA’s are generally written using a single code base like JAVA, HTML 5 and other similar web languages.

Progressive Web Apps have six important features,

1. Web Manifest: Web manifest is a JSON file that will add metadata of the website such as icon, font size, background colour, and name of the application. This helps the user to see the PWA display on the home screen.

2. Service Worker: A service worker is a JavaScript file that runs in the background of the user’s browser. A service worker is responsible for delivering offline requests including push notifications, background syncing and cache data.

3. HTTPS connection: Having a secure HTTPS connection is necessary to download and use a PWA safely. This will prevent harmful hackers from leaching data from the browser and website.

4. APP Shell: A progressive web app is made to look like a native app by creating an icon and its local resources stored inside an app shell. When you click on the app, it loads on the web browser by using the local cache available inside the app shell.

5. Background Synchronization: This feature enables the user to receive information that was sent during poor or zero connectivity issues. It holds the information until the user connects to the network again.

6. Push Notifications: Push notifications are frequent updates sent to the user to keep them engaged in the app. These notifications are commonly available on a mobile app and in PWA’s these are made to work with a notification API.

Applications of Progressive Web Apps

It is unnecessary for all businesses to own a progressive web app. If your company has less information to display on a website, then a traditional website will be sufficient for it. In case of excess web traffic and display of many products, you might need a progressive web app as it can occupy a large memory space if created as a mobile application.

Many popular companies like Flipkart, Twitter, Hulu, Pinterest have recently converted their website into a Progressive Web App because of its wonderful advantages. Statistics show that these companies saw a 60% increase in web traffic, 40% improved revenues and a 70% conversion rate from launching the site from the home screen icon.

Advantages of Progressive Web Apps

Progressive Web Apps have several advantages over regular websites such as,

Faster Page Speeds: PWA’s deliver 2-4 times greater page speeds than conventional websites. These apps work faster and deliver improved results.

App-like experience: PWA’s create a genuine app-like experience to the user as it can be downloaded, launched on their home screen just like a native app. These apps can be installed even without visiting a web store and in a poor network connection.

Instant Updates: The best part of PWA is that the developer can make instant updates to the app without sending information back and forth to a web store. Content can be updated directly, providing a seamless experience to the user.

Improved Features: PWA’s can be installed with the latest app features such as location accessibility, user data tracking, local video chat, media controls, and clipboard support.

Monetizing capabilities: Many are unaware of the fact that PWA’s have the capabilities to increase revenues faster than other app technologies. They let companies display ads in various formats and integrate with popular ad networks like Google AdSense, thus opening the channel for greater profits.

If you have to create a Progressive Web App for your business, then approach a company like us with expertise in it to provide good PWA development services.

Portfolio : Custom Software for WPC India

A couple of years ago, we were approached by one of India’s leading advertising agencies, WPC (http://wpcindia.in/) to help them automate and streamline their process and operations. Here is how we helped them.

The Challenge :

WPC has been slowly expanding its presence all over India and now overseas. The major challenge was to make a software that is scalable and capable to handle the growing needs of the company. We had to come up with a solution that does not require lot of training and can still handle all the complex business operations.

The Solution :

We came up with a web-based software powered by some of the latest technologies. Since the software is web-based, there are no infrastructure costs involved and can be used from anywhere in the world.

The software is at the core of WPC’s day to day operations. 

For eg. Following is a short overview of the Project Management aspect of the software :

  1. Managers create new Projects and break down each project into smaller tasks.
  2. They assign each task to one or more sub-ordinates.
  3. Each sub-ordinate gets alerted when a new task is assigned to him/her.
  4. They can see list of all tasks assigned to them.
  5. Once they decide to start work on a particular task, they fill out the details about the task and click on a button that marks the task as “Ongoing”.
  6. Managers can track progress of each task. They can see who is working on what and can track how much time was spent on each task.
  7. Once the task is completed, people working on the task can upload their work.
  8. Admin can now create invoice and mail the invoice without leaving the software.

In short, they use the software to assign work to employees, create cost estimates and prepare invoices (which can be mailed directly to the client through the software itself), pull out reports, assess employee performance, send messages to one another, have a discussion on a particular task or project etc.

The Result :

WPC has been using our software for about 2 years now. The company’s muck work is handled by the software so that the employees can focus on increasing their creative output and delighting their clients.

We have worked with companies of all shapes and sizes around the world. We understand how crucial good software is for a company to grow or to maintain competitive edge. If you require a customized software solution, please contact us right away. We can work together to develop a custom solution for your unique business problems.