Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) and Their Adoption in 2023
Progressive web apps (PWAs) are a relatively fresh application that offers users conventional app-like experiences through modern web technology. PWAs make websites feel more like native applications by enabling users to interact with them in ways similar to how they can interact with apps.
PWAs enable websites to provide many functions as mobile apps, including offline access, push notifications, and device hardware integration. Understanding the state of this technology is becoming more and more crucial as more businesses turn to creating PWAs.
According to research, the progressive web application market will be worth $10.77 billion by 2027, corresponding to a more than 30% year-on-year growth rate. As reported by Google, desktop PWA installations have increased by 270% since the beginning of 2021.
But how does the technology stand today? Let’s take a closer look.
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT PWAS?
Although not all browsers support all web features for PWA installation on desktops, such technology has already been used by brands such as Pinterest, which has combined native apps with PWAs to increase user retention due to its unparalleled reach.
FROM THE STARTER APP TO THE STORE PACKAGE USING PWABUILDER
The increasing acceptance of PWAs has resulted in a flood of new technologies and tools, including the Microsoft-sponsored, open-source PWABuilder toolchain. This includes all you need to start building powerful PWAs from scratch or add PWA functionality to an existing project. Moreover, almost every tech giants and business leaders have started adopting PWAs especially in the software development services in the UK, where the demand has notices skyrocketed.
Your PWA is ready to be wrapped on PWABuilder.com with the PWA Starter code template, which includes a fast stack and Workbox, as well as PWABuilder Studio’s Visual Studio Code extension with manifest management and PWA validation.
Furthermore, because it is open source, someone in the PWABuilder community is always available on Discord to contribute to projects on GitHub.
DIFFICULTIES IN STORING MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF CLIENT-SIDE DATA
Working with Indexed Database can be challenging due to its incapacity to perform advanced queries like joins and aggregations. In spite of this, there are solutions such as absurd-SQL and wa-sqlite that enable SQL queries to be run on indexed data locally.
Furthermore, accidental data loss is a risk that must be considered; the Origin Private File System API may provide high-performance access, but browser support may be a problem.
EVERYONE EVERYWHERE CAN USE WEB APPS: PWAS COMES TO THE AID OF PEOPLE IN LOW-INTERNET AREAS
Regarding accessibility, offline support is critical, and the presenter’s team needed to create an app for farmers in areas with limited connectivity. The Background Sync API and IndexedDB became critical components to enable offline CRUD actions.
For instance, if a farmer tries to create a diagnosis survey while not connected to the internet, IndexedDB will save the request as a JSON object; when they reconnect, Background Sync will detect the connection and sync with the server.
THE PWA JOURNEY ON YOUTUBE
YouTube made the web app installable when it realized its users wanted better offline capabilities. The Web Locks API was used on the client in order to address the issue of multiple tabs communicating with the download server at the same time.
Service worker support for lower latency, Core Web Vitals optimisations, and progressive degradation to video playback led to quadrupled metrics added to Cobalt.
THE JOURNEY OF BUILDING FLIPKART ADS
Flipkart recognised the need to create a PWA version of their Flipkart Ads desktop app as mobile usage grew. Network resiliency was a top priority, which they achieved by modifying the stale-while-revalidate tactics to use cached data.
They used app-rich install via manifest to ensure a frictionless user experience, allowing them to customise the install prompt tailored to local heuristics for example, shortly after creating an ad campaign, a campaign manager might be requested if they’d like to download the PWA.
A WINNING COMBINATION FOR THE BEST CLIENT EXPERIENCE
The Intel team collaborates with developers on a regular basis to ensure that both the hardware and software required are in place to create powerful PWAs. WebGPU, which is 3.7X faster than WebGL, is one example of their progress, as is the Compute Pressure API, which monitors client device usage.
Furthermore, Intel’s new chipsets employ hybrid architecture, which includes two types of cores – Performance-cores and Efficient-cores – allowing PWAs to reduce power consumption without sacrificing performance.
DEVELOPER CONTROL OVER PWA INSTALLATION IS EXPANDING
Installability has become increasingly important as PWAs have become more immersive. To that end, the Chrome team is looking into ways to give developers greater control over the installation process.
By enabling default offline experiences and eliminating the need for service workers to meet install criteria, developers can rely on their knowledge of their PWA and users to create an effortless onboarding experience, resulting in stronger user relationships.
MICROSOFT IN THE FOREFRONT
PWAs were initially spearheaded by Google, but Microsoft has taken on the mantle of PWA development seriously.
To inspire developers to create PWAs, Microsoft recently unveiled a suite of tools known as “PWABuilder” (also mentioned above), which includes the App Shell architecture, an automated testing tool, and an optimization guide.
This set of tools streamlines the process of creating PWAs while providing developers with access to industry best practices. This development tool also includes Google’s Bubblewrap technology, which gives developers the tools they need to package their PWA apps for distribution on the Google Play app store.
Microsoft’s PWA Studio is another option. Studio is a Visual Studio Code extension that includes powerful tools for creating Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). PWA Studio lets you convert your existing web application into a PWA, generate a service worker, and audit it for publication on the app store.
APPLE IS ON THE WAY
Apple has made major measures to embrace progressive web apps (PWAs) and capitalize on the growing trend. Apple has just announced Safari browser support for Service Workers and Web App Manifest.
This feature enables developers to create, distribute, and update PWAs in the same way that they would a native mobile app. Developers can also create PWAs that run across multiple platforms by working with Apple and Google.
As this comparison shows, there is still some way to go for full iOS compatibility. However, this is far ahead of Mozilla, which does not support PWAs in the Firefox desktop application.
THESE ARE THE THREE MOST IMPORTANT PWA TRENDS
Businesses are interacting with their customers in new ways with the help of PWAs, and it appears the future of PWAs is bright. Below are three major trends in the world of PWAs that might result in significant advancements:
RISING MOBILE ADOPTION
One significant trend is the increased use of PWAs on mobile devices. As mobile usage grows, companies are racing to create PWAs that can provide users with an app-like experience while remaining compatible with a variety of platforms and devices.
Moreover, businesses will be able to provide more engaging experiences across more channels and reach more users than ever before.
AI AND VOICE
Voice assistants and AI technology are the second trend in PWAs. Customers can already interact with websites via voice by using Google’s natural language processor which can be integrated into existing websites and applications.
This ease of use could be extremely beneficial to businesses looking to engage with their customers on a deeper level, providing faster service and resolution times.
RECOGNITION OF GESTURES
Finally, motion-based user interfaces are expected to take off in PWAs this year. To get the most out of their PWA experience, users no longer have to rely solely on clicks and taps for interaction; instead, they can simply use their hands or body movements for navigation and control.
SHOULD YOU USE PWA IN 2023 OR LATER?
If your product strategy necessitates rapid market entry and coverage of multiple platforms with a single codebase, the answer is YES. In the case of limited resources, progressive web apps enable startups to quickly and easily develop and distribute a progressive web app while benefiting from the minimal time and money required to roll out the app. PWAs are a powerful tool for marketing strategy implementation because they encourage first-time users to revisit the application and engage them with push notifications and in-app banners.
Providing value to users who have limited access to high-performance platforms or who prefer a more streamlined, lightweight experience can be advantageous for larger corporations as well. PWA is an option for enterprise software development that is bound to a single platform in order to take advantage of the crucial native features that are supported only by this platform.
Other common use cases for PWA include when your app needs to support offline mode or you need to convert your legacy web application made, for example, with React to a PWA with the least amount of time compared to creating a new app from scratch, using, for example, Flutter for Web.
Vishnu Narayan is a content writer works at ThinkPalm Technologies. He is a passionate writer, a tech enthusiast, and an avid reader who tries to tour the globe with a heart that longs to see more sunsets than Netflix!