The Rise of the Progressive Web App
The web browser has grown from a simple document reader, to a mature application platform in the 30 years the web has been around. Thanks to new features and increasingly fast smartphones, web applications today can feel as beautiful, smooth and good as native mobile applications. These are Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). These combine the benefits of native apps and web applications:
- Cross-platform: A PWA can be accessed and installed on both mobile devices and desktop computers.
- Low cost: Because you only have to maintain a single codebase for the app, rather than several separate ones, costs stay low.
- Installable: Unlike normal websites, you can 'install' a PWA so that, for example, an icon appears on your phone's homescreen. This increases the chances that people will reopen the app later, and not forget about it.
- No play store / app store required: the install goes outside of app stores. This makes the process of installing very approachable and fast.
- Offline use: normal websites require an active internet connection. With PWAs service workers can be used to make the app work offline.
- Fast: because of that service worker, PWAs can retain content for extra quick access.
- Notification: similar to regular native apps, PWAs can send native notifications.
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