Development

Will Progressive Web Apps replace Native Apps?

By 25th April 2019 No Comments

Progressive web apps have been gaining momentum in recent years. Every business understands that targeting customers via mobile is needed for a business to succeed. It is an important marketing tool. However, the digital world changes at a fast pace. Websites are great but don’t offer a pleasant user experience like native apps do. Native apps became the go to option a few years ago. Almost everyone has a mobile device, so it seemed the most obvious choice to build a native app and attract a large pool of potential users. However, the recent introduction of the PWA has shaken up the app world. A mix between a traditional website and a native app, it takes the best qualities of both a website and a native app, meaning more people are seeking this invest in a PWA for their business.

Why are people turning to PWA’s?

PWA’s use API’s, push notification and service workers to enhance the user experience

Remember when everyone wanted a native app and not just a website? That’s now the case, but with PWA’s. PWA’s work well for lots of businesses. Especially those in retail. When shopping online, for instance, users just want to find their purchase then checkout. A native app requires the user to download the app when it would be much easier and quicker if the user could do all this quickly in the browser and check out securely. That’s why PWA’s work so well. You can read more about the pros and cons of PWA’s in our previous blog.

PWA’s are more economical

Every mobile user knows the drama of ‘ you’re running low on storage space’. Especially iPhone users! Native apps take up sacred space on your device, which means they are the go-to option for instant deletion to create more space if they rarely use the app anyway. We all know that once a user decides to hit uninstall, the likeliness of reinstalling is slim to none.

A PWA however, takes up no space on a device. With everything done in the browser, the loading speed is usually a lot quicker than powering up an app. A PWA consumes less data for the user, and they can still save the PWA to their home screen without having to download. An initial hurdle for native apps when they first emerge on the market is to get consumer buy in, and sustain it. The process to download a native app is long-winded compared to opening your browser. Users have to open their app store, search for the app, wait for it to download and then usually sign up when they open it. Users want instant gratification, we think of long loading speeds as a thing of the past, so a PWA offers a more pleasant user experience with minimal commitment.

PWA’s from a development perspective

Aside from the main plus point that PWA’s are cheaper to develop, they are faster to build and easier to update. Android developers and iOS developers alike are learning more about PWA’s to keep up with the demand and evolve as the demand for native apps declines.

How are PWA’s becoming the future?

A good PWA can replace a businesses desktop site, mobile site and native app. Essentially it offers 3 in one. Native apps require their own little community to build and deploy them. First introduced in 2015, PWA’s really took off last year and are only becoming more popular. Twitter and Lancome prove that PWA’s can look amazing and offer a seamless user experience. However, Tinder released a PWA at the back end of 2017 and saw immediate success. You can read their full case study here but generally, they saw users spending more time on the site compared to their native app, and a huge reduction in the size of the application. They hoped the introduction of the PWA would open Tinder to new adopters, and it did just that and more. They also saw more users swiping, messaging and updating their profiles in comparison to the native app.

released a PWA at the back end of 2017 and saw immediate success. You can read their full case study here but generally, they saw users spending more time on the site compared to their native app, and a huge reduction in the size of the application. They hoped the introduction of the PWA would open Tinder to new adopters, and it did just that and more. They also saw more users swiping, messaging and updating their profiles in comparison to the native app.

Tinder’s PWA has been a huge success

The world of PWA’s has only just begun, but with more businesses keen to jump on board and leave native apps behind it’s interesting to see what lies ahead for the PWA, especially since the big three, Google, Microsoft and Apple are pushing for PWA’s to become the future.