Potentially Losing Ground to the Competition if Your Apps Aren’t PWAs

It has become increasingly clear that there can be no further discussion about whether or not businesses should venture into the mobile market – it is a necessity. Recent statistics show that there are currently 3.86 billion smartphone users in the world, which equates to more than half of the global population. Whilst this is an impressive figure, people are seemingly overlooking an even more significant point – the potential for Native Applications to become extinct.

It may be easy to think that the statement is inaccurate, given the large amount of applications that are being downloaded and used. However, it is important to consider how many of these applications are actually used on a regular basis. When looking at the more than four million apps that are available to download from the Google Play and Apple Store, the number of applications that are regularly used is significantly lower. This results in a rather humorous comparison.

It is clear that the supply of apps far exceeds the demand. This is because many people do not feel the need to have a dedicated app for every activity they do, and are often hesitant to keep downloading apps without a valid reason. Does this mean that mobile websites should be used in lieu of apps? However, this is not necessarily the case. It could be argued that we are in the early stages of the Progressive Web App era.

Remind me again, what are Progressive Web Apps?

It is possible that you may be familiar with the acronym PWA but may have forgotten what it stands for. To provide clarity, Progressive Web Applications (PWAs) are mobile applications that are similar to native apps, but without the need for the user to download or install anything. This begs the question: how do they manage to do this? The answer is that they run in isolation within a web browser.

By developing a Progressive Web App (PWA), organisations may be able to take advantage of a number of benefits. One of the primary advantages is that PWAs can provide the same functionality as native apps without the need for a download. This means that users can access the same gestures and navigations as they would with a native programme. Additionally, pre-caching ensures that the app is always up-to-date, even in areas with low connectivity, meaning that users can access the latest version of the app almost instantly.

In conclusion, Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) provide users with the best of both worlds, combining the advantages of a mobile website and a native app, while avoiding some of the drawbacks of each. PWAs also introduce their own unique advantages to the user.

It’s time to prepare for the PWAs

Earlier this year, Google Drive released its progressive web app (PWA) to further demonstrate the organisation’s commitment to the ever-growing mobile trend. Although the user experience was not dramatically altered, it was noted that, particularly with regards to mobile users, the app can appear a little abrasive. Nonetheless, the implementation of PWA alongside Google Photos and YouTube Music is a testament to the company’s dedication to staying ahead of the curve.

A number of well-known companies, such as Starbucks, Forbes, Pinterest, Twitter and The Weather Channel, have invested heavily in creating Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), but with varying degrees of success. They are certainly not the only ones either; according to industry reports, Netflix is currently developing its own version, taking inspiration from Hulu. Microsoft is also in the process of creating a PWA version of Edge and Disney+ has a PWA that is already available for use.

The evidence provided clearly supports the widely held belief that progressive web applications are the way forward when it comes to the mobile industry. Ignoring this shift in technology would undoubtedly be an error on the part of those involved. So, what should those who have not yet started working on a PWA do? It is important to not over-commit to the cause just yet, as the progressive web application era is still in its infancy. However, there is no doubt that there is still plenty of time to get up to speed.

Why Convert to PWAs

It is highly recommended that businesses explore the potential of progressive web applications (PWAs) for their mobile strategy. This is for three primary reasons, the first of which is cost-effectiveness. PWAs are significantly cheaper to develop than other mobile strategies, and this is likely to be of particular interest to senior leadership. Furthermore, PWAs can be created and updated far more quickly than other options, making them an attractive option for businesses.

The advantages of developing web applications rather than native apps are clear. By creating a web app, the amount of work required is significantly reduced, as you only need to create one version that is compatible with all browsers, rather than developing two separate applications for iOS and Android. Furthermore, there is no need to worry about abiding by the various regulations that are applicable to app stores.

PWAs (Progressive Web Applications) are significantly more productive than native applications, as they require minimal storage space and can be accessed from any mobile device at any time. Furthermore, PWAs can be pinned to the home screen, providing a UX (User Experience) and interface that is almost identical to that of a native application.

It is clear from the first two points that modern consumers no longer install apps without any thought. To be considered by users, an app must have something distinctive to offer, either in terms of unique features or because it is associated with a recognisable brand. Even then, users may hesitate before downloading, and if they experience any difficulties with the app, such as slow performance, malfunctioning features or an unappealing design, it is likely that they will not return.

Get on the Mobile Bandwagon, Right Now

A few years ago, progressive web applications (PWAs) were incredibly popular, due to the increased convenience that they provided for both businesses and consumers. However, the popularity of PWAs eventually diminished. Nevertheless, this does not signify the end for PWAs, as Gartner predicts that by the end of 2018, usage of PWAs will be equal to that of native applications, reaching a ratio of approximately 50:50.

It is not surprising that this large sum exists, given that users are often unwilling to download extra applications. This provides a great opportunity for progressive web apps (PWAs) to gain popularity due to their flexibility and efficiency. At this very moment, PWAs are doing very well. If your organisation is not already considering ways to implement a PWA, then it could be at risk of falling behind its competitors.

In addition to providing a viable alternative to native apps, Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) may also be used as a substitute for mobile and desktop sites. If you choose the right PWA development provider, your PWA could become the foundation of your mobile-first approach. This strategy is already being adopted by a number of major companies, so why not join them? Would you regret not taking this opportunity?

Join the Top 1% of Remote Developers and Designers

Works connects the top 1% of remote developers and designers with the leading brands and startups around the world. We focus on sophisticated, challenging tier-one projects which require highly skilled talent and problem solvers.
seasoned project manager reviewing remote software engineer's progress on software development project, hired from Works blog.join_marketplace.your_wayexperienced remote UI / UX designer working remotely at home while working on UI / UX & product design projects on Works blog.join_marketplace.freelance_jobs