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How is Progressive Web App different from Regular Web App?

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Posted on January 3rd, 2019 by Vijeta Khurana in Guest Posts

Progressive Web Apps and Native Apps

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) vs Native Apps is a hot topic of debate in the market. Everyone is sharing their thoughts on what is similar in both the app types, what makes them apart, and who will rule the market in future. I’m sure you will also have your own points noted in a notebook to speak on this topic.

But, do you have enough to discuss Progressive Web Apps vs Regular Web Apps? Do you know what makes PWAs differ from the regular web apps? If not, this article will be a good read for you. Here we will look into what is a Regular Web App and what is a Progressive Web App, and discuss their significant differences and future predictions.

Regular Web App

A regular web app, in simpler terms, is a website that is designed to be accessible on all the mobile devices such that the content gets fit as per the device screen. It is designed using web technology stack (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Ruby, etc.) and operates via a browser. They offer various native-device features and functionalities. However, it completely depends on the browser the user is using. In other words, it might be possible that you are able to access a native-device feature on Chrome but not on Safari or Mozilla Firefox because the browsers are incompatible with that feature.

Progressive Web App

As coined by Alex Russell, Progressive Web App (PWA) is a type of regular web app, but with some extras that enables it to deliver exemplary user experience. It is a perfect blend of desktop and mobile application experience to give the best of both the platforms to the end users.

Now as you have an idea of what the terms Regular Web App and Progressive Web App (PWA) mean, let’s jump directly into the features that make PWAs different from the traditional web apps:

PWAs vs Regular Web Apps: What’s the Difference?

A Progressive Web is different and better than a Regular Web app with features like:

1. Native Experience

Though a PWA runs on web technologies (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) like a Regular web app, it gives user experience like that of a native mobile application. It can use the majority of the native device features, including push notification without relying on the browser or any other entity. It offers so seamless and integrated user experience that it is quite tough for one to differentiate between a PWA and Native application by considering its look and feel.

2. Ease of Access

Unlike other mobile apps, PWAs do not demand longer download time and make memory space available for installing the applications. The PWAs can be shared and installed by a link, which cut down the number of steps to install and use the application. Also, these applications can easily keep an app icon on the user home screen, which makes the app easily accessible to the users and helps the brands to remain in the minds of the users and improve the chances of interaction.

3. Faster Services

PWAs can cache the data and serve the user with texts stylesheets, images, and other web content even before the page loads completely. This lower down the waiting time for the end users and help the brands to improve the user engagement and retention rate, which eventually add value to their business.

4. Engaging Approach

As already shared, the PWAs can employ push notifications and other native device features more efficiently. Their interaction does not depend on the browser user uses. This eventually improves the chances to notify the user regarding your services, offers, and other options related to your brand, and keep them hooked to your brand. In simpler words, PWAs let you maintain the user engagement and retention rate.

5. Updated Real-Time Data Access

Another plus point of PWAs is that these apps get updated on their own. They do not demand the end users go to the App Store or other such platforms to download the update and wait till it is installed.

In this app type, the web app developers can push the live update from the server which reaches to the apps residing on the user’s devices automatically. Therefore, it makes easier for the app developers to provide the best of the updated functionalities and services to the end users, without forcing them to update their app.

6. Discoverable

PWAs reside in web browsers. This implies higher chances to optimize them as per the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) criteria and improve the Google rankings like that in the case of websites and other web apps.

7. Lower Development Cost

Progressive web apps can be installed on the user device like a native device, but it does not demand submission on App Store. This makes it far cost-effective than native mobile applications while offering the same set of functionalities.

Besides, this escape from App Store submission also enable the brands to quickly enter the market and earn higher ROI.

Now as you know what is PWA and what makes it better than a regular web app, what’s next? Wondering if PWA is popular in the market or not?

As per the market researches, 87% of the digital market experience relies on these web applications, and since PWAs are the better version of web apps, investing in PWA development is a profitable decision.

Various reputed brands Uber, Instagram, Pinterest, Trivago, Starbucks, and Twitter lite have invested in developing and are enjoying the best perks of the opportunity. For example, Twitter Lite observed a significant rise of 65% in pages per sessions and decrease by 20% in bounce rate by switching to Progressive web application. Alibaba revealed that they found 76% more conversions on the mobile web, with a rise of 30% and 14% in the monthly active users (MAU) on Android and iOS platform, respectively.

Also, Google was planning to replace Chrome apps with PWAs by the end of 2018. This is a clear indication that PWAs will definitely have a wider market in the future, which implies developing a PWA is a thoughtful and profitable act.

Vijeta Khurana

Holding a bachelor’s degree in Technology and 2 years of work experience in a mobile app development company, Vijeta Khurana is focused on making technology digestible to all. Being someone who stays updated with the latest tech trends, she’s always armed to write and spread the knowledge. When not found writing, you will find her answers on Quora while sipping coffee.

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