Progressive web applications merge the best of traditional websites and native applications. The apps combine the capabilities of native applications with website compatibility and accessibility; they are growing in popularity because they work around both website and application shortcomings.
What is a Progressive Web Application?
A progressive app is a “web-app” designed to mirror the functionality and experience of a native application while being accessible through a web browser. Progressive apps can also be installed to devices via a link instead of through a store; however, the app doesn’t need to be installed to work. To be considered a progressive app the site needs to implement a list of features including cross-browser functionality, responsive web design, HTTPS deployment, and unique URL assignments for each page. If a visitor chooses to install a progressive app it will appear as a home icon on their mobile device and behave like a native application. This allows the ap to take advantage of operating system features installed on the device.
The Big Sell: Why are Progressive Web Apps Growing in Popularity?
Progressive apps address one of the biggest problems with the current app-deployment model: apps lose about 20 percent of the remaining audience each step along the way to installing and using the app. Progressive web applications allow the user to immediately access the web application through the browser and can opt to install it at a later time. A progressive app will wait until the visitor has established a recurring relationship with the site before suggesting an install.
Progressive apps also boast a heap of improvements over native apps like assigning each page a unique, web-accessible URL. This URL makes it possible for search engines to index the application’s content as well make it much easier for users to share content between devices. Progressive apps also function offline and improve load times. Push notifications, as well as the home screen icon, encourage visitors to re-engage with the site.
Even if a site can’t fully implement the progressive web application model, sites can benefit by implementing “progressive” philosophies.
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