Progressive Web Apps - Web Apps on Steroids

Progressive Web App –Image from Ionic JS Blog

There has been a lot of new things coming now a days. Since the rise of the JavaScript ecosystem. Both in backend with Node.js and in frontend with plethora of JavaScript Frameworks while popular frameworks like React and Angular leading the horde.

While JavaScript leading the Development of the Web by making it more secure, performant and immersive.

In mid 2015, Alex Russell from Google and Frances Berriman discussed on how to enhance the user experience in a article Progressive Web Apps: Escaping Tabs Without Losing Our Soul and introduced the term Progressive Web App for the first time, defining what was needed for a Web App to evolve.

And that’s when I first heard about called a Progressive Web App.

So, What is a “Progressive Web App” ?

“A Progressive Web App uses modern web capabilities to deliver an app-like user experience.”

Google Developers - Progressive Web App Article

More precisely,

“A Progressive Web App uses modern web capabilities to deliver an app-like user experience. They evolve from pages in browser tabs to immersive, top-level apps, maintaining the web’s low friction at every moment.”

Addy Osmani

Or to find answer to this question is same as finding answer to any other question nowadays, “Ask Google” and If you are lazy not to ask Google, Let me google that for you - click here and Go to the First link you find out.

PWA’s are quintessentially Web Apps with enhanced User Experience leveraging the power of latest web technologies like Service Workers, Web App Manifests etc.

In a nutshell,  Progressive Web Apps are Web Apps on steroids , supercharged to give end users a Native App like experience.

I’ve listed some steroids Web Apps need to take to call it a PWA.

  • Responsive

    For making a web app truly give an app like experience, it must be Responsive and work seamlessly in Smartphones.

  • Independent from Connectivity

    One of the steroid which makes PWA much interesting is its independence from Network. Using ​Service Workers to take over the network, as every network activity that user does passes through the Service Worker and then to the Network.Which provides serving the user with data even if they are not connected to the Internet.

    Since the introduction of AJAX around year 2000, there had been many new technologies introduced to make the best of Web. Such as Adobe AIR, Microsoft Silverlight and more. But they were not on par with, how AJAX changed the way developers constructed their Web Apps. Until almost 15 years later with the introduction of Service Workers. By providing a new paradigm for developers to play with.

  • App like Experience

    Designing the Interface of the Web App such that, is behaves similar to any native app. Thus, making it worthy of having place amongst native apps providing a fully immersive experience.

  • Re-engagement

    To make user visit the App again and again, implementing various re-engagement techniques such as Push Notifications, Installing Web App to Home Screen and more.

Web Apps take advantage of these latest technologies and strategies which help them supercharge themselves and provide a fast and reliable user experience.

Reason behind talking about Progressive Web Apps

To introduce PWA’s and its superpowers to developer fanatics, who always wants to be on the bleeding edge of the technologies.

For next few articles, I’ll be talking about different approaches and features (Steroids) to make your web app  a Hulk like Web App , smashing out the boring parts.

TL;DR

How awesome Progressive Web Apps are and why I’ll be talking a lot about it in future.

Also posted on Medium.com/OtakuCodes