Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are web applications that inherit reachability from web apps and capabilities from platform-specific apps. Web apps supporting PWA are designed, built and enhanced using modern browser APIs to provide capabilities, reachability, reliability and installability. These applications have other functionalities like offline access, push notifications, access to a local file system, hardware access and device contacts, pictures, songs and calendar events access.
Though it's not a new technology, as mobile-friendly websites are already using responsive design, enhanced concepts built using modern APIs and mixing them with existing features allow us to build user-friendly products.
Now, let's look at some benefits of PWA:
- It allows web applications to install on devices without taking the user to the app store.
- PWA apps can work in offline mode as well as on poor network connections.
- Web, desktop and mobile applications are built from a single codebase, which makes modifications and code maintenance easy.
- It supports web push notifications.
- Browser inbuilt security is readily available.
- PWA apps work on older browsers without breaking.
- PWA apps are search engine friendly - searchable and indexable.
- PWA apps can be shared and linked via URL, similar to web apps.
PWA also has some limitations:
- PWA is not yet fully supported on all the browsers.
- There is no PWA store where it can be searched and explored.
- Device hardware access is limited.
- PWA can not interact with other native apps.
In upcoming PWA posts, we will discuss how to build PWA apps and their features.