• Albert Bennett

Simply Put: What is PWA?

Updated: Mar 28, 2021

Yet another acronym! I am sure that if you are reading this you've heard of this mythical, mysterious term more than once before. If not, well... you're about to. In this post ​I will be explaining what it is. How it works, and why it matters.​

Simply put, PWA stands for Progressive Web App. It is a software development methodology that combines the features of standard web pages and a mobile application experience. Mmmm... sounds fancy!

Essentially it is a web page that you can add to your home screen, and it will appear as an application (web browser controls hidden and everything). Sounds like a glorified bookmark ​and... it is. But, that's not necessarily a bad thing. ​

The main benefits of building a PWA over a native app are as follows:​

. Performance, it looks like an app and runs like a web page​

. No download required​

. No updates required, it's a web page not an app​

. Better ux over web pages, some PWA's can even have push notifications enabled​

However there can be some... drawbacks to this approach namely:​

. Unable to communicate with other PWA's/ apps (No Facebook auth )​

. It's a web page at the end of the day and can only do things that HTML 5 will allow

​ . Limited cross browser support, as of right publishing this blog post PWA's only work with Chrome and Opera

If you'd like to try one out to get a feel for it yourself, housing.com offer one if you are viewing the mobile website. It's a neat experience.

For me PWA's are a great experience for websites​ that you visit frequently on mobile devices. It's even better when they don't prompt you to download their native app. Which personally, I find annoying.

Now the big question here is will they kill ​of the native app market. No, at least not yet anyways. If in the future there is an increase in cross browser support and are able to communicate with other PWA's/ apps. Then maybe. I mean there ​is then the issue of legitimacy, as in they aren't downloaded from an app store. So... a few challenges there.​

References:​

. housing.com

. https://blog.bitsrc.io/what-is-a-pwa-and-why-should-you-care-388afb6c0bad​

. https://jaba.com.au/blog/pros-and-cons-of-progressive-web-apps​

. https://hackernoon.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-progressive-web-app-pwa-6524edbb0c57​

I hope that this help you understand PWA's better. ​


If you have found it useful feel free to like, comment, and share this posts.​ It would really help me out with regards to getting my blog out there.

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