What is a PWA ( Progressive Web App)?

PWAs were introduced by Google in 2015. These are web applications developed with a web language (HTML5, JavaScript, CSS3, etc.) that bring together the world of websites and native mobile applications.

10 fundamental principles

A PWA is based on ten fundamental principles:

  1. Progressive: it works on all web browsers and for all users.

  2. Responsive: rendering that adapts to all media and all screen sizes. A PWA can therefore be used on mobile, tablet or computer.

  3. Offline: it has a disconnected mode to be able to work offline and on poor quality networks.

  4. App-Like: navigation and interactions on mobile are the same as for a native application.

  5. Update: The content is refreshed regularly by updating a service worker.

  6. Security: Uses HTTPS to secure the flow of exchange and ensure that the content has not been altered.

  7. Recognized as an application by browsers: Identified as a mobile application by traditional search engines.

  8. Re-engaging: Allows to extend user involvement via push notifications to alert them of new content changes.

  9. Installable: Allows the user to simply install it on the home page of their smartphone without going through the stores (App Store or Google Play).

  10. Shareable: Easily and immediately shared by providing the URL link

What are the advantages of a PWA ?

PWAs have many advantages. It must be understood that this is above all a way of thinking about web applications. PWAs offer access to features that were previously reserved for mobile applications. In addition, a single development will be necessary for several media, they are accessible via the web, can be installed on the device and therefore be accessible offline.

In addition to being multi-support, PWAs will have access to native mobile features such as push notifications. This mode of development allows you to focus on the most important aspect which is the pure functioning of the web application in a browser, for the transition to a mobile application, the browser does the rest.

A word about its drawbacks

Although a lot of progress is being made in terms of access to mobile media features, some are not available such as Bluetooth, push on IOS or the use of extensions.

Likewise, even though they are compatible with modern browsers, they are not supported on older versions.

It is also important to manage the ergonomics of the interface in order to avoid errors such as buttons that are too small on mobile, for example.

When to choose a PWA?

Now that we know a little more about these progressive web applications, we can look at the choices of such a solution.

If your solution must be accessible via a browser on a computer or even on a mobile device, such a solution is perfectly feasible. Conversely, if the use of the solution to be manufactured is only for mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets without any web use of the solution on a computer, a native mobile or cross-platform application will be preferable. If the solution must include very important native features, a hybrid or native mobile application may be chosen.

Lastly, when the processing is heavy on the mobile with calculations or important data to be processed in offline mode or scans to be made or photos to be taken and stored on the mobile, the PWA is no longer suitable.

Native mobile apps or PWAs meet different needs and can even be complementary. This is why we’re here to guide you towards the solution that best suits your needs.

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