Mobile devices currently play a key role in the Web’s landscape. The network traffic generated by smartphones and tablets has already exceeded the traffic from computers a few years ago. This has led to many companies putting the needs of smartphone users in the first place, which has proved to be the right choice. One of the best solutions geared for mobile use are PWAs – Progressive Web Apps.
What is a PWA?
PWA, or a Progressive Web App, is a special kind of website with functionality allowing it to combine the advantages of a mobile and web app. The use of regular hosting makes PWAs reachable at any time using any Internet-connected device. At the same time, some functions of such an application should always be available online. One of the most significant features of a Progressive Web App is the possibility of saving, or “installing” it, in the device’s memory. This way the app can use caching to offer the best user experience even in situations with weak or no Internet access. It’s also possible to easily integrate its features with other apps running on a smartphone or a tablet – this allows for using contacts, reading and writing files, managing calendar data or even accessing devices connected via Bluetooth or USB.
What’s behind the popularity of PWAs? One of the reasons is small app size – a PWA can take up even 100 times less disk space than a regular application, while offering the same functionality. On top of that, there’s the possibility of offline use, and a relatively short development time. It’s also worth noting that many of the biggest players on the market use PWAs – numerous examples include Uber, Twitter or Spotify.