New web trends emerge every year. Last year’s trend was responsive web applications, which included many sections like SPA, animations, and progressive web applications. There’s a lot of talk about progressive web applications nowadays, as they have the potential to be the new standard for the web applications and bring about a complete revolution in the UX industry.
What are PWAs?
PWAs are the new hybrid of web applications and native mobile applications. It’s about combining the best of the two worlds, the reach and frictionless of web applications with the stickiness and UX of a native application. PWAs offer reliable, installable, fast, app-like, responsive and safe applications. There are a few features of PWA application that totally change the game, like their offline capabilities, the engaging push notifications, and how they’re addable to the home screen with a click or two.
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There are many misconceptions hovering around the progressive web applications world. For instance, many believe that that PWAs are just made for mobiles and intended for mobile use. Which is totally not true, PWAs are intended to be cross-platform, including desktop usage, and even VR. In fact, you can check them out on PWARocks, and while not all functionalities are yet supported on all websites, you can still feel the app-likeness on a Desktop.
Many others believe that PWA is just a theorized concept and not a ready implementation. That is also not true, as checking the PWA adoption by industry-leading companies could only mean that PWA is a practical solution and a soon-to-be design standard.
There are many case studies that show the impact of integrating PWA with your business solutions. Flipkart, for instance, witnessed a 70% increase in conversions when they opted to use PWA. For AliExpress, the session’s duration increased by a 74% and conversions doubled as well. You’ll actually see similar numbers across many other PWAs. It feels like a holy grail of development and UX just like the famous UX button case, except in a broader sense of the word.
What are Developers saying?
When many active developers were asked about their preferences in building PWA, 50% stated they use the Bootstrap CSS framework while 33% use MaterialUI. When it came to the JS framework they used, Angular was leading the pack with a 40% while React and Vue shared the rest.
How Good is Angular?
How Angular Brings Easier PWA:
Now, back to the PWA field again, how well does it relate to Angular. Well, Angular and PWA cover a lot of each other’s weaknesses, that is, when you develop a PWA using Angular, you’d be avoiding certain weaknesses exposed in traditional web applications. For example, security is one of the major issues with Angular, because of its heavy client-side scripting. However, PWA relies on HTTPS, which is a safe version of the HTTP protocol to keep the user’s data secure.
npm install @angular/cli@next -g
ng new hnpwa –service-worker –routing
These three lines are basically all you need to set up a new app with a service worker and routing. Then you can go on to configure your service worker’s functionalities. The Angular Service worker (known as NGSW) allows you to configure the runtime caching and specify the resources you want to cache, those you want to continuously check for updates for, and those you just want to ‘lazy refresh’. Runtime caching is what brings the offline possibility to life.
Will PWA be able to replace web applications and native applications all together? Maybe.
Consider the Financial Times example, they actually dropped out their native application because when their PWA came to play, they found no need for a native application. The PWA was more personalized, quite as engaging, and much lighter than the native application.
Recently, a newer version of Angular, Angular 6, was launched into the beta for testing. It will aim to make development lighter, and easier, with even fewer steps to get a PWA up and running.
It’s true that while PWA brings a lot to the table, it’s not a mainstream design yet. However, there’s much more to come for PWAs, and more and more businesses will surely adopt it.
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