PWA: What are Progressive Web Apps and Why Use Them?

Progressive Web Apps, PWA, is a development methodology that seeks to transform the user’s experience into mobile and desktop devices, making digital solutions present characteristics of native applications, consuming less data and without the need for installation. In 2021, shortly after Google identified that most sites were being accessed by mobile devices, an opportunity arose to offer functionality similar to that of native applications. And that brought up PWA, defined by Google as reliable, engaging and fast. And the proposal is precisely this, to make its users have a better experience with Web Apps and that content can be shared in a more democratic way, being accessible to people with all types of devices and connectivity. Being considered the future of web development, PWA is also cheaper to develop than native applications. Check below what it is and why you should pay more attention to this topic. PWA is a development methodology that seeks to bring to digital solutions, accessed by browsers on a mobile and desktop device, the same experience experienced by a user in a Multi-Programming Solutions. For more information click to link.

The Technologies Behind PWA

PWA’s proposal is to make the websites have the functionality of native apps, such as offline operation, icon on the main screen of the used device, automatic update and push notifications, without the need for the user to download all the application data. Speaking in a more technical way, the PWA is an improvement of Web technologies. It can also be seen as a combination or a hybrid evolution between websites and mobile applications.

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There are some web technologies behind all PWA methodology, they are:

  • Service Worker
  • API Cache
  • Push Notifications
  • Manifest Web App

Even if you are not a Developer

Being aware of what these technologies are and knowing how they work within PWA is very important to be able to understand the potential that it presents. Below I will explain to you, in a summarized way, how each one behaves and what it influences in this methodology.

1. Service Worker

The Service Worker is a system that intercepts application requests, and stores the results on the client side. This allows for extremely fast data consumption speed, and allows the application to work offline. It acts as a kind of cache, as we already know.

2. Cache API

Cache API is a way to store requests made locally, so that when requested again, they are more performativity. This concept consists of saving a copy of a requisition or a specific route in order to use it again so that it is possible to consume later again, without the need to make a new requisition.

3. Push notifications

This is probably the tool we are most familiar with, as it is used by all Apps to alert us to updates, news, signs of not using the app and other information.

Push notifications are used to notify users of certain services about various features. They are common in mobile apps, and most of them report some news. An example of this technology is WhatsApp messages that are notified on your cell phone or when someone likes your photo on Instagram.

Recently, this technology has been implemented in Web Sites, seeking to create greater interaction with the public, without the need to download any application in an application store.

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4. Web App Manifest

According to Google’s Web Fundamentals, the Web App Manifest is a document that aims to standardize Web applications, which allows the user to add a website icon to their home screen, without having to download an application.

By including this technology in your project, your user has faster access to your content, which makes your entire experience more enriching. Although it can be used on any website, the Web App Manifest is mandatory within PWA.

What are the Advantages of PWA?

There are numerous positive points in the use of progressive web tools, such as:

  • They can be used independently of the browser or device;
  • They work offline thanks to the service worker;
  • Allow push notifications to be sent;
  • Allows you to add an icon to the device’s home screen;
  • Updates automatically;
  • Experience similar to a native application.

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