What are Progressive Web Apps
Progressive Web Apps are fast light weight web applications installed on the users home screen from the web browser.
PWA’s increase website usability by providing mobile app like features.
PWA’s enhance overall visitor experience just like native apps.
PWA’s are standalone apps in full screen mode.
With PWA’s, neither you need to download and install heavy apps from the app store (Google Play and iOS) nor have to update them at regular intervals.
To install PWA just open the website and add it to the home screen, if it has a PWA active.
Thus, PWA’s also save you lot of mobile data.
Components required to Convert Site to PWA
- Securely serve website via HTTPS.
- A web app manifest file.
- A service worker.
A service worker is a client side proxy which automatically caches pages in the background as you browse the website.
Some PWA’s also work without active internet connection, if enabled by the site owner.
Why Build PWA for Your Site
- To provide native app like experience.
- PWA’s are inexpensive to build that too in less time.
- Not limited by hardware, memory or space constraint.
- To give your website a permanent place on the visitors home screen.
- Work reliably, irrespective of network state (online, offline) or speed (2G, 3G, 4G).
- Faster initial as well as subsequent loads by consuming less data.
- Easily discoverable by search engines.
- Increase visitor engagement as well as time on site.
- Ultimately improved conversion lead to increased sales for eCommerce sites.
How to Build PWA Online
- Quick and Fast.
- Secure as served via HTTPS.
- PWA’s provide an app like full screen experience.
- Saves expensive mobile data by not having to install or update apps from the app store.
- Saves precious storage space.
- Location service is active only when you open an app and only to the site you have explicitly granted access permission.
- PWA’s do not auto start on their own.
- A PWA can also send you push notifications.
- Syncs updates in the background.
- Share PWA by simply sending the URL.
- Increases battery life.
- Currently PWA’s don’t work in Incognito mode.
- You need to delete browser cache data at regular intervals (weekly, monthly) depending on your internet usage.
How to Install PWA
- PWAs can be installed from all browsers, mobile (Android, iOS) as well as desktop.
- Visit any website.
- Click the + sign on the address bar for all desktop based chromium browsers and Firefox mobile to install PWA.
- Safari browser, click up arrow inside u to install PWA.
- Or click Add to Home Screen from menu.
Settings for Optimal PWA Performance
- For Firefox, go to Settings -> Clear Private Data -> Untick Offline web site data and Site settings.
- For Chromium browsers like Brave and Chrome for mobile/tablet, go to Settings -> Privacy -> Clear Browsing Data -> untick Cookies and Site Data, Passwords and other Sign-in data, Site Settings, and Hosted App Data(desktop).
Best Global PWA’s
- Bubble Pairs
- Jigsaw Puzzle
- Rubik’s Cube
- AnonAce – anonymously follow and read favorite topics, authors, and hashtags from reddit and Twitter.
- NordPass – password manager.
- 1tuner – listen to online radio and podcasts.
- Flat – online collaborative music notation.
- Yhimsical – a YouTube music player.
- Insulin Buddy
- Redberry – notes with sync.
- Nwotable – most feature rich notes app.
- TinyThoughts – one sentence a day journal with reminders, photos, tags, and mood analysis.
- Expense Guide – with sharing.
- Money Tracker – local or cloud.
- Rendez – make appointments, share with others.
- Timely – different time zones.
- Hollr – share events with groups and chat.
- Todoninja – with reminders.
- The Weekr – local, sync, repetitive, sub-tasks.
- MultiCalc – calculator with unit converter, recommended.
- PWA React Calculator – with sound.
- Tracks – time logging with sync, counter.
- Thyme – free, paid time logging with timesheet, reports, projects.
- Picular – Google but for colors
- Secure Wallet – password manager.
- Unitrack – track shipment from FedEx, UPS, USPS, OnTrac.
- Morphistic – convert vectors into something beautiful.
- High Tide
- Joppy – recruitment platform for developers.
- Atom – periodic table and tests.
- Logbook – for doctors.
- Smart Azan Clock
- Firefox Send – simple private file sharing.
- Cryptee – secure, private, encrypted file storage with notes
- Nomie – habit tracker.
- PhotoStack – resize images, add watermark.
Best Indian PWA’s
PWA makes your WordPress faster for subsequent visits.
Moral of the Story
PWA are secure, fast, reliable, light weight web applications which provide full screen app like experience irrespective of network state while saving data with low battery consumption.