What are Progressive Web Apps ?
Progressive web apps (PWA) or advanced web applications is a solution based on the traditional web we all know. However, it incorporates some particularities that make it look like a native app for mobile phones and tablets.
Each project is independent, and the level of adaptation of the web to the app format is progressive so that we may visit a site with a PWA almost identical to an app, or perhaps it is a web with some advances.
Advantages of Progressive Web App (PWA)
The first advantage we find with progressive web apps is that we don’t need to go to Google Play or Apple Store to download anything. All that is required, at first, is an internet connection and a browser, which can be Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.
The second significant advance with the PWA is that any user can ‘install’ it on their device’s home screen. At one time or another, we have all had our mobile on the brink of capacity. We have deleted photos, videos, or uninstalled applications because nothing else would fit.
But there is always room for a PWA on any mobile phone because it works as a shortcut that opens the web and retrieves the content without connection or refreshes it if the user is connected to the network.
Yes, you read that right. With the progressive web app, the user can continue to consult your website, even if they have lost connection. This is one of the advantages that make it so attractive and have led to its great acceptance among Internet users.
What are Progressive Web Apps, and why are they so important? –
Those of us who work in audience development are concerned with meeting two goals:
1- Attracting new users
We already have loyalty by retaining them as long as possible in our environment.
Achieving this loyalty is not an easy task because it depends on many factors such as:
- That the content is what the audience expects
- The experience with the website is satisfactory
- That there is brand recognition
- Or that a need for recurring visits is created.
Fortunately, progressive web apps also allow notifications to be sent to mobile phones as if they were an app. At the moment, this technology is only available on Android devices, although there is already progress being made to extend it to iPhones with iOS.
Sending push notifications has been a phenomenon on content websites where different departments have developed combined strategies to get the most out of a product or news item.
The recurrence of the user’s visit depends on the need we have created in him, but also on the brand reminder and the ease with which he can access our site. This is another of the advantages of progressive web apps that allow them to be ‘installed’ on the desktop of the mobile phone with a display identical to that of an app icon. Although with an advantage: the user has not installed anything.
To achieve this, we often develop a small button on our mobile website that tells the user that they can create a shortcut on the desktop. This will be the access point to the PWA and will remember our brand and icon every time they go to that screen.
How does a Progressive Web Apps (PWA) work?
Ester Ribas explains how a PWA works: One of the most important elements that make up a PWA is the application’s manifest, which is in JSON format.
This allows us to control how our application will be seen in areas where users usually have native applications.
This file or manifest contains the following:
Name of the application : that will appear in the user’s mobile menu.
Description: Indicate the description of our mobile application.
Icons: Create different heroes with different resolutions so that it looks good on all devices.
Start URL: Start URL when we open the application
Display: In this case, we can choose several configurations (standalone, fullscreen, minimal-UI, among others).
Orientation: When we talk about exposure, we refer to whether we want the web application to be used in portrait or landscape mode.
Theme_color: the color to be used for the top bar of the application.
Background_color: color for the screen before the application loads completely.
Another element that we find is the Service Workers, which are one or several scripts that work in the background and allow us to generate an offline experience, downloading the actual contents for the application to work and generating push notifications.
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