Progressive Web Apps: The better web…with better app solutions

A Progressive Web App (PWA) is a web app that uses modern web capabilities to deliver an app-like experience to users. These apps meet certain requirements which are to be deployed to servers, accessible through URLs, and indexed by various search engines.

This can work in simultaneously with Cordova to provide a multiple deploy targets for all your users. You can deploy your app as a PWA as well as Native app and take advantage of both channels concurrently.

Ionic allows you to ship your app to not only the app store, but also deploy to the mobile web as a Progressive Web App.

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) is the future of mobile apps and the web, pushed by heavyweights in the industry especially by most used search engine giant i.e Google. With features such as adding to home screen, offline support, push notifications and more than, a Progressive Web App offers a user experience approaching that of a native mobile app. Here’s how a PWA works. Imagine that you have a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) app that is also PWA adaptable. You just need to visit the app using a normal URL in your mobile browser. If you do again visited the app more than once, the Progressive Web App will prompt you to “Add to Home Screen”, which is basically equivalent to “installing” the app

Once installed, the Progressive Web App icon appears as an app in your phone. Launching the app will display a splash screen, and the app is then displayed in a full window without a browser navigation bar.

What is required

To be considered a Progressive Web App, your app must be:

  • Progressive – Work for every user, regardless of browser choice, because they are built with progressive enhancement as a core tenet.
  • Responsive – Fit any form factor, desktop, mobile, tablet, or whatever is next.
  • Connectivity independent – Enhanced with service workers to work offline or on low quality networks.
  • App-like – Use the app-shell model to provide app-style navigation and interactions.
  • Fresh – Always up-to-date thanks to the service worker update process.
  • Safe – Served via HTTPS to prevent snooping and ensure content has not been tampered with.
  • Discoverable – Are identifiable as “applications” thanks to W3C manifests and service worker registration scope allowing search engines to find them.
  • Re-engageable – Make re-engagement easy through features like push notifications.
  • Installable – Allow users to “keep” apps they find most useful on their home screen without the hassle of an app store.
  • Linkable – Easily share via URL and not require complex installation.

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