The App as a PWA – Pro and Contra

Entry into Progressive Web Apps, part 1 The App as a PWA – Pro and Contra

Progressive Web Apps, or PWAs, merge App outstaffing development and Web Design. Thus, a simple and efficient method to quickly develop Apps. Compared to native Apps, some arise from the fact – but also disadvantages.


In applications such as the Online photo editor Photopea the possibilities of PWA techniques.In applications such as the Online photo editor Photopea the possibilities of PWA techniques.

(Image: Rentrop / Photopea)

If a company would like to provide Content, information or entertainment content on Smartphone and Tablet ready, there is hardly a way to your own App. In addition to the Web-offer the presence in the App Stores of Apple, Google and Amazon is a duty, therefore, as it provides almost automatically for a better perception of the offer by mobile users.

The skillful Online presence, so it includes three pillars: so Far, a mobile Website and a native App had to be offered in addition to the Website of the offer. Progressive Web Apps do this and merge App and mobile site to a unit that combines the advantages of both systems.

In the past, everything was the App Store

In the past, many Online vendors have relied on classic native Apps in the App Stores to your content to provide a kind of developed its own Browser, in the only to offer the delivery of this provider. This procedure is time-consuming and cost-intensive, in addition, the Review processes of Apple, Google and co. provide for a delay in the necessary Updates.

Progressive Web Apps can work around these restrictions, because it is, in principle, by pure mobile pages – the behavior if needed, however, as Apps and by the way, the annoying App Store Reviews deal: they can be directly from the Browser as regular Apps on the home screen installed and offline work.

Progressive Web Apps to save costs

One of the biggest advantage of Progressive Web Apps (PWA) is obvious: Compared with fully native Apps for iOS, Android, and, where appropriate, exotic mobile systems are here to save development costs, expensive accounts for more track from mobile site and system-specific Apps.

The contents of the PWA will be created on the web server and delivered to a separate App is no longer needed. Instead, the PWA on specific system libraries of the Smartphones or Tablets, to attack, to system functions. As a result, the PWA as before, the Browser Wrapper is capable of specific functions, systems – such as Geolocation, contact information, Push notifications, Sensors, or even a microphone, and camera operation to use.

Apple’s iOS System supports this technology since iOS 11.4, Android, since Chrome 57 in the location, these Apps will run. By the way, PWAs can be used with the new Chrome closely related Edge Browser on Chromium-based on Windows 10 and also for MacOS, there are a PWA Framework. Basically, the functionality depends on the Browser, but generally platform independent.

More than just a Browser

The mobile ZDF media library and can work at the same time as a PWA.The mobile ZDF media library and can work at the same time as a PWA.

(Image: Rentrop / ZDF)

But how all this is possible? Basically, a Progressive Web App is a mobile version of the website. This makes it backward-compatible with browsers that do not support the technology, and works like any regular Website. The magic comes into play when a modern Browser operating system is used in combination: namely, the progressive Web can be pulled-App as a favorite on the home screen of your smartphone or tablet – and is much slimmer than the native App.

The PWA is opened on the home screen, the Browser, the mobile site acts as a full App, including Offline functionality. A good example of this technique, for example, the PWA application of the ZDF media library. Here is the URL “ must be entered” in the Browser. What initially looks like a regular mobile page, in the Moment, to the PWA, the application on the Homescreen set.

PWA plays advantages of mobile pages and applications

A PWA needs to be placed on the home screen.A PWA needs to be placed on the home screen.

(Image: Rentrop / Twitter)

Here is the Website looks like as an App and also works in a similar way. Also services such as Uber, Telegram, Twitter, Spotify or as PWAs available. Really interesting, Progressive Web Apps, however, are where the real functions are required.

Even simple games as a PWA possible.Even simple games as a PWA possible.

(Image: Rentrop / Pacman-PWA)

With the Online photo editor Photopea shows what is Progressive Web Apps. Even smaller Casual Games are demonstrated no Problem, how about Pacman PWA. A good Overview of existing Progressive-Apps page appsco offers, by the

Cons of PWAs

In applications such as the Online photo editor Photopea the possibilities of PWA techniques.In applications such as the Online photo editor Photopea the possibilities of PWA techniques.

(Image: Rentrop / Photopea)

In short: There are lots of good reasons to rely on PWAs: in addition to the cost and time savings in the development of the Bypass of the time allow PWAs elaborate the App Store review process and save also memory on the terminal device of the User. Why should be always used a PWA?

On the one hand, special attention must be paid to the availability of the Web infrastructure and Caching technologies that allow it to make content available offline. On the other hand, PWAs are not suitable for every application. Thus, applications that are programmed to be very close to the hardware, for example, are not good as a PWA suitable. Also very extensive and entirely offline-to-use Apps are not suitable for the PWA application, since they bring no benefit for the user.

PWAs are not from the App Store

Although PWA freed many applications from the clamp handle to the App Stores, however, this is not necessarily an advantage. User-search your Apps in the App Store or Play Store, there is no result, checked the product or in the worst case, to the competitors changed. Some of the malicious Scams in the past, the App Stores are set apart by their Review processes in a clean and safe environment for users – a factor that is eliminated in the case of PWAs.

Last but not least, the Installation of a PWA not more complex than the Installation of an App from the App Store, but only a few users known function is needed here. Here, communication is necessary, when fully PWA to be converted. And so is likely to be for the foreseeable future, the parallel operation of a native App is indispensable.


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