What are they and why do they matter?

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) have been around for almost five years but its only now in 2020 they are gaining traction.

So, what is it? A Progressive Web App (PWA) is a website or web-based application that is as feature rich and responsive as a program/app that is physically installed.

For example, Progressive Web Apps (PWA) have been used by companies such as Microsoft and Google to provide offline editing features for their G-Suite and Office 365 services.

This means with or without an internet connection, you can still edit, save and access your documents no matter where you are.

Microsoft word is a notable example of progressive web app capabilities. Since pushing their cloud-based architecture, Microsoft word has become less of a native application and moved more towards a Progressive Web App architecture.

It’s easier to view web applications without things like hardware limitations on the device causing issues, because most of the complicated material is handled on the server.
Allows you to install a website as an app on a phone or PC, using a standard launcher to make it feel like it’s a physically installed application. (gives a website the look and feel of a typical mobile app)
Offer a high level of security and make it easier for push notifications to alert the users device natively which, before now, was impossible. Push notifications as most developers know are key to continued engagement and adoption of your application.

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are going to be massive in 2020 – increasingly, more developers understand the importance of good user experience and responsiveness of their apps across all devices.

This is going to be a key change in the way we develop for the web – website’s that aren’t compatible on every device will be penalised by Google and over the next few years this will become a key requirement for any website pushing to improve their SEO performance.

The web is becoming less about static content and more about memorable functional experiences that make our lives easier!