/web development

PWA | Progressive Web Apps | Pros and Cons

In the current world of technologies, one of the technology that is currently booming is the PWA. It was introduced by Google in 2015 and since then plenty of websites have adopted this technology. And the result obtained through this are also marvellous.

What am I talking about?

PWA is a web app, which can be displayed in the form of a regular App on a phone ( platform-independent) and also works like a regular responsive website on the internet.

What does it use?

It consists of Javascript mainly and uses Service Workers, in which the server of the PWA is saved in the user’s web browser and from time to time new feeds are loaded into it. This is the main reason of the speed of a PWA.

The Advantages of building a PWA:

1. Responsive Layout

Yes, you have to build a Responsive Website. This would surely attract a lot of mobile users to your website. Today Most of the market is from the mobile users. So you got this checked.

2. Available in offline Mode

Oh Yeah. Once you use the PWA website on your browser, the cache of the website will automatically save in your web browser. Which means that you can later easily view the webpage in the Offline mode.

3. Add to the Home Screen

Once you open a PWA website, you will get a prompt to add it to your home screen. This is make it easy to the users , and even the website traffic will increase

4. Acts like a Mobile App

You heard it right, from then onwards when you open a PWA it will act like a mobile App. Opens without the URL bar and other Tab options. Gets installed on the phone ( without harmful access to the Phone’s hardware and software ).

5. Push Notifications

Sending notifications to the user phones even when the website is closed. You can do that??? Yup , totally possible.

6. Very less memory space

I used the very on purpose. Imagine a 10MB Play Store app working at 250kb on your phone. I’m serious.

7. Cross Platform

Develop a PWA compatible web app and use it on any phone which supports Chrome Browser, on any desktop which has a browser. Yes! Yes! YESS!


Every coin has a flip side to it

The Disadvantages

1. There is a catch with the push notifications

To enjoy the push notifications and in prompt builds, the website needs to use the secured TL connection.

2. Not easy for a beginner to get started

If you are a developer and you want to develop PWAs then you have to have the knowledge of HTML, CSS, Javascript, ES6 and a minimal understanding of the related technologies which you may encounter on your way. Though there are easy shortcuts to get started, ( Now that is for another blog post )

3. No download store presence

You cannot have a direct pwa at the Play Store or the App store.

4. Cannot modify the splash screen that easily

The splash screen that appears when you open the PWA is not customizable out of the box.

Also note that you’re website must be served through https which means you need a SSL certified connection.

Conclusion

  • PWAs are always going to be a great technologies. It has just begun it’s journey and it has a huge way to go.
  • It is now being served as a cheaper option than a native app , where you need an app to have minimal animation and native api support.
  • New Inventions are going to be seen. Until then try to gain the PWA knowledge.

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Tharun Shiv

Tharun Shiv

Devops Engineer Intern, PhonePe

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