The popularity of mobile devices has led to businesses making their sites responsive, which means they automatically adjust to the type of device that’s being used by the visitor. Many businesses launched their own native mobile apps as well, becauseat the time these could be made faster and more feature-rich than responsive websites.
The latest trend is a combination between responsive sites and native apps.
With recent advances in web coding languages, responsive sites can now be as fast as native apps and have native app-like features, such as push notifications, offline functionality and the ability to add a launch icon to the user’s homescreen. These new and improved responsive websites are known as progressive web applications (PWAs).
One key advantage that PWAs hold over native apps is they don’t need to be downloaded from a distribution platform such as the Apple App Store or Google Play.
They can be accessed by simply clicking a link or entering a URL into the address bar of a browser, just like any other website.
Put simply, PWAs offer better performance than a standard website, and they’remore convenient than a native app; they’re the best of both worlds.
These benefits have led to Twitter, Starbucks and many other major companies launching their own PWAs.
Essentially, PWAs offer all of the benefits of native apps with none of the drawbacks.
They’re just as fast, they have the same features and users don’t need to go through the hassle of downloading them from an app store.
So, it’s not exactly shocking to see that PWAs are poised to overtake native apps in popularity. Gartner had previously predicted PWAs would replace 50% of consumer-facing native apps by 2020, and at this point that looks highly likely.