Back in 2007, Steve Jobs first presented the concept of PWA in front of the world, during the iPhone introduction. Years later, in 2015, the name “PWA” was invented by Chrome developer Alex Russel and designer Frances Berriman in an article that invited for a “deep shift in our understanding and tools” to “build better experiences across devices and contexts within a single codebase”. Since, PWAs haven’t stopped being more and more trendy on the market. Let’s see why.
First, What are PWAs ?
First of all, PWA means Progressive Web Apps : These are optimized versions of a mobile site with native application functionality (usually unavailable on a browser).
PWA’s are the combination of the best of the new web technologies and the best of native applications :
PWA’s combine the plurality of possibilities, security and ubiquity on all devices and Information Systems by Web ; and the autonomy, reliability, docks and task bars offered by native applications.
A PWA is consulted like a classic website, from a secure URL, but allows a user experience similar to a mobile application, without the constraints of the latter (submission to App-Stores, significant use of the device’s memory, etc..)
Without any download on the stores, it allows you to:
- Create a shortcut to the site or application directly on the user’s home screen
- Receive push notifications (like a regular app)
- Access to phone features such as camera, geolocation, document import and even the ability to sign or scan a barcode
- Use the app even without network access thanks to the offline mode
Web applications can reach anyone, anywhere, on any device with a single codebase. These applications can be found directly on the web, and at Convertigo you can install the app via a QR Code.
Be careful : Not all of the web apps can be called PWA’s. A web application is qualified as a PWA only if it is composed of :
- A secure context (HTTPS), so served over a secure network. Most of the features related to a PWA, such as geolocation and even service workers, are only available once the application is loaded in HTTPS
- One or more Service Workers: a script that intercepts and controls how a web browser handles its network requests and resource caching. This allows web developers to create fast web pages and reliable offline experiences
- A JSON manifest file that controls how the app appears to the user and ensures accessibility to web applications. It defines:
– The app name
– Startup URL
- On Android
- On iOS
And any details that allow for the transition from a website to a mobile application.
Why does this technology become more and more trendy ?
Nowadays, with applications stores mainly handled by Apple and Android, it is quite difficult to have your application pushed into the App Stores if you don’t comply all the required conditions to be eligible.
That is where PWAs are becoming interesting : PWAs simply can be downloaded by the web browser ! This means that each PWA you want to download / provide can be accessible directly from the browser (Safari, Chrome, Firefox etc..)
Time has proved that PWAs were awesome : The power of offline data, direct installation on devices without the apps store constraints in a few clicks etc.. We can expect that people creating /using PWAs will be more and more developed in a near future.
Convertigo’s Low code and No Code Platform both provide PWAs.
You already heard about the new Convertigo No Code platform, a plus for your business teams who will be able to easily build their own apps, with no technical constraints. Once the app has been imagined, created and put online, it is possible to transpose it into a PWA: Convertigo Forms will be available on all devices when the QR Code is scanned !
How does it work :