This week I’d like to send a quick reminder to web devs. Have another look at Progressive Web Apps! More applications move from native to a web-based tech stack which makes it easier to offer your application as a PWA as well. They offer the best of both worlds.
- Develop for the web and have your app run everywhere. You don’t have to create an (expensive) native app for multiple platforms. Write it once run it everywhere.
- Send push notifications (Still no support on iOS…)
- Use the app offline
- Use the app in fullscreen
- Add an icon to the home screen
- Instantly load your app
The install UI flow is still confusing. It’s hidden in the settings, doesn’t get promoted by the browser vendors, and doesn’t feel like you install an app.
It’s super easy to turn your website into a PWA. All you need to do is add a manifest to your HTML. If you want a “real” progressive web app you have to set up a service worker which is a bit more complicated. But if you have a service worker your website is a “real” PWA and Chrome for example will show a modal asking to install the website as a PWA.
The only thing holding PWA’s back is the lack of support from platform vendors like Google and Apple. Probably because they don’t want to cannibalize their own app store. It’s getting better but iOS still does not support push notifications from PWA’s.
I hope they’ll fully support PWA’s in the coming years because it reduces the barrier to entry and we see more interesting PWA’s!