Progressive Web Apps: What Are They and How Can They Impact Your Business? - Copper Mobile
Abstract graphic representing progressive web applications

If you could combine the best of web and mobile apps, what would that look like? The experience of using an app, but without downloading an app from the app store. An immersive user experience that is also fast and reliable. That’s precisely what progressive web applications (PWA) deliver. A progressive web app is a website, built with web technologies, but it’s a website that acts and feels like an app. They can be installed on a user’s home screen, receive push notifications, and even work offline. If you are developing on both mobile and web, a PWA can streamline your company’s internal processes.

Benefits of PWAs

Businesses are always looking to create a better experience for their customers. For a traditional mobile app, a user must first open the app store, find the app, download the app, and finally open the app. Progressive web apps can be used starting immediately. Progressive apps also work for every user, regardless of browser choice. Users will appreciate that PWAs load quickly, even on poor networks, send push notifications, and have an icon on the home screen. Once opened, a PWA delivers a full-screen experience for the user. All together, those attributes equate to improved user retention and performance.

For developers, there is no API to be maintained and no backward-compatibility issues with a PWA. All users will run the same version of your website’s code. That means that not only can a PWA offer an improved experience for users, but they also make deploying and maintaining an app easier for your business, effectively streamlining your company’s internal processes.

Progressive web apps (PWAs) combine the features offered by most modern browsers with the benefits of a mobile experience. Progressive web apps require no installation. Functionality includes having an icon on the home screen, push notifications, and working offline.

Progressive web applications are built using common web technologies, including HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. According to Google Web Developers, for a site to be considered a progressive web app by browsers it needs to:

  • Originate from a secure origin. Served over TLS and green padlock displays.
  • Load while offline. This means that PWAs require service workers.
  • Reference a web app manifest with at least the four key properties: name, short_name, start_url, and display.
  • Feature an icon at least 144×144 large in PNG format.

Progressive Web App Functionality

What can you build with a progressive web app? You could build an e-commerce platform, use it for an online check-in process, or build a digital magazine. Anything you might build with a native application can be built with a progressive web app. Progressive web apps can even help you increase conversions, page visits, and session length.

No matter what your progressive app does, they all strive to satisfy these characteristics:

  • Progressive
  • Responsive
  • Fast
  • App-like
  • Fresh
  • Safe
  • Discoverable
  • Connectivity independent
  • Re-engageable
  • Installable
  • Linkable

The mobile landscape is ever changing, but at Copper Mobile, we’re here to help you build apps that make business sense. We know that for your business, an app isn’t just an app, it’s a solution to a problem. Ready to see how a progressive web app can streamline your company’s internal processes? Check out our solutions and read a case study.  

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