Progressive Web Apps: Are you offline? Not a Problem Anymore!

Progressive web apps or PWAs as they’ve become referred to as are a relatively new browser feature that enables offline support and push notifications. In order for a website to be considered a progressive web app, it must meet specific criteria laid out by Google, including being served over HTTPS and providing the user with reliable performance.  It must also implement a few specific browser-supported features; one of these requirements is enabling offline support by registering a service worker to handle push notifications and storing your content in the browser cache.

Every day more and more users switch from using native apps to browsing everything within their browsers, but offline support could be better. Progressive web apps aim to make websites function seas full-fledged native mobile applications. As time goes on, this article will inform you on how they can meet your needs when you’re experiencing poor connection quality or no connectivity at all.

Features of  Progressive Web Apps are:

  1. Reliable performance

Progressive web apps must provide consistent functionality even in the face of changing networks. They must be quick to launch and quick to load, which means reducing resource usage when there is limited connectivity. Reliable performance during bad network connections is provided by enabling service workers on your progressive web app. Service workers are scripts that run in the background separate from your website, intercepting network requests and caching necessary resources locally until they are requested again while users are offline.

2. Offline support

One of the most important features of a progressive web app is being able to still function when there isn’t an internet connection available. To do this you need to use a service worker so everything can be cached for offline access while users are away from their network.

3. Push notifications

Progressive web apps can also use push notifications to notify their users of new content or events that may be important for them even while they are offline. Unlike traditional desktop application software, which constantly polls the server for updates, push notifications only request data when the user is directly using your app through a service worker so you can efficiently send information to your users without wasting their battery life or bandwidth.

Progressive Web Apps are still new technology, but they are growing extremely fast and their offline capabilities make them incredibly useful when you need access no matter what network you are connected to. They may not currently fulfill all of your browsing needs.

Examples of Progressive Web Apps are: Twitter, Pinterest, and Gmail

How are progressive web apps helpful when you are offline?

PWAs have access to device features such as speakers, microphones, Bluetooth connection information, cameras, etc. They can use these features to provide functionality even when you’re not connected to the internet. For example, a PWA could allow users who visit your site while offline to listen to music from one of their playlists or download a file to their device in order to make it available offline.

Although not all progressive web apps provide these features yet, more and more are being released every day that do offer improved performance over native apps, preventing frustration caused by connectivity issues. As time goes on this list will grow to include reliable access to services no matter what network you are on.

Currently, even though they can definitely be beneficial, there aren’t any progressive web apps that provide offline support for things like messaging or social media, but as time goes on you’ll start seeing more and more of them. Even now if you’re looking for an alternative to an app that doesn’t support your location or is losing popularity then now might be the perfect time to check some of the options out there; perhaps they will meet all of your needs.

PWAs can bring many benefits to customers and businesses.

1. By using background sync, they load up instantly when a connection is available; unlike traditional web apps which require you to refresh the page every time you wish to use them (like most people do). Instant loading results in an improvement of user experience and happier customers. Reliable performance ensures that content is always displayed as expected and no features become broken or stop working unexpectedly.

2. Push notifications to inform users of new updates or information even if the website isn’t open in their browser, resulting in more engaged users than those viewing standard websites.   Push notifications allow for instant updates without requiring anyone to open up the app itself.

3. Add-to-home screen allows users to launch your website with full-screen functionality directly from their mobile device’s home screen. This provides an improved immersive experience for visitors and has implications for discovery on the web. These are just a few of the benefits that PWAs can bring to businesses, customers, and developers all around.

4. Progressive web apps are a great alternative to native mobile applications, offering many of the same benefits with an improved user experience that is accessible right in your browser.

5. PWAs can be more beneficial than standard mobile websites because they offer offline support and some access to device features like GPS or Bluetooth information even when you don’t have service. This means you get the same functionality if not better offline. Also, smart caching ensures that new content is instantly available even on slow internet connections.

6. They are more cost-effective than regular mobile apps because they don’t require the same resources to develop and maintain, meaning there is no money needed for designing or coding.

7. One very important benefit is that users who add your website to their homescreen will be able to access it even without an internet connection – all thanks to service workers and cached data! This means that if you’re developing a progressive web app and want it accessible offline then you can take advantage of this feature right away.

Concluding thoughts

PWAs make it easier to access online content even when you have poor or no connection at all. They are less demanding on the user’s device, using fewer data and power consumption than traditional mobile websites.  Progressive web apps can also provide businesses with improved customer experiences, more engaged users, increased discovery via the home screen feature, and many other benefits over traditional websites or mobile applications.

PWAs are and how they can help your business offer better service when customers need it most, we hope you feel ready to start experimenting with these new technologies as well as discovering others such as push notifications. The internet has evolved so much over the past decade, and PWA technology is another step in this very exciting direction. Try it out today!