We're always looking to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to mobile advancements. One of the biggest emerging mobile technologies in the last several years has been PWA (Progressive Web Apps).
This article guides you on the frequently asked questions raised regarding PWA.
- What is Progressive Web App (PWA)?
- What are the benefits of PWA's?
- What's the difference between an HTML5 app and a PWA?
- Do you need internet access to use a PWA?
- How can users access my PWA?
- What features are available on PWA's?
- Will we be able to use the Loyalty feature with PWA's?
- Are we going to have access to app Analytics?
- Can Google analytics be integrated into PWA's?
- Do I need a Developer account to publish?
- Is my PWA secure?
- Why would a client want a PWA instead of an iOS app?
- Are PWA's a step forward from native mobile apps?
- How can I test the new PWA's?
- Will there be an overall speed improvement for Maps in PWA?
Q: What is Progressive Web App (PWA)?
PWA's are an all-new user experience built into the most modern websites for the mobile-focused future. Where responsive websites came before, PWA's provide fast, reliable and engaging experiences blurring the line between native apps and the web.
Q: What are the benefits of PWA's?
- It maximizes the reach of your app. The PWA specific improvements work on almost every browser with commitments from all browsers to include support.
- PWA's are fully indexable, meaning they can be found via web search engines improving your app's discoverability.
- Other benefits including an increased performance with poor data connections, immediate software updates, and takes less space on your user's devices.
Q: What's the difference between an HTML5 app and a PWA?
For an HTML5 app to be considered a PWA, it needs to meet certain requirements. The PWA upgrade to our HTML5 software brings all of these features we have mentioned; push notifications, improved speeds, home screen install support, offline caching, performance improvements and more.
Q: Do you need internet access to use a PWA?
PWA can work in areas of low connectivity and certain characteristics are cached for accessibility offline. However, similar to our native applications, the internet is necessary for dynamic content.
Q: How can users access my PWA?
There are several ways to share your PWA with the users:
- One option is to redirect the business' website to the PWA. Upon publishing your PWA app, a redirect script will be emailed to you. Simply add this script to the header of the front-end site's home page. When users visit the site, they can easily bookmark the page and save it on their device home screen.
- PWA's are even more accessible than a native app, without the hassle of the app store! The PWA link can also be converted into a scannable QR code, sent via email or added as a hyperlink.
Q: What features are available on PWA's?
All features currently available for our Web Apps will be available for our PWA's. At this time, push notifications are not available on iOS devices due to Apple not including support, however, Apple lists support is currently in development.
Q: Will we be able to use the Loyalty feature with PWA's?
Yes, the loyalty feature is available for PWA. We'll also improve the feature by including the User Onboarding functionality which we plan to release with North Park, our next product update.
Q: Are we going to have access to app Analytics?
Q: Can Google analytics be integrated into PWA's?
At this point in time, we have our own built-in analytics system which we plan to use moving forward.
Q: Do I need a Developer account to publish?
Q: Is my PWA secure?
- To become a true PWA, the URL is required to have an SSL certificate. This means your URL must start with https://
- Currently, we have a URL that anyone can use, with support coming for our clients who wish to purchase their own certificate and use their subdomain URL.
- Add your AppCode to the end of this URL to access your PWA:
Q: Why would a client want a PWA instead of an iOS app?
- While they diverge from the traditional app store, PWA's are actually more user-friendly, easier to launch and adapt. PWA gives you the same experience as iOS and Android mobile apps without the added friction, download, headache, and costs.
- One of the biggest benefits is the increased discoverability. While apps can be easily lost in hustle and bustle of the iTunes app store, PWA apps can be found via web search engines.
- Additionally, PWA's are linkable/shareable, have low data requirements, improve SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and do not require updates.
Q: Are PWA's a step forward from native mobile apps?
- PWA's are a step forward from the native mobile app, as they have all the benefits of a downloadable app, but without the friction that comes with it.
- PWAs can be built faster, at a lower cost, and the price in which you sell them will be determined on the value you are able to drive for business; rather than the cost, it takes to create them. For example, by using PWA's to increase customer loyalty, engagement, bring in new customers via easy discoverability and make sales through the app, the end price should be the same as the value is the same.
- The only difference is PWA's do not appear in the App store, so you could arguably say that these drive a higher return on investment because the reduced friction allows for a wider audience of people to adopt them.
Q: How can I test the new PWA's?
Q: Will there be an overall speed improvement for Maps in PWA?
During the last VUC (Virtual User Conference), Engineering mentioned that they will switch technology from jQuery to the latest Angular version. Although we are looking to improve PWA to use newer technology, we are not able to provide a timeline at the moment.