Dear O Dear! I have an app on my phone for nearly everything.
- Want access to a nearest place to grab a meal — Zomato app! Thank you.
- Need a cab? — Uber comes to rescue
- Pay my phone or electricity bill — Paytm — we Love you!
- Talk to my friends — WhatsApp you rock
Apps are so cool. The experience of using an app is far better than using a website. I can use it anytime anywhere with faster loading times.
What if these app features were packed without even a need to install the app on your device? A mobile website that works like an app. I am writing this to talk about Progressive Web Apps. Not talking about ‘PWA vs Native Apps’. Just talking about whether PWAs could be the future.
(Image source - Google)
Delivering near instant load times and snappy in-app experiences are not the reason we should care about building PWAs, they are just fortunate side effects.
In a developing country like India, most users still do not have access to good Internet. Things could change soon, but for now our users are still on 2G network and data is still expensive. Installing native apps on a device could constitute 5–10% of the total data usage of most users.
What exactly is a progressive web app?
Briefly, it is a web application that has a responsive layout, works offline and can be can be installed on the home screen of a mobile device. And by “installed” it does not mean installed in the true, just places a shortcut on the homescreen. When the user taps on the shortcut, the web app will be loaded in a browser in full screen mode.
Notice that this is different from a hybrid app, which is an HTML5 application contained in a native wrapper which has to be installed from an app store.
Why shift to Progressive Web Apps is required?
Major brands spend a lot on getting users on mobile. The cost of getting users to download the app is high. Moreover, apps are uninstalled very frequently.
80% of the mobile apps are uninstalled after first use.
Moreover, for the Indian audience, where majority of the users are still not using high-end phones, space remains a problem, hence adding to the likelihood of more app uninstalls.
Another reason that favors the shift to Progressive Web apps is the considerable percentage of Website visits from mobile devices.
At JustRide, we noted that 40% of our website visits were from mobile devices. This clearly meant that we had to deliver something better than the usual for our mobile website users.
By the time I am writing this story, we already have a Progressive Web App called “JustRide Lite” running which means — better loading time even for users with poor internet.
JustRide Lite Homescreen
There are more features that make the progressive web app cooler than you can think -
- Low data consumption
- Pin to Homescreen so you can launch it just like an app
- Notification feature
- Smooth animations for seamless experience
If you are interested in exploring how this works, just hit https://justride.in on your mobile browser.
Let us know your thoughts on whether PWA could be the next big thing owing to their advantages over native apps