At the recent Google Chrome Developer Summit in San Francisco, Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) were one of the most important topics.
Here at Imagination Media, we have been tracking the rise of PWAs for quite a while. It’s because we don’t expect these reliable, incredibly fast and highly engaging web apps to disappear anytime soon. In fact, with Magento PWA Studio released in April of 2018, PWAs may be more relevant than ever.
Well, many reasons. For one, while PWA is essentially a website that models the features, user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) of an app, it actually operates entirely from a user’s browser. That means the same usability on mobile as it does on desktop devices, it’s simpler to build than a native app, it doesn’t rely on complicated coding, and it works the same across iOS-powered smartphones as it does on Android-driven devices.
Oh, and they can fuel mobile commerce (aka m-commerce) as powerfully (and profitably) as anything else out there today. That may be the most important and vital attribute of PWAs.
Just the Beginning…
Those are just some of the many reasons we’re bullish on the future of PWAs.
As PWAs continue to shape up and evolve to include even more native app behaviors (such as notifications and location awareness), they are gaining more ground seemingly by the day.
At the Chrome Developer Summit, Google made a few unveilings that should continue to accelerate the rise of PWAs. In fact, these developments may just pave the way for a future where web apps are every bit as capable as their app store competition.
Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
Web Share Target: Just like “native apps” have native sharing functionality, PWAs will soon be able to accomplish this exciting feat too – across mobile and desktop alike. Think about how you easily and quickly share from an app on your phone – and then imagine how you’ll be able to do the same thing, right from a web-based PWA.
Writable File API: With obvious user permissions, Writable File API will allow web apps to fully access local files – on any and all devices. This advancement will allow a wide range of creative software to be written for the web – and interact in a fully native way with functions such as auto-save.
PWA Support for Windows and Mac: As of today, MacOS doesn’t offer much real PWA support. But that should be changing soon. Windows offers PWA support already, and being able to deploy a single desktop app via the web – to both Windows and Mac – will constitute a major step forward.
Wake Lock: This feature will provide PWAs with the ability to keep the screen “awake” if and when needed. There aren’t too many use-case scenarios that immediately come to mind, but there are apps that need to keep your device from falling asleep and sabotaging your experience. Guess what? PWAs will have this ability soon, too.
The Future…is Fast Approaching
Of course, like any change, these developments will take some time to reach final production – and even longer for developers to start leveraging them fully and wisely.
With so many new tools and abilities close on the horizon, we can expect to see web heavyweights start to return their primary focus to their web interfaces – and shift attention away from their native app development. As the web begins to fully realize its amazing potential as an app delivery service, the way we use, download and leverage apps on the web is poised to undergo some serious transformation.
Here at Imagination Media, we can help you leverage all the power and potential of PWAs. We offer a wide range of ever-expanding development services and solutions – for both e-commerce and m-commerce alike. We’re big believers in PWAs, and we know how to put their power and versatility at the fingertips of your business principals and target customers.
Contact our team today to see how we can help your business leverage and utilize PWAs!