Over the past decade, there has been a question on whether mobile web will be dominant or if mobile apps will prevail. The answer is companies certainly need both of them. Everyone knows that responsive websites are now the norm and in some instances, responsive web apps. Aside from a responsive web design, top priority among companies is building mobile apps.
When building mobile apps, the focus should be on user personas and segments. With this solid approach, progressive web apps (PWAs) are emerging and this blurs the lines between web and apps. PWAs use the latest in browser technologies to merge the accessibility of the web with the existence of the mobile app.
Most leading desktop and mobile browsers support browser advancements that have been initiated from Mozilla, Google, Facebook and others. “Service workers” are implemented to allow a website to behave likeapp. Service workers are scripts that the browser runs in the background and is distinct from the website. The script allows app-like features to become part of a PWA experience.
The service worker scripts which are embedded within the browser to surface PWA functionality allow users to install a website as an app icon on the home screen. A full screen app can be launched without the need to go to an app store. Users can choose to enable the rich app features as push notifications or offline storage.
Since Google, Microsoft, Samsung and Apple are supporting the advancing PWA technologies on desktop and mobile browsers, it is only a matter of time before the technology becomes the new standard for web interactions similar to the responsive web design. However, given the immaturity of PWA service worker support, variations in user experience can be expected. In the coming years, the technology will mature and standardize.
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