What’s New in 2021 Already Available for Progressive Web Apps? - Coffee with CIS - Latest News & Articles

What’s New in 2021 Already Available for Progressive Web Apps?

People are using websites and mobile apps, in today’s world and this has increased the number of developers. But all developers are not good and many developers lack proper experience.

But people always expect better because of the advancement in the field of technology. If people are talking about responsive websites along with functionalities of the native app then mention must be made of progressive web apps. The progressive web apps are basically developed with web technologies that are lightweight like CSS, HTML, and JavaScript. This is because speed is very much essential for conversion.

Basic Idea About Progressive Web APP

PWA basically plays the role of mimicking websites in the case of the desktop. The numbers of smartphone users are also increasing and here also a good role is played by progressive web apps. They play an immensely important role in satisfying the mobile users as they provide faster as well as lighter performance when compared to that of the native apps. However, they are having similar functions as that of the native apps. In this case, there is no requirement for app store installation. Progressive web app development companies are working hard to get the most out of this development technology so they can meet all the expectations of their clients.

If a person involves in opening a PWA website in Firefox, Chrome, or Opera browser of mobile and it is possible to use a similar website as that of an app. PWAs are responsible for delivering-

  • User contact access
  • Push notification
  • Geolocation access
  • Media capturing with the help of camera
  • Background updates
  • Speech recognition
  • AR/VR object projection
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Modes of offline and low connectivity

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According to various data and researches, it has been found that people are attached to their phones for a minimum of 3.5 hours each day. So the above-mentioned features are very much essential to maximize the user interaction and that also during that window. Responsive websites are unable to deliver them. In the case of native apps, they are having the capability but the costs involved in development are very high. Moreover, in the case of native apps, the finished product can be complex to perform tasks that will be stable enough. In order to get any kind of traction of the software, the publisher must go through an app store and people are very impatient that they won’t be spending 10 minutes to install a certain app. This is responsible for leading to weaker adoption.

A PWA is responsible for offering a substitute for the native app which is also budget-friendly. Moreover, it can also be deployed within a couple of days, or years depending on the complex nature.

Benefits of PWA

Some of the major benefits of PWA that makes it a very popular one are given below-

Low Cost for Development

The cost has always been an important factor in the case of any business. PWA does not require or need various versions for different devices. A single PWA is responsible to meet the needs of all possible endpoints on which it will be operating. So it plays a major role in reducing the number of efforts of the developers and so the cost for creating PWA is reduced. The cost is almost around three to four times lower than that of the native app development.

App-Like Feel and Look

Mobile users in today’s world prefer to go through apps instead of visiting browsers as they are more user-friendly, have an attractive interface, and can be operated when offline. PWA is responsible for providing an advanced user experience by combining the feel as well as the look of the mobile app and the best performance of the website. The designs, as well as settings, are similar to that of the native mobile software. The PWA is having comprehensive capabilities, speed, and responsiveness of websites with automatic data and database access. Search engines index them and so Bing or Google is able to find PWA pages.

Installation is Fast

PWA does not require a long and complex process of installation when compared to that of other mobile apps. This helps in improving the user experience. Users will have to download the app quickly and there is no requirement for the user to visit the app store or Play Store. The procedure is streamlined and abandonment is reduced significantly. A desktop icon is there form where the user can access it after it has been downloaded.

Call-to-action like teasers are also there which can be offered by some browsers that help in prompting the users to download these apps when they are visiting respective websites. This helps in enhancing the credibility and reliability of the app. Users are able to access PWA with the help of URLs as they do not require any installation of devices. This helps in contributing to high shareability.

Performance is Better

The cache of PWA and serving f images, texts, and other content are done in an efficient manner which helps in enabling them to operate similar to that of the websites and significantly helps in improving the speed of running. Not only quick operation, but impeccable performance is also considered as another attribute that is having a good impact on the conversion rates as well as user experience. This type of software must be adopted by retailers as well as content providers as it helps in e3nabling a better positive experience when compared with that of the mobile apps by improving customer loyalty and retention.

No Issues Regarding Updating

Specific functionality is there in the case of PWA that helps the developers in updating the project in an automatic manner. In this case, it never bothers the users by sending notifications or asking for permissions. These apps basically update themselves whenever the user is visiting them and so it helps in eliminating the need of the users to download batch changes and then again installing them. A renewed look is provided but there is no human participation.

But some cases are there where PWAs send push notifications to users to let them know about the arrival of the new updates. Producers will be having full control over the content as well as information to which users will be having access. Mobile app development companies love this feature and this feature is also loved by the clients who are using this development technology for developing the PWA as they do not have to track every time about the latest updates.

Seamless Offline Operation

PWAs are very much convenient when compared to websites and this is because of the ability of this technology to work in n offline mode. In the case of websites, the internet is very much needed. The necessity of downloading the cache is not required because of the built-in service workers and so the users are able to access it whenever they like without the need for an internet connection. The technology of the PWA service basically follows the way of saving information that users were engaged in accessing previously. if the users try to open those pages which they might not have visited when they were online, then the app can easily show an offline page that is custom in nature. This capability is considered to be very important for the retailers as this is the best way f preventing the users from leaving their catalogs and enhancing retention of customers.

Push Notification

Similar to that of the native apps, the PWAs are also having access to functionality that is device-specific like the push notification. This functionality can be performed in different ways. This helps the companies in making the best use of content advertising. In the case of PWA, push notifications are very much efficient. According to various data and researches, it has been found that almost 60 percent of the total users allow the permission of push notification which helps in promoting the services as well as the products. The notifications are basically displayed on the mobile device’s screen and so high probability is there that this will play a major role in seeking the attraction of the users in a better way when compared to blog entries, email, and posts in social networks.

This can be the best way of accessing the targeted audience. This bouncing notification is also responsible for brand recognition as they play a major role in allowing the business to seek attention. The digital experience of the users is basically cluttered in the case of the users who are using many apps and are allowing the services of push notifications.

Enhanced Security

PWAA normally relies on HTTPS in order to provide the safety of data and minimizing the risk of issues related to security. This protocol helps in precluding snooping as well as content tampering. The app also takes advantage of web Bluetooth technology that is also having certain capabilities regarding security. There are many hybrid app development services but the security provided by PWAs is better when compared to that of other development technologies and this year it will become better.

Independent of App Distribution Services

Normally the app distribution services like the Microsoft Store, Google Play store, and Apple Play Store are having high requirements and these requirements are all stored in their database. In order to meet the requirements of the app distribution services, it must be time as well as effort-consuming. There are some cases where these services play a vital role in removing the applications from the database when they fail to meet the requirements. PWA helps in allowing the producers to avoid reconciliation procedures that are complex in nature.

New Capabilities of PWA in 2021

PWA development company is working very hard regarding the new features of PWA in this year 2021. There have been additions to many new capabilities. The main features that are newly added to this development technology are given below-

Changes in Display

One of the oldest ones in the case of PWA is the web app manifest’s display property. This is also considered to be one of the most important ones. This is considered to be the main reason that we are receiving the experience of out-of-the-browser after the site has been installed. In this matter, there were two changes in the year 202 that are related-

  • Chrome and edge started supporting minimal-ui in the case of desktop
  • Chromium was responsible for launching new property that is display-overrides

The minimal-ui is known to be subtle in the case of a desktop but many PWA developers expected this. These are the two new buttons in case of the title bar that is the reload and back button. One of the major problems with this was that it was different from the desktop when implemented on iPadOS and iOS. This is not supported in this case and so the users will fall back to the browser. So new feature of display-overrides has been introduced this year, which plays a major role in specifying the display mode’s array. If the platform is unable to support the first display mode then it will go for the second one and it will continue. The developers will always be setting the last option mandatory in case of the display property. If a browser somehow fails to support the property of display-override then it will be using the fallback display property.

Read the blog- Are Progressive Web Apps a Better Choice Than Native Mobile App

Detecting WebAPK

Today, a new ability is present which is unknown to many developers ad that is they don’t know if the webAPK of PWA is already installed in the android device. This is basically considered as the extension of getinstalledRelatedApps API. It is responsible for the creation of a new entry in the manifest array’s related_applications with the web app platform. A file under .well-known/asset links.json must be created if a developer wants to detect it outside the scope. This ability is present from Chrome 84 on Android along with Play services installed.

Edge Innovations

Microsoft Edge is responsible for bringing various innovations to the world of PWA. The new things that are currently available are given below-

  • The installation experience is better from the URL bar. Moreover, it also shows metadata from the manifest. It will also show what will happen after the installation is done.
  • Request for starting the PWA on login in case of Windows 10
  • App shortcuts are present in the start menu and taskbar
  • Integration has been improved and is better with the Windows 10 operating system( start screen, taskbar, and many more).

TWA From The Play Team

Google IO has been seen during the year 2020 and Chrome Dev is responsible for summiting the Google Play Store team discussing PWAs for the first time. Before that, it was possible to publish PWA with the help of TWA. However, the case was secret. This is good as it has been noticed that they are worried about increasing the experience of the store and also to improve the experience of trusted web activity.

Fugu Project

Project Fugu has been pushed by the chrome team with the help of other companies like Intel and Microsoft. This helps in adding more capabilities to the platform every week or a minimum to half of the web platform. During the year 202, the capabilities addition are mentioned below which are still available in 2021-

  • Periodic background sync
  • Contact picker
  • App icon badging
  • Wake lock
  • Barcode detection
  • Cookie store
  • Camera pan, tilt, and zoom
  • Content indexing
  • File system access in case of desktop only
  • SMS or web OTP authentication

Many other APIs are also there which is still in the experimental stage. There were other changes in the browser which is chromium based and they are-

  • Content visibility
  • IsInputPending
  • Quieter notification on abuse
  • Dark mode media query
  • Range requests in the case of service workers

These new abilities are present in edge and chrome only. However, some of them are also available on the browser that is chromium based such as Samsung Internet and Brave.

FaceID and TouchID

On the other web platform side, Apple was responsible for adding new APIs in the year 2020 and the most prominent of them was the TouchID and the FaceID support for the web.

Camera Access on iOS and For iPad

Apart from solving bugs some of the main things that have been noticed in the case of Apple was to implement two things. They are-

  • PWAs on iPad are also having the ability to run side by side with other apps along with sharing of screen
  • getUserMedia from WebRTC was made available for PWAs that are installed standalone.

Recently Chromium Company was responsible for announcing a new standard in the case of PWA. In order to enable the app install prompt, the PWA must be able to pass the offline experience test. Users will not be able to install the app if these standards are not met. In the year 2020, Play Store, app store, and Microsoft store started accepting the PWAs. Naturally, it was Google Play Store who welcomed PWA first and simplified the process by Trusted Web Activity as mentioned above. This was not so smooth with the App Store. PWA is having limited functionality and so it is very difficult to meet the guidelines and rules of the App Store so that they can get admitted there. Cross-platform app development is a developing technology that helps in developing a single app that is suitable for both Android as well as iOS.

In the year 2020, Apple started App bound domains in WKWebView that developers use in case of web browsing. In this case, if there is an enabling of the app-bound domains then the service workers domain is also enabled. This helps in regaining the features of PWA. This is the main thing that helps in making some of the PWAs eligibles for the App store.

Read the blog- Which Mobile App Category Makes the Most Money?

In the case of Microsoft, they not only support PWAs but are also having some big plans that will help them in replacing the native apps. They are doing their best in order to make their admission store of Microsoft a simple one.

Major Companies Using PWA

Progressive web apps are therefore better when compared to native apps and there are huge names that are seeking the help of this developing technology. The big names are-

Spotify

The main aim for the launch of PWA was to get more users for the free version. Later on, these users will upgrade themselves to premium ones by enjoying the services of Spotify. After the launch of PWA in Spotify, there were more than 30 percent of monthly active users and the number of desktop users also had a rise to 45 percent. Moreover, average listening hours were also increased to 45 percent per month.

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BMW

The progressive web app of BMW was mainly built to deliver tons of podcasts, articles, and stories with the help of a web page with a professional design and that also help in reflecting the style of the automaker. With the launch of the PWA, the number of new users increased by 50 percent. Loading of the pages was about 4 times faster than before and the people visiting the sales of BMW also increased by 4 times. The site's visit was also increased by 49 percent with the new SEO optimization.

Other big names that proved to be beneficial after the launch of PWA are-

  • Trivago
  • Adidas
  • Eleganza
  • Pinterest
  • Stance
  • The Washington Post
  • AliExpress
  • Rooted Objects

If a proper game plan is not followed then PWA development can result in the draining of a lot of resources but if a good mobile application development service is hired then there is no need of worrying as they will guide you through the whole journey of developing a PWA.

Conclusion

The above-mentioned points are new in 2021 along with already available technologies. But the names of big companies can easily help you to gain the confidence in using this development technology for your business.