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New Web tech: Whats a progressive web app?

Recently, two of our senior developers attended the Wed Directions Code conference in Melbourne. Held at the Melbourne Arts Centre, the conference brings coders, programmers, developers and engineers together for two days to talk all things digital

Amongst the local and international speakers that offered their insight, one that stood out was Jason Grigsby's lecture on progressive web apps.

 A relatively new development when it comes to creating websites, a progressive web app (PWA) can be thought of as a website that has been enhanced for performance and can even live offline. Google describes them in terms of the end user's experience: 

Reliable: PWAs load instantly and never show the downasur even in uncertain network conditions.

Fast: PWAs respond quicker, with smoother animations and scrolling. 

Engaging: PWAs ultimately feel like a natural app on your device with an immersive user experience, even though at their core they’re a website. 

How do they work? 

In its simplest form, a PWA is “installed” on your device when you visit a website, caching resources for offline use and giving the ability to prompt users to add a quick-access icon to their home screen for later use. Once installed, it means that information can be accessed offline too. And as a result, this also creates a faster online experience.

What are the benefits? 

Cross-platform: Being web-based, PWAs don’t have to be created with operating systems in mind.

No app store requirements: Bypassing the app store gives developers more freedom. In the case of Apple, it also means you don’t get stung with a 30% fee with each sale.

Small footprint: A typical native app (i.e. Facebook or Instagram) can be hundreds of megabytes in size. A PWA? Think kilobytes, a fraction of the size.

Can Plato make me a PWA? 

As this is such a new piece of tech, PWAs are something we're currently looking into as their potential is clear. 

Talk to us about your project and let's find out if one could be a good fit. 


Published: 28 Jul 2019