What is (Progressive Web Apps) PWAs? Why Microsoft and Google wants it?
Progressive Web Apps are nothing but a web app or web service which uses modern web capabilities to deliver an app-like experience to users. What makes a progressive web app unique is its ability. These web applications can work offline and in the background, and that’s done through service workers.
So basically when you launch a PWA, it doesn’t look like you’re in the browser. It looks like it’s an application. It’s really hard to tell the difference.
For example, Instagram has a PWA. So, if you go to instagram.com on your Android phone, and you log in, you’ll be asked if you want to pin this to your home screen or your application screen and would you like to receive notifications. Once you do that and then you open that app, it looks just like the regular Instagram application.
Why does it matter?
There are some applications on your device that you’re not using them all the time but occasionally. I am not talking about your emails or social media apps or games.“Google and Microsoft see this as the future of app development.”
Now, on average, it probably takes around $45,000 to $50,000 if you wanna hire a dedicated app developer to built your custom app. Now, some work on a partial fee, per month, to maintain the app, while others just require a flat-out salary. $50,000 a year is not cheap, at all, especially if you’re just starting up. In fact, that’s kinda cost prohibitive, so it’s very expensive for small organizations to make an application.
Why Google wants it?
Google’s business model, is actually on the web. It’s not really an app store. Android is worried about you getting to use Google services, then going on the web. If every company created their own native application, and it pulls data directly from the site without going through the Web, well that actually hurts Google’s bottom line. In addition, apps really don’t count against web traffic.
So, Google actually wants this to happen because, in using a progressive web application, you’re using the web, you’re using analytics, you’re using their advertising and more.
Why Microsoft wants it?
Pretty obvious. They have the app gap problem and this potentially solves that. How will Progressive Web Apps affect the Microsoft Store? What Microsoft gonna do is put PWAs directly into the store through the universal Windows platform. Basically, they are working on a bridge to handle this functionality. They’re taking PWA, wrapping in the appx wrapper, putting into the store, and they also get other features there. For instance, live tiles, Cortana, in-app purchases, multiple-instances and more.
Since these are just websites, all they’re doing is putting websites in the store, they don’t need their permission.
And Microsoft has already said they’re gonna use Bing Crawler. They’ve been looking at PWA sites that are live right now and if they meet certain standards, they’re going to be putting these in the store automatically.
So, we can expect probably a couple hundred, maybe even a thousand of these things to all of a sudden show up in the store.
There are a lot of PWAs already out there, including Google Maps, Starbucks, Tinder, Uber, Lyft, Twitter Lite, Instagram, Pinterest, outlook.com, OneDrive, LinkedIn and more.
All the major companies are embracing this. Why? Because companies hate paying developers. They would rather just have a web developer, basically make a PWA website and it’s good to go. Because maintaining a banking app is super expensive.
Sure, everybody knows you can just launch the browser and do that, but this is going to be a containerized version of that. And, what’s really neat about the Progressive Web Apps stuff in the store is technically the app never needs to be updated, since it’s pulling down live data from the store and it can live in a cache offline, all it depends on is that website being updated.
Making predictions about new technologies is always difficult, especially standards and this is at the very early stage after all. But a bunch of major sites that already support it, and technically it hasn’t launched, yet. So, we are seeing a lot of uptake from developers with this. I do expect, going into 2019 you’re gonna see a lot of this.
Google Chrome already supports Progressive Web Apps and Microsoft Edge will be supporting it with Windows 10 Redstone 4, even Safari is getting a version of it in 11.3, later on, this year.