The Progressive Web Apps or PWA was first introduced by Google in 2015. It has become the new platform to create applications which are compatible with all kinds of platforms since. PWA are websites which will look and feel like an application, without the need of downloading a dedicated application. So the user can interact with the web application right on the browser without using their device space.
PWA can be used on the desktop as well as mobile phones and can be experienced on websites like Instagram, Skype, or Pinterest. Google has implemented PWA for websites, but there is no way to tell if a website is made with PWA technology unless one can understand the coding. But soon Google is planning on adding an attachment on the search bar which will make you choose if you want to open a PWA window of a site which supports it.
A PWA can be identified although it does not guarantee that the website is actually a PWA. There are two ways to tell it.
Service Workers is the technology is used to make PWAs. It is the code which runs offline, pushes notifications, runs resource-caching. It is the core of PWA techniques. For example, when one uses Whatsapp, the app can open and interact with the user even without internet, and later sends and receives the data when the internet is back on. A similar concept is used in Progressive Web Apps using the Service Workers technology. Using the Inspector Tool on Chrome, one can find out whether the website is using Service Workers. Right-click on the website, click Inspect. Click on the three dots on the top right, click Application – click on Service Workers. If you find any Service Workers there, it is possibly a PWA.
Benefits of PWA
Progressive Web Apps can do all the tasks just like the websites and mobile applications, such as using Camera & mic, GPS, offline mode, file access, animation, gaming and more. Apart from which a PWA is also the next big thing because:
It is faster to load the same content as in the websites (without using internet data in some cases) by pre-caching all the data at once.
One can open a PWA again and again, using the service workers. So it can also work offline, but you will have to use it once with the internet so it can load the cache. It can automatically update itself when using the internet next time.
PWA is cross-platform and works with the browser. It can support both Android and iOS or anything which supports Chrome browser.
One can publish their PWA directly through their internet domain and does not require to publish it on any kind of platform. Which saves a lot of marketing and development cost for the developers.