Rachit Khurana
DiluteWater

DiluteWater

PWAs: From the perspective of a web developer

PWAs: From the perspective of a web developer

Rachit Khurana's photo
Rachit Khurana
·Jul 10, 2022·

3 min read

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Everyone use apps on their phones, but creating an app for each platform can be a little tough. So here comes PWAs. PWA stands for Progressive Web App. They look like normal apps, feels like normal apps, but aren't normal apps, instead they are just a website that runs in a standalone window.

Developing PWAs

PWAs are very easy to make, every responsive website can be turned into a PWA easily. You just need to add the icons, service worker and a manifest file. That's it.

Here are few complete guides for making PWAs:

https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/Progressive_web_apps

https://web.dev/learn/pwa/

https://web.dev/progressive-web-apps/

App Usage

After that a user can install your PWA app just by visiting your website and installing it via the browser. And then it appears in the app list just like a normal app. It can then be uninstalled like a normal app as well.

Benefits of PWA

  • Not dependent on any app marketplace

    One benefit of PWAs is that you don't need to use the OSs app marketplace. You won't need to pay the yearly fees to apple for being an app developer. And you won't need to pay to google as well.

  • Easier to Maintain

    Maintaining a PWA is as simple as maintaining a website. Want to update your PWA? Just update your website. Boom, your app is also updated.

  • Lightweight Size

    Since PWAs are just websites, the size of PWA is very less, only about a few MBs.

  • Cross-platform

    You just need to make your PWA once, it will be available on all major platforms like Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, MacOS etc. Provided your website is responsive.

  • Can even work offline

    You can cache files through service worker and make it even work offline

These were just a few of the benefits of PWAs.

Limitations

  • No access to key system resources.

    You can only access few things that a website can access.

  • Competitively less exposure

    Since your app isn’t on play store or app store, you may get less exposore in that aspect, but you can package your PWAs and even publish it there.

  • Limited functionality

    PWAs have comparatively less functionality when comparing with native apps.

Conclusion

PWAs are great. So if you are just a web developer and have no idea about app development for Android or iOS . you can still create apps for mobiles. And its damn simple. If you can’t afford to hire a app developer, you can create a PWA instead. And if your app is va simple app and don’t require much system APIs then, I would suggest to just stick with PWAs only instead of Native Apps. Its easier and will even consume less space on users device.

 
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