What are Progressive Web Apps Good For?

An Introduction to this Not-So-Brand-New-Technology

Progressive web apps are the “big thing” for the mobile web. Originally proposed a few years ago by Google in 2015, they have steadily been gaining popularity and attention because of their relative ease of development and the improved user experience. 

Since the introduction of progressive web apps, many businesses and companies have fully embraced the technological advancement that the progressive web app offers. Also known as PWAs, this technological innovation significantly improves the end-user experience and, in turn, helps businesses reach new customer bases. 

Group of people smile while watching computer screen with the desktop.com logo super imposed in the front

What are Progressive Web Apps?

Think of progressive web apps as a normal website built using one of the many web frameworks but it acts and feels like an app. Simply put, they harness the ever-changing web capabilities to deliver native app-like experiences to users without the need to install anything. 

Progressive web apps take advantage of the web ecosystem and the relative ease of deploying and maintaining a website when compared to a native application in the respective app stores. 

The main reason they work? The multitude of advancements in highly-capable hardware, web browsers, and in the availability of service workers, caching, and Push APIs that have enabled web developers to allow users to install progressive web apps to their home screen, receive push notifications, and in some cases even work offline.

What are the Benefits of Using a Progressive Web App?

For Companies? 

  • It’s Progressive
    • What does that mean? A progressive web app must work on any device and enhance progressively, either taking advantage of any new features available on the user’s device or browser.
  • Better Performance
    • Progressive web apps almost always load faster, using less memory and front-end resources for the end-user. While this may not sound like a big deal, website visitors are growing more and more impatient. Over 50% of website visitors will leave if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds, 80% of those users will never come back, and nearly half of them will tell a friend or colleague - almost certainly resulting in lack of growth or adoption of your website.
  • Increased User Adoption
    • No download = no problem. With fewer steps to install a progressive web app, you’re more likely to retain the users that visit your site.
  • More Search-ability (SEO)
    • Just like a website, your progressive web app is fully searchable and crawl-able by users and web-crawlers on the internet. Have an extensive library of resources for web app users? All of that is now enabled to help your website (and progressive web app) rank higher.
  • Safety & Security 
    • Step #1 to deploying a progressive web app is proper hosting in a secure environment. it is imperative that the app is hosted over HTTPS to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks.

The End-User?

  • Everything Above
    • It might seem like technical nonsense, but all of the reasons listed above apply here as well! 
  • Retention
    • Fact: you are three times more likely to reopen a mobile application than revisit a website.
  • Data Savings
    • We all might think everyone has unlimited data but that’s not always the case. A well-designed progressive web app consumes less data and is faster because some of its resources reside locally on the device.

For Developers?

You’ll appreciate that a progressive web app can be built faster, backward-compatibility issues are eliminated (all users will run the same version of your website’s code), and the app is easier to deploy and maintain.

Woman works with AR augmented computer interface with the desktop.com logo superimposed in front.

Overall, progressive web applications are able to take advantage of a native mobile app’s characteristics, resulting in improved user retention and performance, without the complications involved in maintaining a mobile application.

 

What’s the Downside of a Progressive Web App? 

Like all new technologies, adoption takes time and because of this, the main drawback is lack of cross-platform browser support. What do we mean? Progressive web apps are more-so Android/Google platform-centric. Does that mean a progressive web app won’t work on an iPhone? No, not at all - it just means the experience isn’t optimized for certain user groups using Safari or Microsoft Edge.  

Another big catch? Unlike progressive web apps, traditional mobile applications with full functionality of push notifications are able to achieve up to three times more retention than progressive web apps without a push - but that just means you won’t be annoyed as much ;) 

 

Grow Your Business with a Progressive Web App like Desktop.com 

 

Now that you’ve heard about Progressive Web Apps for nearly 800 words, it’s time to hear about our progressive web app - Desktop.com! Desktop.com is actually the ideal organization and management tool for all of the great apps that you use every day, both in your personal life and for work related tasks. 

Desktop.com is more than just a pretty interface behind our instantly recognizable domain name - it allows you to easily declutter and organize your digital life across all your devices, in the most intuitive and simplistic way. Create sharable desktops with your favorite apps neatly organized by category, create folders for links and documents, tag your bookmarks to find them even easier, separate your personal and business resources and much much more.

Through Desktop.com’s ‘App Store’, users can easily explore, find, and add apps to any of their Desktop’s from a growing selection of more than 1500 integrated apps. 

 

Some of our key features include: 

  • Integrated App Store for web apps
  • Single Sign-On (SSO) for supported apps
  • Create Multiple Desktops per Account
  • Link Management
  • Collaboration with colleagues as well as with external partners
  • Onboarding/Offboarding Users
  • Customization and distribution of user-ready desktops

As we’ve stated, our mission is to improve the way web tools are used and accessed. By providing an easy-to-use service that is suitable for both professional and personal use, we want to ensure that you reap all the benefits that web-based resources can offer.

Get started on your next journey.

Try Desktop.com today!