Are progressive web apps at an inflection point?

Progressive Web Applications (PWAs) have been around since Google’s inception of the standard in 2015. Arguably, Steve Jobs announced them in 2007 – though his enthusiasm may have been dampened later by the app store’s fees. ‘Apple could claim for iOS. platform applications.

Apple’s noticeable reluctance to embrace PWA technology has kept PWAs from taking off on iOS devices. The PWA experience on Safari today seems old: no push notifications, no geofencing or Bluetooth, and an inconvenient setup process. Much of the benefit of building PWAs is lost if you write them only for Android. The tide can change, however.

Apple users are starting to get used to the alternatives

Fortnite and Telegram were both kicked from the App Store at some point. Other competing Apple apps found themselves in similar situations, as did adult products that would never go through the App Store release process. Once a user installs one or two PWAs without the App Store infrastructure, the barrier is lower for other PWAs.

Apple has also, along with the other four big tech companies, come to the attention of antitrust investigators in the EU, the US and other places. Since then, Apple has made at least some effort to ensure that PWA support is not entirely absent from Safari. Apple has used the PWA support it provides as legal argument against the need for app store regulation.

–Destination: pwa?

You may not need to choose. Modern development systems are starting to provide the ability to generate PWAs as an output format. Support for PWAs depends on the environment, but is usually built-in. When it doesn’t, you’ll have to manually add PWA resources and a service worker – a pretty trivial task.

The bottom line is that PWAs aren’t necessarily something you have to write – it’s something your development environment targets.

You have the choice for the distribution of applications

The point is, you can easily switch between .ipa, .apk, and PWA which changes the equation when it comes to building your apps. This refreshes the original question, “Should I develop a progressive web app or a platform app?” Instead, ask yourself the following question, “Should I build my application for one operating system, multiple, for the web, or for all of the above systems?” ”

  • A native version allows you to use the native operating system features and gives you discovery ability in the App Store, as well as an easy path to monetization – you just need to set the price for your app.
  • A PWA version allows you to avoid paying a discount to Apple and Google. Your app will be harder to find: it won’t appear in the store. You will need to create additional infrastructure for monetization. You won’t be able to support a lot of native features. It’s not that bad – the lack of native support can be a plus. Power users sometimes prefer the privacy of running in the browser sandbox and the smaller size of PWAs, as well as the convenience of having something installable on their homescreen.

Doing both native and PWA requires additional testing, but can provide the benefits of both. A PWA will satisfy occasional users who would normally visit your website rather than installing an app. Your real fans – those who spend the most – will want additional operating system features and will be happy to install your native app.

This article was written by senior analyst Andrew Cornwall, and it originally appeared here.

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