Smartphones and their near-ubiquity have started a revolution in web design since they became common a couple of years ago; New UI standards like responsive websites were developed and have been widely implemented, alongside many aesthetic changes to make Mobile browsing easier, such as extensive use of white space. Nearly half the world’s net traffic comes from mobile devices as of 2017, showing a shift from desktops and laptops to more portable web surfing.
Relatively recently, Android have unveiled Progressive Web Apps, or Pwas. This system blurs the line between Web Browsing and a bespoke app, rendering websites with the precision and speed of an app. Some websites, like Forbes, have already jumped on PWAs, and have seen their user engagement double since unveiling their PWA. PWAs have also seen use by ecommerce sites and social media services, like Twitter. It remains to be seen if Apple will come up with something similar, but Android still commands a significant market share.
There’s an ongoing debate as to whether native (app) or web browsing is better from a user’s perspective. The web browsing experience can be affected by a variety of factors: namely, the phone’s hardware, the browser they’re using and any plugins that are used, whereas apps can be optimised for specific hardware specifications and don’t have to worry about what browser the user prefers.
One of the defining features of a PWA is that the user can set the app to the home screen. Instead of opening their browser and typing the name of the site they want to visit into the search bar (or looking through their bookmarks), they can click on one icon and the site will open, fast! While it’s a point of contention that mobile users like their experience quick and concise, PWAs will ensure that slow load times and an unoptimised surfing experience don’t hinder the user experience.
PWAs essentially provide the optimisation of an app without the considerable expense in building one. Better performance, offline accessibility and availability of app features like push notes at a fraction of the price. If companies like Apple produce something similar for iOS, expensive, bespoke Apps may become a thing of the past. Chetaru is an app design and development agency based in Darlington that is excited about building a better future with the latest technological and IT solutions available. Chetaru has the IT know-how that your firm needs to succeed and thrive, from beautiful responsive websites to economical SEO services and useful mobile app designs.
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