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Progressive Web Apps Are Conquering the Desktop

All important information about progressive web apps for the desktop

Progressive Web Apps - PWAs for short - are considered the app model of the future. They were originally developed for mobile devices, but have recently become available for desktop computers as well. In the following blog article you will learn everything you need to know about PWAs for the desktop.

Essential characteristics of a Progressive Web App

A progressive web app is called up via the browser like a website, but at the same time has many properties of native apps. These special functions include in particular the push notifications known from smartphones, the creation of an icon on the start screen or desktop (add-to-home screen) and offline functionality. In addition, progressive web apps are not installed on the respective device. At its heart is a JavaScript working in the background. This is known as the service worker and is what makes the innovative functionalities possible in the first place.

What are the advantages of a PWA?

Whether smartphone, tablet or PC: A progressive web app is characterized by a high level of user-friendliness. On the one hand, users benefit from short loading times and a design adapted to their end device. On the other hand, it is a great advantage that the application works without or with only a weak internet connection.

Businesses can also benefit from a PWA. The first benefit is cost savings. Instead of a website and a native app, only one application needs to be developed, which also works on different operating systems. In addition, the development costs for a progressive web app are lower than those of a native app. In addition, updates can be implemented with less effort. Customer loyalty, on the other hand, reaches a similar level as with native apps.

Which browsers already allow the use of desktop PWAs?

To date, desktop PWAs cannot be used by all users. Whether it can be used depends on both the browser used and the operating system. Chrome users have been able to use desktop PWAs via desktop since version 67. Windows was supported with version 70. PWA support for Linux and macOS, on the other hand, is planned for Chrome72.

Google Chrome is currently the only Internet browser that supports Progressive Web Apps for the desktop on Windows computers. However, it can be assumed that the competition – such as Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge or Opera – will soon follow suit.

Are PWAs an alternative to Electron Apps?

Electron is an open-source framework used to run cross-platform applications. However, Electron Apps require significantly more storage space and memory than Progressive Web Apps. Further arguments for PWAs are the higher security standards and installation-free access. However, in contrast to pure web applications, it is possible to access the system functions of the respective operating system. As a result, progressive web apps are often the better choice. However, this is primarily determined by the specific application.

When does a PWA make sense?

With the help of a progressive web app, you can, for example, facilitate the creation of reports or develop surveys for your customers. If a web application in a company - for example in customer relationship management - is used frequently by employees, the potential added value of a PWA is particularly high. Due to the comparatively low development costs, corresponding applications are also suitable for smaller shops.

Native & hybrid apps and PWAs - the right solution for every application

Native & hybrid apps and PWAs - the right solution for every application

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