PWA’s are Superior to Native Apps

It’s no secret that in 2022 performance is vital to the success and profitability of any online venture. Websites across all industries must endorse a new standard called Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) to improve their performance of their web ventures.

A progressive web application (PWA), is application software delivered through the web, built using common web technologies including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Web Assembly. It is intended to work on any platform that uses a standards-compliant browser, including both desktop and mobile devices. To demonstrate Progressive Web Apps I provide these case studies.

  • Starbucks Aiming at providing accessible, user-friendly online ordering to their customers, Starbucks built a PWA of the ordering system on the web, which delivers a similar experience to their existing native app. In other words, with its capability to run in offline mode, Starbucks PWA allows their customers to browse the menu, customize their orders, and add items to their carts – all without consistent access to the internet. Once online, they can view location-specific pricing and place their food and drinks order. Starbucks provides a PWA that is 99.84% smaller than its equivalent iOS app (Native app). After deploying its PWA, Starbucks doubled the number of online orders, with desktop users ordering at about the same rate as mobile app users.
  • Twitter In 2017, Twitter released Twitter Lite, a PWA alternative to the official native Android and iOS apps. According to Twitter, Twitter Lite consumed only 1-3% of the size of the native apps. In July 2019 Twitter started serving all website users to Twitter Lite by default. On June 1, 2020, Twitter deactivated the legacy website layout, leaving the progressive web app version as the only option. · 
  • Uber As the company expands to new markets, its Uber web was rebuilt from scratch as a PWA to offer a comparable booking experience to the native mobile app. The Uber PWA is designed to make car booking viable on low-speed, 2G networks. Built around the concept of an app-like experience which is accessible on all modern browsers, The PWA is great for riders on low-end devices, which may not be compatible with the native Uber app. By bringing the native experience in a super-lightweight web app, Uber has enabled quick ride requests regardless of location, network speed, and device. The core app of only 50kB allows it to load within 3 seconds on 2G networks.
  • BMW The new BMW’s PWA delivers users a ‘wow’ experience. The first thing that anyone would notice is the high-resolution images and videos, and the web loads pretty much instantly with all these features (4X times faster than the old site). Their reports also showed other impressive numbers following the establishment of the PWA: 4X increase in people clicking from the homepage to a BMW sales site; 50% growth in mobile users and 49% more site visits compared to the old site. · 
  • Pinterest With a focus on international growth, Pinterest started their new mobile web experience from the ground up as a PWA. The social network found that only 1% of their mobile users convert into sign-ups, logins or app installs, due to poor performance on mobile. Onto realizing that the opportunity to improve the conversion was huge, so they rebuilt the mobile web using PWA technology, which led to several positive results: Time spent is up by 40% compared to the previous mobile web, user-generated ad revenue is up 44% and core engagements are up 60% · 
  • Spotify Your favorite music player is now PWA-powered. Due to some disagreement between Spotify and Apple regarding Apple’s 30% app store commission, Spotify found it a timely opportunity to start developing a PWA version of their app—as many other big brands have. Compared to its native-app counterpart, the PWA version is considerably faster with its own unique and adaptive UI that changes its background as the user progresses through the app. Like many other PWAs, users are also prompted to add Spotify PWA to their home screen, making Spotify PWA more accessible and on-par with its other versions. · 
  • Flipboard Flipboard is one of the best examples of PWA for online news. The PWA minimizes data usage to deliver a slick and fast browsing experience, in a beautiful interface. Until the launch of their PWA, Flipboard was a mobile app, which only presents on mobile devices. Hence, now the PWA allows Flipboard to deliver a similar experience to their fully featured native app on the web, making it available for desktop users as well. They highlight significant improvements in a wide variety of key performance indicators after PWA implementation, like increased time spent on page, conversions, or revenue
  • Soundslice Soundslice is the advanced music education software on the web that revolutionizes how musicians learn and practice music. The company makes use of PWA to deliver the finest music creating and learning experience. The PWA-based software makes the process of learning a piece of music easier and more efficient for self-taught musicians with an innovative music player. The Soundslice player allows users to learn a piece of music while reading and hearing it on any device, whether it’s a phone or a large-screen desktop. On top of that, music teachers can utilize the tool to create interactive music lessons. With a focus on learning from recordings, Soundslice also has a store that sells lessons and transcriptions.
  • 2048 Game The puzzle game 2048 was originally released as a free app for Android & iOs in 2014. It immediately became a viral hit with more than 4 million users in less than a week after launch. The game is simple and addictive. Described as “Candy Crush for math geeks”, its goal is to combine blocks with the same numbers to ultimately total 2048. An official PWA version is made available at 2048game.com so players can get instant access from any web browser. With smooth transitions and a full-screen view, it’s hard to tell the PWA apart from its native app counterpart. Plus, the 2048 PWA can be fully played in offline mode.
  • MakeMyTrip The new PWA experience has tripled its conversion rate by reducing page-load times by 38%. Compared with their previous mobile site, MakeMyTrip drove a 160% increase in user sessions and lowered the bounce rate by 20%. · 
  • Kopa (Padpiper) Kopa (formerly called Padpiper) is the platform to help students easily find trusted housing for school terms and internships, and allow landlords to quickly find suitable tenants for their spaces. In fact, the platform now supports 9000 schools and has over 100 listings on its PWA. They have verified landlords and listing reviews to save time for students in finding their best fit. Once students have added the work address, they can look up directions to work from each listing in the results page. The web app can also connect students with others who are working near them or find out where their classmates are on co-op · 
  • Debenhams After transforming their old website into a PWA, their effort surely paid off. They have improved the customer experience by removing blocks on a customer journey – slow pages, hard-to-navigate structure, complicated checkout process. Overall, Debenhams enjoyed a 40% increase in mobile revenue and a 20% increase in conversions.

Since a progressive web app is a web application, they do not require separate bundling or distribution. MVI developers can publish the web application online, ensure that it meets baseline “install ability requirements”, and users will be able to add the application to their home screen. Publishing the app to digital distribution systems like Apple App Store or Google Play is optional. Progressive web apps are all designed to work on any browser that is compliant with the appropriate web standards. As with other cross-platform solutions, the goal is to help developers build cross-platform apps more easily than they would with native apps. Progressive web apps employ the progressive enhancement web development strategy.

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