What You Need to Know About Progressive Web Apps
Every month, hundreds of thousands of smartphones and tablets are flying off the shelves and being pressed into service. Across most of the country, it’s not unusual for there to be several iPads, Androids, iPhones, Kindles, and Galaxies in the same house. In many cases there is more than one mobile device per individual.
This is great for the companies that manufacture web-ready devices, and the groups that sell data plans. For marketers, though, it can mean an ongoing struggle to keep up with a steady tide of new technology. More and more often, we’re hearing clients and industry insiders alike ask questions like: what’s the best way to reach mobile users? How can we give them the experience they want in a cost-effective way?
The answers have varied. We’ve seen mobile websites, native mobile apps, responsive web designs, and even a newer mobile-first philosophy. But which one is best, and where does it all lead? We may be getting closer to a solution…
The Easiest Way to See the Future of Mobile
Sometimes, the best way to find the answer you’re looking for is to borrow it from someone else who has better vision. And so, when it comes to untangling the mobile web, our first inclination is to look at the approach Google is taking.
The engineers running the world’s largest search engine have an interesting perspective on mobile computing. On the one hand, they were amongst the first to realize that phones and tablets would take over the Internet (which they have). On the other hand, they recognize that having users go straight to native apps or specialized searches would reduce the usefulness of their core business (search engines), which has made Google the most valuable company on the planet. As a result, they decided to look forward and start creating their own solution. That’s lead to the rise of progressive web apps.
Introducing Progressive Web Apps
Progressive web apps are Google’s answer to the challenge of providing mobile users with something that looks and feels like a native app but is accessible through search engines and browsers. It’s basically a mobile website that is launched almost instantly from a search query, social link, or other referral.
This is accomplished by storing elements of the app or site (progressive web apps are really a combination of both) locally on the user’s device. That means content is instantly accessible, and also actions and preferences can be saved to deliver a better overall experience. Because these bits of software are small, they don’t need to take up a lot of storage space. And as an added benefit, having progressive web apps saved on a device means they are available even when the user is offline.
From a marketer’s perspective, progressive web apps can be delivered to customers without the need for them to visit an app store. Additionally, they work across any mobile device and platform, without the need for constant testing and reprogramming. It’s also worth remembering that Google has a preference for this technology, and getting visits from the search engine is easier than gathering thousands of downloads for your native app.
Ready to Learn More About Progressive Web Apps?
Mobile computing won mainstream in just a few years, and a lot of marketers have been scrambling to understand how they can get on board, get up to speed, and take advantage. For many, progressive web apps could turn out to be the ideal answer.
Call the Weblinx team today at 630-551-0334 x1 to learn more about this exciting technology and see how we can put it to work for you!
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