Web Apps and PWAs
Growing very quickly. Good option if want to enhance a website
What is a web app?
Honestly, we're not really sure. And we don't think anyone else is either. It's a vague term for the grey area between a "proper" app that's downloaded from the app stores and where a large amount of code and content resides on the phone itself and a mobile-friendly or "responsive" website (where the content is online). Some developers call a responsive website a web app. But they're just wrong... it's still just a website.
And a PWA?
A PWA or Progressive Web App is a new class of application that allows users to do some things on their phone on websites that only proper apps used to be able to do. For example access GPS location, upload photos from galleries and even receive push notifictions. Because they are downloaded directly from the website (or anywhere in fact) rather than through the App Stores they are more quickly accessible.
What are the problems with them?
Because PWAs are relatively new, there is very little alignment across operating systems and devices on what they can do. Apple and Android allow differing access to phone functions and there are even big differences between version of iOS and Android. And ultimately, although web apps and PWAs can do some things offline, they are designed to be used primarily online so performance can depend a lot on things like internet connection.
So when are web apps the right option?
People today suffer from "app apathy". Your app needs to be very compelling to persuade them to go to their App Store, download, install and register on your app. If you just want to enhance their experience (for example to share photos from a gallery, get their GPS for deliveries, receive push notifications) then a web app is a quick, simple way to provide this. If your budget is very limited and you want to test the concept before investing too much, web apps also have a place.
How will I know if it's the right option?
We will recommend the right approach and platform based on your requirements and the relative strengths of the different platforms. Get a free quote now.