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We build Progressive Web Applications

We build Progressive Web Applications

"Offically unoffical" PWA logo from Diego González (https://github.com/webmaxru/progressive-web-apps-logo/issues/4)

When we are asked if we can build mobile applications (we can and do!) I like to enquire about the reasons behind this request. Often the solution is better suited as a Progressive Web App.

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are websites that use features available in modern web browsers to provide functionality similar to native applications.

A PWA has these defining characteristics:

  • Reliable: Network-independent; application is usable regardless of whether your device is online or offline

  • Linkable: You can share a link to a specific page or content, just like a website

  • Progressive: Provides full set of functionality to capable devices and an acceptable level of functionality to less capable devices

  • Responsive: Looks great on any screen size

  • Re-engageable: Notifications re-engage users when new content is available

  • Safe: Runs on your device and loads content with industry-standard protections (HTTPS)

  • Discoverable: Application information is published in a standardized, machine-readable way. Users can find applications with search engines and other indexes

  • Installable: Can be added to your device’s home screen for access later

(list sourced from MDN)

PWAs provide the following benefits:

Cross platform, runs where ever a web browser runs

While exact functionality might differ depending on the vendor, hardware and operating-system of the device, a PWA will address all of the features listed above. Apple, Google, Mozilla, Microsoft and Samsung have all committed to supporting PWA features in the latest versions of their web browsers and operating systems.

Enhance your existing systems or processes

Fetch data from your website or content management system (CMS) or send data to it. Take advantage of your device's hardware; GPS, camera, accelerometer and push-notifications.

Network independent, functions offline

We have built PWAs that allow users to collect and record data while in remote, offline conditions and synchronize/share with existing systems when they come back into connectivity.

Flexible but familiar distribution and deployment

PWAs are websites; they can be hosted on a private server or in the cloud. Accessible with with public URLs or behind authentication systems. There are no fees, moderation queues or gatekeepers to control publishing and distribution.

Fast and barrierless or gradual installation

Installation involves just visiting a URL. Some devices will offer an optional step to add the PWA to the homescreen for quick access and extra functionality. This can be performed on first load or at a later date.

Examples of PWAs

Try some of these out on your phone, tablet and desktop:

Consider a PWA

Like any technology, Progressive Web Apps do not fit every situation, but by building on top of web technologies they benefit from existing infrastructure and familiarity. The defining characteristics of PWAs add to these benefits, providing an experience similar to a native mobile application. Talk to us if you’re planning to add a mobile application to your product, system or service — we’ll help you figure out if a PWA would work for you.

**Update (06/02/18)** - Microsoft have just posted an announcement detailing their commitment to PWAs and their integration into upcoming versions of Windows 10 and their Edge web browser, excellent timing! Definitely worth clicking through for a read.