Progressive Web Apps: The Pros and Cons of Making the Switch

Web Development Blue Laser Digital on August 22, 2019

In a recent blog, we discussed the benefits of switching to a PWA, from added security to silent updates. Those features can be a major benefit to your brand, and make your site more easily accessible for your customers. The best part is that the changes aren’t loud or in your clients’ faces – they’re so seamless that, once implemented, your customers will begin to have a better and more reliable experience on your site.

Now, let’s talk about the pros and cons. While, yes, PWAs pack some great features, there are still some drawbacks to this progressive experience.

Pros of PWAs

Reduce development time. Because they don’t require a different application for every mobile device and app store, creating a PWA takes much less time than a traditional app. Pinterest, for example, transformed their mobile web experience into a PWA in just three months.

Capture and re-engage users smoothly. Just like a regular website, users don’t have to be reminded to update their PWA every few weeks or months. Plus, they can share links to your PWA, spreading the word about your brand organically, unlike a traditional app.

Save space on your users’ devices. Another bottleneck for traditional apps is that they take up a lot of space on users’ devices. PWAs are significantly less demanding. Twitter’s traditional app, for example, requires 23MB, while its PWA is just 600KB.

Cons of PWAs

PWAs don’t have as much access to your operating system. Mobile apps can use proximity sensors, geofencing capabilities and advanced camera features. Because PWAs are just more advanced websites, they can’t harness these features.

No integration with other apps. Similar to the point above, PWAs cannot access other applications, like your contact list, for example.

Functionality depends on your operating system. Different operating systems allow different functionality, and that affects PWAs. For example, iOS devices restrict push notifications from PWAs, unlike Android, Windows and macOS. Similarly, Bluetooth capabilities are only available on Android and Windows devices.

Ready to Make the Switch?

Even brands that have invested greatly into their mobile applications can benefit from a PWA. It’s always best to give your customers a choice, so why not give them the choice between a traditional and progressive web application?

On the other hand, if you don’t have any sort of dedicated mobile presence, a PWA is cost effective and takes much less time to develop than a traditional web app. However, there are a few PWA capabilities that you can add to your website today without making the complete overhaul:

  • Deliver push notifications through third-party services like Twilio’s Notify API or Firebase’s Cloud Messaging.
  • Prompt your users to add your site to their home screen.
  • Create a limited offline experience. If their internet goes dark, send users to your latest blog post, for example.

If you’re ready to transform your brand using a PWA, we provide the latest technologies and the professional know-how to bring your brand into the future. Gain more brand authority, create a beautiful PWA and draw a bigger audience by partnering with Blue Laser Digital.