Progressive Web Apps: A Simpler Solution to App Development


Kenny Kudzma

Copywriter & Content Specialist

Progressive Web Applications Deliver Powerful Functionality with Less Hassle

While the saying “There’s an app for that!” is over a decade old at this point, the sentiment still rings true in our exceedingly mobile-focused internet. Companies look to apps to increase sales, facilitate customer & employee training, and improve brand awareness and engagement. However, for many companies, the cost and time commitment involved in developing an iOS or Android app make these projects difficult and potentially not worth the investment.

Progressive web applications (or PWAs) are an alternative approach to app development that sidesteps much of the common costs and bottlenecks by using the same technologies websites are built with. This helps to avoid the highly specialized process of developing an app because it’s more like creating a new website that mirrors the functionality of an app.

The Technology Behind Progressive Web Apps

Progressive web apps are platform-agnostic, ensuring that they can reach a broad audience, regardless of the device or operating system. Their ability to work offline or in low network conditions enhances user retention and engagement, as content remains accessible even when connectivity is limited. Additionally, PWAs can be installed on users’ home screens without the need for an app store, streamlining the onboarding process and increasing the chances of regular interaction. Their responsive design ensures a consistent and visually appealing experience across devices, making it easier for brands to convey their message and captivate their audience.

PWA architecture allows them to serve all the same functions of a traditional native app, with the addition of:

  • Time and Budget Efficiency
    Developers create PWAs using technology and code languages they’re used to (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc.) leading to a more straightforward and less costly development process.
  • Download-Free Functionality
    PWAs are useable on any internet-connected device at any time, adding convenience and helping brands reach users who may not be comfortable downloading an application on their phone or computer, or when they want to avoid giving users an extra step to access content.
  • A Smooth User Experience
    Despite being web-based, PWAs replicate the in-app experience of native apps by excluding web browser features that would interrupt the feel of the application, giving users the best of both worlds.

Improving Medical Device Sales and Training with a Progressive Web App

Progressive web apps offer brands a compelling solution to boost user engagement in the digital landscape. Here’s an example: CooperSurgical needed to digitize their product sales and training experience, as COVID-19 lockdowns made their usual in-person approach nearly impossible. While an app was the natural solution to this issue, the large volume of content they had to build for as well as their need for scalability made a PWA an attractive option. Read the full case study for more information: In-services Available Anywhere and Any Time.

Overall, PWAs represent a smart choice for brands seeking to enhance user engagement by providing a frictionless and immersive digital experience.

Deciding Between a Traditional and Progressive Web Application

Trying to decide between a traditional app or a PWA? The choice between the two depends on the specific needs and goals of your brand. If cross-platform compatibility, cost efficiency, faster development, and the ability to work offline are among your top priorities, progressive web apps are a versatile and accessible option for businesses looking to engage a broad audience while minimizing development and maintenance efforts. Consult with our development team for specific recommendations based on your goals.

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