If you’ve been tuned in lately to what’s next on the web, there’s been a lot of talk (from Google especially) pushing progressive web apps, or PWAs, as the next evolution of web apps. As a HackerNews addict and also as a front-end engineer who’s obligated to feign knowledge over every single thing popping up on the web, I can say that PWAs have been on my radar for some time, but it’s never intrigued me enough to investigate it… until now. At Google’s I/O 2017 conference this year, they featured multiple presentations over the current capabilities of progressive web apps, and after watching a couple, I felt compelled to learn more about what it had to offer and if it was indeed a new paradigm worth pursuing.
Some unbaked initial thoughts in my head before I dive in:
- What are the forces behind Google pushing so hard for PWAs to take over? Are they trying to displace Apple’s App Store market share or is this a pure & altruistic “for the betterment of the web” movement?
- Related to #1, why is touted as the new web standard when iOS is clearly not on the same page? All examples–and maybe I’m wrong here–only show PWAs working seamlessly on Android w/ Chrome. Are other permutations of mobile OSes and browsers supporting this movement?
- Lastly, are PWAs merely fancy bookmarks in the form of app icons? What are the benefits for the consumer? For developers?
I’ll explore these topics in detail in a subsequent post. Stay tuned…
- https://developers.google.com/web/progressive-web-apps/ (2017) – Google’s main documentation on PWAs.
- http://blog.ionic.io/what-is-a-progressive-web-app/ (2016) – A nice blog post from the Ionic team about what PWAs have to offer. Interesting perspective to read about, considering that Ionic is a cross-platform “Angular Native” project.