Technology is evolving at breakneck speed – there is no denying that. The advent of smartphones has meant that there has been rapid development in the app industry, with developers and companies struggling to keep up with consumer demands. However, a key factor for success in this new age? A keen eye towards trends, and understanding what the future holds for app development.
A shifting paradigm in this space is the rise of the progressive apps rather than traditional app development. Simply put, progressive apps are a new way of building cross-platform applications rather than sticking to the old, convoluted methods. For example, if in past instances where you had an idea for an app, you were usually relegated to one platform such as building it for iOS. If you were interested in providing your app in an Android marketplace, that meant building a whole new app.
If you were interested in providing your app in an Android marketplace, that meant building a whole new app. However, considering the number of resources it takes to build an app that is functional on both platforms, you might quickly realize it is not worth the large investment it usually takes. This has been a challenge that developers have been facing for a considerable amount of time: How do you build an app that provides a great experience across platforms, without comprising the integrity and feel of the app itself when it moves to another platform? And how do you efficiently allocate resources to meet that challenge, especially when it takes so much time? In the past, it almost always came down to feasibility when making that decision.
This has been a challenge that developers have been facing for a considerable amount of time: How do you build an app that provides a great experience across platforms, without comprising the integrity and feel of the app itself when it moves to another platform? And how do you efficiently allocate resources to meet that challenge, especially when it takes so much time? In the past, it almost always came down to feasibility when making that decision.
However, progressive apps are changing the game – fast. Progressive apps aim to use the best features of web technologies to provide an experience that is fast, seamless and best of all, far more feasible for investment purposes. When building progressive apps, the idea is to build one application that will work like a mobile application.
Google describes a progressive app as an “experience” that “combine[s] the best of the web and the best of apps.” Their explanatory article further goes on to state that progressive apps are useful to users because these experiences are able to hook users in early on. There is little to none installation effort, and increased interactions with the app lead it to become far more powerful and intuitive. Progressive apps are able to load quickly, provide push notifications and are able to adapt to phones,
Progressive apps are able to load quickly, provide push notifications and are able to adapt to phones, tablets, and other devices. Ultimately, these apps are designed to marry the best features of web APIs and trending design patterns without sacrificing quality or performance.
Benefits of Progressive Apps
1) Faster development cycle
One of the biggest benefits associated with progressive apps is the sheer speed by which they can be created. Instead of spending time and money trying to build apps for individual platforms, progressive apps are able to take on the shape of whatever device they are on. By using a mix of web technologies and the app experience, these progressive apps are able to enter a much faster development cycle than traditional methods.
2) Easier to build and test
Progressive apps are incredibly easy to build, test and retool – a process that is far longer when developing other apps. Not only will the app itself be easy to build, but the user testing portion will go by much faster than by using other means. From design to actual experience, each aspect of app development becomes far more simplified, without losing the look and feel that comes from building apps for individual platforms. The building process will take considerably less time, as will testing and a progressive app usually fares better in the testing age than its traditional counterparts.
3) Excellent performance
Progressive apps are not hampered by performance issues and bugs the way traditional apps may be. Because they incorporate a great deal of web technology that is able to load on different devices, the performance of the app itself is usually not an issue. These progressive apps are designed to be lightweight, with a fast performance that is able to keep with heavy user demands. And users can still have the same experience they would with traditional apps, without the investment of time and resources to actually build for individual platform needs.
Progressive apps are fast becoming the future, so it is critical for businesses to embrace this growing trend and leverage it to match up with its business objectives. Building a user experience that is seamless, and fast is not necessarily easy, but it is a field quickly evolving towards that goal. Businesses looking to drive further success must keep a lookout for how to incorporate progressive apps into their overall user experience for long-lasting customer satisfaction and retention.
Many believe that the web, and thereby progressive apps are truly where the future is headed. For example, a recent Ionic blog post discusses this concept and explains that the web is the future of app development because “it runs everywhere” and “it’s the most widely known technology stack” that will eventually power many future successful apps.