09/04/2018 by Jillian Als
Support for PWA
With the recent launch of iOS 11.3, we think it’s a great opportunity to discuss Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) which will be supported as part of the New Mono Experience we are bringing to our partners this year.
So, what is PWA?
PWA is a web development practice Google created in their dedicated efforts to make the web experience mobile first. The simplest way to think of a PWA is to think of it as a mobile website with richer capabilities, similar to those seen in a native app downloaded from the app store. Unlike native mobile apps, PWAs do not need to be downloaded from an app store, rather can be saved on the homescreen directly by visiting the website. PWAs have some great benefits for the user and for the SMB.
For the user:
- Zero ‘install’ - that is it doesn’t really require installation but can be saved to the homescreen
- Offline mode - PWA will cache the website content so users can browse while offline
- Fast loading - thanks to its unique caching, it makes the website load even faster
For the SMB:
- Send push notifications - a great way to get content in front of customers
- Grow customer engagement - With app like functionality, PWA offers a rich experience without the hassle of app development and maintenance
- Better rankings - experts claim PWA enabled websites perform better in search results
No rush, just yet
Don’t worry, even in the medium-term your SMB clients won’t be late to the PWA party. Until last week’s 11.3 release, iOS did not support the main functionalities of PWAs. In fact, the support of PWAs in 11.3 has flown a bit under the radar in comparison to the other features of the release, such as battery life. It is also not perfect, yet. There are bugs and there is still more functionality supported by Android than iOS. This is an important consideration, as iOS currently accounts for 50% of all mobile traffic in North America and 30% in Europe. So while the PWA awareness and adoption to date has been limited, this will start to slowly change with Apple’s (perhaps unofficial) blessing.
Build the use case
Not every consumer wants to download an app, share location data with yet another site, receive yet even more notifications, etc. It takes a special SMB to garner that kind of engagement. The best use cases for SMB PWAs needs to be explored further but anything that enhances the consumer experience should be of interest to all companies - large and small. We look forward to working with our partners to identify and understand the opportunity this functionality presents specifically to their SMB client base.
At Mono, we have the needs of SMB at the core of what we develop and focus our product innovation on driving the most value for them. We strive to identify and build the best functionally to help them drive more business. PWAs provide a unique opportunity to do just that. If you’re interested in learning more about the PWA support coming later this year please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!