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Progressive Web App Development Company

6B are a progressive web app development company. We are an experienced PWA development company, helping companies and startups with progressive web app development in the UK.

We develop progressive web apps in the latest technology using React. Our user experience and design team will ensure your progressive web app development is pixel perfect, we will build animations, gamification, calls to action and more into the PWA user journey to ensure your progressive web app design is engaging and intuitive.

Progressive Web App Development Agency

6B are a specialist progressive web app development company and we specialise in progressive web app development, from small progressive web app development to automate one business process to large scale progressive web apps to handle complex tasks 6B are a progressive web app development company here and ready to help.

App-like functionality, web-like capability 

 

The chasm that has emerged between websites and mobile apps has widened at an alarming pace in recent years. In a digitally-driven economy where convenience is the ultimate currency for users, apps have begun to deliver on levels that websites simply can’t compete with.

 

But one technology in particular has evened the playing field: progressive web applications (PWAs). 

 

6B have long recognised the potential that PWAs represent; not only do they offer a comparable performance to native mobile apps, but they’re fast becoming the preferred choice for many household names, like Instagram, Twitter and Uber, to name a few. 

 

The saying goes, “you can’t have your cake and eat it”, but PWAs are fast proving this to be the stuff of myths. With a faultless display on every screen size, high engagement levels through push notifications, and platform-agnosticism achieved via one development cycle, it’s easy to see why PWAs are becoming the smart choice for companies wanting to develop an app. 

 

It’s true that this solution isn’t ideal for every project, but as an experienced progressive web app development company, our technical and practical knowledge can help guide you through the decision-making process. 

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PWA benefits

App-like performance

They combine the most efficient features of apps and websites, but fundamentally, they look and feel like any other app. This means users are familiar with interactions and navigation.

Seamless installation

Companies don’t need to seek approval from app stores and users don’t need to interact with an app store to download one; they simply visit your website and add the icon to their home screen.

Responsiveness

Irrespective of browser type, device, platform or screen size, PWAs work seamlessly across them all without exception, delivering a user experience that’s consistent and uncompromised.

Accessible

Not only are PWAs accessible to users regardless of screen size or platform, they also provide an alternative for markets where it’s far more difficult to penetrate Google Play or the App Store.

Higher engagement

Through the use of tools like push notifications, companies have a direct line to each user’s most intimate form of communication: their phone. This ensures they can be targeted with promotional offers and deals more effectively, boosting engagement.

Increased conversions

A natural byproduct of PWAs boosting engagement among consumers is a noticeable increase in conversions. From the seamless installation process to operating offline, users remain engaged for longer, which strengthens their affinity with your brand.

What is a progressive web app?

Simply put, a progressive web app (or PWA for short) is a website with all the benefits of an app.

It’s an app built from web technologies that we’re all familiar with, like HTML, CSS and JavaScript, but it has the feel and functionality of a native app.

Essentially, any website you can think of can be turned into a progressive web app, so it saves you starting from scratch and gives you a head start rather than if you were developing a native app.

One of the most common examples of a PWA that you may not be aware of is Twitter. If you visit the website on your smartphone, you’ll be able to save the icon to your home screen. Once you open it up, you’ll notice it functions exactly the same as it would if you downloaded the app from an app store. It functions just how a native app would and the user experience isn’t compromised.

Below are some typical characteristics of a PWA:

  • Responsive
  • Multi-browser compatible
  • Independent connectivity
  • App-like interface
  • Easily discoverable
  • Quickly installable
  • Offline usage enabled
  • Self-updates
  • Secure

How do I know if a PWA is right for my business?

Before deciding whether or not your business should start developing a PWA of your own, you need to consider the nature of your business, and more importantly, your target audience.

Are they currently using apps? Is there a simpler way your objectives could be achieved? What added value will a PWA create in their lives? Like any advancement that will impact your audience, you need to ask them and get to grips with what they want.

Once you have distilled what they want, you can begin to decide if a PWA will meet your specific needs. What’s the desired timeline on this product going to market? Do you need a good internet connection? How big is your budget?

These questions combined with what your customers tell you will determine whether or not you should develop a PWA.

What’s the difference between a progressive web app and a native app?

The invention of the smartphone has changed the way businesses interact with customers forever. If your business wants to grow, it’s no longer feasible to ignore the opportunity that a mobile app strategy represents. However, when choosing to develop a mobile app, you’ll be faced with a major dilemma: do you choose a progressive web app or a native app?

But what’s the difference between the two? Simply put, native apps are designed to run exclusively on mobile devices, whereas PWAs are designed to run inside a web browser.

Native apps are developed with the specific programming languages of each platform (Objective-C and Swift for iOS and Java for Android), but PWAs use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

What are some comparisons between PWA and native use cases?

Time to market

If your business is up against it with a tight deadline, a PWA is the way to go. As you don’t need a separate, dedicated team to launch on iOS and Android devices, and you don’t have to contend with mandatory approval processes from each individual app store, there’s much less work involved to get your product to market.

It’s best to think of a PWA as an extension of your existing website; the groundwork has already been done for you.

Cost

As PWAs require less work and time to get to market than native apps, you’ve probably guessed that they’re cheaper to develop.

Unlike native apps, PWAs don’t require your team to learn the language of and build a specific application for each platform, meaning they’re far cheaper to build in the long run.

But it isn’t only the initial outlay that proves more expensive; there’s also a higher cost associated with the maintenance and updates for native apps – whereas a single codebase can be used for multiple platforms with PWAs, so naturally it’s quicker to build and update one. Rather than developing an app from scratch, you can configure your existing website with the help of tools like Google Lighthouse, and it will display in an identical manner on all devices.

Cross-platform availability

The whole purpose of developing a mobile app is so that your business can reach a larger audience. There’s a strong possibility that there will be a fairly even split of iOS and Android among your audience, so launching a native app for a single platform isn’t the best option. The beauty of a progressive web app is that they’re designed to be responsive and readily available to all users, irrespective of what platform they’re on.

Performance

In the world of mobile apps, performance is everything. If the user experience is blighted by poor performance, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of alternatives for users to download instead.

Generally speaking, native apps perform a lot faster because the code is written specifically for each platform, whereas PWAs run directly from a mobile browser. Native apps also enable users the ability to access information offline, as opposed to PWAs which enable this where possible using cached data.

The ability to sync with other device applications, such as camera, calendar, contacts, GPS and mobile banking is another advantage native apps have over PWAs.

Installation

One of the main differences between a progressive web app and native app is how end users access them. PWAs are accessed by inserting a URL in a mobile browser, so they don’t have to comply with strict regulations set out by app stores, but users may be less familiar with the process.

In contrast, native apps are installed directly from a platform’s app store, such as Google Play or Apple’s iOS App Store, and can be accessed from the app’s icon on the user’s home screen at any time.

Security

Now more than ever, mobile app users are clued up on how their data is handled and how it can be abused. On face value, PWAs offer a more secure platform because they have to run under HTTPS, with security protocols that reassure users that their bank details or login information won’t be compromised.

However, in reality, a native app affords users far more protection because of the option to build in extra security measures. Multi-factor authentication can be used alongside an app’s login process to make it more secure. This means that users may be more likely to trust a native app over a PWA because apps need to comply with stringent security regulations set out by individual app stores.

Storage, data and battery life

When it comes to storage, data and battery life, both progressive mobile apps and native apps can have an impact on a device’s operating power. Ultimately, it comes down to how well coded an app is, how frequently the user uses it, and how many other resources the app needs access to in order to function at full capacity.

What are the benefits of developing a progressive web app?

Progressive web apps are a type of mobile application that can be delivered through a web browser, like Google Chrome or Safari. PWAs can send push notifications, access the hardware of the mobile device, work offline or in an unstable connection – and users can access them from the home screen of their smartphones. 

A combination of the most efficient capabilities of native mobile software and websites can lead to increased retention rates and enhanced user experience with PWAs. But it isn’t only increased brand loyalty and user satisfaction where PWAs deliver value to your business. Lower development and maintenance costs, platform agnosticism, and a smoother installation process explain why they’re fast becoming the go-to choice for huge players in the market, such as Twitter and Uber.

A fully-capable progressive web application should provide all of the following benefits to your business and your end users: 

  • Cheaper to develop, deploy and maintain – Unlike other mobile apps, PWAs don’t require different versions for various different devices; they work just as well on iOS devices as they do Android devices. So what does this mean for your business? It means that development time is effectively cut in half, and it also means that you don’t have to employ two separate teams to create two versions of the same app, which is a huge cost saving in the development process. In fact, it’s estimated that PWAs are anywhere between three and four times cheaper to develop when compared to a native mobile app. But it isn’t just the development phase where businesses will see a significant reduction in cost. PWAs have a specific functionality that allows them to update automatically, without notifying users and pestering them with permission requests (push notifications can be sent, but this is all at the discretion of the developer). This means that updates can be carried out much faster, at more regular intervals, and users benefit from not having to download batch changes and install them. Users will benefit from a renewed look and feel without having to do anything themselves.
  • Smooth installation with no app store submission – Unlike regular mobile applications, PWAs don’t require an exhaustive and complex installation process, which dramatically enhances user experience. Users download a PWA directly to their smartphone home screen, so there’s no need to deal with an app store, which simplifies the process and reduces the chance of user abandonment along the way. Some browsers even include a call-to-action to prompt users to download an app when they visit a website, which helps to increase the credibility of PWAs. And because these apps don’t require a download, it means they can be shared freely among users across various devices and platforms. By negating the need to interact with the App Store or Google Play, not only will users benefit from a streamlined download procedure, but businesses won’t have to contend with the tedious process of obtaining approval from the same app stores. This means they can get their app to market far quicker and they can push through updates without waiting for approvals, which again enhances the overall user experience.
  • Platform and device agnostic – One of the major benefits that progressive web apps have to their name is the fact that they’re completely platform and device agnostic. This means that unlike other mobile applications which must be made specifically for Android or iOS, PWAs work just as well on any platform or device. A single app can satisfy the needs of all users and provide a uniform user experience on different endpoints. It also means that users can switch between their devices and benefit from a consistent user experience.
  • Offline usage – PWAs are capable of operating offline or under compromised connection, which makes them much more appealing than websites. Built-in features and information can be cached automatically, which eliminates the need to download it and allows users to access said features without an internet connection, e.g. accessing your train ticket whilst offline with Trainline. This feature is invaluable for online retailers, as it enables them to prevent users from abandoning their shopping carts, improving user experience and strengthening brand loyalty.
  • Push notifications – Just like native mobile applications, PWAs have access to device-specific functionality, such as push notifications, which enables companies to target users more effectively with content advertising. Because these notifications are displayed on the screens of personal devices that users carry with them all day, it’s become an extremely efficient method to promote products and services. This means companies have a more intimate way of communicating with users, and as such, they’re more likely to respond. However, it’s important for companies not to overstep the mark with notifications, as too many will lead to fatigue among their target audience.
  • App-like behaviour, website-like performance – In today’s digitally-driven economy, users prefer to use apps over browsers as they’re more user-friendly. They cite reasons such as convenience, user experience, and speed as reasons why. Progressive web apps combine the look and feel of mobile apps with the best website performance, creating a digital product that caters to the needs of the modern user. Ultimately, they deliver the same user experience as that of native mobile apps, but possess the same responsiveness and extensive capabilities of a website, so they really are the best of both worlds. This also means that when compared to mobile software that keeps internal data only for its use, PWA pages can be found through search results, which results in an increase in page views and results.
  • Less reliance on data – Data is important to all of us as consumers, but we probably don’t think about it enough when coding apps or building mobile sites. In the western world, mobile data is something we rarely give a second thought to; many of our phone contracts include tens if not hundreds of GBs of data, so running out of it is seemingly inconceivable. However, in emerging markets like India, mobile data is much more expensive than in developed countries. Progressive web apps are much smaller than mobile apps, and they require a lot less bandwidth than traditional web apps because they can take much better advantage of caching.

Are you wondering if a Progressive Web App could accelerate your business?

 

We have a wealth of experience in the app development field, with a mobile-first approach to tech that will put you ahead of your competition.

 

Our experts are waiting to chat to you about how we could support you as your new technical partner.

Get in touch

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