Progressive Web Apps and Apple


Progressive Web Apps: Bridging the Gap Between Web and Mobile Applications

Progressive web applications are generally defined as apps that toe the line between regular websites and native mobile applications. While there isn’t a widely accepted definition in use, we can consider progressive web applications to be a hybrid app.

As such, progressive web apps attempt to combine the best of both worlds, allowing users access to the benefits that both app types provide at once. While this unique approach to application development is still relatively new, large tech companies like Google and Apple are already taking steps to adopt the standard across all of their devices.

Progressive Web Apps and Apple

In August of 218, Apple added full support for progressive web apps in a recent software update for their proprietary iOS operating system. The introduction of progressive web apps on iOS presents a unique opportunity for iPhone and iPad users, as they now have access to a multitude of mini-web apps that allow for the functionality of a mobile app and the convenience of a web browser to be combined seamlessly.

Interestingly enough, users who struggle with keeping their device’s memory under capacity might find a potentially appealing solution in progressive web applications, as they oftentimes offer many of the features that native mobile applications can while only taking up a small portion of a device’s memory in the process.

Progressive Web App Limitations

While the addition of progressive web apps to Apple’s lineup of iOS devices is an exciting development, it comes with a set of unique limitations. Noticeably, access to native social apps is not available, meaning that if you wanted to for example sign into a website via your mobile native Facebook account you would be unable to do so seamlessly. Additionally, at this point in time progressive web apps on iOS do not support useful features like in-app payments or Siri integration due to privacy concerns.

One of the best aspects of progressive web apps on iOS devices is the fact that users are able to add their favorite apps directly to the Safari web browser. Simply load up the URL of your favorite progressive web applications and manually press “Share,” then “Add to Home Screen” and the app will be added to your device. As mentioned previously, this is an especially useful feature for those that want to be frugal with their device’s memory.

progressive-web-apps-kitchenerProgressive Web Apps Summary

Overall, progressive web applications appear to be a welcome addition to Apple’s iOS operating system. While there are still a number of applications that are not very user friendly and some minor bugs still present, the general experience of using progressive web apps on iPhone is enjoyable.

Not only are such apps convenient, but they mark a shift in Apple’s approach to app deployment, namely towards an application ecosystem that better combines web apps with mobile native programs. Users can look forward to further improvements of progressive web applications on their Apple devices, as every indication from the company appears to suggest that they plan on supporting this innovative application platform well into the future.

Well-Known Brands Using Progressive Web Apps

  • Alibaba – increases conversions on the mobile web by 76% with Progressive Web App.
  • Pinterest – deliver the same core home feed experience these apps do on the web in a fraction of the upfront download cost
  • Forbes – The new mobile experience was developed as a Progressive Web App (PWA)

Ladical Digital Marketing

Ladical Digital Marketing services the Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge area, if you would like to discuss developing a Progressive Web App for your business, please call us at 888-750-8860, or if you prefer use our contact form.