Progressive Web App FAQ

Last Updated: Feb 15, 2018 09:04AM PST
At Bizness Apps, we're always looking to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to Mobile advancements. One of the biggest emerging mobile technologies in the last several years has been Progressive Web Apps (PWA's). 

Q: What are Progressive Web Apps (PWA'S)? 

PWA's are an all new user experience built into the most modern websites for the mobile focused future. Where responsive websites came before, PWA's provide fast, reliable and engaging experiences blurring the line between native apps and the web.

Q: What are the benefits of PWA's?

There are many benefits to Progressive Web Apps. First, they maximize the reach of your app. The PWA specific improvements work on almost every browser with commitments from all browsers to include support. Second, PWA's are fully indexable meaning they can be found via web search engines improving your apps discoverability. Additionally, they have other benefits including an increased performance with poor data connections, immediate software updates, and take up less space on your user's devices.

Q: What's the difference between a HTML5 app and a PWA?

In order for an HTML5 app to be considered a Progressive Web App, it needs to meet certain requirements. The PWA upgrade to our HTML5 software brings all of these features we have mentioned; push notifications, improved speeds, homescreen install support, offline caching, performance improvements and more. 

Q: Do you need internet access to use a PWA? 

Progressive Web Apps will work in areas of low connectivity and certain characteristics will be cached for accessibility offline. However, similar to our native applications, the internet is necessary for dynamic content.

Q: How can users access my PWA? 

There are several ways to share your PWA with users. One option is to redirect the business' website to the PWA. Upon publishing your PWA app, a redirect script will be emailed to you. Simply add this script to the header of the front-end site's home page. When users visit the site, they can easily bookmark the page and save it on their device homescreen. PWA's are even more accessible than a native app, without the hassle of the app store! The PWA link can also be converted into a scannable QR code, sent via email or added as a hyperlink. 

Q: What features are available on PWA's? 

All features currently available for our Web Apps will be available for our progressive web apps. At this time, push notifications are not available on iOS devices due to Apple not including support, however Apple lists support is currently in development. 

Q: Will we be able to use the Loyalty feature with PWA's?

Yes, the loyalty feature is available for PWA. We'll also improve the feature by including the "User Onboarding" functionality which we plan to release with Northpark, our next product update. 

Q: Are we going to have access to app Analytics?

Yes! Analytics for our Progressive Web Apps are already enabled and available within the Analytics section of your dashboard (HTML5).

Q: Can Google analytics be integrated into PWA's?

At this point in time, we have our own built-in analytics system which we plan to use moving forward. 

Q: Do I need a Developer account to publish? 

Nope! Seamlessly create and publish PWA's without the hassle of signing up for a new account or uploading.  

Q: Is my PWA secure?

In order to be a true PWA the URL is required to have an ssl certificate. This means your URL must start with https://

Currently, we have a URL that anyone can use, with support coming for our clients who wish to purchase their own certificate and use their subdomain URL.

Add your appcode to the end of this URL to access your PWA: https://webapp.mobileappco.org/mobile/?appcode=

Q: Why would a client want a PWA instead of an iOS app?

While they diverge from the traditional app store, PWA's are actually more user friendly, easier to launch and adopt. Progressive Mobile Apps give you the same experience as iOS and Android mobile apps without the added friction, download, headache and costs. 

One of the biggest benefits is increased discoverability. While apps can be easily lost in hustle and bustle of the iTunes app store, PWA apps can be found can be found via web search engines. 

Additionally, PWA's are linkable/shareable, have low data requirements, improve SEO and do not require updates. 

Q: Are Progressive Web Apps a step forward from native mobile apps?

Progressive Mobile Apps are a step forward from the native mobile app, as they have all the benefits of a downloadable app, but without the friction that comes with it. PWAs can be built faster, at a lower cost, and the price in which you sell them will be determined on the value you are able to drive for a business (rather than the cost it takes to create them). For example, by using PWA's to increase customer loyalty, engagement, bring in new customers via easy discoverability and make sales through the app, the end price should be the same as the value is the same. The only difference is PWA's do not appear in the app store, so you could arguably say that these drive a higher return on investment because the reduced friction allows for a wider audience of people to adopt them.


Q: How can I test the new Progressive Web Apps?

Any app you've built on the Bizness Apps platform already has a progressive mobile app version available! All you need to do is go into publishing and publish the app for "Web App"  to receive your progressive mobile app.

Q: Where can I learn more about Progressive Web Apps?

The below articles have more helpful information on everything PWA! 

http://www.computerweekly.com/blog/CW-Developer-Network/What-is-a-progressive-web-app
http://www.iamwire.com/2017/07/mobile-progressive-web-apps/155970