How Mobile Applications Are Changing the Way We Use the Internet

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( — December 21, 2018) — When the internet first hit the scene, we all had to sit at bulky desktop computers to watch that first viral dancing hamster video. Boy, has the way we use the internet changed!

Today, the internet can be accessed on a wide variety of devices, which means many of us are hopping online while we’re on the go, which means mobile apps have taken over.

Mobile apps have gotten extremely popular, with mobile app development tools becoming easier to use, and with this popularity will come changes in the way we experience the web.

  1. Mobile Apps Are Fast, and We Like It

The internet is great. It truly can’t be replaced, but mobile apps can make life a lot easier. No longer do you have to get on the internet and type in the address of a site you want to visit. With an icon directly on your phone’s screen, it only takes one click.

Not to mention, mobile apps are fast. Not only are they fast to access, they’re fast to use too. Every click results in immediate gratification because they don’t require access to the internet.

The days of being content to listen to noisy static as we all waited to get onto America Online are gone. Today, if a user is visiting a site and they have to wait any more than a second or two for things to load, they’re going to go somewhere else.

This has resulted in a massive boom of mobile apps. There are millions to choose from, which means standing out from the crowd can be nearly impossible. Not to mention, designing an app can be costly and time consuming.

Necessity is the mother of invention, which is why businesses are now turning to progressive web apps as a solution.

  1. The Newest Solution on the Web Is Progressive Web Apps

Progressive web apps (PWAs) are basically applications that don’t require a download because they are on the internet. They replace old-fashioned websites with a site that functions just like a mobile app.

That means the site mimics the layout of a traditional app, which includes a home screen icon, push buttons, and notifications you would expect from an app you downloaded, but they all operate from your browser instead.

Progressive web apps are becoming a big deal. Microsoft and Google are even on the same page. Microsoft loves PWAs because they function like regular apps within their Windows 10 system. Google loves PWAs because they encourage more people to use their browser, not to mention, these sites run really fast, which is one of their ranking factors when it comes to SEO.

  1. Benefits of Using a Progressive Web App

A boost to your SEO is one really good reason to consider designing a PWA, but it isn’t the only reason. There are a lot of great benefits to using a progressive web app that include:

  • Push notifications can be utilized to alert customers to new products, sales, and updates without the need for a mobile app.

  • PWAs can function offline like a mobile app, which can significantly increase load times.

  • There is less competition in the PWA space as compared to the traditional mobile app market.

  • It can make the purchasing journey a lot easier, increasing conversions and sales.

  1. Downsides to Keep in Mind

As with any new technology, there are at least a few downsides you’ll want to keep in mind.

You can’t search for PWAs separately from traditional websites. You can with mobile apps. You have to rely on customers to find your website as a regular website first, which means you will be missing out on the searchers who are looking for PWAs to make their life simpler.

In addition, Apple isn’t quite on board with PWAs like Microsoft and Google are. Although they support PWAs in Safari, all features aren’t supported. That includes push notifications.

In addition, raw performance is lower than native apps, but that should be expected from a relatively new technology. In addition, they are very isolated at the moment, so different PWAs can’t really share resources. However, with the trend likely to go towards PWAs and away from traditional websites, you can expect that many of these kinks will be worked out.

Should you get rid of your mobile app and go straight for a progressive web app? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have both! It’s an especially good idea since PWAs are projected to be a pretty big deal in the coming years.