Progressive Web Apps: How to Choose the Best Framework?

At a certain point, every business has to shape up its online presence. And choosing a platform is probably one of the toughest decisions to make.

Well, if you are opening a business in 2020 you most likely want to get all the smartphone users to use your product. It’s 3.3 billion of them out there and they constantly are on their phone! But then you want your app to be accessed from the web too…

Does it mean you have to deliver three different apps for iOS, Android and Web users separately? Not necessarily.

We are introducing a game-changer in apps development – Progressive Web Applications or PWA.
Now, let’s find out what is a progressive web app, what are the best web app frameworks on the market, and see whether the PWA is what you need for your business.

What is a Progressive Web App?

Progressive Web Application is a highly adaptable app that has all the perks of native app, yet can be used on various hardware, platforms, and devices. Progressive web apps are becoming so popular that CMS giants like Squarespace or Themeforest are offering pre-made progressive web app template solutions. Built on JavaScript. PWAs are currently supported by Chrome and Opera browsers. Firefox.  Samsung and Safari browsers are currently in the process of supporting those as well. Users can access PWA apps simply via the URL.

The PWAs have all the perks of native mobile apps:

  • They make it possible to install websites as apps to a smartphone’s home screen and are available in the directory of installed apps;
  • They have Push notifications;
  • PWAs are available when offline;
  • Such apps are also updated on the background;
  • And PWAs also can access the phone’s storage, microphone, camera and geolocation.

Besides all of the above, they offer the same functionality when accessed from the web, while mobile apps usually require a separate development to do that. While it seems to be very simple yet revolutionizing technology, the key to a successful and high-quality Progressive Web App is a thoughtful choice of a proper development framework.

Now, let’s see what the most popular progressive web application framework out there.

What are the best PWA frameworks and how to choose it wisely?

AngularJS

AngularJS is for far the most popular progressive web app framework. It optimizes the use of JavaScript to create responsive and secure apps.

The benefits of this Google-powered JavaScript framework are:

  • It’s relatively easy to implement;
  • It’s easy to learn due to additional CLIs (command-line interface tools). It means that even non-sophisticated developers can create a decent app using Angular;
  • It supports IntelliSense (Intelligent code completion) and Typescript technologies;
  • It offers great support since it’s powered by Google.

The cons of the Angular framework are:

You have to be a pro in Typescript to develop in AngularJS.

ReactJS

React is also a popular web app framework powered by Facebook, another tech giant that provides great support for its users. It is favored among progressive web applications’ developers due to its rich customization possibilities.

Besides that, the pros of React as a progressive web app framework are:

  • An advanced ecosystem;
  • Great code maintenance provided by Facebook;
  • Highly extensive JavaScript library and multiple customization possibilities help to create complex, yet flexible apps;
  • React code used for web apps development can be later reapplied in native apps development;
  • The Virtual-DOM technology ensures the fast rendering of the code.

What are the disadvantages?

  • It requires thorough JSX knowledge;
  • With great power comes great responsibility. The extensive customization can lead to various complications and issues of the app’s operation;
  • Again, due to the framework’s flexibility, the developer has to freestyle the code, as the unified methodology doesn’t exist.

VueJS

Vue is a relatively new framework and at the same time, it’s one of the fastest-growing libraries among all other frameworks. Startups love this one due to its high-speed rendering and simplistic coding.

What are its benefits?

  • VueJS is very easy to learn;
  • The framework has similar concepts to the previously mentioned Angular and React framework. At the same time, this one is more dynamic, since it’s not dependent on tech giants like Facebook or Google. It’s more adaptable to changes.
  • What are the flaws?
  • The company is owned by a single person and doesn’t have a large support capacity;
  • Same as React, it offers amazing customization options that can lead to unpredictable complications.

Ionic

Ionic is based on AngularJS and Apache Cordova frameworks. It uses WebVIew to create web pages inside the browser of a device that makes it very similar to Native App development.

The perks of the Ionic framework for the progressive web app development are:

  • It’s extremely easy to learn;
  • Extensive built-in tools drastically simplify app maintenance;
  • It’s a very popular framework. It means a large community and as a result, great community support;
  • The framework’s library is huge and it allows you to connect APIs without extra coding.

What are the downfalls?

The framework is frequently updated. Once built in Ionic, your app has to be constantly aligned with all the changes too. It means regular app development updates.

Choosing the right progressive web application framework is crucial for the overall app’s success. It influences your PWAs flexibility and scalability in the future. But the most important, you have to make the framework decision based on your development team expertise. Best progressive web apps are built with a strong tech backup. When bringing your business online, is really important to rely on your software development partner or a team.

The rule above is crucial for any software development project. And like any other type of software, PWA apps can be hit and miss. To help you with making the right decision, let’s be objective and review PWAs benefits and flaws one by one.

Pros and Cons of PWAs

Why PWAs?

  • Progressive Web Apps are indeed progressive. They are built with progressive improvement principles at the core and as a result, work for every user;
  • They are responsive. They easily adjust to the various screen sizes;
  • They work just like native apps. PWAs are as interactive and easy to navigate as mobile apps. Also, they can be accessed offline;
  • They are highly cooperative with SEO. The progressive web application is seen by the search engine as a website. And it makes it easy to index.
  • Progressive web apps are linkable. They are accessed via an URL;
  • PWA development costs less than a regular app development.

And what are the PWAs weaknesses?

  • Some devices don’t support progressive web apps. For instance, they are available only on iOS 11.3 and onwards;
  • A progressive app usually uses a lot of battery of the device;
  • PWAs are lacking regular app monetization benefits as you can’t promote such apps in the app stores.

 
What’s the conclusion?

PWAs can’t fully replace native apps. Though it still can be a great solution for your business. To make the decision, you have to consider the following:

  • Your deadlines. If you are just starting your business and you need a digital product ASAP, PWA can be an ultimate solution. It ends up being a cost-savvy, fast to develop and easy to maintain solution.
  • Required functionality. Progressive web apps work perfectly when they have relatively simple functionality.
  • Budget & Resources. And again, if you are short on budget, PWAs are the money-savers. It’s quite affordable to hire a few programmers to get your app going soon.

The final decision is on you. If still in doubt, feel free to contact us for a quick consultation. We simply love solving software development doubts and will be glad to help you make the right choice.