Progressive web applications (PWAs)

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PWAProgressive web applications are a type of mobile app delivered through the web, built using common web technologies including HTML, CSS and JavaScript. They are intended to work on any platform that uses a standards-compliant browser. Functionality includes working offline, push notifications, and device hardware access, enabling creating user experiences similar to native applications on mobile devices. Since they are a type of webpage or website known as a web application, there is no requirement for developers or users to install the web apps via digital distribution systems like Apple App Store or Google Play.

While web applications have been available for mobile devices for as long as mobile devices have existed, they had generally lagged behind native apps in terms of speed, features, and user adoption, especially on mobile devices. Direct access to hardware and the ability to work offline, previously only available to native apps, allows PWAs to perform much faster and to provide more features in line with native apps.

PWAs do not require separate bundling or distribution. Publication of a progressive web app is as it would be for any other web page. PWAs work in any browser, but “app-like” features such as being independent of connectivity, install to home screen and push messaging depend on browser support. As of April 2018, those features are supported to varying degrees by the Microsoft EdgeGoogle ChromeMozilla Firefox and Apple Safari browsers, but more browsers may support the features needed in the future.

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