From Uber to Forbes: Why Top Companies Choose Progressive Web Apps

March 29, 2019

It’s impossible to imagine a company nowadays without a site or a mobile app. Whether you sell products or services, you need a digital platform that will represent your business and tell its story.

If you want to stay ahead of the competition and streamline the customer experience online, your business should keep track of the latest technologies and innovations. A fresh and short way to re-make your online presence in an impactful way, a progressive web app (PWA) is one of the top tech trends in creating engaging customer journeys for this day and age.

As statistics show, businesses that went for progressive web apps accelerated customer growth, page visits, and time users spend on their website, and there’s even more to it.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? Still, what are these progressive web apps? What advantages and disadvantages do they have? Is it worth to invest money in them in the long run? Let’s find out.

Progressive Web App Examples in Detail

We have explored many PWAs and now want to share with you our selection of progressive web app examples to draw inspiration from in your future efforts. But first, let’s make a brief stop at the basics.

What is a Progressive Web App?

Progressive web app is a combination of a web page and a mobile application. It’s an app in the form of a site that you don’t need to download to run, but it has all the necessary functions. Simply put, it’s like opening a native app in your browser.

The Best Progressive Web Apps You Can Find Today

You might have seen and even used these progressive web app examples on a daily basis, but have no idea they are PWAs under the hood. From ordering a taxi to games to journalism, here are some of the most popular and engaging prograssive web apps out there.

Progressive Web App Example Selection #1 — Services

Uber

Progressive Web App Example

Did you know that now you are able to order a car without installing the native Uber app? The company is keen on continuously improving their web and mobile presence, so it’s essential that they also have launched a lighter version of their native mobile app. Now, a user that needs to call an Uber, but can’t or don’t want to use the app, have a quick accessible option. Another plus is that progressive web apps can work on medium network connection on any device. So, if a user does not have a fresh smartphone device or operating system, this version provides an excellent alternative.

AliExpress

Progressive Web Apps

AliExpress has an even bigger audience than Uber, so they need to ensure a serviceable experience on as many devices as possible. The standard web version had it all for customers to make purchases, manage their orders, make payments, and make other common actions. Once the website was turned into a PWA, the number of users increased hundredfold, the number of visited pages per session doubled, and users have started to spend more time on the site. A truly solid progressive web app example from China’s ecommerce giant.

Examples of Progressive Web Apps: Social Media & Entertainment

Instagram

Progressive Web Apps

The developers of this app have made it possible to log in to your account from any browser. In earlier versions, you could only access the timeline, but now you may add pictures from any device and even view stories. Some functions lack in the PWA version of Instagram (you will not be able to see what posts you’ve liked, for example), but that does not affect the core experience, especially if it’s not your go-to social network.

Pinterest

Progressive Web Apps

The PWA version of Pinterest is a result of a poor transfer of browser users to the native application, and it turned out to be a perfect solution. One of the progressive web apps that have contributed to revenue growth, better user engagement, and increased the time visitors spend on the website, this version of Pinterest is a happy medium for the company and its users.

Twitter Lite

progressive web apps examples

This version of Twitter allows you to send tweets even from the most isolated and remote parts of our planet. This proggressive web app is extremely light and small, so can run it on any device without downloading anything.

Forbes

what is a progressive web app

Example progressive web app for a top magazine? Easy. The Forbes website is a PWA that has helped the popular publication increase its article completion rate sixfold. The new architecture also helped increase the average time spent on the page. Now, every Forbes.com visitors can enjoy news across industries and markets on any device and when cellular connection is not that high.

Wikipedia

example progressive web app

One of the prominent features of a PWA is that it updates itself. Wikipedia’s progressive web app can be accessed offline, and when you connect to the Internet next time, the page will be updated (if someone made changes to it during the time, of course).

Tinder

examples of progressive web apps

Although tailor-made for mobile, Tinder’s progressive web app example is a masterclass in the field. Simple, easy-to-use, and with two modes of operation (keyboard and touchpad), Tinder’s PWA successfully transfers the experience from the mobile app to desktop.

Telegram

progressive web apps pros and cons

Telegram is one of the most utilized chat platforms available today. The app might fulfill all your needs, but the PWA version is a pleasant extension for those who prefer shifting from small screens to big comfortable keyboards for a change. Getting started is as easy as everything about Telegram, and you can also manage alerts if you need to.

The Guardian

progressive web apps

As media outlets try to retain and grow their reader base, re-making the standard website into a progressive web app is one of the options. The Guardian is one the publications that made the transition. Many people read news during the commute, and The Guardian made sure to make the experience as pleasant and consistent as possible.

2048

progressive web app

This is another progressive web apps example that was created for entertainment. Previously available only as an app, now you access the game in the mobile or desktop browser of your choice without downloading anything. Most importantly, the experienced hasn’t changed at all.

Spotify

progressive web apps examples

Some music apps are so well-made that you forget you can access them outside your smartphone. More so, versions on other platforms are not always as good. Spotify’s PWA is not the case. Here, the company was able to transfer the experience successfully: it’s familiar and it’s comfortable. If you were ever to use this version, you’ll enjoy Spotify as you usually do.

Progressive Web Apps Features that Make the Difference

While native apps should be loaded on your phone and web pages manage to function properly only when you have an Internet connection, the above-mentioned examples of progressive web apps show that a happy medium is reachable.

Let’s take a look at what makes these applications “progressive:”

  • Progressive web app can function offline (some content is visible even if the gadget is disconnected from the network) or with a low-quality  W3 connection
  • By nature, a PWA architecture is sophisticated and fits every browser or device
  • PWA has an application-like interface
  • User doesn’t need to install anything on their device
  • push-notifications are possible in the same way as they work in mobile apps
  • PWA is light on size and works fast
  • Once connected to the Internet, the PWA self-updates
  • everyone can find a progressive web app using a search engine or access it via shared URL, there’s no need in visiting any app stores.
progressive web apps features

A progressive web app is a perfect combination of traits that have changed the look of ordinary sites and that can be used on a higher number of devices across the globe. Both companies and web developers now have an outstanding alternative. Examples of progressive web apps shown above solidify that status.

Progressive Web Apps Pros and Cons: Evaluation

As it can be seen from the aforementioned progressive web apps examples, there are some remarkable features and qualities of these applications that can be taken into account while you mull it over whether to invest in a PWA for your business or not.

Pros of PWAs:

  • Progressive web apps help increase the number of users and revenues as well as make the user experience more comfortable
  • The PWAs cost less than regular mobile apps and can be created quicker
  • PWAs incorporate the majority of usual benefits of a native mobile app
  • Can work offline or with poor network connection, so you can expand your business or service to developing countries who only start to use 3G and where users don’t buy new smartphones often.

Cons of PWAs:

  • PWAs cannot be downloaded from platforms like Google Play or App Store (apart from Twitter Lite). For instance, you wouldn’t be able to find feedback on a PWA as quickly.
  • Users cannot get the full experience, miss out on key features.
  • Progressive web apps are not ubiquitous yet, there hardware and software limitations despite the fact that PWA can work or older smartphones. Still, this is not a major downside.
  • PWA consume more battery life than standard websites.

The advantages of progressive web apps outweigh the downsides of this architecture. First, consider all the pros and cons with your project in mind. Then, it is better to test several apps and discover the difference yourself. Overall, progressive web app examples prove that digital-based services can be delivered to customers in an easier and more sophisticated way. This is an app type that saves a lot of time as it doesn’t require downloading and installation — users can visit a website, log in and start using/buying your services/products.

In case you still have doubts, consult with developers and consider whether you really need a PWA. The modern world is constantly changing and it is better track interesting developments and innovation — there’s always something useful and cost-efficient your users will enjoy. A progressive web app might just be what you need.