Here at IT Tech Pages we’re extremely keen on following the latest technology trends, both in terms of hardware and software. Anything relating to computers, the internet, gadgets, electronics – you name it. So it’s only natural we’re excited to bring this feature piece on a new trend spearheaded by none other than our favorite search engine: Google.
They’ve been silently promoting this new technology featuring mandatory JSON manifests, and the most exciting feature; Service Workers. These bad boys are basically extra scripts that are acting as a layer between the individual user’s browser, and the connection to the internet. The service worker relays all POST, GET and SET commands from the HTTP protocol, and will route all request accordingly.
That means we can develop some extra code to put in the service worker, and it can then handle offline functionality in browsers that support it. Think about that for a second. We’ve all been used to caching and cookies handling some of our behavior online for us, but this takes it to another level. We can now code a website that will function like an installable app on people’s phones. That’s pretty neat!
There are many interesting reasons for considering a progressive web app, including but not limited to optimized performance for both mobile and desktop users, increased conversion rates for websites, lowered bounce rates and the possibility for adding push notifications directly from websites.
One such company doing this are aptly naming themselves Progressive Web Apps, and are a small group of hardcore developers and front-end talents working to better the user experience online. While they aren’t the only company providing services for PWA development as we all know, they are among the first to specialize in this aspect – eagerly wanting to offer site owners a possibility to keep all their existing functionality and simply add another layer like this.
Other features of the technology includes amongst others:
- Offline functionality
- Add to mobile home screens
- URL routing
- Search engine indexability
- Push notifications
- Improved loading time with service worker caching
- And many others..
All is not sunny in the PWA camp. For although Google is proudly spearheading this movement by implementing service workers in Google Chrome, not all companies are following along. Microsoft has yet to come up with something concrete, although to be fair to them they have stated recently that they are actively working on this. So thumbs up to them. Opera is also a great example of being among the early adopters of this experiment. Apple with their popular Safari browser on the other hand are only acknowledging the existence of progressive web apps, by putting them on their 5 year road map.