Have you ever wondered why web applications like Tinder, Starbucks, or Uber are so successful? Some of the most popular apps on the market are progressive web applications, otherwise known as PWAs. But, what exactly are PWAs, and why have they been all the rage? Let’s take a closer look at some of these apps and why you should consider creating one for your growing business.
The Most Popular PWAs: An Intro to Progressive Web Apps
What is a PWA and how do They Differ from Native Apps?
After picking the brains of expert web developers, we’ve narrowed down the main features of PWAs and how they differ from native apps?
While PWAs are still technically ‘apps,’ the key takeaway is that they operate within a browser and are not downloaded to your device. For instance, you can easily access the PWA Flipboard through your phone’s browser without needing to download the app. Their browser version still looks, feels, and acts similarly, but doesn’t take up nearly as much storage space.
Let’s explore the specific features that make up a PWA.
Features of a PWA
If you’re considering having a web application built, the features of a PWA might suit your goals better. So, let’s take a look. For an app to be considered progressive, it needs to be:
- Accessible offline
- Simple to navigate (like a mobile app)
- Easily discoverable
- Capable of producing push notifications
- Easily linkable
On top of these features, the software must be built with a web app manifest, service worker, and utilize HTTPS. Here’s a breakdown of these more technical aspects.
Web app Manifest
Your web app must contain a file that makes it ‘installable’ on your desktop. For example, when you type in ‘spotify.com,’ you’ll be prompted to install the desktop version.
A service worker is a script that runs in the background when you’re using a PWA. It caches the information, making it available for offline use. For example, Starbucks built a successful PWA that allows customers to check pricing, customize their order, and add items to their cart while offline. Once online, the purchase can be implemented.
HTTPS offers safe and secure hosting for PWAs to help ensure that no one can interfere with or listen in on communications between your app and the user. All PWAs need to use HTTPS. If you want to switch to HTTPS, we recommend getting in touch with top web developers.
Now that we’ve broken down the terms and what a PWA is, let’s look at a list of popular progressive web apps and what makes them successful.
The 10 Most Successful PWAs on the Market
Many companies are starting to create their own PWAs. But what makes these applications so popular? Here are some of the most successful examples that have taken their audience by storm and exceeded all expectations.
Starbucks created a PWA that allows users to view and interact with their website like they would a native app. In comparison, their PWA is over 99% smaller than their downloadable iOS app. Additionally, those who might not have access to the internet at all times can still easily browse, access, and add items from the menu to their cart.
When back online, users can purchase their items. This PWA’s goal was to provide Starbucks customers with an app-like experience where they could easily customize their orders wherever they were.
Since its introduction, Starbucks has seen a significant increase in their web app orders — 2x the amount actually—and reports that the number of orders coming from their browser is about the same as those from the native app.
The main advantage of Flipboard is the ability to access news stories and segments from around the globe in one convenient place. Originally launched as a native app, Flipboard developed their PWA to complement the app.
The goal of their PWA is to give their audience a very easy-to-use web app experience. One that feels, looks and reacts the same. With the service worker intact, viewers can save stories and images to access while offline at a later time. Flipboard’s PWA is also significantly smaller and loads faster.
In 2017, Forbes announced that they’d be releasing a fancy new mobile web-experience with all of the features of a PWA. At the time of the announcement, they also stated that the PWA would be released in 3 phases.
The Forbes goal revolved around faster loading speeds, enhanced user experiences, aesthetics, and access to offline content. “This new mobile site is our first major step in optimizing our storytelling capabilities, and it’s creating a better, faster, and more engaging experience for Forbes readers,” explains Salah Zalatimo, SVP of Product and Technology at Forbes Media.
The new page loads at lightning-fast speeds—8/10’s of a second, to be exact. As for their results? Their user engagement has doubled since the release.
While two-thirds of their bookings come from mobile users, MakeMyTrip developed a PWA to complement their successful native app. For some, simply booking a vacation online is preferred through a web browser.
This makes their PWA the perfect addition to their marketing strategy. Since implementation, they have seen 3x the amount of conversions through their PWA, and a 20% reduction in their bounce rate. They’ve also been able to reach 24% more cities in India—their target audience.
Most of Uber’s users may have successfully booked rides through the user-friendly mobile app, but newer users seem to prefer booking via a web browser. This stat led to the creation of their PWA to help streamline the user’s interaction and increase conversions.
Uber’s main concentration when developing the web app? Speed of course—fitting for a transportation company. Switching to a new framework granted them the speed they desired and enhanced the all-around customer experience.
Seeing that web users only brought in 1% of conversions, Pinterest set out with the goal of exponentially increasing their conversion rate. After development, they saw substantial growth in time spent on the web app (40%), ad revenue growth (up 44%), and greater engagement (up 66%).
Following suit with other well-known companies, Spotify developed a PWA to go hand-in-hand with their native mobile and desktop app. While you can certainly download the desktop app, Spotify has completely revamped its web browser experience with its enhanced PWA.
With upgraded functionality, speed, responsiveness, and visuals, users enjoy a more pleasurable music-listening experience. Overall, the PWA functions much better than before. And, depending on your personal preferences, you might favor it over their desktop app.
Focusing on browser updates and improvements, Twitter decided to create the Twitter Lite PWA. They wanted to increase responsiveness, accessibility, and speed, while decreasing data usage (up to 70%).
They concentrated on having their PWA developed so that users could easily navigate between multiple accounts, direct messages, and have greater ease-of-use. By adding keyboard shortcuts, searchable GIFs, and push notifications, they were able to achieve this.
With an added “save to homepage” prompt, Twitter has noticed a significant increase. They’ve reported 250,000 unique daily users with interactions coming directly from the subscriber’s homepage. With over 328 million monthly users, Twitter emphasized the PWA’s download size/speed. The PWA operates at 600KB compared to the 25.5MB required for their traditional app.
Known as a very user-friendly cooking tool, Yummly helps provide at-home chefs with delicious, nutritious, and timely recipes. While they have their own native app for consumers to download, the yummly.com website operates, feels, and looks just like a mobile app would.
It’s extremely user-friendly, and even remembers the types of ingredients you like to cook with. You’ll receive recommended new recipes to please your taste buds, budget, and time constraints based on your usability.
Like many others, the Tinder PWA is significantly smaller than its native mobile app (2.8MB and 30MB, respectively). After focusing specifically on load speeds and performance improvements, Tinder has seen an impressive increase in user swipes, messaging, profile edits, and time spent within the PWA. They’ve also noticed that purchases are similar to those of their native app.
Turn to Progressive Web App Development for Your Next Project
The data speaks for itself. Companies that are serious about enhancing the user experience and driving sales are turning to PWAs for the answers.
The question is, are you ready to create your own? If you’re still on the fence, consider these benefits:
- Faster loading times
- Enhanced user experiences
- Downloadable data
- Mobile app-like use and consumer satisfaction
- Massive decrease in size for saved device storage space
With the possibilities of better-looking, stable, and more secure web apps on the horizon, PWAs are paving the way towards progressive solutions for all types of companies.
Like anything worth developing, though, it’s important to consider your budget and project specifications before jumping headfirst into a new project.
Before acting upon your ideas, consult a team of development experts to see if a PWA is right for your company. Creating your own applications can be a bumpy ride if you don’t know what common mistakes to avoid.
With the right vision and support, you’ll be launching your unique application successfully in no time.
Top Image Credit: cottonbros; pexels
Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending
London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.
According to an Oct. 10 tech.eu report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.
The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:
“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”
The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:
“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”
The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.
The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.
Featured Image Credit: Photo from Kennek.io; Thank you!
Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs
As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.
Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI
In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.
According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.
One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.
To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.
Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!
UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations
As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.
Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation
To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.
The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.
Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.
The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!