Progressive Web Apps: New Cutting-Edge Trend in Web Development
Speed and convenience have become crucial in keeping online shoppers engaged. Progressive Web Apps development is a solution that allows the shopper to enjoy an app-like experience via a website (using web browsers). Users can install the PWA application from the browser window and access it just like a native app. In addition, progressive web apps improve the quality of your web applications, making them reliable, fast, and engaging.
Are you considering PWA for your business growth? Is it worth exploring this option? This blog will help you take a closer look at why Progressive Web Apps are turning to be the new cutting-edge trend in web development.
What is a Progressive Web App?
Frances Berriman and Alex Russel coined the buzzword “Progressive Web Apps” in 2015. To date, PWA has been a big player in this mobile-first world. Progressive Web Apps (PWA) have caused digital marketers to rethink how they design and deliver sites.
Progressive Web Apps can deliver a blazingly fast and slick app-like shopping experience to the end-user. It combines the best of two worlds: your website and the native application. It can be called a hybrid app as users can now browse your website on their mobile. Besides, PWA promises to solve two vital issues:
- Performance and usability
- Mobile-web conversion rates
Business Benefits of Progressive Web Apps
Several companies that focused their efforts on PWAs instead of having a separate native app have experienced increased conversions. A best case in point is the world’s largest online B2B trading platform, Alibaba.com. Alibaba.com increased its conversion rate by 76% across browsers after upgrading its website to PWA.
Here’s how your business can benefit from PWA:
1. High-performance rate
Response time is crucial for audience engagement and better conversion rates. PWA responds quickly as the browser uses caching to save the elements of the layout that are repeated in the template. This improves the speed of downloads and reduces page load time. Subsequently, better performance leads to a better user experience, which in turn increases customer retention rates.
2. Ease of use across multiple devices
Progressive Web Apps are built with a responsive layout in mind for an improved user experience. A responsive design will fit into any size of the screen with ease. In other words, PWA will adjust the experience as per the device screen size. You can further improve the user experience with a PWA manifest file that controls the full-screen view.
3. Seamless browsing experience
A traditional website is virtually useless without a stable internet connection, but not a Progressive Web App. PWA can be easily viewed offline as service workers automatically cache important application features and information from the user’s last online access. This way, the user can access it without any network. Plus, you can add a brand logo, product descriptions, and few advanced features to your offline page.
This is an additional incentive for shoppers to choose businesses with a Progressive Web App over those that use native apps. Such a seamless browsing experience rewards you with better engagement rates and customer retention.
4. Resembles native-built applications
PWAs can be designed to look and behave like native apps, or they can be designed to let users know they are browsing the Progressive Web App. Regardless of the developer’s choice, it can contain a complete set of traditional app functionalities with database access. The best part is that you can seamlessly integrate the application into an existing website or an app.
Watch Video: Fingent can help you choose the right mobile app development approach by evaluating your requirements.
5. No installation is needed
Shoppers can download your app directly onto their devices. Once downloaded, it gets its own icon on the screen, just like a traditional mobile application. This will avoid the slow and complex installation process, improve user experience, and reduce user abandonment.
Here is another way it can benefit you: users can easily access the PWA via a URL. In other words, a user can easily share this link with a friend contributing to increased leads.
6. No manual updates are required
Native apps must be updated periodically through mobile internet or a WIFI connection. Such updates can consume large amounts of data, which may be costly for some users. Fortunately, Progressive Web App updates are performed “on-use,” much like how a website is updated.
7. Low development cost
Developing a mobile app can be a costly process, especially for small businesses and startups. Thankfully, PWA development is much cheaper than traditional app development but provides a better option for companies to generate a positive ROI.
Read more: Mobile app development: 4 tips to consider
8. Wide range of features
The most prominent feature of PWA is push notifications. Publishers and developers can use this feature to implement creative advertising solutions. As the push notifications appear on a shopper’s device screen, it is read more often than emails or updates on social media. This can lead to valuable brand awareness and promote products or services.
9. Improved app and data security
Security has been a concern for both users and developers. According to new standards of web design, all customer information must be moved to HTTPS. So it is highly convenient to launch Progressive Web App within a safe environment. Moreover, it builds customer confidence in the security of their personal information as they enter sensitive data into your PWA.
10. Low data and low storage
Data is costly in some developing nations. That is why it is a bonus that Progressive Web App consumes only a fraction of data usage compared to native apps. Moreover, it does not take up significant storage space on devices, so users are more inclined to use a lighter app on their smartphones. Also, it contributes to better performance.
Progress with Progressive Web Apps
Progressive Web Apps are the future of web-hosted apps as they can overcome the inherent limitations of web performance and insufficient or unavailable internet connections. Since PWAs can run on any modern platform, soon they will overtake truly native apps. Yes, PWAs have the potential to change the way the web works. However, Progressive Web Apps will not replace websites and mobile apps altogether. It is still in its infancy. To know which option is best for your business, have a chat with the technology experts at Fingent.
How AR and AI work together to build unique mobile experiences?
The intriguing partnership of Augmented Reality (AR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a match made in the digital heaven. An AR application can become more beneficial when AI is incorporated into it. The natural bridging of AR and AI enables mobile app developers to build more interactive and intriguing apps. This article explores a few practical ways in which AR and AI can be combined to build incredible mobile experiences.
Awesome Ways AI and AR Complement Each Other
The partnership between AR and AI is likely to have a profound impact on customer experience. Companies are developing next-generation applications for mobiles that employ AR and AI technologies. In fact, AI is the heart of AR platforms.
Though Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality have distinct technologies, they can sync with one another on a variety of applications. They can leverage each other’s best features and aspects building incredible mobile experiences. AI enables AR to have a multidimensional interaction with the physical environment. It allows you to manipulate 2D and 3D virtual objects with your words, eyes, and hands.
It is anticipated that the demand for AR apps is bound to soar in the next four to five years. Hence, the search for appropriate software development kits (SDK) and application program interfaces (API) for AI and AR is on.
Current State of SDKs and APIs For AR and AI
As the capabilities of current SDKs (Software Development Kits) and APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) rapidly expand, the number of commercial opportunities increase exponentially. Consider a few examples:
- Vuforia: It is an Augmented Reality SDK that enables app developers to build mobile-centric, immersive AR experiences. It is capable of supporting both IOS and Android, allowing brands to develop apps with minimal commercial and technical risks.
- ARCore: It is Google’s proprietary AR SDK. It enables developers to get their AR apps up and running on mobile devices. ARCore supports IOS devices and allows developers to build rich and immersive AR experiences supported by mobile devices.
- Core ML: It is a Machine Learning framework used across Apple devices. This API allows you to perform real-time predictions of live images on your device. Its low latency and near real-time results are its biggest advantages. Core ML is an application that can be run without network connections.
- TensorFlow Lite: It is an open-source deep learning framework focused on mobile device inference. TensorFlow Lite enables developers to insert their own custom models.
Practical Ways to Combine AR and AI
The marriage of AR and AI opens up endless opportunities. Here are a few ways in which this combination is working to create digital miracles.
1. Speech recognition: As an AI model listens to what you say, AR effects appear in front of you. For example, if you say ‘pizza,’ a virtual pizza slice appears in front of your mouth.
2. Image recognition and image tracking: It allows customers to see how an object would look and fit in a given space. Combining AR with AI technology allows users to move still photos of items into a still image of a room and assists them in making a decision. Example: IKEA Place.
3. Human pose estimation: It is a technique that detects human figures and poses. It predicts the positions of a person’s joints in an image or video. This can be used in controlling AR content. Yopuppet.com is one example.
4. Education: It allows students to have new perspectives through interaction with virtual reality. For example, it enables them to visualize and interact with a 3D life-size version of the human body.
Related Reading: Impact Of Augmented Reality In Education Industry
5. Recognizing and labeling: When the camera is pointed to a scene or an image, the AR app displays a label that indicates the object or the item when it recognizes it.
6. Car recognition: Using a smartphone camera, it allows its customers to sit inside the car and explore the car’s interiors. There isn’t even a need to download the application.
7. Object detection: AR-AI combination can be applied to automatically learn and detect the position and extent of the objects within an image or a video. This mobile-friendly model facilitates interaction between physical and digital objects.
The bridging of AR and AI is offering businesses an opportunity to empower their customers more than ever before with information shared in captivating ways. Together, AR and AI continue to enhance mobile experiences. It enables developers to design richer and more intuitive, relevant experiences for their diverse consumers. As we noted earlier, the applications of AR and AI are numerous.
To know more about how Fingent can help you build incredible mobile experiences by combining AR and AI, get in touch with our experts today!
Small and medium businesses are discovering the value of mobile apps, both for the sake of engaging with customers better, and also for their internal business processes. As the practicality of mobile apps increases, way over “branding” for which apps were used not too long ago, the task of creating app has never been easier before.
Non-game app downloads are estimated to grow by 23% on average every year, until 2020, to touch $182 billion in revenue. The increased adoption of smartphones in emerging markets would result in an even greater popularity and adoption of an app. In fact, the number of downloads from mobile app store downloads is expected to double from 2015 levels, come 2020.
The Wind is Blowing in Favour of Apps
Several macro and micro level factors favor the development of enterprise apps.
App development kits are now very affordable and deliver high-quality apps in double quick time. No code and low code kits facilitate the development of apps without requiring any technical or coding expertise. Such kits automate several critical processes and offer intuitive templates which reduce the developer’s work greatly.
The success of any app depends on a sizable user base. The popularity of social media plays into the popularity of apps as well, with consumers now more open to engaging with brands on a day-to-day basis, even if they are not overtly loyal to the brand, or make regular purchases. As long as the app is entertaining and offers something of value, users will continue their patronage. Marketers can leverage the interesting or informative content with a strong call-to-action.
Customer demographics favor mobile apps. An average individual spends 174 minutes on mobile devices each day. Sales conducted through mobile devices are increasing at an exponential phase, and the figure is likely to get better with every passing year as the millennials show a greater affinity to purchase using mobile devices.
Apps Unlock Many Possibilities
The potential functionality possible with apps is also on the rise, making apps more viable than ever before. Enterprises increasingly find making a one-time investment in developing apps, say allowing customers to complete a booking, as well worth the effort, considering the increased business and savings from process efficiency such an app would bring about. If nothing else, apps enable push notifications that place the brand name and the marketing pitch directly in front of the smartphone owner.
The Red Hat Mobile Maturity Survey 2015 reveals about 35% of IT decision makers considering mobile apps as the best way to evolve the business, whereas 37% of them reveal the ability to automate routine tasks as the major motivation for developing apps. About 24% of decision makers developed apps to upgrade web-based processes to mobile. About 90% of enterprise increased their investment in mobile apps in 2016, with the average amount of investment rising by as much as 24%. In addition, a mobile app unlocks various possibilities, such as a field executive being able to present data or portfolio offline to a client, and close the sale immediately, without the risk of losing the prospect to a competitor.
All benefits notwithstanding, the underlying motivation behind enterprises adopting apps in a big way is the positive ROI it generates. About 74% of respondents in the Red Hat Survey attested to ROI from mobile app integration proving the value of implementation, and 78% of companies attest to mobile apps contributing to their success.
The Ease of Making Apps
Small businesses can now easily make both consumer dedicated and internal facing apps. Several services facilitate the creation of professional-looking apps, offering advanced features and functionality such as push notifications, location-based services, social media integration, e-commerce capabilities, mobile optimization, and more. Many services offer highly intuitive templates which allow even technically challenged users to create apps on the fly.
Several popular tools such as Xamarin, Appcelerator, IBM MobileFirst, and others make it easy to develop functional and working apps in double quick time. Rapid app development tools, backed up by databases, such as AlphaAnywhere, no code app creators such as AppPress, cloud-based drag and drop editors such as EachScape, template dominated development providers such as iBuildApp, ready-to-use sample app such as ViziApp, and scores of other options offer a host of ready-made options for enterprises.
Nevertheless, according to Gartner demand for enterprise mobile apps is outpacing development resources 5-to-1.
Enterprises seeking to ride the app wave by simply conjuring up an app and sitting back are in for a rude surprise. The success of an app depends largely on how well it is developed. A big reason for the widespread adoption of mobility is the device being easy to use and fun. Success apps are no exception. The best apps are highly focused. The UX especially make-or-break an app. Users seek powerful apps, yet prefer simplicity. There is also a need to consider the enterprise side of the equation, which is getting all stakeholders on board to reconcile what users want with enterprise requirements, and also ensure the app delivers positive ROI. Mobile apps cannot afford to remain static either, and require constant attention, upgrades, and feature enhancements, to stay relevant amidst an ever-fickle user base.
Only apps designed after understanding the needs of users and facilitating the same in the simplest and easiest way succeed. It takes the right blend of experience and talent to conceive such apps, and we have such experience and talent. Partner with us for your enterprise app development process, and leverage our highly resourceful team, who come with a wealth of experience cutting across industries.
The spread of mobility has resulted in a proliferation of mobile apps. However, are apps superfluous when there are already highly intuitive, responsive websites which deliver the goods admiringly well?
On the face of it, mobile apps and websites seem as two sides of the same coin, but scratch beyond the surface, several differences emerge.
A mobile website is technically a shrunken-down version of a normal website, consisting of a series of linked browser-based HTML pages, and accessed over the Internet through the browser. A mobile app, on the other hand, is generally developed specifically for a mobile OS and configuration, and downloaded directly to the device.
Mobile website pages are indexed by search engines, and as such easily found. It is also easy to list a link to mobile websites in directories, and share such links through blogs, websites, and even in print media.
The visibility of apps is largely restricted to app stores. The apps cannot easily be pushed in directories, or the links shared easily. However, once installed, the app icon remains in the mobile screen always, and users may access it even offline. Also, once the initial trouble of getting users to download an app is done, the user is unlikely to go elsewhere.
UX and Design
Websites designed for mobile devices are generally different in appearance and UX, compared to conventional websites. Such websites often have larger icons and buttons to suit the touch-screen interface and improve UX. Incorporating responsive design ensures the web pages scale up or down, to be optimized for any sized device.
Mobile websites rely heavily on browsers to perform even the most elementary functions. For instance, it depends on browser features like ‘back button,’ ‘refresh button,’ and ‘address bar’ to work, with little scope to customize such basic features. The efficiency and seamless functioning of a mobile website depend on an up-to-date browser.
A mobile app is free of browser constraints and may be designed with elaborate and customized functions, co-opting ‘tap,’ ‘swipe,’ ‘drag,’ ‘pinch,’ ‘hold,’ and other advanced gestures. Such gestures may be leveraged for innovative functionality, and to perform tasks better. For instance, moving to the next page is much easier with a swipe than by having to press the back button.
Mobile websites display text content, data, images, and video, just like any websites, but generally, have a limited range of options compared to a conventional website. Nevertheless, mobile websites are often cluttered with dense content, popups, ads, and other content of varying nature. Apps, in contrast, are designed to facilitate a specific function, process or workflow. The best apps are highly focused help users achieve something which cannot be fulfilled easily or seamlessly through the website. Some web developers try to give mobile websites the look and feel of an app, but often end up over-optimizing the website, complete with over-designed layouts.
Mobile websites are getting increasingly better at accessing functions such as click-to-call, SMS and GPS, hitherto considered the forte of apps. However, apps are still a better bet to access device functionality in a reliable way, especially the camera and the processing power of the device. Apps also facilitate a much deeper engagement.
Both apps and websites can be used to deliver the same content or functionality to users. However, both are best suited for specific purposes.
A mobile website, which offers ready access, scores over an app, which have to be downloaded first before the user can access the contents, when the intention is to offer ready content to a wide audience. However, for interactive situations, and use-cases involving complex calculations and reporting, and manipulated data, charts, and reports, apps are better suited than websites.
Apps are better to drive engagement. As long as the user takes the trouble to download the app, the odds are the user would open the app before trying to access anything else for the same purpose.
It is far easier to update content in a mobile website, where changes to the back-end make it applicable to anyone who accesses the website. In contrast, to make changes in apps, the developer has to roll out updates for each app and push the same to the users. The changes apply only when users download the updated version of the app.
However, what the app lacks in flexibility to update content, it compensates in personalization. App also offers scope for greater personalization. Unlike websites, apps allow users to set preferences and be served customized content. Apps have the capability to observe and track user engagement, also leverage the device’s location capabilities, to provide users with custom recommendations and updates. One of the biggest advantages of mobile apps is the ability to send push notifications. Push notifications deliver click-through rates of about 40%.
Cost – Performance Conundrum
Apps generally cost more to develop and maintain compared to websites, for the simple reason a new version of the app has to be developed and maintained for each OS or platform. The mobile app development process has to be repeated for each platform. In contrast, a single instance website runs across all devices.
Again, apps compensate through superior performance. Well-designed apps perform actions much quicker than mobile websites. Apps store data locally on the device, whereas websites have to pull in data from remote web servers. Apps, by virtue of its high customization features, take proactive actions on users’ behalf, further speeding up things.
A mobile website and a native app are not necessarily mutually exclusive. What works best for any enterprise depends on several factors, such as the preference of target audiences, whether there is a critical mass of subscribers, budget on hand, intended purpose and required features. Many functions, especially marketing related, require both a mobile website and a mobile app. Generally, the mobile website is the first step in developing a web presence, and apps follow.
Ultimately, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Mobile users spend 86% of their time on mobile apps and just 14% of the time on mobile websites. However, while an app offers several big advantages, the advantages realize only when the mobile app development is done the right way. Do not take chances with your app development process, and fritter away both your competitive advantage and investment. Get in touch with us to leverage our highly talented, resourceful, and experienced teams, who are adept in delivering cutting-edge mobile solutions.
Guess what the global population is today! It’s 7 billion and is ticking faster than the stopwatch needle. Out of this, there are more than 2.7 billion smartphone subscriptions worldwide and the figure is expected to touch 6.1 billion in 2020, surpassing the number of active fixed line connections, according to the Ericsson mobility report. By the end of 2020, 80% of the global data traffic will be from smartphones. That’s how fast people are getting the mobile mind shift.
Enterprise mobile apps: does it make sense for your business?
“Sometimes the best way to simplify complex business processes and make employees’ jobs easier is with homegrown enterprise mobile applications.”
The increased global demand in mobiles, tablets and other smart devices in the past few years have led to millions of mobile apps. The ripple effect is not just limited to the common consumers, but is also among the technology giants and SMBs, who consider that having a mobile ready team is vital for the modern work environment. 61% of companies have plans to make mobility their top priority in 2016 and will spend more on software, devices and services to accomplish this. Why? Simply because studies prove that mobile application users complete 1.5 times as much work on their smart device, that too with a 40% operational efficiency every year. Both custom mobile applications and off-the shelf business applications are getting popular among companies. Businesses are found to allow six off-the-shelf apps and five custom mobile business apps for employees on an average.
This being the status, enterprise mobile applications for businesses is not a choice anymore, rather it’s a necessity to stay relevant and in the picture. Apart from the above benefits, here are few compelling reasons why your business should start investing in enterprise mobile application development now:
Enterprise Mobile apps make it convenient for workers to work. The use of enterprise mobile applications in companies are thus getting huge to collect, utilize, share and learn from their enormous amount of data. Industries (for instance, the field service industry) have been seen to embrace mobility exclusively moving from paperwork to the cloud. It has helped them simplify travel and communication, improve processes and reduce human errors. Companies have realized substantial productivity gains, improved sales, better tracking of work and least sway-offs from set goals, using efficient mobile apps. Businesses are thus going to extremes to encourage mobile application development and its adoption to make employee’s important tasks much simpler, flexible, faster and accessible on the go. It helps reduce the need for them to travel, and trims the time taken to complete tasks.
Employers are gradually shifting employees from using desktops to smart devices, because they know the workers will find it easier, faster and helps them to be in loop wherever they are. And this will in turn keep them indulged, and make them productive!
Better ROI from enterprise mobile apps
Organizations save huge amounts converting their manual processes into apps. Mobile applications encourage employee collaboration and facilitate sharing of the best practices across the teams. This helps create a holistic environment that will benefit the employer, employees and the customers. This in turn increases the ROI on a good enterprise mobile application development. . Out of those who have tracked their cost saving from switching to mobile app, 17% saved around $25,000-$100,000 annually and 81% around $1,000-$25,000.
Developing in-house enterprise applications lessens the security and risk concerns
Apps available from the stores might be too detrimental to the security. Certain apps don’t even encrypt the data they transmit/ receive through the network, and thus is prone to interceptions. Employees using such apps to store or exchange sensitive, confidential company data will be silently and unknowingly compromising the company’s security policies. Encouraging enterprise mobile app development in house is probably the right solution here.
Attracting the majority- the youngsters
The largest percentage of employees in companies is the youth, and is the most prominent users of smart devices. The generation rely more on mobile devices than on traditional PC computers. To make this vast audience satisfied and comfortable, enterprise mobility solutions is the way to go.
Greater customer engagement, service and support
Do you think you can benefit from the ability to reach out to your customers, irrespective of the place, 24*7? It’s just wow! Right? That is exactly why you will need Apps, to connect with your customers and employees anytime, anywhere.
Enterprise mobility is becoming an integral part of business. Businesses will start to own their own Enterprise App stores, and that could be the best thing to do for your company. At the same time, there are certain things that you should know before embarking on this plan so that you don’t set unrealistic goals. To ensure that enterprise app development is a strategic asset and not just another technology investment, you must align it with the company’s goals and policies. Contact our mobility experts to know more about these trends and policies, and to learn how an enterprise mobile app can change your business for the better.