When you publish digitally, probably first two formats come to mind:
- Native App
Both have advantages and disadvantages. How to overcome the disadvantages?
Progressive Web Apps (PWA)
Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are promising to combine the positive aspects of both, native apps and HTML.
Additionally, PWA use “Service Workers”, which give you services like notifications or the ability to “read/work offline”.
Hurdles of PWA?
I currently see three hurdles of PWAs:
- Browser Support
- Ease of creation
Ease of creation?
The third point is slowly vanishing.
For example, if you use WordPress, you can create a PWA using the “Progressive” plug-in:
If you want to create a PWA out of Print, you can use QuarkXPress 2018 to create a PWA, static or with interactive effects:
Either by creating the design and layout from scratch; by converting a PDF or AI; or by importing an InDesign via IDML Import.
My recent test showed that a PWA (called HTML5 Publication) out of QuarkXPress scored 100 out of 100 possible points in the Lighthouse PWA Score: http://www.planetquark.com/2018/05/31/progressive-web-app-pwa-out-of-quarkxpress-2018/
As Google invented the format, it is obvious that Chrome supports PWA. A recent, very interesting development is, that Apple has started to implement the technology behind PWA (Service Workers) in Safari: https://dev.to/ben/safari-now-supports-service-workers-and-what-that-means-to-me-at-least-3oi7
So soon this won’t be an issue anymore
To sell your app or content within the app probably is the last hurdle for PWAs compared to native apps. However if your content is free or you have an existing paywall, then this should not be an issue.
Chances of PWA
Think of publishing a book digitally?
A website will give your readers a rather unexpected experience.
A PDF is not adaptive to the device, especially on smaller screen sizes.
An ebook (ePub) might play well on iOS and MacOS, for Android and Windows there are no got ePub readers yet.
A native app might be costly to develop and restricts you to a certain platform or forces you to maintain several apps.
So a progressive web app might be the best of all worlds. And it is easily created out of WordPress or out of Print and PDF (using QuarkXPress).
- “Should I Consider PWA?” Remarkable Possibilities of Progressive Web Apps
- Web apps are only getting better
- 2018 State of Progressive Web Apps
- Progressive Web Apps are here. What’s the big deal?