Android, Business, Development, iOS, Outsourcing Thursday March 10, 2022

How to Create a PWA Mobile App? | Guide for Business Owners

Progressive web applications (PWAs) are a method to give a traditional web app the feel of a native app. With PWAs, we can add mobile app functionality to our website, improving usability and providing a great user experience.

They are, in reality, websites that take advantage of the capabilities of mobile apps. This distinguishes them from standard mobile applications and puts them one step ahead of standard mobile web pages.

The following are some of the advantages of progressive web apps:

pwa app advantages
  • Responsive: Works on any device.
  • Offline functionality: The applications don’t require a stable internet connection to operate.
  • Installable: Can be easily installed on smartphones.
  • Push notifications: Supports push notifications.  

Now, how to build a progressive web application?

Before moving forward with the steps of building a PWA, let’s understand how these PWAs work.

How do PWAs work?

PWAs differ from both webpages and native applications in the way they work. Now is a wonderful time to go further into some of the underlying technology. This will aid us in gaining a better grasp of PWA’s scope and true potential.

Single Page website: In the case of single-page websites, a Single-Page Application (SPA) interacts with the user by dynamically rewriting the page rather than loading a new page from the server. In other words, when a user clicks a link, the browser does not have to completely load the website. SPAs, on the other hand, utilize JavaScript to alter the current page and make it look as though the user has navigated to another website.

Service workers: Instant page loading, an app-like experience, an increase in mobile conversions, offline browsing, and push notifications are just a few of the benefits of PWAs.

Web App Manifest: The web app manifest is a JSON file that informs the browser how to act when a user installs your web app on their mobile device. The name of the application, the icons it should use, the start URL it should start at when the app is opened, and other details are all included in a typical manifest file.

How to build a PWA for Mobile?

Here are the few steps to convert any web application into a PWA.

how to create a PWA app for mobile

Use HTTPS to serve

SSL gives an extra degree of security to the web, giving your users peace of mind when they visit your site. HTTPS is required for employing service workers and installing the home screen in PWAs. You may get an SSL certificate for a low price from your domain registrar and then configure it through your hosting service.

Register a service worker

You’ll need a service worker to take advantage of the full range of PWA features (push notifications, caching, and install prompts).

First, we’ll check to see if the user’s browser supports service workers. If this is the case, we may go ahead and register the service worker file, which in our case is named service-worker.js.

As seen in the code example below, you may register a service worker from your home page. This is usually done after your app has loaded.

if ("serviceWorker" in navigator) {
  window.addEventListener("load", function() {
    navigator.serviceWorker
      .register("/serviceWorker.js")
      .then(res => console.log("service worker registered"))
      .catch(err => console.log("service worker not registered", err))
  })
}

We begin by determining whether the current browser supports the serviceWorker (since it is still not supported by all browsers).

Then we watch for the page load event and register our service worker by supplying the name of our file serviceWorker.js as a parameter to navigator.serviceWorker.register().

We’ve now converted our regular web app to a PWA with this upgrade.

Add a web app manifest

The manifest file can have any name, although it is most usually known as manifest.json and is delivered from the root (the top-level directory of your website). Although the standard specifies .webmanifest as the extension, browsers also support .json extensions, which may be easier for developers to grasp.

This is what a simple manifest.json file looks like:

{
     "name": "Ailoitte",
     "short_name": "Ailoitte",
     "icons": [
           {
                "src": "images/icons/android-chrome-192x192.png",
                "sizes": "192x192",
                "type": "image/png"
            },
           {
                "src": "images/icons/android-chrome-512x512.png",
                "sizes": "512x512",
                "type": "image/png"
           }
     ],
     "start_url": "/index.html",
     "display": "standalone",
     "background_color": "#3E4EB8",
      "theme_color": "#2F3BA2",
}

Add push notifications

If you’re building an app from the ground up, Google’s Firebase service includes Firebase Cloud Messaging, which makes sending push alerts a breeze. The code below demonstrates how to use the Push API to register for push notifications.

navigator.serviceWorker.ready.then(function(registration) {
  if (!registration.pushManager) {
    alert('No push notifications support.');
    return false;
  }
  //To subscribe `push notification` from push manager
  registration.pushManager.subscribe({
  userVisibleOnly: true //Always show notification when received
  })
  .then(function (subscription) {
  console.log('Subscribed.');
})
  .catch(function (error) {
  console.log('Subscription error: ', error);
  });
})

Set up the installation prompt.

When a user visits a PWA with a service worker and manifest, Chrome will ask them to add it to their home screen if the following conditions are met: the user must visit the site twice, with a five-minute gap between visits.

The goal is to wait till the user expresses interest in your software before asking them to make it a permanent part of their device. However, there may be times when you want the install prompt to appear under various circumstances, such as when the user performs a certain valuable activity. We achieve this by intercepting the before install prompt event and saving it for later.

window.addEventListener('beforeinstallprompt', e => {
  console.log('beforeinstallprompt Event fired');
  e.preventDefault();
  // Stash the event so it can be triggered later.
  this.deferredPrompt = e;
  return false;
  });
// When you want to trigger prompt:
this.deferredPrompt.prompt();
  this.deferredPrompt.userChoice.then(choice => {
  console.log(choice);
  });
this.deferredPrompt = null;

Let’s wrap up

We’ve shown how amazing PWAs can be throughout this post. Our standard web app’s user experience is much improved by adding a web app manifest file and a service worker. This is because PWAs are fast, safe, and dependable, and they also support offline mode.

Progressive web apps

Progressive Web Apps, in our opinion, enable us to accomplish great things. They elevate conventional websites to a whole new level, making them far more user-friendly. Keep in mind that this isn’t a standalone solution; rather, it’s a cool, strong, and valuable addition to an existing one.

The content of this article is originally taken from creativebloq

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