Top Frameworks and Tools To Build Progressive Web Apps

Decide the framework, use the right tool and create PWA comparable to native applications. Know more about the correct frameworks and tools to build a progressive web app here!

By Definition

HTTPS + service worker + web app manifest = Progressive Web App

Important Frameworks

Ionic, Vue.js, Angular, React, Polymer, Knockout– are top frameworks supporting Progressive Web Apps.

Supported by platforms like Google Chrome, Firefox Opera, Samsung Browser, Progressive Web Apps (PWA’s) are responsive, independent of connectivity, have app-like-integrations, and are discoverable, installable, re-engage able and linkable. Users need to ascertain following few things to establish if it is a PWA:

  • It must be prefixed with HTTPS
  • It must include a web app manifest.
  • It must implement a service worker.
  • Adding a JSON manifest file with their metacrap

These come with high adaptation potential. These can be adapted to various hardware, devices, and platforms combining the advantages of native applications like push notifications to web applications.

Factors Required for Building Progressive Web Applications

Progressive web apps are called so due to these reasons:

  • Responsive enough to fit any form factor.
  • These must be connectivity Independent – enhanced with service workers to let them work offline.
  • PWA’s have app-like interactions to adopt a content application model to create navigations and interactions.
  • It should be updated periodically with the Service worker Update process.
  • These have to be safe – served via TLS (a server worker requirement) to prevent secret intruders.
  • PWA’s have to be discoverable – these are identifiable as “applications” according to Manifests and Service Worker registration scope allowing search engines to find them.
  • These should be able to access the re-engagement UI’s of the OS like in the case of Push Notifications.
  • These are always installable and linkable.

Three Touchstones To Qualify as a PWA

Technology has always been swift, adapting to the changing customer demands, availability of skills, the diversification of businesses, the increase in the on-demand economy and the introduction of mobile applications for every substantial business. Earlier (denoting a few years back), native applications held the promise of delivering the highest performance, but with a downside of being slightly expensive. These days’ progressive web apps have emerged as a joint venture of mobile sites and native applications.

For similar reasons and more Organizations have been favoring new trends, technologies and skilled people to engage the audience and understand the complete mobile app market.  Hybrid and cross-platform mobile applications have erased the need on installation individually on various devices, taking the best cue from its predecessors, imbibing the functionality of the native applications with features like push notifications, GPS-Navigation, and other native function.

The technology has the potential to benefit both the business as well as the consumer. Such an application can be a hundred times cheaper, faster and efficient in many ways as compared to the naïve counterparts.  This has opened avenues for small to mid-size companies. PWA’s do not take any space in the phone’s memory as users

Major Tools and Top Progressive Web App Frameworks to Create a Progressive Web App

Almost every framework is JavaScript based and is generally used for creating browser functionality.

Frameworks To Build Progressive Web Apps

  • Angular JS (Framework)

Angular JS has been one of the strongest contenders for creating client-side web applications. It has sufficient features to create responsive and reliable PWA’s. Angular JS is one of the most powerful open-source PWA framework based on JavaScript that is used to create Rich Internet Applications (RIA) for web and mobile. It is useful in building cross-browser applications based on MVC architecture. PWA’s built-in this way ensures flexibility, scalability, MVC implementation to manage large data chunks. They depict the right 2-way Data Binding, Simplified MVC pattern, simple and expressive cross-platform apps that are highly performant.

  • Polymer (Framework)

It is also an open-source JavaScript library for building web applications making use of web components. This library has been created by contributors on GitHub and Google Development Team.

  • React (Framework)

React is a JS-based framework used for rendering Android and iOS applications. Used for creating applications across platforms, it saves cost, time and efforts. Further, it is always easy to scale applications built in React. RN Apps can be merged with any other technologies and the two codes can gel up and work equally well. Adding to the magic, hot or live reloading feature helps developers to monitor the changes while they are still coding, as the changes can be executed and updated at the same time. Node Package Manager for installation, apps built-in RN are GPU oriented resulting in better performance. A framework like React Native can potentially upgrade the application by adding in new features like integration of camera, adding GPS to the app, Flash Light, auto-correction, Bluetooth, etc. It supports Android, iOS and UWP platforms. It is preferred for creating progressive web apps as it allows web app developers to share and reuse code. React App generator automates data for your progressive web apps thus personalizing the app according to the business requirement.

  • Knockout (Framework)

Based on JavaScript, it is a standalone JavaScript based progressive web app framework that simplifies the process of coding JavaScript UI’s by letting developers declare bindings and define views that are controlled by  Model-View-View-Model or MVVM.

  • Ionic (Framework)

Based on the angular framework, native wrappers PhoneGap and Apache Cordova, Ionic Framework allows developers to create web pages that run inside the browser of a device using WebView, which essentially renders web pages so that they resemble a native app. Starbucks PWA is one famous example of Ionic based Progressive Web App. These have become a great deployment target. Ionic framework is capable of creating reasonable solutions for simple applications without complex front-end. Popular use-cases: weather, e-commerce, news, social media platforms, currency converters, software organizations, and expense managers, etc.

Tools To Build Progressive Web Apps

  • Lighthouse (Tool)

It is an open-source tool that can be run in Chrome DevTools from the command line or as a Node Module. It can audit the URL. It can as well execute a series of audits against the page and then generate a report on how well the page performs. A reference document is generated every time the audit is done. It can be run against any web page. These audits can be done to check the performance, accessibility, progressive web apps, SEO and much more for the application. Particularly for PWA, when the website is added to the application, it will measure it into four criteria and probe problems that can be handled to increase the efficiency of the app.

  • Dev Tools (Tool)

These work in the same way as Firefox Dev Tools and are a set of Chrome Developer Tools made available by Google Chrome browser. These are helpful in-page editing, diagnosing problems that are ultimately helpful in building better websites. These can enable modification and inspection for service workers to cache and manifest files.

  • Workbox (Tool)

It is another powerful tool by Google to check the performance of progressive web apps. This is composed of several node modules and libraries to enhance web app performance. The underlying tools and libraries are also used for pre-caching, routing and runtime-caching useful in integrating background sync and Google Analytics into service workers.

  • Js (Framework + Tool)

Vue.JS is one such framework used for creating websites or progressive web apps only. It has the clearest documentation, is very compact, backed by Laravel and supporting projects. It helps sustain legacy applications. It is supported by Dev tools extension that helps check all states of the application, adding and inspecting the components. Its architecture is inspired by Angular and React. Its ease of coding and high-speed rendering are the reasons for its fast growth.

  • Microsoft’s PWA Builder (Framework + Tool)

It is an open-source, community guided providing components to build PWA’s that functions across both iOS and Android platforms. PWA builder creates PWA’s quickly and builds a service worker for offline functionality which works by pulling and serving the “offline.html” from your web server.

Famous Applications of PWA

Sudoku, 2048, LifeStyle PWA, Tinder, Wikipedia, Travel PWA, Airbnb, Ride, Entertainment PWA, 9Gag, 1Tuner, News PWA, Forbes, Climadiario, Sports PWA, Sports Mole, Foot Peek, Shopping PWA, AliExpress, Alibaba, Tools PWA, Tomatoes Work, Notes, etc.

In Conclusion: Filtering the Requirements to Build A PWA

The increase in the frequency of updates every few months, the ease of updating the app and the choice of specific framework remain the major concern of Indian web developers. The top progressive web app frameworks and tools discussed herein are exclusively helpful in the development and maintenance of progressive web apps. The web development companies must decide to create a native or cross-platform or hybrid or a progressive web app based on the client’s demands, availability of skills, technology in demand and expertise of developers. If your app idea is stark enough, let ITFirms help it reach millions. Later has developers who are inspired to write code with enormous research!

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