PWA Vs. AMP: Which is better?

PWA Vs. AMP: Which is better?

Progressive Web Apps are the new trend for 2019. Progressive web apps can now replace several Android apps and in the near future, they may replace several iOS Apps, and right now they have enough abilities to effectively improve mobile app experiences.

So, it is obvious why both Web Application Development and Mobile App Development companies are looking more into PWAs because this definitely seems to the trend for the future.

What is PWA?

Progressive Web Apps are Web Pages that look like a mobile application, with the same navigations and responses.

They use a number of design concepts, innovative features that contemporary browsers support, Web APIs and technologies that work together to provide the best of mobile apps and websites.

These are an enhanced type of Responsive web applications with extra points of an app. PWAs are just advanced mobile pages.

They enable users to use all the features a modern browser has but on their smartphones and it looks like an app but it’s actually a website.

For example, on the mobile browser, when you access Zomato.com or Flipkart.com, the site looks like an app but it is not the app that you may have downloaded on your smartphone-it is just PWA.

Case Study Example:

MakeMyTrip is an indian Travel company who has nearly 8 Million visitors to their site per month.

Features of PWA:

  • PWA is compatible with most devices, such as a tablet, mobile, desktop, etc.
  • PWA is progressive as it works for everyone regardless of what their browser choice is
  • With PWA you can work offline or with weak networks
  • The PWA service worker’s update process guarantees offline functionality, content caching, push notifications, background updating of content and much more
  • The load time is faster with the design concept of App Shell
  • The access with PWP is secure via https to protect content and restrict spying
  • PWA supports native features such as appearing in apps category, 2D/3D graphics accelerated by hardware via HTML5 Canvas or WebGL, smooth user interfaces with 60fps animations, fullscreen launch, access to clipboard and filesystem, etc.
  • PWAs are shareable through URLs and do not require downloading
  • You can pin and bookmark your favorite apps to the home page without downloading the app from the app store. Studies show that every extra click needed to use a conventional app leads to 20% user drop-off, which is a huge issue that stops users from accessing a native application. PWA has fewer clicks and it is more comfortable for users

Pros and Cons of PWA:

Now, let us look at some advantages and disadvantages of PWA.

Pros of PWA:

  • No app updates or installations needed
  • A separate code base is not needed
  • You can add PWA as a home screen icon
  • Quick loading despite the quality of the network
  • You can use them offline
  • The content is always fresh
  • PWAs are responsive and progressive
  • PWAs are indexable, shareable and linkable
  • Safe and not very intrusive
  • Relatively more affordable than native apps
  • Simpler access with increased engagement and reach with comparatively less effort in the development
  • PWAs are the best choice especially if you lack the resources to develop native apps
  • A decreased lead time of development
  • Centralized customer experience

PWA provides many advantages over native apps.

Nevertheless, when it befalls to combining or managing the hardware features of the device, it has insufficient abilities.

Cons of PWA:

  • Not every device supports the whole functionality of the software
  • Native features are not supported either. Call features like calls or SMS, sending messages, reading voicemails, obtaining the phone number of the user, etc., are not supported.
  • You can’t access browser, calendar, contacts, camera, task management, and alarms
  • You can’t access sensors and other hardware features like sensors for atmospheric pressure, ambient light, and proximity, flashlight, Bluetooth, GPS, NFC, etc.
  • You can’t modify the system or log settings
  • Not every browser is supported
  • Not every hardware features are supported
  • You cannot cross-login into apps

How to Launch a Progressive Web App?

What is AMP?

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is a JavaScript-based open-source platform and backed by Google that allows faster loading of pages than the usual HTML.

It is an approach to create web pages for content that is static-web pages that do not modify based on user behavior.

AMP makes it simple for publishers to make quick content that is mobile-friendly and load fast on mobile devices.

AMP was incorporated into the mobile search results by Google in 2016, and these pages utilizing AMP coding show up in a particular place in the results with an “AMP” tag.

AMP concentrates on improving the performance of page-loading and website browsing experience on mobile gadgets.

As a consequence, users only get one plain page with important information minus the superior features contrasted to HTML pages.

It reduces data ten times from the common app or website that isn’t beneficial for an occupied data seeker, to provide the informative piece in the fastest rate possible.

Features of AMP:

  • It advances the website and reduces the page-load time
  • Improves mobile keyword rankings and SEO in mobile gadgets
  • The total control of the business and visual design lies with the website publishers

Pros and Cons of AMP:

The advantages of AMP include:

  • Web pages get quickly loaded and cached
  • It supports every ad format
  • The page-load time reduces to under a second, providing page-load times that are 4 times faster
  • AMP is specifically useful for websites based on content (news publishers, for example), and other content verticals
  • The pages that employ actual AMP will be displayed as a preview above other results on search engines. This is an immense opening for a publisher with AMP versions of content to be quickly visible on the first page and rank above those who have not embraced the technology.

As AMP HTML is intended to enhance the load rate of valuable content by cutting down the unnecessary codes and JavaScripts employed, there are a few visual constraints like:

  • JavaScript isn’t allowed except out-the-box AMP library
  • Images are created with inactive load features, which means they only load when you scroll down
  • A simpler Cascading Style Sheets version will be required
  • AMP is not fitting for e-commerce sites
  • AMP cannot improve rankings on search engines

PWA Vs. AMP

Many experts believe, PWAs will ultimately replace native applications, but then, what about AMP?

Where do AMP come, and could there be enough space for both? Let us look at some major differences between them:

  • Discoverability

AMP wins this round as it gets the support of a Google search result carousel, where PWAs are not provided a boost for getting discovered in search engines.

  • Speed

AMP gets the edge in speed as well since their content is lightweight, it provides for faster load times.

  • Engagement

Progressive web apps are not limited to using CSS or AMP HTML, so they can contain a better quality of content than AMP can include.

Any content that is interactive and needs JavaScript cannot be developed using the framework for AMP. For Accelerated Mobile Pages, powerful content is a pipe dream.

However, at the end of it all, AMP and PWA don’t have to compete against each other.

PWA with AMP

You can select AMP only to design a simple and fast experience. You can depend on PWA to create a slower and dynamic UX. Or, start by combining both AMP and PWA in your web design and stay fast.

Currently, AMP with PWA is becoming more common, with developer optimizing both in the following ways:

  • AMP as PWA

If the content is mostly static and it is okay to settle for the limited functionality provided by AMP, this option lets you design experiences that are lightning fast as PWAs.

By example, AMP is designed like this: PWA completely AMP-charged. You have offline access through this combination since it has a service worker, also helps in adding to the home screen through a manifest.

  • AMP to PWA

Using AMP as a hook to a website is another method to utilize AMP and PWA together.

It captures the user’s attention with an instant load and then lures them into the PWA.

This lets you collate the fast-loading pages of AMP with the more powerful PWA.

  • AMP in PWA

It does not need to be PWA Vs. AMP all the time. You don’t have to create every page with AMP and you don’t have to divide PWA and AMPs as rod and hook as well.

Now, you could truly use AMP for a small segment of one page, therefore reducing the size and decreasing the load time without the whole tradeoff of powerful features.

This includes using another type of AMP named Shadow AMP, that lets AMP occupy an area on the web page.

Finally, which is better: PWA or AMP?

In 2019, there will be many more improvements in PWA.

Even though PWA led to the creation of AMP, Google and other tech giants have made significant investments in developing PWA for their own partners and services, even going as far to call it the “future of app development”.

Therefore, we can safely assume AMP may not move very far in the future, while PWA could end up the more useful of the two.

However, we cannot rule out the significance of AMP sites, which ultimately get through by its quicker loading rates and leveraged screen layouts.

The developments and trends forming both AMP and PWA have transformed, which developers require to stay up-to-date on so they can integrate the latest component into their work.

For Web App Development, both AMP and PWA are important to provide a smooth UX, so as a developer you cannot choose one over the other.

If the website is based on content mainly, AMP is great and honestly, AMP is most suitable for sites that aren’t saturated with media, does not demand too much of JavaScript customization and only has static content.

However, if you’re working on an e-commerce website, you can’t avoid PWA. It gives the website a native app look on a browser.

AMP can be used for e-commerce websites, but there are certain barriers like cost and time. PWA benefits websites that are extremely interactive and dynamic.

If you want users to come back to your site again, PWA is the best choice. Additionally, PWA is going to include Bluetooth, NFC, smartphone sensors, etc., so you cannot ignore PWA entirely.

Conclusion

In the context of web and mobile app development, both AMP and PWA are important. So first define what your application needs and how you want to define the UX before making your decision.

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