Progressive Web Apps

Updated 20-Sep-2023

Apparently Progressive Web Apps are a thing. (Thanks Leon!)

While the technology was announced (apparently) in 2015, in the March 2016 Google I/O there were many training and presentation events, such as the below.

What are Progressive Web Apps

From what I can tell, basically it allows web apps to act more like native apps. Basically there is an intermediary process called service worker which allows for responsiveness when offline or on spotty networks. Also, multiple service workers can be spun up so that there can be a nice migration from one version to another (e.g., when offline becomes online again). This is done in javascript, and not really a lot of it. The basic concept is offline first and something called stale while revalidate, a cache control option. Note that browsers will likely have this in a year or two, but can do now in service worker. The basic underlying model is network resilience including the ability to send information during network down, which then will send on network up. Another term is progressive web enhancement which is the experience delivered by these progressive web apps. Note that speed goals are 1 second on cable and 3 seconds on 3G.

More about Progressive Web Apps

Instant Loading: Building offline-first Progressive Web Apps - Google I/O 2016