Browse Definitions:
Definition

progressive web app (PWA)

A progressive web app (PWA) is a website that looks and behaves as if it is a mobile app. PWAs are built to take advantage of native mobile device features, without requiring the end user to visit an app store, make a purchase and download software locally. Instead, a PWA can be located with a search engine query and accessed immediately through a browser.

PWAs eliminate the need for e-commerce merchants to develop native apps for multiple mobile operating systems. Just like YouTube videos, PWA content is downloaded progressively, which provides the end user with a better user experience than a traditional website that uses responsive design. The term “progressive web apps” was coined in 2015 by designer Frances Berriman and Google Chrome engineer, Alex Russell

The goal of PWAs is to blur the distinction between native apps and the mobile web by bringing most of the benefits of native mobile apps to the mobile browser. PWAs use standards-based technologies and run in a container that is secure and accessible to anyone on the web. They can send web push notifications, work offline and be accessible from the home screen, just like a mobile app from an app store.

PWAs can also take advantage of APIs and browser plugins to ensure that deploying and maintaining a website remains as easy as possible. Another benefit PWAs have inherited from traditional websites is the use of URIs to indicate current state. This allows the web app to retain or reload its state when the user bookmarks or shares the app’s URL.

A progressive web app’s UI should be correctly sized for the device’s form factor and screen size. In addition, it should look like a native app and be built on an application shell model. The PWA should have few page refreshes, and the app should work in areas of low connectivity or even offline.  What’s more, new content should be made available in the app. Because network requests can be intercepted, the app should be hosted over HTTPS to prevent man-in-the-middle ( MiTM ) attacks.

This was last updated in December 2017

Continue Reading About progressive web app (PWA)

Join the conversation

2 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

What are the challenges of maintaining a native app and how can a PWA help?
Cancel
This sounds very much like a "responsive" website in WordPress, with effective use of plugins and security.  Is there a difference?
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

SearchCloudProvider

  • cloud ecosystem

    A cloud ecosystem is a complex system of interdependent components that all work together to enable cloud services.

  • cloud services

    Cloud services is an umbrella term that may refer to a variety of resources provided over the internet, or to professional ...

  • uncloud (de-cloud)

    The term uncloud describes the action or process of removing applications and data from a cloud computing platform.

SearchSecurity

  • cyberextortion

    Cyberextortion is a crime involving an attack or threat of an attack coupled with a demand for money or some other response in ...

  • Cybercrime

    Cybercrime is any criminal activity that involves a computer, networked device or a network.

  • National Security Agency (NSA)

    The National Security Agency is the official U.S. cryptologic organization of the United States Intelligence Community under the ...

SearchHealthIT

  • Practice Fusion

    Practice Fusion Inc. is a San Francisco-based company that developed a free electronic health record (EHR) system available to ...

  • RHIA (Registered Health Information Administrator)

    An RHIA, or registered health information administrator, is a certified professional who oversees the creation and use of patient...

  • 21st Century Cures Act

    The 21st Century Cures Act is a wide-ranging healthcare bill that funds medical research and development, medical device ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

SearchStorage

  • Random Access Memory (RAM)

    Random Access Memory (RAM) is the hardware in a computing device where the operating system (OS), application programs and data ...

  • floating gate transistor (FGT)

    A floating gate transistor (FGT) is a complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology capable of holding an electrical ...

  • bad block

    A bad block is an area of storage media that is no longer reliable for storing and retrieving data because it has been physically...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close