DAYCATCHER is a Progressive Web App (PWA) – what does this mean?

The number of smartphone users worldwide today exceeded three billion and it is forecast to further grow by several hundred million in the next few years.

We spend more and more time on our smartphones, on average, up to 171 minutes a day. Mobile apps are one of the main reasons for the mass adoption and usage of smartphones.

Most of us have a mobile device and like the sheer endless possibilities it offers us in our daily life. One of those possibilities is to capture a precious moment with a picture and share it with others.

When we started building DAYCATCHER it was clear the solution must easily run on any mobile device. However, if you’re looking to develop a mobile app, first you need to understand what the actual options are, the differences between them and what’s the best solution for the users. Mobile applications can be classified by several methods. One of the most common schemes is to divide them into native, hybrid, and progressive web apps.

Native apps are developed specifically for one platform, whether it’s Apple iOS, Google Android or Windows Phone, implying a separate development and maintenance for each platform. Hybrid apps can be installed on devices, like the native ones, but they run through web browsers. Though native apps are fast and reliable, hybrid apps are more cost-effective, allowing you to build one app, adaptable for any platform.

Progressive web apps (PWA) like DAYCATCHER are websites that look and act like an app and are built using modern web technologies. Their mission is to combine features provided by modern browsers with the benefits of mobile, creating user experiences similar to native applications, without installation, on any browser and device. And they run seamlessly in browsers on desktop computers or laptops, which many prefer to write longer texts.
Some of the main advantages of progressive web apps are:

  • No need to install the apps – in a world with an overwhelming number of apps to install on users’ devices, progressive web apps allow them to access the apps without having to download, install or update them.
  • Low data consumption – progressive web apps are a lot smaller than mobile apps, consuming low data. This is an important benefit for those who don’t have unlimited mobile data plans.
  • Easy and fast maintenance – progressive web apps allow easy maintenance and updating without users needing to download newer versions.
  • Platform-specific features – PWAs can take advantage of many platform-specific features, such as running in full screen, push notifications, changing display orientation, access to location data, etc.

Progressive web apps have also disadvantages: Apple doesn’t allow them to access some features (e.g. touch ID, face ID, Bluetooth), they aren’t as battery efficient as native apps, their performance can be less good as the performance of native apps, and there are some issues with legacy devices (devices that are outdated, unsupported or no longer used by most software applications).

For DAYCATCHER we wanted to develop an innovative and engaging application using modern technologies with the goal to have a reliable, user-friendly, easy to maintain, cost-saving and engaging app. So, we decided for the progressive web app (PWA) technology, even though there are some disadvantages. Their benefits are hard to ignore and they work like a charm for brands such as AliExpress, Pinterest, Twitter and, of course, DAYCATCHER.

Innobyte “serious web development”

Further reading Progressive Web Apps: