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PWA vs AMP

What is PWA?

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are Web Pages or Web Apps that looks like a mobile app, with similar interactions and navigations. They use a collection of design concepts, latest features that modern browsers support, technologies and Web APIs that work in tandem to offer the best of websites and mobile apps.

The term "progressive web apps" was coined by Google in 2015. The company says progressive web apps meet three criteria:

  • Reliable – Load instantly and never show the downasaur, even in uncertain network conditions.
  • Fast – Respond quickly to user interactions with silky smooth animations and no janky scrolling.
  • Engaging – Feel like a natural app on the device, with an immersive user experience.

Features of PWA

  • Responsive – Compatible with any device (desktop, mobile, tablet, including the ones yet to come).
  • Progressive- Work for all users irrespective of their browser choice.
  • Connectivity– Work Offline or on poor networks.
  • Up-to-date – the service worker update process ensures current, with offline functionality, push notifications, content caching, background content updating and lot more.
  • Content loading – Faster load time with App Shell, a design concept.
  • Secure- Accessed via https to ensure safe content and to prevent spying.
  • Supported native features – appearing in apps list, hardware-accelerated 2D/3D graphics via WebGL or HTML5 Canvas, smooth UIs with 60fps animations, launch in fullscreen, clipboard access, accessing the filesystem and reading user selected files in any browser
  • Shareable – Share easily with urls, and doesn't require installations.
  • Now, you might ask 'Then why can't PWA replace mobile apps?' Because, PWA just can't do everything that an app can do, we shall come to it later.

What is AMP?

AMP is an open source platform created on JavaScript and approved by Google that lets faster page loading than regular HTML. It is a methodology to build web pages for static content (web pages that don't change according to user behavior) that makes it easy for publishers to create fast mobile-friendly content that loads quickly on mobile devices. Google integrated AMP into its mobile search results on Feb 24, 2016, and those pages making use of AMP coding appear in specific place in the search result with an “AMP” designation.

AMP focuses mainly on improving page-loading performance and browsing experience of a website on mobile devices. And as a result of that, we get a plain page with only the crucial information without many fancy features compared to other HTML pages. It eliminates data many times from a usual website or app that isn't so useful for a busy information seeker, to deliver the informative content in the fastest possible time.

These are an advanced form of Responsive web apps with additional features of an app. They allow users to make use of the latest features supported by modern browsers in their mobile responsive website, to give an app like experience on the mobile web.

Features of AMP

  • Lowers page load time and speeds up the website
  • Enhances mobile SEO and keyword rankings in mobile devices
  • Website publishers have full control over the visual and business design

Which is Better AMP or PWA?

Nowdays it turn out a feasible time that ensues numerous advances in PWA's. In spite of its own offspring AMP going popular, Google and other technology majors have made considerable investments in building PWA for their own services and partners, even to the extent of calling it as ‘the future of app development.' So, it goes on that AMP may not venture far in the near future, whereas PWA may end up being more useful. However, it is not to dismiss the importance of AMP sites, which eventually gets away by its faster loading speed and optimized screen layouts.

The trends and developments shaping both PWA and AMP have changed, which developers need to stay updated on so that they can incorporate all the newest elements into their projects. Some of them like configuring the interface to sound more conversational can get ahead in providing an engaging experience to the user and also better usability. Push notifications do additional benefit of giving an effective channel to target your user with new marketing strategies, products, and services. Besides, integrating an offline access feature might also bring an added layer of usability especially in poor network conditions.

For an 'https' website owner, both PWA and AMP are significant to offer a smooth experience to users and you should never do away with both. If your website is mainly content based, then AMP will be perfect for you to let the users instantly access the content that matters to them. AMP sounds a good option for sites that are not too media heavy, doesn't require lots of custom JavaScript and is mainly having static content.

But if you have an eCommerce website, you can never ignore PWA that gives your website the feel of a mobile app in mobile devices, letting users have a smooth mobile-friendly experience even without installing the mobile app. AMP can also be used for e-commerce sites, however, there are limitations which might be time and cost consuming to work around. Websites that are highly dynamic and interactive benefits from PWA more, as they focus on improving engagement and experience and not merely on loading content fast. If you want your customers to come back often and interact with your site, PWA will be a wise choice. Also, with PWA increasing its features and offline capabilities to integrate NFC, Bluetooth, mobile phone sensors and other hardware functions, there is no reason why you should consider these.

Conclusion :

Both works together nicely too, that is, you can install a PWA app shell from your origin with the help of the amp-install-service worker. This enables users clicking on the designated button at the end of an AMP page to navigate easily to a full-blown PWA browser. Similarly, PWA can even accommodate AMP documents within it due to AMP's portability feature.

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