As Penguins we are excited about a new technology: 
Progressive Web Apps. Why?

AliExpress saw an 82% increase in iOS conversion after moving to a Progressive Web App. That is a smaller increase than they saw for all browsers (104%), but most businesses would happily accept an 82% increase in conversion.(e.g. site visitors transform into customers)The Washington Post has seen a near 5x increase in user engagement.

Source: cloudfour

From “websites” to “web apps” 🚀

This article aims to explain the basics of a great brand new technology: Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). In the first part, I will show the potential of web apps from a business perspective. The second part will cover the technology behind, shows the current limitations and what we can expect in the near future.

First things first: What is a web app and why would you care?
Apps and websites become one. It is as easy as that. No need to “install” an app anymore. You can now visit a website where you see a button to “install”. One click — done.

Why is a web app great?
Websites are amazing. You find them in Google or somewhere else and you just visit them — and you use them. But many websites like Facebook and Twitter also offer apps. Why? Why do so many companies want to create an app? Because you have great features that you could not get in a website: offline availability, push notifications, access to the users’ contacts or bluetooth. Now, thanks to “PWAs”, we can also do those things with “websites”.

Let’s stop calling those things “websites” but “web apps” instead.
“Websites” become “web apps”

Welcome to the Future

Just in case, you want to read more about the amazing possibilities of PWAs, here are some good reasons why you should be happy and consider asking your digital agency about web apps:

  1. Accessibility
    You can create “apps” that are as easy to access as a website. And within one click, the user can install it. This does not only sound good but there are already quite some blog posts of companies reporting a great increase in installations.
  2. Less effort
    You basically create a website which you now can use as app on all platforms. ONE website. Remember the time, when you had to create a website, an Android App, an iOS App and maybe one more for Microsoft? Now you need ONE and you can include all those platforms. This cuts the effort and the cost dramatically. It also let’s you implement features faster and so on… you got the picture.
  3. The Developers: the skills
    Instead of getting a team together with 3 programming languages (one for each platform) — or hiring 2 companies, you can now work with one team.
  4. Boost your website: like an app
    It is not only the amazing app you will create but you also add superpowers to your website. What you can do now is:
    – Increase re-engagement: send push notifications;
    – Reach easily: PWAs are installed and live on the home screen;
    – Experience: PWAs do not open in a browser but give you the app-like fullscreen;
    – Cache contents to make the website available even if the visitor is offline;
    – Optimize your loading time and preload all the contents.
  5. More conversion
    It takes longer and more clicks to install a native app. In each step you loose ~20% of your users. PWAs are better integrated and you will loose fewer of your potential users.
Progressive web apps are better integrated, hence have higher conversions

But wait!

If there would be no limitations, you would not believe it, right? So there are some limitations you should be aware of:

  1. For now, hardware intense applications (e.g. virtual reality / augmented reality) still work better in a native app. I am excited about another new technology that is under heavy development: WebAssembly ( that will fix this later on.
  2. It’s brand new. This is generally a good thing but it also means that not all features are available on every platform yet. We will talk more about this in the 2nd part of this post.

Despite those problems, this is the exact right moment to get started bringing your website or app to the next level. The best things: You start with a technology that is growing and as new features are available for PWAs, you will directly profit from them with no or very little additional effort!

At Penguin we are excited to see that the interest in PWAs is growing very fast in Switzerland. If you want to figure out more about this awesome technology, do not hesitate to contact us!

UPDATE: You can continue reading about the technology behind, the current limitations and what we can expect in the near future: The second part is now available here: