Who moved my Apps?

By | September 27, 2016

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are making a silent march onto users mobile with space constricting for native mobile apps.

Even with a worldwide download of 102,062m apps in 2016, is mobile web making a comeback? Probably yes, if you believe this story by BI Intelligence Apps and Platforms briefing.

Surprisingly, the foremost reason given by users for not using mobile apps is, they like using website better (53%), security concerns (31%) and too much space on the mobile (28%). Reinforcing this feeling is another study which tells, almost 20% of user’s drop-off from the stage of download to using the app.

Taking advantage of this is Google’s PWA (Progressive Web Apps) open-source initiative. Announced in 2015, PWA is a sort of hybrid of app and web page, offering look and feel of an app on web. This ensures the user immediately starts using the app instead of spending time/bandwidth on downloading and installing the app.

This might have stemmed from the fact that Google wants users to spend more of their time on mobile web than on app, even though the fact that Google receives more web searches from mobile than desktop. The fact that many apps have metamorphosed themselves into a platform has not helped Google.

So, what does this mean for business apps, most welcome this shift. Even though time spent on mobile has increased, business have conceded that there are limitations on number of brands a user can have on his mobile, so the message is “Mobile – Yes, Mobile app – No”. PWA provides a more open field for companies to displace brands and switch loyalties.

From user’s perspective, when would a user prefer a mobile app to PWA and vice-versa? An ecommerce site or an online grocery store which he uses frequently, almost daily, can be a native mobile app as compared to an airline check-in app, where the user uses it a few times a month.

So next time when companies sit to plan their mobile strategy, they would want to consider PWA rather than being limited to building just mobile apps.

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