Angular is a popular web app development framework, but can you make an Angular PWA? The brief answer to this question is yes, and making a progressive web app using Angular is actually not all that difficult either.
Businesses are turning to web apps to reach mobile audiences while also avoiding the app requirements placed on them by the Play Store and the App Store. Progressive web apps offer organizations flexibility. This has made them popular over the years as mobile Internet browsing and app usage have dominated the marketplace.
Let’s get an understanding of what progressive web apps are, how they can be made using the Angular framework, and the benefits of creating a PWA using Angular.
Angular PWA: What is a Progressive Web App?
Progressive web apps look and function like native mobile apps to users when they are built well. What makes them different is that they are deployed on web servers through URLs. However, they are more than just mobile responsive websites.
You don’t have to launch a PWA on any app store. Users can simply download your PWA from their browser and save it to their home screen like they would any other app. This is a big advantage for a number of reasons, but primarily, with a PWA, you don’t have to follow app store guidelines or wait for publication.
Also, if you want to create the best possible mobile experience but you don’t have the financial or time resources to develop a native app for both iOS and Android, a well-designed progressive web app could be the perfect solution.
The other huge advantage a PWA offers is searchability. Businesses that are looking to reach users who might not be familiar with their brand or service rely on search engines to attract users and customers. Mobile apps are not indexable on major search engines, but progressive web apps are.
How to Make a PWA Using Angular?
Now that you know more about the benefits of PWAs, you’re likely wondering how you can use Angular to create a PWA. If you already have an Angular web app, the process of turning it into an Angular PWA is pretty straightforward.
The two key things you need to add to your web app to make it a PWA are a service worker and a web manifest. Doing this using Angular is as easy as adding the “ng add angular pwa” command to your existing Angular application. This command automatically adds service worker and web manifest files and features to your application.
What is a Service Worker?
A service worker in this context is not someone who works in a restaurant or bar. A service worker is a background script that works well with pretty much every major browser a user could use. The service worker is one of the primary technologies that make progressive web apps so app-like.
This background script facilitates deep platform integration. What does this mean in a practical sense? It means that users can get all of the features they love about apps, such as offline support, rich caching, push notifications, and background sync.
Without service workers, you would just have a mobile responsive website.
What is a Web Manifest?
The web manifest is a JSON file. The web manifest tells the user’s device everything it needs to know about the progressive web app. This includes critical information like how the app should behave once it is opened on the user’s device, and it also includes the app’s name, the homepage icon that will be used, and the URL that should be opened at app launch.
Web manifest files are supported in a number of browsers including, Edge, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, UC browser, and Samsung browser. Web manifest files are only partially supported in Safari.
The Benefits of an Angular PWA
Most of the benefits your organization will get from an Angular PWA are true of progressive web apps in general. That being said, Angular makes it extremely easy to enter one command and instantly transform your Angular web app into an Angular PWA. Granted, you will still have to configure your service worker and web manifest files to match your needs and wants.
There are many benefits to progressive web apps. They include:
- Device responsive
- Installable without an app store
There are a ton of different devices being used. Developing an application that looks good on all of them is a time-consuming process. An Angular PWA is device responsive. Whether your target user is using a computer, tablet, or mobile phone, your PWA will look great on their screen.
Security is an important aspect of all modern technology. Angular progressive web apps serve content using the secure HTTPS protocol. HTTPS is considered very safe. The last thing you want is for your users’ data to be exposed to a cyberattack.
We touched on this already in the post, but it bears repeating because it is a huge advantage. Angular PWAs are searchable on all major search engines. If you are trying to attract users and customers, being indexed on search engines is the best way to be found and gain brand recognition. Traditional mobile apps are not indexable on search engines.
Mobile devices make it easy to share photos, songs, and more with our contacts, but sharing mobile apps is not quite as simple. Angular PWAs can be shared via a simple link. The best part is that users don’t even have to download your app. They can open it on their mobile browser and immediately use it.
Shareability makes gaining new users and growing your audience so much easier since users don’t have to go through the entire process of downloading an app to their phone.
Installable Without an App Store
Angular PWAs do not need to rely on any app store for distribution or follow any app store guidelines. Angular progressive web apps can be downloaded straight from a user’s browser and saved on their home screen like any other app. Apple and Google both control large app stores where they have stringent requirements (Apple more so than Google) that need to be met.
Apple and Google also take a percentage of any money earned from your app. An Angular PWA is a nice way around Apple and Google requirements and fees. Plus, it is easier for the user. They can open a link and download an app straight to their device without going through an app store.
Angular progressive web apps can be made very easily if you already have an existing Angular web app. Even if you don’t have an existing web app, Angular is a great choice for developing a PWA.
If you need help weighing all of your options and determining the best development options for your organization, turn to an app development partner. A partner will bring industry experience and technical expertise to your project and help you choose the best possible technologies for your needs. Whether you want to build an Angular PWA or something else entirely, a development partner is a valuable resource.