There's a lot of noise around PWAs (Progressive Web Apps) currently. Essentially, a PWA is a platform that has been developed to act as both a website and an application that you'd install on your smartphone, desktop or tablet. A hybrid of sorts, it looks like a web app but it actually emulates the experience of a native app, in some instances at least. Put simply, a PWA is a website that loads quicker and responds better than a simple web application. So, it's safe to say that if you're building a website then of course it should take the form of a PWA, it would be remiss not to design and build a site to maximise speed and efficiency. What's more, if you're building an ecommerce site then PWAs are perfectly suited to standard offerings but they do still have limitations.
If you're looking to communicate via an application then a PWA simply will not deliver. To interact with people or communicate with other devices then a PWA just doesn't fit the bill. Unlike a native app they can't access a device's NFC (near field communication), Bluetooth or other features such as your contacts and calendar among others, which makes them less appealing for users. PWA’s offer a very limited way of communicating with apps installed on the user’s device, which also adversely affects tasks such as logging in to a PWA through social media applications.
While a PWA definitely has its place, like any tech solution, you need to assess the rationale and your ultimate requirements before believing a PWA can deliver everything you need.
2nd May 2019