Build Progressive Web Apps — Chapter 1

Strengths and Weaknesses of PWA

Jansutris Apriten Purba
Nov 20 · 3 min read
Photo by Amber Wolfe on Unsplash

Build Progressive Web App — List

Chapter 0 — Introduction and Case Study of PWA (You’re here)
Chapter 1 — Strengths and Weaknesses of PWA (You’re here)
Chapter 2 — Components & Architectural Pattern of PWA
Chapter 3 — Preparation and Tools
Chapter 4 — Create a Simple SPA (Single Page Application)

Like other technologies, PWA also has advantages and disadvantages. The following are some of the advantages and disadvantages of the PWA.

PWA is web so it doesn’t require installation

In contrast to native mobile applications where user must download and install .apk or .ipa files before they can be used, progressive web apps can be used without downloading or installing any files. Even so, if you want, we can install PWA to appear on the home screen.

No need to install any updates

When a programmer fixes a feature or adds a new feature in a native mobile application, users must download a new .apk or .ipa file in order to get the update. With PWA, user can get the latest updates without downloading any files. Because PWA is the web, to get a new update, users simply need to refresh the application.

No need to be distributed through the Store

Google Play Store in March 2018 already has more than 3.3 million applications. Creating new applications that compete with 3.3 million applications is not an easy job. Luckily the PWA application doesn’t need to be distributed to the Store. Users simply visit the main website to take advantage of the application of technology that has been done by the developer.

Can take advantage of native features

Although integration is not perfect as a native mobile application, PWA can communicate with hardware that is owned by a smartphone. The site will give an overview of what hardware features can be used.

Hardware features that can be used

Can open any page via a link

Once again, because PWA is a web, every page can open from anywhere, through a link, like a normal website. In native mobile applications, we have to go through the navigation path that has been designed and cannot load any page arbitrarily.


Distributing applications through the Store must follow the rules applied by the managers. With PWA, we as developers are the ones who manage our own application distribution.

Reducing data usage

The Konga e-commerce website managed to reduce data usage by 92% for initial load compared to native mobile applications. With a large reduction in data, load means users can load the desired page faster and more efficiently. This advantage will be useful in areas with slow Internet connections.


There are still native features that cannot be utilized by PWA

In discussing the advantages of PWA, we see that many native features can already be utilized through PWA. However, there are some important features that cannot be used yet. The majority are related to security issues including contact applications, SMS, telephone, calendar, bookmarks, alarms, lock screen, NFC, Bluetooth, etc.

Not support for all browser

At this time only Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Samsung’s Android browser can take advantage of all PWA technologies, while other browsers such as Internet Explorer, Safari, Edge and etc have not implemented the entire PWA feature.

Not available via the Store application

This point can be an advantage also the disadvantage of PWA. The advantage as we have discussed above is user doesn’t need to download from Play Store and to compete with millions of other applications. So what we have to do is bring the user to the website homepage.

Jansutris Apriten Purba

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Love Coding, Traveling, Watching Film & Music



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