Fact Check on Progressive Web Apps, Part 1: Platforms & Plug-ins

The Web offers itself as a cross-platform application platform. What started with HTML5 in 2007 continued over the years in modern web interfaces. With the Progressive Web Apps, the Web has become a good deal more native. However, the application model differs from previous approaches. I would like to clarify some frequently asked questions in this series of blog posts.

PWA is a type of web application that also works offline and can be linked to the home screen or program list. Starting from there, they no longer differ in appearance from their native counterparts.

 PWA Fact Check, Part 1: Platforms & amp;  Plug-ins
Progressive Web App in the browser, on the desktop and on smartphones
Are Progressive Web Apps platform independent?
Yes, because the web is the platform ! Progressive Web Apps run on the same codebase on Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, MacOS, Chrome OS, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. It is not necessary to install any points depending on the operating system or browser. However, not all features are available on every platform, for example, there is no support for push notifications on iOS, and Edge does not yet offer to install the PWA on the home screen (this will change with the move to Chromium as a substructure). ,

From the point of view of Progressive Web Apps this is not a major problem. Here one knows the principle of the progressive enhancement , which means: No older Webbrowser is to be excluded. If a PWA is running in Internet Explorer 11, the core functions (for example, entering master data via form masks) should still work. In this older browser, however, there is no support for offline capability. Users of newer browsers get a better user experience, and over time, more and more users should switch to it.

Are Progressive Web Apps the new Flash, Silverlight, Java Applets ...?
No. Flash, Silverlight or Java applets were plug-in solutions. In order to be able to display Flash content, for example, users had to install Adobe Flash on their systems in addition to the web browser. Flash is not available for all operating systems, for example not on iOS. And Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome no longer support Silverlight content.

Progressive Web apps, on the other hand, rely on "native" interfaces that do not require the installation of any proprietary plug-in or even an additional client-side runtime library such as Java or .NET. These interfaces are implemented directly by the browser, without detours, without plug-in, cross-platform. In addition, Java Applets and Co. allow more extensive access to system resources than web interfaces do. Here, safety and privacy of the user are in the foreground. More in Part 2.

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