Progressive Web Apps are the future of technology. Combining the best of Web and Native Apps, PWA development and Progressive Web Apps Testing combines new technologies with established best practices to build robust, reliable and engaging experiences. Progressive Web Apps are giving a new dimension to mobile app development services. There are main features of a PWA associated with web apps, by adopting some of the techniques used by native apps to resolve these issues.
- Reliable: PWA should load instantly like a native app. This is in sharp contrast compared to a web page, which typically does not load if the device is disconnected from the network.
- Fast: The performance of a PWA should be independent of such things as geography, network speed, load or other factors that are beyond the control of the end user.
- Engaging: PWAs provide native app’s immersive, full-screen experience eliminating the need of app store, supporting features such as push notifications.
Advantages of Progressive Web Apps
- Progressive — Works for every user, regardless of browser choice.
- Responsive — Resize any form such as desktop, mobile, tablet or emerging platforms
- Connectivity independent — Service workers to work offline or on low-quality networks.
- App-like — Get an app-like feature for the user for seamless interactions and navigation.
- Fresh —Always updated due to the service worker update process.
- Safe —HTTPS to ensure content hasn't been tampered with.
- Discoverable —Thanks to W3C manifests and service worker registration scope allowing search engines to find them.
- Re-engageable —Features like push notifications make re-engagement effortless.
- Installable — Allow users to “keep” apps on home screen without the hassle of an app store.
- Linkable — Can be shared easily via a URL and does not need complex installation.
Progressive Web Apps Testing Checklist
Building and Testing Your First PWA
When it comes to web or mobile application, it’s not just about writing the code—you also need to give equal importance testing before it’s released for users. Progressive Web Apps Testing requires both manual and automated testing techniques. There will be additional tests to measure both online and offline performance and presentation. Additional tests will be required. It is important to partner with a Progressive Web App Development company to ensure rigorous testing.
- Creating a PWA ultimately is all about writing a manifest file.
- Write a service worker for caching pages and handling offline data.
- Integrating the service worker into your application. This requires writing code that registers and downloads the service worker.
- Make use of an online service.
PWAs are excellent for visual testing. If a test identifies and detects differences between the expected/baseline image and the actual image that’s detected in the test, the test is not successful. Very often the difference doesn’t come from an issue or a defect but caused by a newly introduced feature or superficial changes.
In order to find detailed list of PWA features and advance functionality, you should test, see Google’s PWA checklist.
Site is served over HTTPS
In order to test, use Lighthouse to verify Served over HTTPS, as well as verify that Design is mobile-friendly. Manual checking can be helpful. Conduct the Mobile Friendly Test. It is important to look at implementing a responsive design, or adaptively serve a viewport-friendly site.
All or some of the web pages must work even when your app is offline. As a result, it is important to ensure that your web app responds with a 200 when it is offline. Again, since Google heavily emphasizing on PWA ecosystem, they have best tools for testing PWA apps.
Metadata for ‘Add to Homescreen’
Test if the web app provides metadata for ‘Add to Homescreen.’ You can use Lighthouse to test for metadata for ‘Add to Homescreen’ functionality.
Page transitions should be smooth
Transitions play an important role in high-end performance. Hence, transitions should not feel slow as you move around. This high-end and seamless performance is important even if you are working on slow internet connection. This should be done manually on a slow network. When you click on any button or link it should immediately respond either by transitioning immediately to the next screen and, while waiting for the app to respond, show a placeholder loading screen or a loading indicator.
Each page must have a URL
Every page on your web app must have a URL and all the URLs must be unique. Test it by checking that every page is linkable by a URL and can be shared on social media or other platforms. The URLs can also be opened directly in new browsers.
Apple has made some major improvements to Progressive web apps by introducing new features for developers in ioS 12.2 beta version. Here are glimpses of new improvements.
- New features include Web Auth, Web Animations, WebMeta, pointer events, intersection observer etc.
- Service workers are removed from the experiments list and are enabled by default.
- External sites are loaded via SFViewController. This means authentication flows and still work without leaving the PWA.
- The current state of app is maintained, even while the app goes in background.
- You can view the native app as well as the PWA of the same app in the search.
Users are generally excited for Apple making improvements to its PWA. This is considered a step in the right direction towards a decentralized and open ecosystem, while maintaining strong security and privacy concern for users. However, users also want Apple to consider supporting Push Notifications for PWAs.
PWAs on Windows 10
When PWS is installed on Windows 10, they function as Universal Windows Platform apps and gain technical advantages over running in the browser. When you distribute your Progressive Web App through the Microsoft Store, the entire Windows 10 install base of 600+ million active monthly users is your potential app audience!
- Standalone window
- Independent process from browser
No storage quota (for IndexedDB, local storage, etc.)
- Offline and background processes
- Appearance in "app" contexts such as the Windows Start menu and Cortana search results
Progressive Web Apps are the future of technology and maturing at a rapid pace. Many of the leading companies, specifically Apple (Safari and mobile Safari), Google (with Chrome) and Microsoft (with Edge) provide regular updates for better functioning of PWA every 1-3 months.
Once you are done with Progressive web apps testing of your application, you’re left with the results if your web application is progressive or not. If not, it is about time for iterations. If yes, simply watch the conversions increasing as PWAs have proved to be a boon for the websites that have implemented it.