How you can create PWA with React Native?

Today, the developments in mobile technology and the popularity of high speed mobile internet have geared a complete new level of application innovation. One such innovation of a new web app development methodology called Progressive web app or PWA.

Introduction to Progressive Web Apps-

Everyone likes to add a website to the home screen and browse its content without internet. A progressive web application makes this possible. It allows you to install a mobile application from the browser window without the need to visit the application store. When you install the application, you would now be able to access it like a native application on your mobile, both online and offline. While the web application development practice came into the spotlight recently, it soon became a widely used strategy. PWAs includes the features of mobile applications and web pages, which results in web applications like mobile applications. It gives a seamless experience identical to a native mobile application. For an application to be a PWA, it must meet certain rules and standards as provided by Google.

1. Reliable- The web application must be reliable and accessible even when the device isn’t connected to a network. 

2. Engaging- A PWA provides a great experience. It uses push notifications to engage users and keep them informed.

3. Fast- A PWA benefits from fast page loading times and responds rapidly to user input.

4. Integrated- PWA is integrated with the users’ device. It uses each of its abilities to render an improved experience.

5. Installable- A progressive Web App should be installable even without visiting the app store. PWAs are normally added to the users’ home screen as they click the ‘Add to Home Screen’ button that shows on the browser windows.

Benefits of PWA-

  • PWAs are smaller in size 
  • They are fast and reliable regardless of the quality of network
  • PWA’s are cross-platform and also cost less to build than native mobile apps
  • They can be used online and offline also
  • The home screen icon allows instant access
  • Features like push notifications ensure maximum user engagement
  • They are secure and provides a unified user experience

How to Build a Progressive Web App using React Native?

PWAs are rapidly gaining popularity because of the advantages they bring to the table. To make an application progressive, there is no need to rewrite the complete application. Here we will clarify the technique and least prerequisites for developing a progressive web application using React Native.

1. Secure network connection-

It is a basic requirement for a PWA because it adds security to your application and builds trust among your users. HTTPS proves to be useful when using service workers in PWAs and allowing the alternative of home screen installations.

2. ‘Add to Home Screen’ experience-

After serving the web application on HTTPS, you should confirm that there is an ‘Add to Home Screen’ option for the users. It improves the user experience and also the conversion rates for brands. This alternative can be accomplished by including a Web App Manifest or manifest.json document to your progressive web application.

3. Web app manifest-

Including the manifest.json file in the application’s root directory makes your application installable on mobile devices. It contains a name, description, icons, and a splash screen for the application. The manifest.json contains the metadata in a public folder and controls the view of your application and what it looks like on the user’s home screen. You can either write the manifest file yourself or use a tool to do it for you. Look at the of the code.

{
"short_name": "Visor",
"name": "Visor",
"icons": [
{
"src":"/android/icon.png",
"sizes": "512x512",
"type": "image/png"
},
{
"start_url": "/?utm_index.html",
"theme_color": "#11111",
"background_color": "#00000",
"display": "standalone"
}

Brief Analysis of code-

1. Short_name– It is the name of your application (‘Visor’ for this case) when it is added to the user’s Home screen

2. Name- This is the name that the browser used to prompt the ‘Add to Home screen’ banner. It looks like, “Add Visor to Home Screen.”

3. Icons– It is the icon of the application displayed on a user’s home screen

4. Start_url- It specifies the URL where the PWA starts

5. Theme_color- This controls the browser’s toolbar color 

6. Background_color– With this you can change the background color of the splash screen when the app is launched

7. Display– This allows you to tweak with the browser view. You can make the app run on a full screen or a separate window.

4. A custom splash screen-

When a user launches a PWA, the android shows a white screen until the application is ready. Except if you have implemented a custom splash screen, a user may see a white, clear screen for a long time. A custom splash screen allows you to use a custom background and icon for your PWA, which gives it a native application like feel.

5. Service Worker-

A service worker is a script that runs at background without connecting with the application. It intercepts background network requests and store data for offline use. It controls activities like push notifications, installations, caching, and different tasks.

Monitor the performance of your web apps- 

Lighthouse is Google’s open-source, automated tool that helps you to monitor the performance of your web application. It does this with a set of tests against a web page and creates a report about its performance. The result helps developer to improve the progressive web apps. It gives result about the key areas as follows- 

  • Progressive Web App
  • Performance
  • Accessibility
  • Best Practices

Final Words-

Here you came to know the basics of PWA and how to create these PWA’s with react native. If you want to update with modern technology, you can invest in progressive mobile apps. They are cheaper to develop and maintain with high discoverability.

If you thinking to develop a PWA with react native, consult with solace experts. Team at solace is well experienced and able to give you the best PWA solution as per your requirements. Connect with solace for more efficiency and productivity. We will be happy to help you.

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