Say the phrase “progressive web app” to most people — including tech-savvy professionals — and you’re bound to be met with a consistent reaction: the classic blank stare, probably followed by a period of awkward silence.
Progressive web apps — or PWAs, as they’re often called — are one of the most promising app-related advancements of the past several years, but they’re still relatively uncommon, completely confusing, and consequently quite misunderstood. Part of that is an issue of branding: Plain and simple, “progressive web app” is a dreadfully clunky name that seems more intended for developers than the general public.
Part of it is consistency, as the capabilities of PWAs vary wildly from one program to the next. And part of it is presentation, as the method for finding and installing PWAs is anything but obvious, and there’s no great centralized storefront for browsing through available options or assessing their quality.