Why is demand for Progressive Web Apps growing rapidly?

FYI, I am not a fan of PWAs.
Why demand for Progressive Web Apps is growing rapidly by Soumik Roy:

APPS are useful because they help companies better engage with customers through prompts and notifications.
However, developing a good [ed: bold mine] app is expensive, time-consuming, and needs multiple iterations. Further, they’re mobile operating system (OS)-dependent, which means, most companies need to develop two apps — one for Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android phones.
Good is the operative word. PWAs go for the lowest common denominator.
This is why the demand for Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) is increasing rapidly. They’re everything that traditional, native mobile apps aren’t.
PWAs are based on web-browsers
they’re quick to build and deploy
seem to be safer than native mobile apps
As far as I know, there is little evidence to back this claim up.
and work on all kinds of mobile operating systems.
And they aren’t very good.

Wait, what’s a PWA again?

A PWA is an app that runs on your mobile’s browser (Chrome, Safari, etc) and doesn’t need to be installed.
Not only that, PWAs provide a full screen experience. They look and feel just like native or regular mobile apps – with an icon neatly sitting on your home screen and push-notification capabilities.
Thanks to help from ‘service workers’, PWAs work even if users are offline or on low-quality networks.
A service worker is a snippet of code, a script that runs in the background and helps a PWA function. It’s one of its critical building blocks. Service workers help PWAs do things like send notifications to users and stay up-to-date.
Service workers help provide an engaging experience while offline and ensure that your application loads quickly.
As a malicious actor, PWAs mean I only need to focus on one target.

Should all businesses get a PWA now?

Well, the Internet is of the opinion that you need PWAs to make life easier for customers.
Well, Google is of the opinion, for sure.
Irrespective of size, PWAs have provided great benefits to companies that have been early adopters of the technology.
If PWAs are so great, then let users know they are about to install a PWA versus a purpose built app. And let them have the choice to run them in the browser instead of as a fake app.
My complaints about PWA largely echo my issues with Electron apps on the desktop: it’s based off of a lie where the user doesn’t know they are vulnerable to reported web security issues because there is no transparency to the user. Neither is a native application technology.
Overall, it seems as though demand from customers for faster experiences on mobile is driving up the demand for PWAs, and this might continue to grow in the future as the technology can support WebVR, an intelligent and modern way for companies to deliver VR content to customers.
Bringing VR or AR into the discussion makes the PWA push less attractive.

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  • Jim Taylor