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Top Progressive Web App Frameworks in 2020

The tech world keeps changing day by day, bringing about new innovations every so often. When we look at the worldwide web, web apps have skyrocketed expectations for what a high-quality digital experience can be. And as a result, the standard website is buried under the sand in an attempt for brands and organizations to maintain attention for the desktop browser. In 2015, people started talking about progressive web apps. These apps are collaborations between websites and native mobile applications. 

                                                                                        Source: https://www.mindinventory.com/

Why Develop a Progressive Web App( PWA)?

Traditional web applications only work while the user has network connectivity. The application stalls every time connectivity is lost. What’s more, a typical app will load all of its scripts before starting up. Consequently. this will take about a minute or so for the application to fully load.  Having to wait so long users typically give up and abandon the application altogether.

This is where Progressive web applications step in and steal the show. PWAs leverage a number of current browser technologies in order to provide a smooth user experience even in situations with little or no network connection. Services makers are used for capturing network requests and cache the responses. The complete application gets installed in the customer’s browser and is available for use even when there is no connectivity.

Statistics have revealed that users have now shifted from exclusively visiting the AppStore/ Play Store to install an application and then use it. Rather, they now prefer to click a URL and open up and perform the task at hand. The ratio of PWAs to Native Apps is 100:10 which honestly surprising given that this change took place over the last few years.

                                                                                  Source: https://jelvix.com/

Top Progressive Web App Frameworks

Ever since PWA’s became all the buzz in the community, development has picked up the pace. We recently launched our list of top front-end frameworks and we’re here to help you out again. Every so often, new frameworks are introduced in the market. Some frameworks have been around for years. Newer ones are making efforts to push in maximum updates to be the told contenders in the industry. This gives rise to confusion among developers and businesses looking to build PWAs. We have compiled a list of

Angular

Angular is a JavaScript framework that Google maintains. Previously AngularJS, the newest version is now just Angular with the introduction of three pillars – TypeScript, RxJS, and Node.js. The last update was on 28th May 2019. Google Ads is using Angular, which guarantees that Angular will be around for a while. It is an MVC Framework designed to work for web apps.

Angular has a framework architecture. It is best suited for single page application because of its use of DOM. Angular is called a framework because of its helpful design. It suggests what structure your application should have. These suggestions are based on the huge network of projects already developed on the basis of Angular.

Unlike React, Angular is unique with its two-way data binding feature. It means there is a real-time synchronization between the model and the view, where any change in the model reflects instantly on the view and vice versa.

Why Choose Angular

Angular is the primary target framework for the development of enterprise web applications. Moreover, with the recent release of Angular 8, creating PWAs is even simpler. This version has inbuilt features to create reliable and responsive progressive web applications. What’s more, it’s an ideal technology for websites where the content should change dynamically based on user behavior and preferences. Angular also has the capacity to manage a big bunch of data.

Pros

AngularJS code is unit testable.

Views are pure HTML pages, while all business processing is done by controllers written in JavaScript

The use of dependency injections makes components highly reusable

By using two-way data binding, Angular it drastically decreases the amount of code.

Enhanced design architecture helps the programmer to locate and develop the code easily

Cons

With Angular flexibility in customization falls behind.

With beginners, the learning curve is steeper than React or Vue because of its dynamic nature.

Limited SEO options and  minimal accessibility for search engines which makes crawling less efficient

Since these are two of our top choices we’ve created an in-depth comparison of React vs Angular that you might want to read as well.

React

We saw the first signs of React in 2010 in the form of an open-sourced code released by Facebook, formally introduced in 2013. The sole purpose of React was to divide UI (User Interface) into reusable collections of components. This simplified the development process of visual interfaces in web apps. As opposed to Angular, Tech giants like Instagram and Facebook are using React.

React stands out because of its Virtual DOM capabilities, which make it perfect for apps that require stable releases to cater to huge user volumes. In addition to DOM operations already being executed, virtual DOM operations supplement the frame drops and make React the top choice of developers.

React is Just the ‘View’ you have to choose the ‘Model’ and ‘Controller’ on your own. While it offers flexibility, this also means the team you hire will have to keep themselves up to date with new things and update their skill set regularly.

Who Choose React

We’ve developed many applications using React and we’ve come to the following conclusions. If you’re looking to make single-page web applications or Progressive web apps, having the benefits of both native and web apps, React is the best fit for you. Moreover, React development is not heavy on the pocket as building PWAs in React requires minimum resources. You need your team to create a React-app generator, all they then need to do is customizing as per your business requirements.

Pros

The development team have  much more flexibility to choose a routing library

Updates are far easier to upscale to

Development tools are very powerful and advanced. Testing and debugging is easier using these tools.

Fast and Stable application performance using Virtual DOM

React’s data binding establishes conditions for creating dynamic applications.

Cons

Only good for front-end solutions

The learning curve is steep for beginners given that Facebook is consistently kicking in updates. Documents and Journals are difficult for beginner’s understanding.

View-orientedness is one of the cons of ReactJS.

We have created a detailed comparison of React vs. Angular, incase you want to understand more about the top contenders in the market for the last few years.

Polymer

Google first released Polymer in early 2015 with a new approach towards front end development. While other browsers continue to grow and update, Polymer took the opposite approach. The platform in Polymer’s case is the Browser. The team themselves said,

“Use the platform.” – Polymer Team

The browser is a fully packed eco-system with enhances features and new APIs added with every update. Teams at Polymer keep up the work to make existing features even richer and effective to be used for front-end development. I’s ultimate goal is to shrink and disappear altogether. The major goal is to function as a complete browser, doing everything a library does. This different outlook towards front end development is what makes Polymer one of the top progressive web app frameworks in 2020.

Why Choose Polymer

Unlike the other web libraries like jQuery and frameworks like Angular and React, Polymer promotes the use of the original framework/platform of the web: the browser. So, if you’re looking to have minimal efforts put in by the developers, Polymer is the right choice for you. Polymer aids the developer make reusable web components, but without the additional bloated functions that are not needed. It is the platform of the future, where you will be able to add needed functionality with just click and scale up your project as necessary.

Pros

Simplicity in creating software by using web components

Universal code with the exception of a few components in some browsers

Various packages to support the development needs of all businesses

Future prospects- Google’s teams extensively update the project with new features and capabilities

Cons

Users complain about the limitations choice of tools in the realization of attributes

Library uses certain pieces of code that aren’t supported by some browsers, which results in lower speeds overall

Vue.js

Ever since its release in February 2014, Vue.js has grown to be one of the most popular front-end frameworks today. It is a progressive javascript framework used to develop interactive web applications. A recent report suggests that the knowledge gap is closing in and an average of 34 percent of developers want to learn vue.js. Unlike React and Angular, you won’t find a long list of companies using it, but it is quite popular among developers and companies for integrating and using in front-end development.

Developers are attracted by its capability to function on top of their already designed structure. The Vue.js team has released many libraries and tools over the years which can easily be integrated with many projects big and small. Applications created with Vue.js have a smaller size in comparison thus making the app’s performance better. Finally, the documentation is pretty simple and easy. All developers need to do is learn HTML and CSS basics, because Vue.js applies to HTML based template patterns.

Vue focuses on the “view” part. The main objective of vue.js is to provide the benefits of reactive data binding and composable view components with an API that is as simple as possible. It is not a full proper framework, rather it is designed to be a view layer that is simple and flexible, and that is why it is one of the top progressive web app frameworks.

Who Should Choose Vue.js

Developers have recently discovered that Vue.js strikes the right balance between security and high-level design specifics. Additionally, If you’re looking to build applications that need to be integrated seamlessly with some other applications Vue.js is a good choice. On top of that, if you’relooking to create prototypes without extensive experience Vue.js is a good option as well.

Pros

Two-way data binding to ensure proper connection between view and model

Extensive but simple documentation which makes the learning curve easier for beginners

Beginners with knowledge of JavaScript can work with vue.js

The logical structure of vue.js enables developers to create user interface components and reuse them later, even in other projects

TypeScript Support

Cons

Instability in components, too much flexibility leads to irregularities in coding efforts

Smaller community as compared to its competitors

Language barrier( most plugins are written in Chinese)

Ionic

Google developed Iconic for front end development and launched in 2017. Iconic uses Cordova for the implementation of native elements. It makes use of HTML 5 targeted to develop hybrid mobile apps. Hybrid mobile apps are basically small webpages that are running inside a browser shell with access to native elements. Ionic is developed as the front end framework that handles all the UI and “look and feel” elements of your application. Sort of like Bootstrap for Native applications but with the addition of common native mobile components, slick animations, and beautiful design.

Iconic is an open-source framework that has a permissive open-source framework for use both commercially and personally. In addition to making it open source, Google works hard to create an open-source community around Iconic. Unlike other open-source options, Iconic is truly supported by its dedicated community. Developers familiar with web development find the structure of Iconic to be pretty straightforward. Essentially, it is just a web page running in a native app shell. This gives developers the choice to use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript as per their choice. This ease of use makes Iconic one of the top progressive web app frameworks in 2020.

Why Choose Iconic

Because of its straightforward design structure, may developers prefer to use Iconic for PWA development. These applications are smoother running on slower networks and offer quicker installation times. With the use of HTML, CSS, and JS, development is made simpler. Additionally, it comes equipped with Cordova plugins. Thus, developers can easily access native features.

Pros

Cross-platform apps- Single codebase can be used across multiple platforms and devices

Angular Supports Iconic- the Ionic framework is based on Angular’s component API

Smooth Learning curve- Ionic is considered easy to learn, frontend developers can quickly grasp the basics

Wide range of integration capabilities and plugins- maximizing gains from your application

UI elements that give the look and feel of a native application

Cons

The performance of an app built with Iconic is worse than a Native one.

The increasing security risks if a cross-platform app cannot be ignored.

Conclusion

We tried our best to list the top progressive web app frameworks in 2020. Reading through the list you will be able to choose the best PWA framework for your next application. While the choice may be difficult we suggest that you choose the development team carefully. Ever since PWAs have gained popularityArticle Submission, developers are jumping the trend and developing mere cross-platform apps labeling them as PWAs. The team you choose should have the expertise to exceed expectations and develop solutions that give you the competitive advantages you’re looking for.

Novateus is a custom software development company that deals with the development of innovative solutions. We have years of experience working with both our offshore and in-house teams. If you need any help understanding anything or have a query please leave a query or contact us.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


I am a marketing specialist looking to help people understand tech better. There's always an easier way to understand things, especially in the software industry. My personal blog has more informative content, visit to read more. 



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