Two years ago, a Google Chrome engineer, Alex Russell, published the landmark blog post defining PWA. You can check the post on the following link: http://bit.ly/2n1vQ2r
With this blog post Alex declared that web could now stand toe to toe with native applications. But it goes beyond just native capabilities being added via service workers, and the Add to Homescreen heuristic also matters when it comes to building a website.
Another Google Chrome engineer, Chris Wilson said that Progressive Web Applications are a new level of thinking about the quality of your user experience.
What the Chrome team and other browsers want you to understand is that user experience is the most important part of your website or application. Browsers are providing you with the foundation to build great applications, but it is still up to you to make these experiences come to life.
I tend to think that there is a confidence issue web developers have compared to native application developers. There is still this perception that native rules everything. However, this is not really true. As we'll see later, there are far more accessible web pages than native applications., and there is much more room to grow your website's brand compared to a native application.
Native applications serve a purpose, and that purpose is starting to fade away. The former head of Opera, Bruce Lawson, a very popular browser on mobile devices, stated (http://bit.ly/2e5Cgry) that native apps are a bridging technology.
That's a very bold statement, comparing the web to native applications. But it's something to think about. There are often many bridging technologies that lead to the real consumable product.
For example, Netflix began by shipping DVDs in the mail. I'm sure you could still do that today, but the vast majority of Netflix members simply stream and download video content to watch. The DVDs were a mere bridging technology to get the company started and form a relationship with a very loyal customer base.
The expenses involved in distributing those DVDs became too much for them to make it their primary distribution channel. As technology improved, which led to an increase in broadband, Netflix was able to shed the bridging distribution technology and focus on the original goal of getting videos and movies the living rooms of members all over the world.
In much the same way, mobile was a brand-new platform for building application experiences. And just like desktop computing, it started with native applications, and the web eventually won them over. The web won the desktop just as mobile technology emerged, and it emerged in a big way.
PWA signify a retooling of the web to make it a mobile first platform. Your applications can run faster, work offline, and ask users for permission to be on their homescreen. Never before have we been able to deploy these experiences at this level on the web.