Develop PWA With React Native

How To Develop A PWA With React Native?

By Harikrishna Kundariya React 2 months ago 8 min read 311 Views

Progressive Web Applications are a conglomeration of websites and mobile apps. As the name indicates, it is a progressive step in web app development. Building PWA with React Native is an innovative solution to traditional web applications.

The traditional web apps are internet-dependent, slow, and not responsive. On the other hand, an advanced approach, which is termed as PWA, working towards the betterment of the technology, without using the internet, has stolen the show.

Yes, you read it right! Progressive Web Apps can still deliver the information/content even without the internet. That means you don’t have to play that dinosaur game in chrome.

Also, PWAs are quick and responsive. Moreover, the PWA doesn’t require downloading. You can install the PWA and create a shortcut to your desktop to quickly load whenever required.

The success of PWA has proven statistical data. According to the reports, the PWA has helped Uber in quickly loading its app even on the 2G network in <3 seconds. Also, the accommodation app Trivago witnessed a 150% growth after opting for PWA.

Moreover, you can see not only Uber and Trivago but many big brands have welcomed PWA as core technology:

  • OLX
  • Starbucks
  • Forbes
  • Pinterest
  • Tinder

Let’s have a glance over the characteristics of Progressive Web Application:

Characteristics-of-PWA

Fast: The PWA is a modern way of quickly delivering the content to the users. It doesn’t let the users wait while loading the page or site.

Affordable: If you build a native application, you need to write separate code and invest time and money, but it is different in the case of PWAs. It contributes majorly in saving instead of spending. The development cost of PWA is 3x lower than native apps.

Also, it doesn’t require separate versions for different devices. The single PWA can very well work on all the devices without any special requirements.

Performance: Service Worker plays a vital role in boosting the performance of react native. It caches and serves content that quick text and images. Unlike native or other apps, users will not have to wait for an app to load.

Background Update: Unlike other apps, progressive web apps don’t require permission for updating. It is one-step ahead in updating the application. Unknown to the users, it automatically gets updated in the background.

So, the above mentioned is the basic description of the PWA. And if you want to reap the benefits of modern technology then you need to have a team of professional experts.

6 Prerequisite For Developing PWA With React Native

1) Service Worker

A service worker is a significant part of PWA. This makes the use of React Native with PWA stand out differently from the rest of the Web apps. An individual JS file loads separately, unknown to the application and network.

It helps in blocking the requests received from networks or cached files. Resulting in the app working without the internet or you can say it doesn’t require the internet to load. The user can surf through the application even without switching on the internet.

Let’s have a quick look at how to register:

The major requirement is the browser’s compatibility. And for that, you need to build a code file. Also, you can give a name to your code file as work.js and add it in your application. Below is the code example:

// Flag for enabling cache in production
var doCache = false;

var CACHE_NAME = 'pwa-app-cache';

// Delete old caches
self.addEventListener('activate', event => {
  const currentCachelist = [CACHE_NAME];
  event.waitUntil(
    caches.keys()
      .then(keyList =>
        Promise.all(keyList.map(key => {
          if (!currentCachelist.includes(key)) {
            return caches.delete(key);
          }
        }))
      )
  );
});

// This triggers when user starts the app
self.addEventListener('install', function(event) {
  if (doCache) {
    event.waitUntil(
      caches.open(CACHE_NAME)
        .then(function(cache) {
          fetch('asset-manifest.json')
            .then(response => {
              response.json();
            })
            .then(assets => {
              // We will cache initial page and the main.js
              // We could also cache assets like CSS and images
              const urlsToCache = [
                '/',
                assets['main.js']
              ];
              cache.addAll(urlsToCache);
            })
        })
    );
  }
});

// Here we intercept request and serve up the matching files
self.addEventListener('fetch', function(event) {
  if (doCache) {
    event.respondWith(
      caches.match(event.request).then(function(response) {
        return response || fetch(event.request);
      })
    );
  }
});

Now, as discussed, for browser compatibility, we will have to add the script in the public/index.html. The script is as follows:

<!doctype html>
<html lang="en">
  <head>
    <meta charset="utf-8">
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">
    <meta name="theme-color" content="#000000">
    <link rel="manifest" href="%PUBLIC_URL%/manifest.json">
    <link rel="shortcut icon" href="%PUBLIC_URL%/favicon.ico">
    <title>React App</title>
  </head>
  <body>
    <noscript>
      You need to enable JavaScript to run this app.
    </noscript>
    <div id="root"></div>
    <script>
      if ('serviceWorker' in navigator) {
        window.addEventListener('load', function() {
          navigator.serviceWorker.register('worker.js').then(function(registration) {
            console.log('Worker registration successful', registration.scope);
          }, function(err) {
            console.log('Worker registration failed', err);
          }).catch(function(err) {
            console.log(err);
          });
        });
      } else {
        console.log('Service Worker is not supported by browser.');
      }
    </script>
  </body>
</html>

After this, just sit back and relax. Restart your browser and witness ✅ of Successful Registration in your Dev. management tool. Also, you can audit it in your lighthouse, a chrome extension. (Discussed in 6th Point.)

2) HTTPS

Users are very well aware of the malware attacks. And that’s the reason they verify whether the application or web-page they are surfing on is safe and secure or not. You can call a platform secure and trust it only if you see HTTPS in its URL.

Google has made it mandatory for all the sites to encrypt HTTPS on their Web pages. The SSL provides security to the application and also to the users of it. As PWAs don’t require downloading, the HTTPS becomes mandatory to it.

Also, if we are talking about React Native then you must go through the article on React Native being preferable over Angular for more insight.

React-Native-CTA

3) Web App Manifest

As the PWA is known for one of its amazing characteristics “no need to download,” the web app manifest contributes majorly in proving the feature correct. Also, by using React Native for building PWAs, you can save the memory of the device.

Let’s  have a quick look at how to execute the web app manifest:

Downloading an app requires submission of the app name, splash screen, icon as representation, and a short About Us section to the app store. But, it is different in the case of PWAs. Here, the manifest.json file includes the above-mentioned things and also it needs to be added into the app’s root directory.

A shortcode as example might help you in understanding how to write the code:

{
"short_name": "TEST",
"name": "TEST",
"icons": [
{
"src":"/ios/icon.png",
"sizes": "720x720",
"type": "image/png"
},
{
"start_url": "/?utm_index.html",
"theme_color": "#12345",
"background_color": "#12356",
"display": "standalone"
}

4) Shortcut To Home Screen

PWA apps don’t need to be downloaded and get directly installed on the home screen. Also, the manifest.json file plays a vital role in adding a shortcut to the Home Screen. Also, it uplifts the brand image.

The user will be able to save the memory of their device and also can avail the native experience like any mobile app.

5) Splash Screen

Both the Home and Splash screen are part of the manifest.json. Splash Screen is a short representation consisting of the brand icon, name, tagline, and color combination. When you’re Building A Chat App, this feature will come into the picture.

Adding a Splash screen in PWA would enhance the customer experience. They would love to engage in an intuitive splash screen that represents the idea of the brand. Also, it can deliver a native experience to the user.

Read also: How To Build An iMessage Extension With React Native?

6) Inspecting

An open-source and reliable tool that monitors the performance of your PWA is Lighthouse. Auditing is compulsory as it detects the bugs and errors of the PWA. And the best and trustworthy tool for inspecting is Lighthouse. It is created by Google.

Also, it has an option to generate the report that looks like the below image:

Lighthouse

The lighthouse robustly performs auditing and delivers in-depth analysis about the performance of web-page, apps, or any online platform. Also, the developer can evaluate the performance and work on their weak zones.

Hire a dedicated developer for developing a PWA using React Native. The developers are knowledgeable and proficient in building applications using any kind of technology.

Conclusion

If you are an early bird in business and would want to build an application that is budget-friendly and responsive, then do plan to build PWA. The above-mentioned points are vital in building PWAs. It can be expected that PWA will be the next big thing in the IT industry. Also, it will be the developer’s favorite.

Well, I hope after reading this article, you might want to share your idea with a React Native App Development Company that can help you in transforming your idea and also understand it. Also, you can go through below FAQs, which might add a piece of extra information.

FAQs About PWA

A distinctive feature of PWA is that it doesn’t require downloading. A user can save the PWA and use it whenever required. Service Worker makes it possible to use the PWA without the internet. Also, it saves the memory of the device, and also it will give a native-like feel to the user.

If you compare the cost structure of PWA against Native apps, then you will find that it is affordable to build PWA than Native apps. You can save a lot of costs by opting for PWA as it doesn’t require separate coding for different OSs. Also, you don’t need hefty funds for managing or upgrading applications. If you are a startup or a company with limited funds, then PWA would be budget-friendly technology.

Vue, Angular Ionic, Lighthouse, React, Ionic, and Polymer are the frameworks that can help you build progressive web applications.

PWA has been in the market for more than two years, and since the inception, it hasn’t received an overwhelming response from the community. There are mind-blowing advantages that can stand out the technology from the rest, and also chrome and Mozilla are the browsers that test the PWAs. There is a lot of buzz around PWA to be one of the distinctive technologies, but let’s hope for the best.

The PWA is affordable and prominent technology in web app development. Also, the features that Native and PWAs share are not Internet Dependency, Splash Screen, Push Notification, and many more.

If you opt PWA over Native Apps, then you can save a lot of data as the Native Apps consume more data as compared to PWA. However, it doesn’t mean that the user should not opt for native apps, but PWA is emerging technology with ample benefits.

Hire-React-Native-CTA

Develop PWA With React Native

Disclaimer: We at eSparkBiz Technologies have created this blog with all the consideration and utmost care. We always strive for excellence in each of our blog posts and for that purpose, we ensure that all the information written in the blog is complete, correct, comprehensible, accurate and up-to-date. However, we can’t always guarantee that the information written in the blog correct, accurate or up-to-date. Therefore, we always advise our valuable readers not to take any kind of decisions based on the information as well as the views shared by our authors. The readers should always conduct an in-depth research before making the final decision. In addition to these, all the logos, 3rd part trademarks and screenshots of websites & mobile apps are the property of the individual owners. We’re not associated with any of them.

Harikrishna Kundariya

Harikrishna Kundariya

Harikrishna Kundariya, a marketer, developer, app lover, technology savvy, designer, co-founder, Director of eSparkBiz @Mobile App Development Company where you can Hire Mobile App Developer. His 8+ experience enables him to provide digital solutions to new start-ups based on app development.

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