Norwegian based technology company, Opera, and Google are collaborating to enhance the accessibility and usability of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) for mobile phone users, combining the best attributes of both apps and mobile sites, resulting in considerable data savings.
“PWAs start out in web browsers, just like normal websites. When a user continuously uses the site, an install banner is shown, allowing users to add the site to their home screens,” comments Andreas Bovens, Opera for Android Product Lead who recently spoke at the PWA Roadshow event in Nairobi. “The average Kenyan user has over 15 apps on his/her phone, most of which require daily and weekly updates, incurring high data costs. PWAs provide the convenience of an app, including push notifications, along with faster speeds and offline support; without the data cost. PWAs also take up less storage space than traditional applications making them ideal for use on budget smartphones.”
Unlike normal apps that often require access to personal information before launching, PWAs only request these permissions when needed, allowing users to better control their privacy.
Kenya’s mobile penetration currently stands at 88.1 percent, however, the cost of data continues to be a significant barrier to internet access. PWAs – mobile websites delivering an app-like user experience – could be part of the solution.
Adds Andreas, “PWAs offer a great new way for developers and businesses in Kenya to reach users right in the web browser, without requiring them to download additional apps – and all that in a very lightweight, user friendly package. We can’t wait to see how PWA technology will shape Kenya’s mobile internet space in the coming years.”
Opera – known for its mobile and desktop browsers, including Opera Mini – enables more than 350 million internet consumers worldwide to connect with the content and services that matter most to them.
Recent updates to Opera Mini include the blocking of unnecessary, data heavy web ads, a video booster that allows online videos to load quicker and a feature enabling users to download videos from top video and social media websites for later viewing, offline.