In this post on characteristics of Progressive Web Apps (PWA) I’ll give an overview on Installable and Linkable, both of which can increase user Customer Experience and make it easier for your Customer’s to access your web-app.
Installable basically provides users the ability to add a home screen icon on their mobile device. There’s no software or files to download on your mobile device (or desktop/laptop for that matter).
With a native mobile-app, once you’ve gone thru the App Store download process, the app’s icon will show up on your mobile device’s home screen (see image below).
With a Progressive Web Apps, creating an icon has a different process. First go to your web-app’s home page on your mobile device. Referring to the image below, when you open your web-app on your mobile device, at the bottom of your screen you’ll see the icon on the red box below.
When you click on the icon above, a screen will open where you’ll see the “Add to Home Screen” button on your iOS device. NOTE: You may need to scroll to the right to see the button. Simply click on the button and an icon for your web-app will be created and placed on your device’s home screen.
Suppose you want a custom icon for your web-app (and who doesn’t?). Bubble.is makes adding a home screen icon to you app straightforward. Simply go to Settings ==> General and upload your icon (refer to image below). Then the icon will be placed on your mobile device when you’ve added it to your home screen (described earlier with “Add to Home Screen”).
Having your web-app be Linkable is simple and makes it considerably easier for users to access your web-app compared to getting a mobile native app on an App Store. It’s basically your web-app’s webpage, ie. www<dot>mywebapp<dot>com. For your Customers to access your app, they simply click on the link. This makes it very convenient for you to share your web-app by adding your web-app’s link in an email, a tweet, add to blog, etc. Then simply click the link, a browser opens and there’s your web-app. Simple.
Having your web-app be Installable and Linkable enables very convenient access of your web-app for your Customers. There’s no installation or downloading of files. “Click and go”. Here’s a short video from AppInstitute comparing the installation of a web-app compared to a native mobile app.