Alex Russell had a great post this week about Web Sites in an App World, he even coined a new term “Progressive Apps” which I enjoy immensely. Progressive Apps, in Alex’s view, are (web)apps that earn their spot on our homescreens over time and preserve the URL-based nature of the Web. Best of all, they work offline.
I’ve been thinking about progressively enhanced apps with offline access quite a bit lately. Last week I was driving through rural Iowa testing Paravel’s progressively-minded1 webapp DayTrip. It’s a travel app that needs to work in harsh conditions and be performant, even in the Texas Hill Country. However, when my data connection vanished I saw a white screen endlessly waiting for the first response. I consider that a bug.
It’s great to see Alex and his team at Google making contributions like ServiceWorker, which is a core feature in Alex’s vision of Progressive Apps. I’m a fan. It feels like websites and Progressive Enhancement are entering into the next decade.