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You’ve might have heard of the term web app or progressive web app before, but what is it?
Web Apps, sometimes referred to as “Progressive Web Apps” or “PWA”, are a natural and evolutionary step in mobile applications. Web apps are mobile apps that don’t require any downloading, app stores, or complicated permissions.
Web apps hardly take up any space on your phone compared to traditional mobile apps, because all of the apps information is just stored online. Web apps have actually been around for years. In fact, when you access your emails online or launch your favorite music player on the web you are likely using a web app. Many times, it's really hard to notice if you are using a web app, because they often can look and feel just like a native app!
We certainly think so! We like the simplicity and security of web apps because it doesn’t require any app-level permissions for you to utilize the platform. This means you don’t have to take up a bunch of space on your phone to access the BuzzyGroups app and don’t have to worry about constantly updating the app on your phone or draining your batteries.
We are willing to bet that internet speeds will only get faster and more available to more people over time, as this has been the case over many years. Web apps are the most inclusive way to allow everyone to access a platform. Traditional apps are inherently exclusive in their nature. For traditional mobile apps, app developers are often forced to choose to support their customers who have the newest phones or choose to support those who might not have the latest phone out there. This puts companies also in a tough spot because the cost of maintaining multiple versions for multiple phones only increases the complexity of maintaining the software. This is also true anytime a new phone or update comes out, which can be daunting.
Web apps have been around since 2014. The main difference then and now is the improvements made to the web and internet speeds have also gotten faster. In fact, Apple was the very first company to support the concept. Since then companies like Google and Mozilla are now supporting web apps, and re-branded them as “Progressive Web Apps”, but they are virtually the same thing. Today, the mobile web is much more finely tuned and practically has the same capabilities as native apps. There are some exceptions, which mostly deal with notifications and GPS capabilities. Oh well, we guess we won’t be bombarding you with notifications or be able to track your GPS whereabouts!
Web apps are mobile apps that are cloud-based. You’d probably be surprised to know that companies like Starbucks, Spotify, Twitter, Uber, Forbes, Washington Post, 2048 game, and many more companies already have web apps that you can add to your phone today. We think many people are moving in this direction because they make apps available to everyone in every browser and on every device. Using web apps instead of mobile apps allows you to utilize that extra space on your phone for whatever you want, like taking extra photos, selfies, etc. Also, web apps don’t have complicated permissions that ask to access all your contacts, all your photo albums, or read your text messages. This is why BuzzyGroups made a web app, because if gives everyone extra privacy and security that currently only web apps can bring.
Mobile apps were popularized in 2000s with the rise of internet capable phones, also known as “smartphones”. Basically, mobile apps were a quick and convenient way to save software onto your phone. The name was just termed “apps”, although they are the same as software for phones. Since the early days of the world wide web on phones, the internet has become a lot faster and wireless internet connectivity more reliable. This is why cloud-based software has become increasingly more popular and used in everyday life. In fact, if you have an e-mail account you are already using cloud-based software and probably didn’t even know it!
It’s important to understand the context of how the concept of mobile apps even came about. Many people are familiar with what software is on a computer. Software is a program that is stored locally on a computer that does something, which could be a word processor, music player, video game, and much more. Over time software was installed onto computers through various means including floppy drives, CDs, pre-loaded programs, downloaded via the internet, and now more widely available through cloud-based technologies. Mobile applications, also called “apps”, are software for phones. The main difference is the platform on which they are stored, being either a computer or phone, which are basically minicomputers.
The very first computer software is credited to Tom Kilburn. He created a software on a computer called the Manchester Baby, also known as “the baby”, at the University of Manchester on June 21st at 11am in 1948. The software was designed to test a concept of random-access memory, which we know today as RAM. The software was able to calculate about 3.5 million mathematical operations in about 52 minutes, or approximately 67,000 calculations per minute.
Since the very first computer software, it has since been designed and implemented by people and organizations around the world. Use of these applications have ranged from NASA scientists using software to launch rockets into space, as well as, elementary school children taking an online class, and to literally everything in-between. There’s no doubt that software has become a big part of everyone’s life and will likely continue to become more integrated as time moves on.