Work on Web App Manifest in WebKit has Begun

By: Jessica Krywosa
Web App Manifest in WebKit

Earlier this week, work began on implementing Web App Manifest in WebKit with Firefox also announcing its support for the feature. For those unfamiliar, the Web App Manifest is what provides Progressive Web Application (PWA) developers an ease of implementing the various needs required to prompt an install on a user’s device.

Even though we already have ways around prompting users to install to iOS, this update continues to signal adoption of PWAs by Apple. While PWA fans can begin to get excited, the real hurdle remains the implementation of Service Workers (currently in development) which allow us to take full advantage of what PWAs are meant to do, primarily through the addition of background sync and push notifications.

Once Apple implements Service Workers, apps created as PWAs installed on iOS devices will be able to implement push notifications and offline sync, something users on Android devices currently enjoy. With these features realized, there will be no more hassle of an App Store or the requirement for app updates to interrupt a user’s experience. PWAs will automatically contain the most recently cached content from the primary web app (website), including any transactional data, simplifying cross-platform conversions and conversion tracking. A win for users, marketers, and company bottom lines alike.

With Safari being the background of browsers on iOS devices, currently 33% of the global mobile device market are unable to access the PWA features of push notifications and offline sync. Conversely, Android mobile users (which make up roughly 66% of the global mobile device market) enjoy all facets of Progressive Web Apps. Their interactions with brands who’ve enacted a PWA strategy allow them a consistent experience regardless of the device or browser they are using.

Even without these key pieces, PWAs on iOS still continue to outperform mobile sites and native apps. Brands like Lancome (increased conversions 17%), publishers like Wired (implemented to boost page speed), and social platforms like Twitter (increased engagement and reduced data usage) are already seeing big wins with the implementation of a PWA strategy.

Once WebKit contains Web App Manifest and Service Workers, imagine the possibilities of a well connected and consistent web. We have.

Let’s discuss transforming your business with a Progressive Web Application so that you’re ready for that future.