PWA On App Stores
What makes a PWA different from a typical website or a native app? The answer is, Progressive Web App is technically still a website, but it looks and acts like a native application. In other words, it is the combination of a native app’s features and a website’s availability. When you consider building a PWA, you may be wondering if it is possible to publish a PWA to app stores? In the past, the answer to this question would be no. But at present, the answer depends on the type of app store you refer to.
Let’s take a closer look at the three most popular app stores – App Store (Apple), Google Play Store (Android), and Microsoft Store (Microsoft) to see which one would allow you to publish your PWA and whether you should do it or not.
Apple App Store
The App Store is the one that has the strictest policies about deciding which apps can be published on it and is the least friendly to PWAs.
Even the native app has to undergo a long and complex process to get its place on Apple’s app store.
So the answer is no, Apple does not allow submitting a PWA to the App Store at the moment.
For now, the only thing we can do is hope that Apple will provide better support for PWAs in the future.
For that reason, you need to consider a PWA and a native app if you are mainly targeting iOS users.
However, if you stick to a PWA, you can still reach iOS users and provide them with a great user experience in other ways. Users can download a PWA from Safari with the help of the “Add to Home screen” feature.
Google Play Store
Progressive Web Apps used to be limited to web installation, which means they could only be downloaded from browsers.
However, as time passes, PWA’s potentials – the future of web technology – has been realized by big app marketplaces, namely Google Play or Microsoft.
Google Play is the first to open its arms to PWA and publish a PWA to its app market.
This acceptance has brought much more opportunities for any business that is interested in building a PWA.
To get a PWA published on Google Play, a business needs to follow its publishing guidelines and policies.
The requirements to get a PWA on Google Play include:
- An installed Android studio.
- A developer Google account.
- A PWA with quality that has been checked.
Over time, Microsoft has gradually taken steps forward in the embrace of PWAs and is now well-known for being the most PWA welcoming major company.
In fact, Microsoft even has an intention to replace native UMP apps with Progressive Web Apps.
A business can get their PWA on Microsoft Store, and the truth is, PWAs of some of the most popular brands have been all over Microsoft app stores.
If you have a PWA, the chances are that the Microsoft Store has already listed your app thanks to its Bing’s crawling mechanisms.
However, it doesn’t always work according to the plan, so don’t be surprised when you cannot find your app on the Microsoft store.
You can still submit your app manually and wait for Microsoft to do their work. Therefore, it is true that Microsoft has made the submitting and publishing PWA process as easy as possible.
Should We Build A PWA After All?
Deciding whether to develop a PWA or not depends on the needs of each business. However, a PWA is one of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to make a website like an app and satisfy more mobile users.
The benefits that a PWA brings to a business are numerous whether you can publish PWA to the app stores or not.
Besides, PWA has a unique “add-to-home-screen” feature that allows users to install PWAs to their phones without accessing an app store marketplace.
With full support and encouragement from two out of the three largest mobile app stores, creating a PWA seems to be a good move for any business.
In many ways, PWA is step by step proving itself to be the future of web development. Currently, PWAs are widely used everywhere by e-commerce businesses that consider user experience the key to success.
Should We Publish A PWA On App Stores?
When building a PWA, a business may wonder whether they should publish their PWA to app stores or not when users can easily download it right from the website.
Although Google Play and Microsoft allow summitting PWA to app stores, publishing PWA to app stores requires much more time, effort, and budget.
Also, there are some difficulties that developers have to deal with when trying to summitting PWA to app stores.
Therefore, we can say that it’s is good that you publish your PWA to app stores, but it’s okay if you do not do it.
Besides, not depending on app stores is one of PWAs’ most significant advantages over native apps.
More specifically, with a PWA, business owners can release it whenever they want without having to wait for the acceptance of app stores. That means they don’t have to pay app stores for giving your app a spot, and there is no more time wasted waiting for the app to get published.
Moreover, when you want to update your app, you don’t have to submit the new version to app stores and wait for their approval. With PWA, you need to update your app, and every time users visit the app, it automatically updates to its latest version. They don’t have to go to app stores and update the app manually as they use a native app.
Users can still download a PWA to their phones with PWA’s “add to home screen” feature. Many merchants can still reach mobile customers with their PWA if users visit their website when their PWAs are unavailable on app stores.
However, most people use the app stores to search for apps, so having it will decrease potential customers’ chances of being missed. In the long-term, when PWA becomes a trend and is used widely by e-commerce businesses, it will be unnecessary to publish a PWA to app stores.
It is possible for a PWA to get published on Google Play and Microsoft App Stores, but not Apple’s App Store for now. However, PWAs can still be used generally on iOS devices if they are added from the website.
Building a PWA for your business is a good investment considering all of its unique features and benefits. If you are still concerned about iOS users, you can consider building a native app for iOS users and a PWA for other platforms.
Read More: All About PWAs On iOS