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Thinking about progressive web apps

The Magento ecosystem has been talking about progressive web apps for ages now with various levels of (enthusia|cynici)sm so, when I saw a tutorial on freeCodeCamp about the basics, I gave it a quick try.

As someone whose last major frontend project used JavaScript ES5 on AngularJS (before it became just Angular), I had to park the urge to dig into arrow functions and CSS Flexbox when they cropped up in the sample code.

I have two ideas I think might be a good fit for PWAs. One is a personal learning project where I track my fuel spend every time I fill the car and sync that up to a server. That’d let me get up to speed on modern CSS/JS as well as the PWA stuff. Another is for my day job, and involves iOS, large photo files and locations with poor-to-no data signal.

I quickly learned that Android embraces PWAs much more enthusiastically than Apple do, even though the earliest ever iPhone apps were built on web technologies. Since the relevant work devices are all iOS, this matters. With App Store’s revenue-generating walled garden, it’s easy to see why Cupertino isn’t rushing to improve their support, although there are improvements in the latest few releases. The limitations on capabilities remain significant: 50 MB of cache storage; caches being cleared unexpectedly to free up resources; and no background sync.

I think the fuel-tracker fun is a go, but the work project will need something native.

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