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Presentation: Introduction to Progressive Web Applications

This repository contains the reveal.js slides and sample application for a presentation I recently gave at a local user group on Progressive Web Apps. Please note that the contents of the repository are simply the personal opinions and thoughts of the author and are not offered as any kind guidance or advice. The presentation and supporting material are the authors personal opinions and in no way represent his employer's views. Please feel free to use the artifacts in this repository in accordance with the MIT License.

I am really excited about the future of PWA technology and the advantages it will bring to both users and developers. However, I am not an expert on Progressive Web Applications. My main goal in preparing this presentation was as a means to learn more about these technologies and to share that knowledge with other local developers. I hope it has inspired others to learn more!


Progressive web applications have become a very popular topic in the web and mobile development communities. They are receiving a lot of attention at technical conferences and presentations all over the world. Large technology companies like Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Mozilla are providing (or working towards) support in their browsers and operating systems. Building a single application that is delivered via the web and provides much of the same functionality and experience as a native or desktop application can be a very attractive option for many types of business applications.

In this presentation we will discuss what makes an application progressive and how it compares to other types of common web and mobile applications. We will also discuss why you would consider building an application using a progressive approach. This discussion will cover the basic technologies used to create progressive applications: progressive enhancement, responsive design, web application manifests, service workers, and an application shell architecture. We will wrap up with a look at some of the current challenges and limitations of progressive web apps.


The presentation may be viewed in github pages:

Helpful Links

Here are some references I found extremely useful while researching PWAs:

Book: Building Progressive Web Apps: Bringing the Power of Native to the Browser 1st Edition

The Google developer site has some great documentation and tutorials on building PWAs. Here is a starter tutorial:

What's up with IOS?

Stats on recent PWAs

Gartner Hype Cycle

Can I use? Shows feature availability.

What can web do today on this browser?

Fav Icon Generator - For Real

Google Lighthouse

Setup the sample app

During this demonstration we use an extremely basic application to demonstrate the creation of a progressive web application. This application consists of only one html page (index) and enough artifacts to support a service worker and a manifest. It has no framework or server side behavior and is not a fully functional application. This was done intentionally to allow us to focus on the basic technologies that are used to create a functioning PWA.

The sample application can be found in the sampleApp folder of this repository.

To set up and run:

  1. Clone the repository
git clone
  1. Setup a local web server. This could be live-server or it could be something as simple as Web Server for Chrome.
  2. Open the index.html page in Chrome.

You should be able to:

  • View the sample app.
  • Pin it to the home page. To force the pin bannner in the app -> open chrome dev tools, application tab, select manifest on the left, and Add to homescreen link on the right. You may need to click on / interact with the web page to get Chrome to show the banner. Click the add button in the banner at the top of the page. Give the application a name and you should now be able to launch it from the desktop.
  • Verify it is an authentic PWA. Install Google Lighthouse, open chrome dev tools, audits tab, and perform an audit. The app should be 91% PWA certified. The only missing piece will be TLS. You can add a cert locally if you would like to see it reach 100%.


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