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Why NOAH is a Progressive Web App

21 September 2022

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Why NOAH is a Progressive Web App
What is a PWA? / Accessibility / Our Thoughts / 

In this article, we'll explain what progressive web applications are and why we chose to build NOAH as one.

In 2022, it can feel a bit odd to be talking about websites. Besides the occasional Google search or symptom checker on WebMD, most people's web usage is through apps these days. So, of course, it makes sense — why would you want to open a browser and type in a URL when you can tap an icon and be done with it?

So why, then, did we make NOAH a web app, not a native one? The answer is simple: we want NOAH to be accessible to as many people as possible, making it available on as many platforms as possible.

Don't get us wrong — at NOAH, we're committed to building an app with the most beautiful UI you've ever seen on a money app. And we think we're doing just that, but accessibility and reaching as many people as possible is more important than anything. And to do that, building NOAH first as a progressive web application (PWA) was the best decision.

What is a PWA?

In short, it's a website designed to look and feel like an app. That means you can use NOAH on any device that has a browser — Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, you name it. There's no need to go through an app store and download it, which can be a barrier for some people. Internet connectivity and phone hardware are limiting factors for many people worldwide, and we want NOAH to be available despite those obstacles.

Still, you can use Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) for a fast web experience on your computer or mobile device. Here’s how to install a PWA:

  1. On your Android device, open Chrome .
  2. Go to a website with a PWA that you want to install.
  3. Tap Install.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions.

PWAs enable offline request caching, which means developers can cache resources like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files on the user's device. This is important for two reasons:

  1. It ensures that the app will continue to work even if the user's internet connection is spotty or non-existent.
  2. In addition, it makes subsequent page loads faster since the resources don't need to be downloaded again.

PWAs can be just as fast and smooth as any native app — sometimes even faster. They can also be more reliable since there's no need to worry about updates or compatibility issues. And since NOAH plans to build a native app, our PWA will already be there as a foundation.

Another great thing about PWAs is that they're always up-to-date. So as soon as we push out a new version of NOAH, you'll have it — there's no need to wait for an app store approval or update your app. It just works.

Accessibility

When you get down to the basic principles, it's all about accessibility. Why? Because Bitcoin should be the most accessible technology to anyone on the planet. And right now, it's not. Many applications, wallets, and exchanges today are difficult to use, unavailable in certain countries, or just outright inaccessible. The reasons for this are numerous, but notably, because most of these applications are built natively for specific devices (or are only functional on computationally-intensive devices). Most people in the world don't have these devices. And if they do, billions of people have only the most basic internet connectivity.

This is a significant problem because it creates a digital divide between those with access to the latest and greatest technology and those without. It also reinforces the notion that Bitcoin is only for the wealthy or tech-savvy, which couldn't be further from the truth. That's not what Bitcoin is about.

Bitcoin is for everyone.

Our Thoughts

At NOAH, we believe we should meet people where they're at — not the other way around. So if someone only has access to a feature phone with 2G internet, they should still be able to use NOAH without any problems. That's the power of NOAH as a PWA.

While a PWA might not be the sexiest of decisions, we believe it's the right one. We want to get Bitcoin in the hands of the next billion people, and we do that by building an app that anyone can use, no matter what device they have.

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