Progressive web applications are web pages or websites that function as web applications, with an experience identical to a native application on a mobile device. Functionality includes working offline, push notifications, and device hardware access. There is no requirement for developers or users to go through digital distribution systems like the App Store or Google Play.
While web applications have been available for mobile devices for as long as mobile devices have existed, they had generally lagged behind native apps in terms of speed, features, and user adoption, especially on mobile devices. Direct access to hardware and the ability to work offline, previously only available to native apps, allows PWAs to perform much faster and to provide more features in line with native apps.