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Opera, google partner to improve Internet access with PWAs


GoogleFor better browsing experience, Technology Company, Opera, and Search-web firm, Google, have collaborated to enhance the accessibility and usability of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) for mobile phone users, combining the best attributes of apps and mobile sites for considerable data savings.

Speaking at the PWA Roadshow in Lagos, Opera for Android Product Lead, Andreas Bovens, stated that: “Nigeria’s mobile penetration currently stands at 94 per cent, yet, the cost of data continues to be a significant barrier to Internet access. With the PWAs offerings, – mobile websites delivering an app-like user experience – could be part of the solution.’’

Highlighting the initiative, Bowens said PWAs start out in web browsers, just like normal websites. “When a user continuously uses the site, an install banner is shown, allowing users to add the site to their home screens. In Nigeria users are cost conscious, often do not download apps, and are averse to updates – the trend is to ‘side-load’ apps from PCs where they are already installed, to mobile phones.’’

According to him, the PWAs provides the convenience of an app, push notifications, faster speed and offline support; without the data cost. He stressed that PWAs take up less storage space than traditional applications for use on budget Smartphones and unlike normal apps that often require access to personal information before launching, PWAs only request these permissions when needed, allowing users to better control their privacy. ’’

Bowens further added that: “PWAs offer a great new way for developers and businesses in Nigeria to reach users right in the web browser, without requiring them to download additional apps – and all that in a very lightweight, user friendly package. We can’t wait to see how PWA technology will shape Nigeria’s mobile internet space in the coming years.”

Currently, Opera Mini has 350 million Internet consumers worldwide, with Nigeria at approximately 73 per cent as the largest market in Africa -in terms of users, and third largest in the world.

Recent updates to Opera Mini include the blocking of unnecessary, data heavy web ads, a video booster that allows online videos to load quicker and a feature enabling users to download videos from top video and social media websites for later viewing, offline.

Other features of the search engine include, blocking of unnecessary data heavy web ads, a video booster for faster online videos downloads, and a feature enabling users to download videos from top video and social media websites for later viewing, offline.

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