Preserving space on your phone can be a daunting task if you depend on dozens of apps. Aside from background data usage, onboard storage can take a severe hit. This will eventually force you to either uninstall something or upgrade your phone.
Fortunately, times have changed and there’s a simpler way out of this conundrum: progressive web apps (PWAs). They’re lighter, offer nearly the same set of features, and are easy to manage. Here are fourteen PWA alternatives to some of your favorite apps.
What Are Progressive Web Apps?
Progressive web apps are essentially websites optimized for mobile phones that offer a handful of functionality you’d normally find on a native app. This includes abilities like push notifications, offline access, and more.
In Chrome for Android, Google has also made it possible to install PWAs as regular apps so you can monitor their usage and alter properties. All you need to do is open the appropriate URL, tap the three-dot Menu button, and select Add to Home Screen from the menu.
Before we jump into the list of apps, we’ve covered some background on PWAs if you’re interested.
Instagram has a sophisticated web app which you can easily switch to without sacrificing many advanced tools. The web client, in addition to the fundamental features like posting images or scrolling through the Explore page, also offers the ability to view and publish Stories. One key aspect it does miss out on is direct messaging.
Similarly, Twitter has a full-fledged web app. Unlike Instagram, it comes with all the standard features, including a dark theme. Twitter was actually one of the early adopters of this technology, and has built one of the most capable web clients.
It even packs a data saver mode, something normally reserved for native apps. On a related note, we have a detailed guide to Twitter if you’re still trying to figure it out.
Visit: Twitter Lite
Hailing cabs on Uber also no longer requires you to download an app. Its web app lets you book rides, view your past trips, access your frequently visited locations, and more. You can even select from several payment methods and Uber cab types.
4. Google Maps
Google’s navigation service has an extensive web app as well. It follows the same design as the native client, allowing you to access features such as directions, landmark details, satellite views, and more.
However, there is one major caveat: it doesn’t yet support turn-by-turn navigation. But if you’re running out of space on your phone and can reach destinations by reading the highlighted route on the map, it won’t let you down.
Visit: Google Maps
The dating app Tinder also offers a web client. It’s perfect if you’re out of memory on your phone but want to continue looking for a match. The web app doesn’t compromise on any major features, and even lets you chat with your matches.
Other tidbits like Boost and Super Like are available as well. Be wary of your privacy on Tinder while you swipe through heaps of profiles, though.
Want to browse the latest memes or have meaningful discussions on movie fan theories, but can’t make enough free storage? Try the Reddit web app. Like most others on this list, this one is identical to its mobile counterpart.
You can publish new posts, comment on existing ones, or just browse your favorite subreddits. There’s also a night theme and messaging features.
Caller ID service Truecaller has redesigned its mobile website to behave like a web app too. It’s rather minimal; there’s not much you can do. It allows you to look up unknown numbers, but that’s about it.
For enabling live detection, you’ll have to install the app. If you do, check out the best Truecaller features.
Telegram’s web app is one of the most competent available, with a robust feature set and well-implemented integrations. Other than the snazzy animations, the Telegram PWA comes with all the features you need, including timely notifications for messages.
Don’t use it yet? We’ve explained why Telegram is the only messaging app you need.
Visit: Telegram Web
Ordering a hot cup of joe or earning Starbucks reward points can be done through a web app too. Just head over to the Starbucks’s online app, log into your account, and you’re all set.
For people who are still debating which ride service is better, Lyft has a web app too. You get all the essential features for summoning a ride to your doorstep, such as live updates, different rates, and more.
Binge-watch the funniest clips and memes from around the internet on 9GAG’s web app. Again, the PWA nearly identical to its native sibling. You can scroll through feeds, filter by tags, and sign in to drop a comment or publish a post yourself.
Apart from mainstream apps, you can also replace general utilities with web apps. Snapdrop is one of these.
It lets you share files such as images and documents over the same network with other devices, irrespective of platform. Since it’s just a website, the person on the receiving end doesn’t need to install an app either.
13. Lofi News
Lofi News is another general app you may visit regularly throughout the day. It surfaces news and other articles from several sources, most of which you’ll be familiar with like BBC, Reuters, and more. You can also specifically configure which stories appear on the home screen and create dedicated sections for topics.
Visit: Lofi News
CoinRanking is a simple web app for tracking prices of cryptocurrencies. You can browse through charming charts and even download them as reports. There’s a search feature if you’re unable to locate one you’re looking for. This PWA also includes a market overview, which offers insights into the best-performing currencies.
Will Native Apps Soon Go Extinct?
With the pace web apps have progressed recently, it is possible companies might soon entirely jump away from native clients. In addition to storage benefits, there are a host of other advantages, such as cross-platform compatibility and always up-to-date apps.
For more tiny apps, check out Android apps that don’t take up much space.