To expand its reach to smaller towns and to target consumers with low-end smartphones, ride-hailing app Ola has announced the launch of its Progressive Web App (PWA), a lightweight mobile website.
Ankit Bhati, Co-Founder, and CTO of Ola said, "The launch of PWA technology represents another milestone in Ola's commitment to building innovative technology that is made for India. As the first ride-hailing app in the APAC region that is using PWA technology, this represents an important development that will enable us to reach an ever greater number of customers and driver partners in rural India. We have always said that addressing market needs is a key priority and this launch takes us one step further in our commitment to providing mobility for a billion Indians."
The new app offers consumers an experience similar to native apps but consumes just a fraction of the data used by native apps.
The company announced the new app at the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco and said PWA will operate in ways that address the local consumer needs and provide light and agile functionality, enabling Ola to magnify its reach to tier two, three, and four cities across India. Ola's PWA, which consumes only 50KB data on first payload and 10KB on subsequent loads will emerge as the preferred option for cab booking for thousands of non-frequent app users.
Additionally, PWA presents itself as a convenient option for Outstation and Rental customers who can now access Ola through this light application on their mobile phones and desktops/laptops alike.
At Google, we are deeply committed to making the mobile web better for everyone. Our PWA journey began a few years ago and we are delighted to see the traction this technology has had, especially in mobile-first countries like India. It's exciting to see Ola create their PWA, which will ensure their users have an engaging experience from the very first moment," said Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, VP Product Management - Chrome, Google.
Indians companies like Flipkart Ltd and MakeMyTrip have launched similar web apps.