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Right before 2020 turned into a global shitshow, I gathered a couple of friends and together we came up with an idea for a simple little app we thought would be helpful. Humbly called The Coronavirus App, our app ended up being used by more than 15 million people, making it — I believe — one of the most widely used PWAs ever.

I love the web. And I love PWAs. What’s not to love, really? With a PWA, you only have one code base to manage. Your app works everywhere. …


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Spoiler alert: I found some intriguing patterns…

As one of the makers of The Coronavirus App (if the link doesn’t work, check this), I’ve received countless emails asking me whether the data that the app displays could be trusted. My answer has always been the same:

“We can’t really know. But that’s the best data we have at our disposal. “

With the Coronavirus App, the job was to synthesize data reported by official sources as quickly and accurately as possible — and making it visually accessible. We’re app developers — not epidemiologists nor government officials. So when government report their counts, we have a duty to display them as reported. …


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The Coronavirus App has been helping the world track the spread of COVID-19 since January 28

Earlier this year, we built the very first COVID-19 PWA, humbly named “The Coronavirus App” (if you can’t access this link, check this). Progressive Web Apps (or PWA) are great. They offer the best of both worlds: they look and feel like native apps, but under the hood, they’re actually websites — built with standard HTML, CSS and Javascript.

In these turbulent times, the fact that The Coronavirus App was a PWA didn’t just help — it was probably one of the main reasons for its success.

Regain control of your own app

We were able to launch our PWA very quickly. We came up with the idea for the app on January 25. Then launched it on January 28. 3 days from idea to launch is the kind of turnaround that’s simply impossible to achieve with native apps. Publishing an Android or iOS app requires uploading it on their respective app stores. The initial review process alone — Apple/Google checking that your app contains no shenanigans — typically takes longer than that. …

About

Kevin Basset

Founder @ Progressier, ex-VP Marketing & Maker of the Very First COVID-19 PWA

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