Ola alongside Google, launches its lightweight Progressive Web App

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Ola today announced the launch of its Progressive Web App (PWA), a lightweight mobile website that offers users, especially in smaller towns and cities, an app-like experience on simple smartphones, requiring a fraction of the data used by native apps.

How does it work

This App will enable the use of its platform across hundreds of cities in India and addresses a significant market opportunity of customers and driver partners.

Announced at the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco today, Ola is strategically leveraging cutting edge technology that has the reach of the web and offers a native-app-like immersive customer experience. PWA will overcome technological barriers to entry in key markets and make Ola the first ride-sharing platform in hundreds of cities across India, where there is limited connectivity and a prevailing use of low-end smartphones.
Although smartphone usage in India has increased in the last couple of years, it still lags behind most other emerging economies. With the majority of the Indian population using low-end smartphones, the presence of too many apps tends to slow down the functionality of the phone due to higher RAM and data usage. Ola's PWA, which consumes only 50 KB data on first payload and 10 KB on subsequent loads, will emerge as the preferred option for cab booking for thousands of non-frequent app users. 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. 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.

Key features of the app include:

Simple design, lightweight, and fast usage in areas of low connectivity, consuming only 50KB on first download, and 10KB on subsequent downloads
Operates at speed on 2G networks and also supports offline bookings; initial load time on 2G is 3.4 seconds and repeat load time is < 1 second
Behaves and looks like an app, providing the reach of Internet while offering an immersive customer experience similar to native apps

Users can book an Ola cab through PWA across all categories and can also pay for their ride through Ola Money, making the mobility experience seamless and convenient. Other options such as OTP verification for rides, use of maps for pickup and drop location, ride later options and the use of Share Pass will also be available on Ola's mobile web browser.


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