Criton adds PWA functionality for areas with poor digital coverage

George Sell By George Sell
20 February 2018 | Updated 20 February 2018

UK: App developer Criton has added progressive web app functionality to its offer, aimed at serviced apartments in areas where digital signals are unreliable.

Operators wanting a mobile-friendly way of presenting their venue and location information are now able to publish a progressive web app (PWA) using Criton, the UK's first DIY app builder for the hospitality sector, which works offline.

Criton has developed a content management system which allows property owners to publish their own fully customisable, branded app. Once published they can update and add information whenever they need to, with these changes publishing instantly. The latest functionality now means that it is possible to create and distribute a PWA that gives offline access to the information, working even where network signals are poor and guests are out and about.

Bypassing the app-store, the PWA is distributed via a URL. When guests access the link, they will be offered the option to install it on their home screen. Once installed, guests can access the app by clicking the icon, like a regular app. This functionality is currently available for Android devices; the PWA for Apple devices will follow.

Julie Grieve, CEO and founder of Criton, said: "The Criton PWA feels like a native app. It is fast, reliable at loading content - essential because it is proven that many users close anything that takes longer than 5 seconds to download - and caches the information on the users' phone memory, meaning that it works well even with bad network conditions. Mobile-friendly websites don't work offline, so the PWA is the solution. The way the information is displayed in an app maximises screen space, enhancing the user experience because it doesn't need the navigation bar at the top of the small screen."

"We are constantly looking at how to increase the functionality of our apps so that they actively enhance the guest experience, while sticking to our mission of making hospitality tech affordable. Guests are attached to their personal phones and tablets and we can add videos, maps, localised information, recommendations, offers, request forms, online booking systems and messaging all through the Criton-built app," she added.

Criton is a sponsor of the Serviced Apartment Awards 2018 and the Serviced Apartment Summit Europe 2018.

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