Frieder Frank

5 min reading time

Web apps conquer the digital workshop

The rise of web apps: Why we rely on web apps, the benefits of web apps for you and how to turn web apps back into apps

In March 2020, we at tapio ventured into the world of what was still a rather unconventional web technology at the time. With the launch of our tool management system twinio, we gained our first experience in the development of web apps and have been enthusiastic about the numerous advantages ever since. These experiences have contributed significantly to the fact that our choice of technology has changed fundamentally. But before we delve deeper into the reasons for this, let's take a brief look at the history of web apps.

Phoenix from the ashes

the rise of web apps

The idea of web apps is anything but new. Back in 2007, Steve Jobs presented the basic idea at the launch of the iPhone - to develop apps based on Web 2.0 and AJAX. However, the idea was forgotten only a short time later, until it was revived in 2015 by Alex Russell and Frances Berriman. The two combined the accessibility of web browsers with the advantages of native apps, i.e. applications that are developed specifically for certain operating systems such as iOS or Android and can be downloaded via platform stores such as the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

In this way, they created a new technology - installable web apps that allow web applications to be used on mobile devices in a similar way to native apps. The technology, first introduced in Chrome, was quickly adopted by other browsers. At that time, there was not even a fixed name for this web technology.

Today, web apps are ubiquitous. Giants like Amazon, Google and Microsoft rely on the benefits of web apps - just like us at tapio.

Why we rely on web apps

The choice of technology today

Since the introduction of twinio, we have completely shifted our focus to the development of web apps. We have even gone so far as to replace our existing ServiceBoard native app with the ServiceBoard web app, which has been developed from scratch. This decision may seem surprising at first, especially when you consider that the native app is still working and being used. So you might ask yourself, why the additional development effort? However, behind this innovation is a clear vision that consistently focuses on the needs and individual use cases of our users. Our goal is to further optimize the user experience and application flexibility through the targeted development of web apps.

Further information on the changes

Why the switch?

From native to web apps

The tapio app world is continuously growing, and it is crucial to keep the users and their use cases in focus. In order to find consistent and simple solutions for these use cases, it is necessary that our applications work together seamlessly, regardless of the platform or device. The aim of our applications is to support users in their work processes without creating additional work for them. Web apps play a central role here, as they are not only platform-independent, but also offer numerous other advantages that only become apparent on closer inspection.

Lower resource consumption: Focus on efficiency

Compared to bulky native apps, which often consume a lot of storage space and computing power, web apps are truly efficient. Especially with digital helpers, where you create and expand your database yourself, the resource-saving technology unfolds its full potential. Capacity and performance always remain in the optimum range.

No matter when, how & where! Cross-platform availability

Web apps open the door to unlimited freedom. Whether you are on the move on your tablet, smartphone or laptop - the web app is always at your fingertips. And best of all: there's no need for a separate installation. Seamless use across different devices and operating systems creates a whole new dimension of user-friendliness.

Time is precious: No installation required

Time is a precious commodity, and web apps respect that. The hurdle of a time-consuming installation is eliminated. In a corporate context, where permissions may need to be obtained for each individual installation, this is a huge time saver. Even if you receive a new device or need to reset your existing one, you save valuable minutes. Not to mention the additional space on your end device - an advantage that should not be underestimated, especially in everyday digital life.

Here comes the big 'but'

Web apps still offer the possibility to arrange themselves with your applications on the home screen. In other words, if you prefer to use apps on your home screen, then simply link the web app to your home screen. The decision is entirely up to you. Flexibility is the key word here - further proof that web apps focus on the needs of the user.

How to get the most out of our web apps

Let's explain the big but in a little more detail. Installing web apps does not mean that they become native apps. Rather, the link to the home screen ensures that the web app looks and behaves like a native app. The installation only requires a small amount of memory and is more of a shortcut than a classic installation.

The "installation" is that simple


The advantage is clearly the quick accessibility of the home screen or desktop shortcuts. You also save a lot of space, especially on mobile devices, which is taken up by browser-side elements.

To illustrate how much space is taken up, we have prepared a small example with two views of our twinio web app on a mobile device for comparison. Once as an installed web app and once opened directly in the browser. The red areas illustrate once again how much space is lost for browser elements.


You can now also install our web apps on your desktop. In Google Chrome, you can recognize an installable web app by the installation button on the right-hand side of the URL bar. In the Microsoft Edge browser, you will find the installation in the same place, but with a different icon, as shown here:


Support for desktop applications is currently limited to these two browsers for the time being. However, on mobile devices, there is a wide selection of browsers that support the installation of web apps on your home screen. You can see whether your browser supports the installation of a web app in the list we have compiled for you:

Browser Web app installation
Internet Explorer
Microsoft Edge ✔️
Google Chrome ✔️
Apple Safari
Android Browser ✔️
Safari on IOS ✔️
Google Chrome on Android ✔️
Google Chrome on IOS ✔️
Firefox on Android ✔️
Samsung Internet ✔️

(As at 12/05/2023)

Do you need help with the setup?

Do not hesitate to contact us. We will work with you to set up your digital workshop and show you how easy it is to use our web apps.

You can reach our tapio service from: Monday - Friday / 8:00 am - 5:00 pm(CET) On +49 7445 8379 949 Or send us a message to