Progressive Web App vs Native App
Firstly, With each passing year, the number of people spending time on the internet through smartphones is increasing. Particularly, the number of people consuming data was found to be 2X than that of desktop users.
Owners who have a website should be excited about this new prospect. The opportunity to reach various mobile users is getting bigger and bigger day by day.
There are a few known ways to create a mobile presence for your website and let users access content on your website. Then responsive designing allows websites to fit into mobile devices on small screens via the web.
There are also native apps that users can download from their respective app stores or Play stores and add to the home screen of their mobile phones.
Now the trend is to use Progressive web apps which is a fusion of mobile websites and mobile apps.
So what is Progressive Web Apps?
Firstly, Progressive apps have taken an approach that combines the concepts of mobile websites and mobile apps.
Benefits of PWA
Benefits of Progressive Web Apps
- Reliable: Ability to load instantly on mobile devices and never shows as a website being down, This works even in uncertain network conditions.
- Fast: Has a smoother response rate with buttery smooth animations and no janky scrolling.
- Engaging: Feels just like a native app on the device, and has an immersive user experience
Difference between Progressive Web App and Native App
This seems like a simple question to be answered. Is there a difference between them. And if so what sets them apart from each other. How do you choose between a Progressive app and a native app for your company’s mobile device presence?
Let’s break down what they mean:
The major difference between PWAs and native apps has something to do with the way users are able to access them.
Native apps are found all over the app store and the play store. They are developed for specific platforms only and can have all the performance provided by Native apps. App stores function as a massive shopping window, this is the gateway towards the services and content that people consume on mobile devices. The opportunities offered to app users are immense. Once the app is installed, it will have an icon on the mobile device. The mobile device’s home screen will have a recognizable icon indicating the app’s presence on the mobile device
That being said, when you develop a native app, you have to submit it for consideration to one or more of the device’s app stores that you want it to appear on.
You need to read the reviews and descriptions to find out if it is worth downloading to your mobile device.
On the other hand, PWAs helps you to skip the administrative headaches for app stores. Instead, they run out of the mobile device’s browser.
Users can search for a PWA by searching for it in the mobile browser. Once the user discovers the PWAs, it is easy to save it to the mobile home screen. And use it from there.
2. Cross-Platform Availability
Particularly developers design apps for either iOS or Android platforms, this ensures that the experience that a native app delivers is tailor-made for each specific platform. Developers have fewer worries about platform compatibility and mobile sharing their app for specific mobile devices.
PWAs take a different approach.
They are utilized by big brands such as Twitter, Forbes, and Flipboard(alongside their native app offerings). These apps have evolved out of web technologies that have come into play for many years now.
Developers have been known to create the responsive instance of the PWA, publish it and then leave it to the mobile user’s browser to display it correctly within the parameters of the screen. There is just one app to be developed and users across a wide range of mobile browsers can easily engage and interact with the app thanks to modern web technologies.
3. Offline usage:
One of the major advantages that mobile apps can do for the end-user is to give them the ability to access the information that they want without connecting to the internet.
What used to be exclusive of the app is now coming to the web as well. A PWA is a web-based app that gets installed on to the mobile device, and wherever possible works offline using cached data.
These help to improve performance and features by easily handling the network requests, ability to cache resources, enable push messaging even when the user isn’t online.
There is a tradeoff between them, a PWA can serve major parts of the app when the network is not available. But it is unable to serve ALL parts of the app, specifically that any part of the app that is naturally is not available, anything that is not a part of the page’s caching system will be offline until the network connectivity is restored. So if a user wants to make a reservation on Trivago or submit a form to subscribe newsletters they will be unable to do.
Native apps win hands down in this category. While it is great that this technology is catching up and allows users to access the cached content. They have just not quite there yet to be able to tap into a mobile device to stay connected.
4. Storage, Data and Power.
When a native app is installed on the desktop of a mobile device, it is going to use resources from the device.
For more resource-heavy apps, the resource use will be consistent through the use.
That, of course, to say, that PWAs can cause similar drainage issues
It really boils down to:
- How well the app is coded
- How much resources the app calls for the use
- The user’s actual usage for the app.
If you are trying to reach an audience where they live in a region where data networks tend to be expensive and users are unable to pay for it. Then it’s best to go for a PWA as this will be the viable option.
With that said, some native apps can store content for offline use, as this will help with spotty connections
Most of the updates will be going unnoticed as this is similar to Native apps. Process automation has made this task easier for both Native and PWAs.
In the case of native apps there are two ways to show up in search results:
- Within App stores
- In search engines
The app store will be a big help in driving traffic to your new app. Only if you use the categorization feature well. Now a progressive app, on the other hand, will do well in terms of web search SEO. It works just like any other website that you encounter online.
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7. Push notifications:
Push notifications are one of the main reasons why many website owners and businesses are building a mobile app.
They attract more engagement than email. To summarise, an effective push notifications strategy will result in more engagement for your content or mobile app.
PWAs are definitely making progress when it comes to push notifications, however, native apps are clear winners in this category.
Security and privacy are key and companies need their mobile apps to be secure and GDPR compliant too.
Native apps get all the security features that are offered by the platform. It is easy to use multi-factor authentication for apps that help prevent accidental intrusion. Multi-Factor authentication adds a larger layer of security to native apps.
Although there is going to be more work to develop a security feature for Native apps, it has the potential to be much more secure than PWAs thanks to the ability to built-in security features. However, security has always been a delicate subject when building anything for the web. You should not compromise the data, so this one lies on the shoulders of developers for both PWAs or native apps.
9. Device Features:
One of the major and best things about building applications for placement on a users mobile device is going to be the ability to sync with other devices and telephone features
These will be, Camera, GPS, Geofencing, Accelerometer, Compass, Contact list, Calendar, Alarm, near field communication and mobile payments, SMS and push notifications.
PWAs can be thought of as a toolkit that offers you the ability to take advantage of device features, but they don’t strictly offer a certain set of features. You can make some connections that can be made using APIs to improve user experience, but there are limitations.
If you want to benefit to tap into all of the device’s features you are better off using a native approach for app development.
It may cost more when going with the native approach as there are more things that need to be accomplished. However, you get exceptional performance when the native approach is chosen. A native app is going to cost more than a PWA.
Conclusion: So there are many benefits when going for the PWA route. It depends on what you are trying to achieve from your mobile app. This will depend on the scope and abilities of your project that you need. We hope that you liked this article, and have enjoyed reading it. Do check out our other blogs as well.