Progressive Web Apps vs. Native Apps: Which one’s best for you?
Still, I remember the year 2015, when Google came out with the new approach of application development. This herald a departure from limited functionality and platform-locked design that was prevalent in the market. This exciting concept was fittingly introduced as a “progressive website application” (PWA).
This method brought the promise of delivering an experience that integrated the best qualities of web development with every device. For those who still sporadically stumble into the dreaded “mobile web,” this concept was eventually going to be a more excellent way to utilize the Internet on a mobile platform.
Native apps have been evolving for nearly ten years as smart apps. This technology requires development to be done twice: once for Android, the other time for iOS; consequently, native apps work optimally as they are strongly connected with their respective platforms. Users can download the application with all of its available content from the Apple/ Google Play Store. According to research, In the year 2016, it accounted for almost 87% of all mobile traffic.
In this article, we are going to explain the difference between Progressive Web Apps and native applications, and you can get an idea of choosing the right software program for your business.
If you’re running out of time then check a quick snapshot of the PWA and Native app differences –
From the Developer’s Perspective
So let’s explore the differences according to the developer’s perspective:
Cost of development:
Building a PWA is quite cheaper than developing native applications. In native app development, you need to learn the language for at least two versions of Android and iOS. Also, you require the resources to update both versions. Depending on the complexity of the application, it requires enough time and money but that’s not the case with PWA. That being said, PWA requires more debugging and testing and hence the cost of building a PWA may not be effectively half of the native apps. It is more around 70%.
To develop a native app, you have to create separate versions for all the different platforms, and you will submit them in the various application stores. Android’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store are widely popular, but also there are Windows Store, Amazon’s Appstore available where you can launch your app.
In the development of PWA, it bypasses the cumbersome Application Store requirements. Importantly, PWA features are supported by many popular browsers like Firefox, Edge, Safari, and Chrome. That helps you reach the maximum target audience in a short period.
AppStores help your users to find out your app effortlessly. Various factors influence application discoverability, and you can aid your audience to find out your app faster with ASO (App store optimization). Being on the Appstore also brings in credibility to the app. Users feel that the app is already audited and certified.
PWA works like another website so they can be listed in the search engine. Compared to other responsive web pages, PWA can boost engagement and also helps your website rank better in search results.
PWAs are more secure than standard web apps because they have to run under HTTPS.
With native apps, you have the option to create many security measures. If your application requires a login, you can apply Multi-Factor Authentication. Also, you can use a Certificate pinning for even more secure communication. Users prefer to trust an app than a URL.
PWA or Native App?
Both the native apps and PWAs have some specific strengths and drawbacks. It depends on your criteria for app development.
You should consider PWA if:
- You have just started and want to build a simple application for your user; in that case, you can use PWA and there is no need to download any external or specific mobile app. And it allows interacting with users through push notifications.
- Importantly, it takes minimal time and less money to develop and publish an app.
- PWA is just like other websites and reaches a considerable number of audiences based on your SEO efforts.
- If you are building an app on an idea that does not allow the app to be hosted on app stores due to their policies like for betting, fantasy trade, torrents, etc.
You should consider the native app if:
- You want to create reliability for your brand. Building a native app builds credibility, and it has many security options.
- If you want to utilize advanced smartphone features then considering native apps is the best solution.
- If geofencing and sensors are necessary to UX or your product needs excellent computing power, then the native app is the smart solution for you.
The Native vs. Progressive Web Apps debate will remain essential, but it does not have to be a competition. There are use cases for both; importantly, it depends on what you want from the app, and need of the technologies.
Technology enhancements have given rise to some quality use cases for PWAs. In fact, it is a great alternative approach to build a brand when a mobile app is not permitted by app stores. If you have a startup and have some limitations to develop a fully native app, then PWA can be a good option. If you want to build a simple and easily usable application and have the means to make the app discoverable, then PWA is the ultimate solution because it is cost-effective and takes less time to develop an app.
PWA can also be a good strategy to test the market with a smaller version of your idea.
On the other hand, if you have enough budget and want to build your app with all the smart technologies, then a native app is a better option for you. Eventually, Native apps provide the best experience but PWA definitely provides a budget-friendly, quick to market option.