Progressive Web App VS Native App: Which Is Better and Why?

progressive web app

The rapid growth in the usage of mobile phones is inevitable. It has changed everyone’s life completely, and the development of mobile applications is like a cherry on the cake.

A study has found that there would be a 25% increase in mobile application installations globally between 2018 and 2022. The mobile application delivers an excellent user experience that leverages numerous benefits for the business.

Looking at the ever-growing demand for mobile apps, many business owners hire a renowned mobile applications development company to excel in business. The advent of new mobile technologies has changed the way businesses develop mobile apps.

Progressive web apps (PWAs) are one such technology that has grabbed many businesses and mobile app development companies’ attention. It combines the functions of the native and the accessibility of a website.

Is it replacing native app development? Well, not really!

Both PWAs vs native apps are in the neck-to-neck competition. However, sometimes it becomes difficult for the business owners to choose between PWA vs native app. That’s why we have compared the progressive web app vs the native app. Based on your business need, you can make your decision of choosing either of them.

But first, let’s get into the basics of PWA and the native app development approach.

What Is Progressive Web App?

A progressive web app (or PWA) is a web application developed from web technologies like CSS, JavaScript, and HTML.

PWA looks like a native app and even functions the same as the native app does. It has gained tremendous popularity, and big giants like Starbucks, Pinterest, Washington, and Uber use the progressive web app. You can easily download the progressive web app on your system and even access it offline.

Pros of PWA

  • Better Engagement

One of the primary benefits of PWA development is that it enhances user engagement. Users can easily save the progressive web app on their home screens that imitates the native app.

When users access the app from their homepage, they get an outstanding experience as the application is visible on full-screen. And, this way users desire to re-visit the app again-n-again.

  • Native-Like Experience

The progressive web app is built with advanced application programming interfaces (APIs) to deliver native-like reliability and capabilities via an easy installation process.

It gives users a native-like experience through intuitive UI/UX without even downloading it to the device. The app looks exactly like a native app and gives the feel of a native app while using, but in reality, it is a progressive web app.

  • Cost-Effective Development

With a progressive web app, you can save a large amount of money. As compared to other mobile app development, PWA is budget-friendly. For entrepreneurs with a low budget, the progressive web app is the best option because it is easy to implement on the actual websites saving maintenance charges.

Cons of PWA

  • Battery Consumption

The biggest drawback of PWA is that it drains a lot of battery. Since the progressive web app is written in complex codes and the mobile phone has to work hard to decode them that eventually results in a lot of battery consumption. Hence, for people who wish to use their devices for a longer time, PWA might not be a good option.

  • Cannot Access Various Device Features

Another disadvantage of PWA is that it does not have access to various device features such as near-field communication (NFC). The device should be within 4 cm of each other if you want to transfer any file or video.

Plus, it does not have access to Bluetooth.

After a brief discussion on the progressive web app, let’s concentrate on the reason why choose native development.

What Is a Native App?

The native app is a software application developed using a specific programming language for a particular device platform (iOS or Android). It builds applications for specific mobile OS with access from committed app stores, such as the play store or app store.

Native apps leverage the benefits of all the device features such as the camera, compass, GPS, contact list, etc. It can also work offline by using the device’s notification settings.

Native iOS application is written in Swift or Objective-C, and Native Android apps are written in Java.

Pros of Native App

  • Great Performance

A native app has a commanding performance as it is specifically created and optimized for a single platform only (developed separately for iOS and Android devices). A native app is effective and runs faster as it is platform-specific.

It uses platform core programming languages and APIs, making it more efficient. Graphic elements and several contents pre-exist in mobile phones, making load time quicker than before.

  • Improved UX

Developing an app for a single platform only allows developers to build an application with more focus resulting in improved UX. Developers gauge the requirements and demands for a particular OS and then develop the application in a very interactive manner with user-friendly design elements.

Therefore, the native app delivers an improved user experience (UX) through a user interface (UI).

  • Better Security

Native apps focus on official application programming interfaces (APIs) only and do not depend on any third-party system. After the application development, each app is examined properly on several system versions and goes through meticulous testing for security reasons. Native apps are well-protected with different operating system layers that make them hard to squander.

Cons of Native App

  • Costly Development

Native app development is quite expensive because they are developed separately for Android, iOS, and Windows. Every mobile platform requires a different programming language that eventually demands different developers for an excellent application.

Plus, every single platform requires separate coding, and the maintenance of the codebase is done separately. In short, a native app is quite expensive.

  • Longer Development Time

A native app has a longer development time because it targets a single platform only. Codes for iOS and Android are written separately, and that is why developers need more time to develop native apps than hybrid ones.

Final Words

The progressive web app (PWA) and native app are ruling in the market for many years, and they both have no intention to fade away anytime soon. They both provide a smooth user experience and encourage users to use them again-n-again.

Deciding the best app development approach between PWA vs native apps is slightly difficult. So, make your decision as per your business requirements or goals, and share your pick between the two.


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