pwa vs native apps

PWA vs. Native Apps Which One Should You Choose?

The mobile app has become an essential tool for every business, and a necessity to deliver a great experience and huge results. So, to satisfy the modern customers’ needs, e-commerce retailers began providing a quick, simple, and seamless mobile shopping experience.


One of the best ways to achieve these goals was the use of Mobile Apps and Progressive Web Apps (PWA). These apps can change the way how businesses connect with their customers. 


Native mobile apps and Progressive web apps (PWAs) have modernized businesses and improved revenues. But which one should you choose: a native app or a progressive web app? To clarify things, let us understand the differences between native apps and PWAs, and how businesses benefit from each.  



pwa vs native apps

Difference Between Progressive Web Applications (PWAs) and Native Apps? 


Progressive Web Applications 


Progressive web apps (PWAs) are an advanced form of websites with a similar interface and functionality as mobile apps.


These apps are developed with the help of CSS, HTML, Angular, JavaScript, or other web technologies, they operate in a browser offering a full-screen experience to engage users.


You can consider the example of Twitter which offers a progressive web application; but, they also have native mobile apps for Android and iOS. 


Native Apps 

On the other hand, Native or mobile apps are developed to operate optimally for a specific OS, either iOS or Android, and offer a wider scope of features that vary from device to device.


Native apps use the software and hardware capabilities of a device thereby providing a smooth customer experience and excellent performance. Users need to download these mobile apps through device-specific app stores. 


The primary difference between a PWA and a native mobile application is that a PWA works in a browser, so there’s no need to download it from an app store while a native app is downloaded from specific app stores.


Now, let us further understand the important advantages and disadvantages of both these apps from the business point of view and other usages. 


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Advantages of PWAs:  


1) Compatibility.

As a PWA runs through a browser, so it can run on any type of OS and mobile device (tablet or smartphone).  


2) Economical Costs  

As this progressive web app is still a website, so you don’t require a huge budget for its development.  


3) Accessibility 

A PWA can be easily accessed via a browser and can be added to your home screen. No need for downloading and installing. 


4) SEO Benefits  

Customers can simply find a PWA using a search engine because PWAs have URLs that are consequently indexed by Google.


5) Memory-Friendly 

A progressive web app requires only a small amount of memory because there is no need to download it.


Disadvantages of PWAs:


1) Battery Consumption 

A progressive web application requires Internet access which is the reason for its excessive battery consumption.


These PWAs operate on technologies that aren’t designed for the mobile environment which needs more use of hardware components that means more battery consumption.


2) Functionality Restriction 

iOS does not support all the features of PWA and iOS users can face problems like insufficient storage space.


3) Limited Hardware Access 

These apps have limited access to hardware and software features. For instance, for iOS devices, PWA doesn’t work with Face ID and Touch ID, and other Apple’s main features.


Advantages of Native apps: 

1) Performance 

Native apps are developed for a specific platform, so they provide a high-level performance. These apps are installed directly on smartphones which means that the data is already stored on the device, therefore the app loads much faster. 


2) Better user experience 

Native apps provide engaging and intuitive layouts, smooth scrolling, vivid animations, and several more engaging elements. 


3) Security and Data protection  

Two-factor authentication is possible with native apps as these apps have full access to hardware components, so they are better at security and data protection.  


4) Customizability 

Native mobile applications offer great possibilities in terms of the user experience and interface, by allowing you to add unique features. 


Disadvantages of Native Apps:


1) Higher costs of Development and Maintenance 

Unlike PWAs, Native mobile apps are complex to develop and are costlier to maintain. These applications are created for a particular OS, so they need a separate development team for each platform. 


2) Memory consumption 

The primary disadvantage of these mobile apps is they take up too much RAM, this figure varies depending on the type of app. 


3) Installation process 

It needs more than just clicking on the link, to use a native app. The user needs to visit an app store, search the app, download it, and finally go through the complete installation process.  



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Final Verdict – Which One to Choose? 


Native apps and Progressive web apps are suited for different businesses. Both these apps are based on different technologies and offer different levels of integration with hardware components.


Based on the discussed advantages and disadvantages of PWAs and native apps, it can become easy for your business to choose the right option as per your requirements to provide a seamless experience to users.  


Each of these apps has different strengths and weaknesses, all you need to do is to decide based on your business goals and needs.