PWA Vs Native App- Which One Is Best For You?

PWA Vs Native Apps- Which One Is Best For You

These days, mobile apps has become an integral part of our life and hence there is a need for mobile apps to deliver a great experience and good results. Android and ios native apps are popular for its advanced features and exceptional performance. In recent years, interest for progressive web apps has been increasing. It includes the features of native app with accessibility of a website.

Most of the ecommerce websites are not compatible with mobile so users are less likely to download a native app just to make a purchase. Ecommerce companies need a digital store which is like a website and app too. Here comes the need of Progressive web apps in focus. It is like taking a midway approach between mobile applications and mobile websites. But which should you choose? A progressive web app or a native app? To help you in the selection of the best one, here we’ll see pros and cons along with the comparison of PWA vs Native on the basis of various parameters. Before digging into the comparison, let us see PWA and Native apps in detail.

What Is Progressive Web Apps?

Progressive Web App

A progressive web app is a website which functions similar as a native app. Main difference between progressive web apps and native apps is that  Progressive Web application runs in a browser, hence it doesn’t need to download it from an application store. PWAs can store information in the cache on a user device, because of service workers. And hence, it allows users to consistently keep updated, without internet connectivity. PWAs are intended to remove various issues like weak networks, data restriction, lack of connectivity. 

Many popular companies like Medium, Flipkart, Starbucks etc use PWA apps. It’s amazing features have made it ideal for businesses that are looking to attain mass visibility at low cost and developmental effort. Some of its amazing features are- 

Fast-

Rapidly responds to user interactions with no janky scrolling and seamless animations.

Reliable-

Quickly loads and never shows that a website is down, even under uncertain network terms.

Re-engageable-

Can access the re-engagement UIs of OS, eg., push notifications.

Pros Of PWA-

1. Compatibility-

As PWA is accessed through a browser, hence it runs on any type of OS and mobile device(tablet or smartphone).

2. URL Access-

You don’t need to download and install a PWA to use it.  Like any website, PWA can be shared through a short URL.

3. SEO Benefits-

As PWA is a website, instead of launching marketing campaign, you can rely on SEO benefits for its promotion. Also, due to Google’s mobile first indexation policy, your app will be given higher ranking. 

4. Mobile Friendly-

As PWAs are not downloadable, it needs small amount of memory.

5. App-like UX/UI-

A PWA feels like a native one.

6. Updates-

A PWA updates without user clicking any buttons- all new features are available automatically.

Also know the development of PWA with React Native at- How you can create PWA with React Native?

What Are Native Mobile App?

A native app is a software app built with a specific programming language for a specific device platform, android or ios. Generally native android apps are written in Java whereas Native ios apps are written in Objective C or Swift. They are explicitly intended for one platform and can exploit all device features, like camera, GPS, accelerometer, compass, contact list, etc. 

You can know the comparison of Swift vs Objective C at- Swift VS Objective-C: What language to Choose in 2019?

Pros Of Native Apps-

  • Good UX/UI experience- Attractive layouts, vivid animations, smooth scrolling and native look and feel.
  • Performance- Native app is developed using native languages of a device. Means while offering high speed and wide range of features, mobile apps do not consume more battery power.
  • Complete access to hardware aspects- Unlike PWAs, mobile apps have complete access to in built features of mobile devices like GPS, camera, Bluetooth, contact list microphone, NFC, accelerometer and player. 
  • Offline mode- Because of local storage and seamless data synchronization with cloud, mobile app can function properly in an offline mode. Such apps caches data when connection is available.
  • Security- Native apps have full access to hardware components hence they are better at security and data protection.

PWA Vs Native App- A Comparison

1. Development Language- 

PWAs are written to run with browser, hence uses HTML, CSS and JavaScript for development.

Native apps run on mobile devices, hence developed with programming languages of each platform (Java for android, Objective C and Swift for iOS).

2. Performance-

As compared to responsive or mobile site, PWA loads much faster. At the core of any PWA is service workers, scripts that run in the background and separate from the web page. With these service workers, you can manage offline requests, prefetch and cache particular resources, sync data with remote servers and more. Means after adding your app to the home screen, you can load it quickly and use it offline. Also, PWA runs from browser, means there will be latency and more battery consumption than native app. 

Native app can tie into the underlying operating system. It can access device hardware to do more calculations and deliver better experience to users. Native code is faster and native app is more powerful.

3. Functions-

Geofencing- It helps developers to set up virtual boundaries in real life. When user steps in this boundary, the app can trigger phone actions. When combined with push notifications, geo-fencing provides great option to reach and engage with users. Geofencing is currently available only in native apps.

Push notifications- It increases the chances of engaging users. PWA has push notifications because of service workers. Native app can build the function from scratch or use third-party integration.

Mobile payment- On account of PWA, interaction with NFC chip or other digital payment hardware varies on various platforms.

4. Cost Of Development-

PWA development is cheaper than native app development. Progressive web app is faster to build and update. Rather than developing an app from scratch, you can build a website with tools like Google Lighthouse. With responsive design, you simply need one version of the application, and it will show in an identical way on all devices.

For native apps, you have to learn language and build a version for each platform. Means, you need two versions for android and ios, and the resources to maintain and update each version. As per the purpose and complexity of app, it needs more time and money to build.

5. Distribution-

PWA bypasses app store requirements. Users just need a web browser and a URL. Most of the PWA features are supported by well known browsers like Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Edge. It eases app to reach large audience in a short time. You can easily deploy updates without wait for approval. And it makes PWA more convenient for developers and users too.

With native apps, instead of developing separate versions for different platforms, you will have to submit them to different App stores like Apple’s app store and android’s play store. With these stores, you have to pass some requirements to publish.

6. Security-

PWAs are secure than normal web apps as because they run under HTTPS. In a secure environment, customers can enter personal details and credit card information without worrying of getting stolen. 

With native apps, you have option to build in various security measures. If an app needs login, you can implement multi-factor authentication. Also you can use certificate pinning for more secure communication. 

When To Choose PWA?

  • You can go with PWA, if you’ve just started and want a simple app for users.
  • Choose PWA, if you have time and budget constraints. PWA takes less time and money to develop and publish.
  • Progressive Web Apps will be the best alternative when you want to improve brand awareness and SEO. PWA is like any website and reaches a wide audience. 

When To Choose Native App?

  • Choose native app, if you want to build credibility for your brand. Native apps have more security options.
  • Go with native app, when you want to use advanced smartphone features

Final Words-

PWA and native apps are two options to deliver seamless experience with different strengths and weaknesses. The above comparison will surely help you to choose the best one and the choice between them should be made based on the goals and resources for your project. If you are still confused to choose the best between PWA vs Native apps, consult with solace experts. We are here to help you through consultation and development. You can also hire android developers, ios developers of Solace team for an effective and secured app development. Connect with Solace and get a free quote for an app development that will raise you business to the next level. We will be happy to help you.

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