Progressive Web Apps vs. Native Apps: Choosing the Right Approach
It’s difficult to identify what form of app will work best for your business if you’re just getting started with app development. We’ve all been there, so don’t worry.
We’ll cover all you need to know about progressive web apps and native apps in this comprehensive guide. In addition, we’ll discuss the benefits and downsides of PWA vs. native, so you may choose the best method for your needs and requirements.
But first and foremost. Before we get into the “PWA vs. native web app” debate, let’s make sure you understand both application kinds.
What exactly is a progressive web app?
A progressive web application (PWA) is not a standard app in the traditional sense. It is an app-like website that has been developed and optimized to behave similarly to a mobile application. In other words, PWAs are more user-friendly than standard web pages but do not require installation from app store distribution. It is sufficient to locate them using browsers and use them immediately.
We all know that seeing something once is preferable to reading the definition several times. For example, check out the Spotify or Starbucks websites on your mobile device. These are two excellent instances of PWAs in action.
Progressive Web Apps Examples
Designer Frances Berriman and Google Chrome programmer Alex Russell developed the term “Progressive Web Apps” in 2015 to characterize a new generation of apps that take advantage of new technologies enabled by current browsers, such as the aforementioned service workers.
Businesses have produced countless successful PWAs since then, proving how much can be accomplished with what is essentially a supercharged website.
Twitter Lite: Prior to the release of its PWA, Twitter struggled to provide an acceptable user experience for its mobile users, who complained about long loading times and poor responsiveness. Twitter Lite completely transformed Twitter’s mobile reputation, and the PWA now generates more than 10 million daily push alerts.
Trivago: It turns out that when it comes to financial transactions and providing personal information, such as when reserving a hotel stay, many mobile users do not trust standard websites. As a result, Trivago decided to launch a PWA that would deliver the same user experience as mobile apps.
Forbes: It is common knowledge that 53 percent of mobile site users will abandon a page that takes more than three seconds to load. The previous Forbes mobile website took 6.5 seconds to load. After launching a PWA, the load time fell so dramatically that the media organisation saw a 12 percent boost in reading almost immediately.
These three high-profile PWA examples demonstrate why taking a chance with relatively new technology is often a good idea rather than waiting for others to try it first.
What exactly is a native application?
The phrase “native app” speaks for itself, as it is designed to function on a specific platform, such as iOS or Android, and to provide exceptional adaptability and a wonderful user experience. Whether you develop for Android or iOS, your app will have a non-reusable codebase. In the case of native apps, you don’t have to look far — a calculator or a weather app that came with your device are examples.
Case studies for native apps
Here are some examples of native app use cases.
E-commerce: For e-commerce enterprises, native applications are frequently employed, allowing users to purchase straight from their mobile devices-for example, Amazon, eBay, and so on.
Social media: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all native apps that allow users to access and share content on their mobile devices effortlessly. Native apps are also popular for gaming, with popular titles such as Candy Crush, Clash of Clans, and Angry Birds.
Native applications are also utilized in education, with many colleges and universities offering mobile apps that let students to access course materials, communicate with teachers, and do other things. Duolingo, Minecraft Education Edition, Photomath, and other popular apps are listed below.
When to Use a Progressive Web App and When to Use a Native App
1. When a convenient distribution is required
When you need your app to reach more people in a shorter period of time, PWAs are ideal because they can be shared and run by nothing more than a URL link, eliminating Native’s extra steps, such as finding your app among hundreds of similar ones and then having users press two extra buttons to share it with friends.
2. When the Budget for App Development Is Limited
PWAs are perfect when you do not have enough cash to invest in the entire suite of mobile app development processes, from ideation to coding to deployment and maintenance. Because of the short development hours and technological requirements, progressive app development is substantially less expensive.
3. When App Performance Takes Priority Over App Development Cost
If you have money to spend on app development and want great speed and faster load times, you should go with Native Apps. Native apps perform well because they are designed and optimized for a specific platform. Because the data is already on the smartphone, the app loads several times faster.
4. When you are unsure whether you should go mobile at all
When you are simply going mobile because your competitors are, or when you are unsure if at all your audience would like to interact over mobile and you don’t want to make any substantial investments during this period of uncertainty, stick to the desktop.
5. When it comes to credibility
When it comes to creating an image of reliability and trustworthiness, Native Apps are the way to go as app store reviews and ratings are highly useful in developing the image of a trustworthy brand.
6. When your app fails to function in isolation
PWAs are ideal if you want to provide your users with a quick in-and-out option without interfering with the device’s built-in functionality. However, if you want to provide your consumers with a service that requires them to interact with a camera to upload a photo or GPS to find their way from point A to point B, then Native is the way to go.
Is there a winner between PWAs and native apps?
If we don’t consider the type of business you’re running and its aims, this conflict has no clear winner. Determine what you want to accomplish and how much money you have available. Then, weigh the advantages and disadvantages of native apps against PWAs.
These are the advantages of PWAs:
- PWAs do not need to be installed or downloaded to the mobile device’s storage. PWAs are compatible with any browser, both desktop and mobile.
- The app is simple to install and use on any device with an internet connection (there is even an offline mode option). As a result, you may rely on PWAs even if you don’t have internet connectivity.
- PWAs have used the best UI/UX practises from native apps to engage users with a straightforward and appealing interface.
- They provide a convenient “Add to Home Screen” capability that allows you to store the lightweight PWA as a link shortcut to your device.
- They allow push notifications, which are crucial for client retention and follow the native app pattern.
- Because a progressive web application is a website, search engines can find its pages.
PWAs, on the other hand, have the following flaws:
- PWAs for iOS have access to a limited set of hardware functionalities. Many features are still locked in iOS PWA support, which debuted in 2018. The ability to send push alerts to iOS users is one of the most crucial missing functionalities.
- PWAs drain more battery power. Because the app is built with frameworks, the PWA consumes more CPU power and drains the battery.
Though native apps have long been known for their dependability and security, progressive web apps are quickly becoming a valuable tool for businesses and startups because they provide a native-like experience at a cheaper cost.
Of course, you must determine what is best for your company, but if you require experienced counseling or mobile development services, please do not hesitate to contact us.