The world of mobile apps is ascending and transforming faster than ever. While everyone’s seeking ways to yield better results, progressive web app development is being widely adopted among companies. Offering seamless experience across various platforms is the ultimate need of the current times. And many are curious if PWAs are going to replace native apps.
In this blog, we’ll tell you the difference between PWAs and native apps, what’s going to rule over the industry this year and beyond, and how to choose the best option for your specific requirements.
Different groups of people would access your app and would be directly or indirectly affected by it. Therefore, here, we’ll try to understand the effect of different choices from both the developer’s and users’ perspectives.
In our previous blogs, we’ve already discussed what is PWA (Progressive Web App). But in case you need a brief,
Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) use modern web technologies to provide a native app-like experience to users on their web browsers, regardless of the device or platform they are using.
PWAs are designed to work offline, load quickly, and provide features such as push notifications, app-like user interfaces, and access to device hardware like cameras and GPS. They can also be installed on a user's device without going through an app store, making them easier to discover and use.
PWA vs Native App From Development Perspective
As a web app development company, clients often ask our opinion on different types of apps and what would be the better choice. From the development perspective, here are a few major differences between native apps and progressive web apps.
Ease and Time Of Development
PWAs are designed to run on web browsers. Developing them is much faster. They use web technologies that are familiar to developers, and they do not require the development of platform-specific code. As a result, developers can create a PWA in a shorter amount of time than it would take to develop a native app.
Native apps are developed to run on mobile devices and require platform-specific code, which can take a significant amount of time. Developers must create separate versions of their app for each platform, which turns out to be time-consuming.
Cost Of Development
The cost of developing a PWA is lower than that of a native app. Unlike native apps that require developers to specialize in various programming languages for different platforms, progressive web apps can be built using known web technologies. Additionally, native app development requires building a separate version for each platform (majorly iOS and Android). But that’s not the case with PWAs.
Developing progressive web apps is often less complex than native apps since you have the option to configure existing websites. With the right tools in use, this saves a lot of time and resources, making PWAs a cost-efficient development alternative.
While the different versions of native apps need to be submitted on specific app stores for various platforms, you can skip this hassle with PWAs. Although Apple’s App store and Google Play Store are quite popular, getting your app published here isn’t as easy as it seems. It’s important to follow several guidelines and meet their requirements to move ahead.
Progressive Web Apps can skip the cumbersome process of getting approved by an app store. They only need a web browser and URL to run seamlessly. Thus you can reach out to a larger audience in a short time. There’s no need for approvals, and you can update your app easily in less time.
Native app pages cannot be indexed in search engines. The only way users can find a native app is through the app store. However, PWAs work like websites and can be indexed on search engine pages. Since progressive web apps offer better performance than other pages, the chances of them ranking higher are more. Although there are ways to boost visibility for your native apps, there’s a greater probability of a PWA appearing in the search results.
Progressive web app development offers better security than general web apps since it has to comply with HTTPS. Its security protocols ensure that any exchanges between the client and server are not tampered with. The personal details of customers also remain secure. However, as compared to PWAs, native apps have better and more security options like multi-factor authentication and secure, end-to-end encrypted communication methods.
PWA vs Native App From Users’ Perspective
It’s important to meet your users’ requirements irrespective of the type of app you choose to build. Here are some key differences between progressive web apps and native apps from the users’ point of view.
Downloads and Installation
Native apps require installation from an app store, whereas PWAs can be accessed directly from the web browser. Installing native apps requires a user to search for the app in an app store, download it, and then install it on their device. This can be time-consuming and may require a user to have an app store account.
PWAs, on the other hand, can be accessed directly from a web browser, without the need for installation. This makes PWAs more accessible and easier to use than native apps. The users don’t have to worry about apps consuming a lot of space on their devices.
PWAs load faster but native apps are more powerful. Thus native apps typically perform better than PWAs. Native apps are optimized for the platform they are developed on, which allows them to take full advantage of the device's capabilities. This means that native apps are typically faster and more responsive than PWAs.
PWAs, on the other hand, are designed to work on a variety of platforms and devices, which can lead to slower performance and reduced responsiveness.
No doubt, progressive web app development is evolving fast to meet up with native apps. However, PWAs might be a little limiting when it comes to offering many functionalities to the users. There are many functionalities and features that are only compatible with native apps like geofencing, push notifications, light detection, smart lock, proximity sensor, etc.
PWA vs Native App - What to Choose?
Native apps and progressive web apps both have their share of advantages and limitations. Considering various aspects of your business and specific requirements will help you make a fair and wise choice.
Go For Progressive Web App Development If:
- You’re in your beginning phases and want to offer a simple app to the users.
- There are budget constraints. PWAs are a lot more cost-efficient.
- Your major goal is to create brand awareness and reach a wider audience.
Go For Native App Development If:
- You want to build credibility for your brand. Native apps offer better reliability and security options.
- You want to offer modern smartphone features.
The choice between PWAs and native app development depends on the requirements of the project. PWAs are faster and less expensive to develop, while native apps provide a better user experience and are more discoverable. You must evaluate the requirements of the project and determine which option is the best fit.
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