PWA vs Native App
- By Vitali Damastoi
- Mobile Apps
With the rapid development of the world, everything has changed dramatically in recent years. A couple of years ago, a breakthrough in the technology community has become obsolete and untapped now, and something else is still evolving and gaining popularity. But then what's popular now?
Mobile applications kept the bar high until PWA came into the game. When the competition started, developers and entrepreneurs began asking themselves what's better, what's more profitable, and what's going to fall into oblivion in a couple of years. So let us figure out what the new technology is.
What is PWA
Progressive web applications are a group of applications that uses a specific stack of technologies to convert the website into an application. Functionality and appearance are almost the same as in mobile apps. App uses certain technologies for its work such as HTTPS, Service Workers, Web App manifest, and push-notifications.
The access to the operating system and client device features, no restrictions on the programming languages used, SEO-indexed sites - yes, this is all about progressive web applications.
As technology continues to gain popularity, more and more companies use it for their websites like Forbes, Tinder, and Twitter.
What is a Native App?
Native apps are the applications developed and optimized for each OS using the most suitable programming language. This term is mostly used in the context of mobile development. Such apps work and look exactly as users expect for each system individually. You can find such applications on Google Play, iTunes, and other app stores.
PWA: Pros and Cons
- What concerns security, HTTPS protects data from intercepting and spoofing;
- PWA boot up and work faster, even with a poor internet connection;
- user can have a link to copy and share with others;
- user can install a web app as a native application to their smartphone;
- progressive web apps fit both iOS and Android OS, and devices like smartphone, tablet, and desktop;
- cheaper to develop and integrate than native mobile apps and don't need specific technologies, just simple JS, HTML and CSS;
- customer can work offline with poor or even without connection to the Internet;
- SEO-friendly and indexed by search engines like Google
- iOS users do not receive notifications;
- not all browsers support progressive web apps, e.g., Safari; so there is a risk of losing a broad audience without having original application in the app store;
Native apps: Pros and Cons
- They are professionally designed specifically for each OS which guarantees prompt work of application, and better user experience;
- all apps have notification feature, but you can disable them in the settings if necessary;
- connectivity and interaction with other mobile applications;
- some apps can operate without using wi-fi or mobile Internet;
- high performance;
- the user can protect their data with a password so no one else could enter it.
- more resource-intensive and pricey to develop than a PWA;
- takes up much memory on the phone;
- application content is not indexed by search engines like Google and cannot be discovered via search.
What to choose?
With the continuous improvement of progressive web apps, it is now possible to say that these two modern technologies are going shoulder-to-shoulder. On the contrary, the popularity of progressive web apps still keeps growing. So what's better: progressive web apps or native applications? The answer depends on the circumstances.
If you don't have a professional team of developers, your funds are limited, or you want to have an experiment and test something new to attract more users — choose PWA. Your website will always be up-to-date, and there is no need to deal with app stores.
If your budget allows you to hire a development team, and you are ready to wait a few months of app reviewing by Apple Store or Google Play — native apps at your service. They are developed and optimized for every platform and may show high performance.
Both technologies have benefits and obstacles. But it is not necessary to be skeptical in advance about one or another technology. Before developing an application or a website, it is recommended to consult developers or turn to the consulting department.
If you are interested in PWA and want to try something new - give it a shot, you can learn about progressive web applications in detail here. The article discloses the definitions of PWA and native applications, their key differences, as well as benefits and drawbacks of each type of software.