In this blog, we will define the app differentiators, identify the perks of both from a business lens.

Breakdown of the difference:

While native applications function only for mobile devices, Progressive web applications function amazing to run inside a web browser. 

Steve Jobs originally introduced a web app in 2007, but it was formally invented as a "Progressive Web Application" by Google in 2015 when they released basic PWA standards. PWA has already started rolling in the mobile world, and we have seen some prominent examples like Pinterest and Twitter. However, many old-school company leaders are still not entirely aware of PWA as web development technology and its benefits.

How the installation process compare:

Progressive Web Apps are easily downloaded from a browser to a users home screen within seconds whereas native applications require a a heavier download time to install the application onto the device. The video below demonstrates the popular Twitter native vs PWA installation process, however the timing has been adjusted and aligned for the sake of a visual. The PWA downloaded, opened and logged in much faster than the Native.


What are PWAs? (Progressive Web Application)

A web app that uses modern web capabilities to deliver an app-like experience to users and adapts to all devices with features behaving in the same way across all the platforms (web, desktop and mobile).

The Progressive Web Application (PWA)


Perks

  • Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are the best of both worlds: they function as a native mobile application while still performing like a responsive website.
  • Progressive Web Apps can be indexed as easy as any other websites, although the SEO practices used to ensure Google indexability will differ.
  • Building a progressive web app is cheaper than developing a native app.
  • PWAs can be added to the user's home screens and receive push notifications that appear just like regular push notifications on mobile apps.
  • Great responsive design
  • PWAs take almost no space, and If users wish to add the app to the home screen, they can easily do it without installation.
  • Low data consumption; easily be accessed via URL Thus making things much easier for your users who are limited in the device storage.
  • Low maintenance cost, PWAs can be updated any time without messing with the User interface or backend.
  • Lightning speed load time. PWAs in layman's terms is written in a different software language, allowing the user only to receive a small strong of data rather than an entire HTML document. Increases load speed dramatically.


Cons

  • Relies on an internet connection for full functionality
  • Progressive applications are supported by; chrome, safari, firefox and edge are The importance of this depends on what your target demographic uses.


What is a native app?

An application built for Ios or Android mobile use. This type of application infrastructure is not accessible via a webpage but only downloadable via an app store. The app should not require the internet to perform a functional purpose.

Native Application 

Perks

  • Native apps integrate well with other apps (Facebook etc.)
  • Better mobile feature capabilities 
  • Native apps are more customisable for the user, increasing customer UX.
  • Easily downloadable from App store 
  • More secure and reliable data sharing than PWA
  • ASO (App store optimisation) increasing traffic exposure 
  • Can also be a desktop app

Cons

  • expensive development
  • complex maintenance 
  • Requires multiple versions (Ios, Android & Web) 
  • Multiple App store restrictions and costs ( google play, Apple store etc.)
  • Large storage usage



Conclusion

Both have their place and purpose. In most cases, the best choice is PWA because of its easy maintenance and cost-effective development. Selecting the right developer is crucial to achieving optimal UX and UI experience, mirroring a native app. Poor development will result in missing essential mobile capabilities like push-notifications. In cases where geofencing, sensor detection and personalised data collection is required for your product to operate, Native is the best option.


A conversation costs nothing; give us a call today to discuss which option would best suit your business needs.


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