Progressive Web Applications vs. Native Apps: Which one should you choose and why?

If you want to know more about PWAs or need assistance deciding between a PWA and a native app, continue reading.

Poonkuzhale K

Progressive Web Applications vs. Native Apps: Which one should you choose and why?

Which is preferable?

Native apps for Android and iOS are renowned for their exceptional performance and cutting-edge capabilities. Progressive web apps (PWAs) are being used by many companies today, including well-known ones like Uber and Forbes. The question is: is it worth your time to focus on expensive native apps when PWA development is quicker and cheaper?

We'll contrast the two in this article to assist you in deciding which to choose and when to invest in each app type.

To begin with, let's skim over these two apps.

Native app: What is it?

Native apps are programs written in a specific programming language and created specifically for a piece of software. Through the use of the operating system's tools and frameworks, they can make the app operate at its best.

You can utilize the customized features of a piece of hardware by deciding to create native software for it, ensuring speedier performance. The development of native apps is done twice, making them accessible on any device. For instance, a native app is written in Java for Android and C for iOS.

As the development of native apps for the iOS and Android platforms requires unique resources in terms of time, money, and effort, it is expensive. Additionally, developing a native mobile app involves app store validation and extensive app store optimization for marketing and launching.

What advantages can native apps offer?

1. Usability when combined with other native apps

The ability of native apps to communicate with one another on iOS and Android is a significant advantage.

2. Aided programs and frameworks

Several developer-supported tools, along with the appropriate OS, will be used when creating a native app, which means they do have the same possibilities to simplify development and expedite the entire process.

3. Monetization

Users can purchase and subscribe to services more easily with the help of native apps by integrating payment processing with their app store.

4. Security

Stronger security features like two-factor authentication are simpler to deploy with native apps since they have access to the relevant device data. Native apps can include TLS certificates to guarantee strict security conditions.

5. Battery usage

Native apps are battery-efficient simply because they are developed in the hardware's native language.

6. Geofencing

"Geofencing" is a feature that native apps have over third-party apps.

In essence, geofencing aids developers in creating virtual borders. The downloaded application may start performing a function on the phone when a user enters one of these pre-set boundaries. Users can receive practical, real-time updates via geofencing when combined with push notifications, which helps developers interact with their users.

Businesses might use geofencing, for instance, to alert customers to in-store discounts as soon as they approach the store. Additionally, it can be used to create more precisely targeted advertisements, location-based features in applications like Snapchat or Pokemon GO, and much more.

PWA: What is it?

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are web applications that function on mobile-device web views and browsers. The goal of PWA is to develop web-based applications that are user-friendly while providing an experience that is as close to that of native apps as possible.

To manage requests, cache, and store shell data in a cache, PWAs use service workers (scripts that a browser will run in a separate browser thread). They take up less space on a user's device than native programs and also provide an option to save the app on their home screen without necessitating a complete download.

What advantages can PWA offer?

1. Speed of loading & Offline functionality

PWAs use service workers to control requests, cache, and store shell data. The app shell will load significantly quicker than a native app. Even when the user is disconnected from the internet, the speed of loading is faster, but fresh content won't be accessible until they reconnect. This is the main advantage of a PWA, because these loading times have a great impact on retention and engagement.

2. User experience

With PWAs, you can give users a seamless experience by using the same UI in both their browser and the app. As a result, there is no longer any requirement for the user to become familiar with more than one interface, which could otherwise frustrate consumers when utilizing the mobile web and a native app.

Users may access all of the app's features with PWAs without worrying about storage or waiting a long time for the download to complete.

3. Development Price

Building a PWA that can run on various operating systems and platforms is affordable and also significantly reduces the workload.

4. Internet visibility

PWAs are made up of web pages that mimic mobile apps, so consumers can access your app outside of the app store, which enables them to use SEO inexpensively and reach valuable customers. Additionally, it implies that users may easily share the URL of any app page, which expands the potential engagement and organic development.

When Should You Use a Progressive Web App vs. a Native App?

Now that you've seen the benefits of each, it's time to make your decision. Considering the practicality of both company requirements and the client's wants, we must realize that it depends on the purpose and timing of their use to decide which serves the best.

Evaluate all your resources so you can get the most out of your time and money before deciding which one to pick.

When must a PWA be considered?

In what circumstances might you benefit from using a PWA?

A PWA can allow you to improve your strategy and customer retention if you run an e-commerce site and want to try to improve engagement with your customers or get new ones but lack the resources to develop and manage many applications across several storefronts.

If you want your app to reach a large number of users quickly, a PWA app might be a fantastic option. PWAs are perfect if you already have a large audience that you can reach through your existing distribution means, as it's simple to post a URL link or even get a feature on Google search results.

If you're a startup looking for a basic app to boost user engagement, PWAs don't require any downloads or installations while still allowing you to interact with clients through things like push notifications.

Ultimately, a PWA is probably the best option for you if you require a single, straightforward app that will function across a wide variety of devices because of its scalability and lower barrier to entry for your organization.

When must a native app be considered?

If you have a complicated product that will benefit from enhanced control over a user's mobile device, you should consider investing in a native app. This might include dating websites and apps, as well as banking apps. Your team will profit from the extra options provided by developing a native app because these apps need to provide a deeper level of consistency.

When developing high-security apps that will manage sensitive customer data in sectors like finance, health, or banking, native apps are preferred. The advanced control offered by a native app is necessary to provide the right level of security. A native app would be a preferable choice if you believe that speed and user interface are important factors for your users. An app that is native to the device will help you get a much faster loading time because it uses the OS of the device directly and is not at all limited by the speed of the internet connection or the operating system of the device. This is particularly true if you are creating low-latency apps like games or messengers.

Another factor that might make a native app appealing is its credibility. A high-quality app that is published on a reputable app store by Apple, Google, or another company can enable you to increase your credibility in the eyes of your target audience.

Many people nowadays desire to attempt to make use of the newest smartphone features. Exploiting device features like geofencing, sensor detection, and other features is considerably easier with native apps.

Which is the right choice?

Many well-known companies, such as Starbucks, Twitter, and Uber, have decided to incorporate PWAs into their web strategies. Should you adopt their behavior? In the end, there are many advantages to using a PWA over a native app, but there are also advantages to using a native app over a PWA. It all depends on the app you are building and the needs you require to be met.

A PWA is a way to go if you want to try to create something quick and simple to set up, but if you want something that will serve your brand while sending out trust signals, it might be that a native app is a way to go. You will quickly discover that you can select the best option for you if you investigate concepts like these. If you need more guidance in determining which app type is best for your business, consider your target audience as an indicator of which benefits you need to take advantage of the most. These small details can make a big difference in your decision-making confidence and help you succeed in terms of traffic, engagement, and revenues.

Have you made a decision? We are eager to work with you to develop fresh, creative initiatives and support your company objectives. Do not hesitate to schedule a free consultation call with one of our professionals.

Every member at Performix is committed to helping your business succeed, which is why we work with you at every stage of the process—choosing the right tech stack, putting together a skilled team, delivering a quality product, and offering continuous support.

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