Native Vs. Progressive Web Apps – Which One Should You Choose For Your Business?


People today are not only tech-savvy but also always on the move. It has become important for businesses to engage customers no matter where they are. Mobile apps have become the new basic necessity for customers as well as businesses.

Native apps are most preferred, but Progressive Web Apps, which run on mobile devices and desktops, are gradually making their mark.

The biggest dilemma that faces businesses is which type of app to go with. If you are one such business, here is a comparison of the pros and cons of PWAs and native apps to help you decide better:

Progressive Web Apps

PWAs are websites working like mobile apps. They can be saved on a desktop in the form of icons and accessed through a browser.

Pros

Easy To Install And Use

PWAs don’t need to be downloaded from an app store and installed. They are available in the form of a URL. They don’t require permission to be made available for users.

Load Faster

PWAs are equipped with service workers that cache the information in the pages visited by first-time users. This enables PWAs to load the information quickly on the next visit of users and prevent crashes during peak traffic times.

Consume Less Device Storage Space

Since PWAs don’t need to be installed on devices they don’t occupy their storage space. This prevents devices from heating up or slowing down due to excessive storage space consumption.

Inbuilt Security

PWAs must mandatorily run on HTTPS. This prevents the information exchanged between a user and their server from being tampered with. With PWAs, users do not have to worry about the security of their sensitive information like contact and other personal details, payment details, etc.

Work In Offline Mode

The information that PWAs cache from a user’s first visit can be accessed offline as well. This helps to improve the user experience, engagement, and retention rate of PWAs.

Cons

Excessive Battery Power Consumption In Mobile Devices

The technologies that PWAs run on are not compatible with mobile devices. Also, PWAs are written in complex, high-level codes which mobile devices have to work extra hard to interpret. This means excessive battery power usage for mobile devices to run PWAs.

Not Available On App Stores

Since PWAs work like websites, they cannot be made available on app stores like native apps. Extra marketing effort is required to ensure good visibility for PWAs.

Limited Features

PWAs cannot perform functions like making audio and video calls, placing orders, making payments, etc. They don’t have access to the built-in features of devices, like phone, text messages, Bluetooth, contacts, calendar, camera, location, etc.

Native Apps

Native apps are developed specifically for mobile devices and stored on their home screens in the form of icons. They are designed to run on Android or iOS.

Pros

Can Be Monetized

Unlike PWAs, some native apps can be made available for a price. Users can purchase or subscribe to these apps.

Provide Access To Other Apps And Phone Features

Native apps come with features like placing orders, making payments, social networking, entertainment, online search, sending emails, etc. They can also be linked to other apps like payment wallets, and the device’s inbuilt features.

Easily Discoverable

Every OS has an app store inbuilt on mobile devices where native apps are launched. Native apps need to be promoted for visibility too but are easier to find. Users can simply open the app store to search for an app.

Cons

Expensive To Develop And Maintain

Two different teams are required to develop and maintain a native app. It has to be built separately for different OS. Maintaining native apps is a long-term process – they need to be constantly checked for bugs and crashes and need to be constantly updated to keep up with the latest trends and technologies to ensure user satisfaction.

Need Approval To Be Launched

Native apps can’t be made available to the public immediately after they’re designed. The next step is to get them approved by the target app store, which takes weeks to months. Some apps can get rejected due to copyright issues or plagiarism.

Download And Installation Is Time-Consuming

Users must install native apps from app stores to use them. This takes time as they have to search for the apps, download them, and then install them.

Prone To Crashes

Native apps are susceptible to frequent crashes. They can crash if developers don’t check for bugs frequently, or if users have too many apps installed on their device or running in the background.

Security Measures Need To Be Manually Built In

Native apps don’t have inbuilt security measures like PWAs. Security measures like multifactor authentication need to be built into native apps manually.

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