Mobile devices and desktops continue to compete in this modern world with their innovative technological solutions to get their target users’ attention.
Mobile apps have opened a new gateway for start-ups, businesses and companies to effectively gain their audiences’ attention. It is estimated that by 2023, the global mobile app revenues will grow to more than 935 billion dollars.
And this doesn’t seem surprising. Considering the time mobile users spend on their phones compared to a desktop. The thing is that with new ground-breaking mobile solutions that come every year, mobile phones are becoming even more convenient.
Not only mobile developers are benefiting from this growing mobile app market but also native app developers.
With Progressive web apps now into the picture, many companies and start-ups’ have found the perfect opportunity to revive their businesses’ by leveraging the PWA technology to their advantage.
Mobile Apps and PWA apps have been able to provide a fast and responsive app experience to its users, something that desktop browsing didn’t always enable.
That’s why PWAs and Native mobile apps (iOS or Android) are becoming developers’ favourite. But the question still asked is: will PWA replace native apps in the future? Which is the better choice for startups, companies and organizations?
Before we go into detail, let us see how exactly they are different from each other.
What Is the Difference Between PWAs and Native Apps?
Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)
Progressive Web Apps, also known as PWAs, leverage the latest browsing & web development technologies to provide their end users with a better user experience.
What makes them unique is that the faster development associated with it compared to that of native development.
But it harnesses all the features of a native-app like- caching, push notifications, API integration, and responsive design; PWAs have bridged the gap between web browsers and mobile phones.
Think of PWAs like websites that act like native or mobile apps.
Native Mobile Apps
While Native apps are mobile software solutions developed for devices for both iOS and Android. They can be downloaded via the App Store or Google Play Store respectively.
Unlike PWAs which show only the essential functionality, native or mobile apps have the ability to provide a large range of advance functionalities. By harnessing the hardware and software capabilities of a smartphone, native apps are able to deliver impeccable performance and provide users with an intuitive journey.
Both have their pros and cons. And ultimately it comes down to making the right choice that can help maximize the growth.
Whether you are a startup, a growing small or middle-sized company or an organization, which depends heavily on digital success, here’s everything you need to know between: native app vs a web app.
We’ve laid down all the main advantages and disadvantages of both of them.
Go over it, it will help you make the right business decisions.
- Pros of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)
- Cons of Pros of Progressive Web Apps PWAs
- Pros of Native Mobile Apps
- Cons of Native Mobile Apps
1. Pros of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)
A research study by Google shows that at least 53% of the website users leave a website if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds.
You can use it in Offline Mode
PWAs save cache in the web browser. Due to this, users don’t have to worry about accessing the site in case they’ve exhausted their mobile data or are in a region where there is no network. This feature enables users to access the last information they accessed online. Making it one of the main reasons for increasing user engagement.
Progressive web apps have a link-adding feature that allows the app to be cached so that you can access it right from your mobile phones.
Since 65% of mobile users download no apps on their phone, progressive apps make it easy for users to access their sites without having to download it and yet get an app like user-interface to use. And since there are no installations, there are no updates to be done from the user side.
The user just has to open the URL icon on the phone and access the app. Simple as that.
Cost-Effective and Faster Development
As a PWA is technically still a website, it doesn’t require that large of a budget as a mobile app does. And since they include only the essential features- making PWAs lightweight apps- quicker to develop and cost-effective scalable solutions.
2. Cons of Progressive Web Apps(PWAs)
Since a progressive web app requires an internet connection, it consumes a lot of battery pretty fast. Another reason is that PWAs run on technologies that aren’t yet intended to optimally perform in a given mobile environment. And that’s why PWAs don’t optimally use battery power.
Limited functionality for iOS users
Since PWA’s are created by Google, a lot of essential features aren’t available for Apple devices.
Push Notifications are one example. Push notifications have become an essential part for businesses’ to interact with the users by sending them regular updates regarding business offers and more. But since push notification services aren’t available for iPhone users and since most of the eCommerce consumers use an iPhone, eCommerce stores lose a majority of their target audience.
But that’s not it, where it hurts most for iOS users is that PWA has only a limited storage window for iPhones. Meaning that when a user adds a PWA, their offline data will be stored for no more than two weeks, after which the PWA cache will be cleared.
Limited hardware access
Progressive web applications have limited access to software and hardware capabilities. They don’t support features that are not powered by HTML5. But also for iOS devices yet again, PWA can’t work with Face ID, Touch ID, Siri, ARKit, In-App payments and other core features of Apple.
Getting troublesome for iOS users to use PWA optimally even if they want to. That means if the majority of your target audience uses an iPhone, PWA might not be the best option to go with. But then again, it depends on your business’s requirement and how PWA plays out to it.
3. Pros of Native Mobile Apps
Unlike PWAs, native apps are platform dependent. That means they are developed and greatly optimized per the specific mobile operating system.
Due to this, mobile apps work faster and provide unparalleled performance that PWAs are unable to match as of now.
Since the data is stored locally, the app takes less time to load and thus providing the users with a seamless experience.
Intuitive User Experience
When users face any bug issues with their app repetitively, it leads to them having a poor experience. That’s where native mobile apps come as the knight in shining armour. Native applications are built keeping in mind the mobile hardware’s technical capabilities so that the UI can impeccably integrate with the underlying computing functionalities to provide the users with a great experience.
While PWAs use HTML5 which is a more secure version, it still can’t ensure the utmost protection against vulnerabilities.
Native apps are created with the latest cutting-edge technologies which ensure utmost security protection, data intrusions measures which enable users to use their mobile apps without feeling vulnerable to attacks.
Increases Business Productivity
With cutting-edge technologies at the helm of mobile app development, mobile apps have been contributing so much to improve and simplify the performance of everyday tasks.
4. Cons of Native Mobile Apps
High-Cost Development and Maintenance
Since a native app is platform-specific, you’ll need to hire a separate development team for each platform you choose to run your app on. And for eCommerce shop owners, having to create separate apps for different platforms can get quite expensive.
That means you’ll need a specific team of Java or Kotlin developers for an Android app and Swift or Objective-C developers for an iOS app.
While you can create a hybrid app that works on both platforms using a single codebase, it won’t be able to offer in-depth personalization of features like a native app.
Not all developers maintain high development and coding standards. That’s why to find the right team expert iOS & Android developers that are at par and can satisfactorily overcome any technological hurdles to build a great mobile app and provide users with a seamless experience has become difficult.
Many development companies don’t have an in-house team of experts for both Android and iOS and that’s where this problem arises.
Looking for a dedicated team of Android or iOS developers from an established native mobile app development company? Get in touch!
Users have to download a native app from the app store as it is the only place to access it. For most of the online consumers, that are short on patience, it is an extra step in their shopping journey. That’s where customers will opt for PWA more since it can quickly provide users with results they are looking for.
PWA vs native app: Which is right for you?
We are not thinking of PWA vs Native apps as a competition and neither should you. Think of it as rather a friendly discussion on these vast mobile platforms so that it can help you make the right choice.
Summing it up, progressive web apps are websites with a dynamic framework, so if you’re a start-up or a small-sized business, as far as the PWA development costs are concerned, you don’t have to worry about not getting cost-effective solutions.
Building a PWA from scratch is must cheaper than developing a native app.
While native app development costs much more and is a heavily time-consuming process, it offers a custom-tailored experience, much better performance and an amazing user experience.
If you’re looking to create an eCommerce app for your online shop, native app development will be the right choice for you. With custom-tailored iOS & Android app solutions, you can engage with your target audience on both platforms effectively and greatly empower your growth.
We hope this helps clear the fog in your head regarding which is better and which is right for you.
But as always, whichever way you proceed to take your online business ventures, bringing on board a trusted & established web & mobile app development can accelerate your business growth.
Communication Crafts has been helping businesses, start-ups and organizations turn their visions into reality with our innovative mobile app development solutions and PWA solutions since the last 15 years.
With customer satisfaction at the core of everything we do, we are truly dedicated to creating lasting success for you. Our amazing team of expert Android developers (Java & Kotlin), iOS developers (Swift & Objective-C) and PWA developers are industry experts with years of hands-on experience working on creating custom mobile apps from scratch that meets all requirements successfully.
Whatever mobile solutions you need, we have you covered!