Progressive Web Apps vs. Native Apps: Pros and Cons

You might not be aware of the debate that is going on regarding the progressive web apps on the web. It has become a question of concern that is been discussed all over the web right now. The main question is that the developers should focus on building the progressive web apps or they should go for the Native mobile app experience?

We can say that it is not that serious but it is just a comparison going on right now between PWA and a native app. It is an important consideration for the purpose of custom development of your next mobile app.

For the purpose of understanding it better there is a need to discuss both of the PWA and native app separately.  In this piece of writing we are going to elaborate both of the progressive and native apps in a detailed manner.

– What is a native app?

If we want to come up with a dumbed-down definition of native app then it can be explained as a mobile application which can be downloaded with the help of an app store. By app store we mean to say the app store that are available on the phone such as Google Play store, App Store and Galaxy apps. Although, there is no doubt that you are able to download the Native apps just easily in a virtual manner from anywhere on the internet. Apart from that, Google is already at piloting a technology which is going to accept the Progressive Apps into the Google Play as well.

 If you are still thinking what’s there that makes an app native genuinely, it is a basically the programming language which is responsible for building it and that’s what makes it native.

– For the IPhone’s of Apple mobile’s ecosystem it is Objective-C or Swift.

– For the Android user it is Java or it is Kotlin.

We can also tell you about all those cross platform frameworks that permit the app developers to carry out their tasks with same code bass such as Xamarin and React Native. They not only allow the web developers to work with the same code base, but also ship mobile products to the App store and on Google play at once. Don’t you think that such apps are considered as native? The answer we can give to this question is that yes to some extent they can be referred as native apps.

Apps that are developed with the cross-platform tools, they consist of the JavaScript at their core and often it is dependent upon a native code to tap into the advanced technology and features of a mobile Operating System. You will be able to spot  100 percent if it’s a cross-platform app in case you find UI elements which are belonging to a mobile website (similar to a dull spinner) or you will notice the weird menu options you might have utilized for watching the older phones. And these cross-platform apps that are going an extra mile to try to copy or mimic the Native experience, they are at least native to an extent of 50 percent.

On the other hand, let’s discuss the Progressive Web App in order to compare it better with the Native app.

– What is a Progressive Web App?

There is no doubt that almost all of us have downloaded the apps in our phones from the Google Play and App Store. Whether we have an IPhone or an Android phone, all of us we have been there. You might have Facebook, Gmail or YouTube on the home screen on your phone right now, if this is the case you might be pretty familiar with the concept of Native app.

Although, if you are running into Google Maps Go or let’s say Twitter Life and you have installed them in your phone, you also have PWA from the Google Play.

We can say that the progressive web apps are actually really new to the scene of web, it can be said that there is a widespread adoption in last few years. When you look at the progressive web apps in the first glance they are hard to distinguish from the general or regular web application.  So, if you are unaware of what to look for then you might have just used them without even knowing that it’s a Progressive Web App.

Despite of all this popularity, PWAs without any doubt is going to take over the mobile market absolutely. You should know that they are still not handled as first- class citizens on the IPhone or iOS devices.

But we will be explaining it in detail in further detail, for now we are going to be focused on a solid definition of these “new-fangled Progressive Web Application things.

As far as PWA is concerned, there are various definitions which are dependent upon whom you are asking about it. But, in a technical meaning as explained by Frances Berriman and Alex Russel in the year of 2015, it specifies 2 main things that are necessary of a soon to be referred as a PWA:

  • It must be running under the HTTPS.
  • It must be serving as a web app manifest.
  • This must be using the Service Workers.

But as far as the definition is concerned, that is honestly not going to help us a lot. There is no need to worry about, because fortunately we have our own experience with building the PWAs, I am of the opinion that we can offer a lot more explanation for what exactly refers to be a Progressive Web App.

We are going to try to explain it in a simple manner, that Progressive Web Apps that appear in a way that they are counterparts of native: They work in a way of full screen in order to make the user experience immersive, it can be accessed and downloaded from the home screen just like you can in the case of native apps. Apart from that, PWAs are able to save the device from session to seeing and even its hardware capabilities, which means they can carry out things such as tracking your location, accessing the data related to health, and can use a camera.

First of all we are going to be focused in the good that has to be offered by the PWA:

The ease of app development, as we have mentioned above that PWA are just the web apps that have additional functionality to make your experience with apps more immersive on the devices. Such as it offers full screen and gestures. It is dependent upon a ubiquitous technology stack such as JavaScript and HTML. We are mentioning this reliance because it makes its development a lot easier as compared to the Native apps. For sure, you will not be worried about your team tackling the coding of iOS and Android in a parallel manner. The reason is because you just have to develop an individual app and you are good to go.

When you have a single codebase which is absolutely web-based also refers to the fact that small annoyances that go with the development are off the tables. The days of tracking are the thing of past and squishing the bugs for both versions of your application is also gone. You can say goodbye to the multiple release schedules. We all at some point are sick of the approval that we have to take from the app store for making changes. Not only that there are different limitations on the version of your app. But, this is not going to be the case with PWAs. And as an extra benefit, you should definitely not worry about the price, because no cut is going to the app store out of your purchasing price.

In case of PWA, the principle which is followed is write once, deploy everywhere.

There are many people who are in favor of PWA because of the benefits that it has to offer in the business and to the companies, such as:

  • The mobile traffic increases by 70 percent.
  • There is an improvement nearly 15 fold of installation and load speed.
  • The device storage is reduced.
  • Conversion increases.
  • The session average increases.
  • The engagement increases.
  • There is a lower bounce rate when it is compared to other mobile websites.
  • The page views are also increased.

The Progress Web apps are responsible for business efficiency, it allows the users to enjoy an enhanced experience. We should tell you other advantages that it has to offer, for the business.

The reasons why the business, startups and market leaders should go for the PWAs are as follows:

  • The development cost is really low:

There is no need for different versions for different devices, when you have a single PWA it is enough to meet the needs of all the endpoints on which it is being operated. So, significantly it means that it reduces the amount of hard work and effort that you need to put while developing it and it results in cost reduction. We can say that it would cost you at least three to four time less than that of other or native apps of a mobile device.

  • You will get App-like feel and look:

In today’s work, the mobile users are giving preference to the apps rather than using the browsers as application. The reason of it is that they are more user-friendly and you can even use them while you are offline and it will provide you with an attractive interface. As far as the Progressive web application are concerned, they are giving a user friendly experience in which there is a combination of website and mobile application. What’s better than getting everything at once?

They facilitate you with the setting and designs which are really similar to the native software mobile apps. There is no need to take in to consideration the technology, frameworks and tools by which the development of the PWAs is taking place, it is giving you the exact same experience of the native mobile app, it is also taken as a superior one to websites.

Not only that, at the same time, they will be providing you with same response, speed and capabilities as that of the website with the access of databases and automatic data. This results in the search engine indexing them, this is the reason why the system such as Bing and Google can locate the PWA pages. Whenever it is compared with the mobile software’s, we are of the opinion the PWA can provide you with a lot more views on your page.

  • The installation is fast:

It is not like the regular mobile application as we have explained this enough. There is no need of long and complicated installation procedure. You do not have to go through the hassle of installation process. This means that it will result in improvement of user experience. The users are allowed to download an App, immediately and direct to their mobile device and there is no need to go through the difficulties of the App Store and the Google Play. It reduces the abandonment of the users. As soon as the user downloaded the application, they are allowed to even access with the desktop icon.

Various browsers even facilitate the call-to-action like teasers that convince the users to download the apps when they are visiting the respective websites. This is a feature that is built-in the browsers and it permits the apps to increase their reliability and credibility. There is no need to install this software on your devices, you can just access it by a URL or by PWA, which allows a high rate of share-ability.

  • Enhanced Performance:

There is a chance that you would find the performance in PWA a lot better than the rest. It caches and serve images, text and other content in a certain, efficient manner. Not only is that it improving the running speed as well.

End note:

We hope this guide was helpful for you in app development of your mobile app. leave your feedback with us in the comment section below.