What is the Difference Between a Native App and a PWA

Smartphones have transformed the way enterprises communicate with their customers. It is challenging to be a prospering business if you neglect the mobile app domain. 

According to Ericsson Mobility, there will be an increase of 25% in mobile traffic by 2025. So, there are immense possibilities for business owners to leverage the mobile industry.  

However, being an enterprise, you are presumably asking yourself these questions.

Should you build a Native App and a PWA?

Native app or progressive web app, which is better for the next app development project? 

Firstly, let’s take a moment to understand the underlying concepts of mobile apps and PWAs before answering the questions above.  

Let’s move ahead.  

What is a Progressive Web App(PWA)?

A progressive web app is built as a website but provides an app-like experience when used through mobile. It is designed using a JavaScript framework that delivers a native-like feel. You do not have to install the app, as you can place PWAs as an app on your home screen. 

PWAs have a single codebase and assist an enterprise in ranking higher on search engines because of Google’s mobile-first indexing policy. Famous brands have used progressive web apps incorporating Forbes, Starbucks, Twitter, etc. 

So, if you are a business leader and want to build a progressive web app, you can consider taking help from a leading PWA development company for scalability. 

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What is a Native App?

Native mobile apps can be easily installed from the app stores on iOS and Android, for example, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc. They are developed to use the hardware capacities of a specific mobile device and provide an interactive user experience.

Native apps offer faster performance depending on the operating system used. Developers build native mobile apps separately for iOS and Android platforms, meaning app owners have to spend more on time, money, and resources.

Moreover, releasing a native mobile app needs confirmation from the app stores and an extensive app store to make the app successful. 

Essential Difference between a Native app and a PWA

  1. Easy Deployment

Native apps require dedicated mobile app developers to launch iOS and Android applications. Moreover, it takes more time to get approval from app stores. 

PWAs are quicker to create and release in the market to gain a competitive advantage than your peers. Furthermore, you do not have to wait for app store confirmation, which is compulsory for releasing and circulating native apps via Google’s Play Store and Apple’s app store.

  1. Development Cost

Native applications are expensive to develop because if you desire to experience a genuinely native feel, you require creating both versions individually. To develop a native Android application, you must use languages such as Java or Kotlin. For creating apps for iOS users, Objective-C or Swift are used by mobile app developers. Using two different technology stacks means a large team of developers and increased cost. Additionally, maintenance costs are high due to different codebases.

Creating progressive web apps is easy and costs less than compared to Native apps because it is a web app developed to operate as an app on any mobile. Many companies deliver PWA services, but PWA development companies in the USA are one of the best. 

  1. Download and Installation
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You have to download and install an app before using services or getting some data from a native app. Furthermore, it also eats up your device storage considerably. 

On the other hand, with progressive web apps, users do not have to install an app to look out for information, interact with a company or buy a product. PWAs provide easy accessibility and rank much higher than native apps. It saves the user’s time on the lengthy installation process and reduces the size of the phone’s storage.

  1. Performance

A native app incorporates flawlessly as an element of the device once installed. Plus, it can utilize the hardware and smartphone features better than progressive web apps. 

Whereas PWAs load quicker, you’ll need a third-party browser to use them. It suggests there will always be cases of extensive battery consumption.

  1. Features and Functionality 

Native applications deliver a wide range of features compared to PWAs. Specific features such as mobile payment through NFC, inter-app features, intelligent sensors, etc., do not work seamlessly with a progressive web app. 

Moreover, you can not provide push notifications features on iOS using a progressive web app; only native apps can do that. Hence, if you plan to leverage the push notification feature, you must use native apps.

FactorsNative AppsProgressive Web Apps
InstallationEasily downloadable from app storesNo need to install the apps
Functionality AccessCan effortlessly access all hardware functionalities, and system settingsRestricted Accessibility
Offline ModeOffline mode is availablePre-caching authorizes offline use, however, PWAs have restricted offline features
UpdateYou have to update the app manually.Automatically and Immediately update
DeploymentTakes longer to build and releaseSimple app deployment
Security FeatureMore security features can be integratedSecured with HTTPS encryption
Push NotificationsAvailable for all platformsNot possible on iOS devices

Final Wording

Make sure you do not make a final decision about your app decision in a hurry. PWAs and native applications both have their advantages and disadvantages. If your target audience is more data-centric and values their time, you must go ahead with PWA because it does not need to be downloaded.

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However, to integrate complex features and create your brand identity, you must select a native app. You can take the help of the PWA development services provider to make a robust, progressive web app.

Also See:

Cross-Platform vs Native: Which is Better for Mobile App Development?

An Ultimate Guide to Hire Flutter App Developers in 2022