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Progressive Web Applications vs Native apps

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A native app is an app that is installed directly on the device for a particular mobile device. Users typically purchase these apps on Google Play through an online store. Native Apps are entirely in compliance with the terms of the roles and output that are implemented. Such applications can be used offline allowing easy access. Although you need a more significant investment in the beginning, native apps keep us sorted by providing a better user experience for a longer-term and are a staple across industries.

Progressive Web Apps are a combination of standard web sites and mobile apps that use modern Internet technologies to provide users with a similar experience to a native application. Built with modern JavaScript frameworks, they are web sites built to function like a native app. They can be attached with an icon to a home screen of a mobile device. Like apps, they offer a full-screen experience when using it. 

Features of PWA

  • PWA is SEO friendly because PWAs have URLs and are indexed by Google. Customers can quickly locate a PWA using a search engine.
  • It does not have a store limit; hence it can be enabled just like a native program on the home screen from Chrome and Opera and is even available in Android settings.
  • It saves time and resources as well and you can easily access it from the web browser.
  • It is cheaper, easier, and quicker to build as there is only one code base required.
  • It uses a small section of the device's memory and is conveniently shareable with others with that tiny URL.
  • The app supports different platforms such as Mobile and web.
  • PWA updates automatically; thus, devices remain new.

Reasons why native is perfect over PWA

  • PWA uses secure https URL but for accessing information, native applications would be more secure and reliable.
  • Since native code is easier than HTML and JavaScript, Graphical Applications, HD games, complex animation applications will do well as native applications. WebGL standards help gaming apps browsers and hybrid apps achieve efficiency.
  • User navigation is more fun, easier, and quicker.
  • PWA does not operate with low-level access to other hardware features and sensors: a torch, ambient pressure sensor, and registration to manage specific URL and protocol schemes, or file forms.
  • PWA provides excellent protection but not better than native ones. 
  • Not all web-browsers accept PWAs. Progressive mobile applications are Android-centric and are not running on Safari. Given that Safari is the leading US browser with 51 percent of the market share, there is a chance of losing a wide segment of Smartphone users if you have a PWA.
  • PWA cannot be distributed through stores, respectively. 
  • Native apps can communicate with other native apps, and retrieve data, while PWAs can only allow other apps to sign in.
  • Native SDKs provide access to system sensors such as Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, etc. while PWAs can access only simple sensors such as GPS.
  • PWA does not allow access to contacts, social media, browser bookmarks, and apps such as SMS or interaction with them. Whether it has a contact number, you can easily make a call.
  • PWA has limited offline functionality and the use of equipment resources. 
  • PWA is not designed for the battery, although the optimization capacity of the native framework is greater.
  • When you are doing functionalities like VR, AR, you cannot use PWA.

Why would native applications be your first choice?

When we think about all forms about the audience in terms of accessibility and ownership, then native applications offer more acceptable results than PWA.

When we think about all forms about the audience in terms of accessibility and ownership, then native applications offer more acceptable results than PWA.

If we look at in terms of accessibility and ownership by all types of the audience, then the native app gives more satisfactory results than PWA.

Could native apps replace modern internet applications?

  • PWA operates with a Memory Access window cache. So you may find it for small applications, but if you concentrate on running large projects on a long-term basis, cache limitations will come into the picture. This also contributes to more general security problems with PWAs.
  • Native is essential for mobile games and other gamification features, as illustrated above. When there are problems with network latency, native ones are a safer option than PWAs.
  • You can use PWAs with Google Chrome on iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.11. PWAs will send out push notifications in this situation. iOS users will face issues such as limited storage space, and when installing a PWA on their home screen and offline data stored up to two weeks after the cache is removed.
  • The UI is one of the main items to consider for an app. Compared to a PWA, you have more flexibility to control the UI with a native device.
  • The critical challenge is the page load speed- developers are limited by browser speed and internet connectivity capacity, whereas a native app uses mobile OS roots directly.

Quick summary

The discussion between Progressive Web Applications vs Native apps will always remain relevant. There are use cases for both, and from the technology, it depends on what you want, and need. The differences between PWA and Native apps are highlighted above, and the user will be able to learn how;

  • PWAs like Twitter Lite and Pinterest both demonstrate how you can put your mobile web experience almost to an equal basis with your native app, which will help with weak or costly networking markets.
  • A small business that cannot afford a fully native app might consider instead building a progressive web app, saving itself the time to develop and keep apps on separate platforms.

That said, a native app allows you to offer users a fully customized and always-on experience. It is the only option that provides a whole new channel to site owners with push notifications, available on both iOS and Android. It is especially good for news publishers, blog sites, and e-commerce companies that want to offer timely alerts and native features to clients and followers.

For a native app, of course, you'll have to weigh the price, the time to launch, and the option between iOS and Android stores if you want to create a native app.

Final verdict

Because native apps cost more to create and involve a more time-consuming development process, we suggest choosing a native app for your e-commerce website to ensure the comfort and satisfaction of your customers. 

Native apps deliver a more customized experience, better efficiency, and excellent user support. With all these advantages, your online store can easily meet increasing and competitive demands that lead to higher conversion rates.

About the Author

Software developer and solution provider with over 7 years of experience, including general management of mid to large size organizations, corporate development, product development, business operations, and strategies. Currently managers at EPixelSoft- A Software Development Company- A one-stop-sho...   View more...