So which is better: PWA or Native App?

In order to provide their clients a remarkable customer experience, organizations should seriously consider creating apps. PWAs, or progressive web applications, have become more and more well-liked in recent years. A PWA is distinctive in that it combines the usability of a website with the capabilities of a native app. Many people are starting to question if PWAs will ever be able to fully replace native applications.

The Difference Between PWA and Native Apps for Developers:

The creation of a progressive web app and a native app is, as one might think, rather different. Native applications are created by developers to be loaded on smartphones, tablets, and other smart devices depending on the device’s operating system and hardware.

PWAs, on the other hand, are webpages that appear to be applications and may be launched within a website browser or loaded straight onto the device and accessed like a native app. A PWA uses CSS, JavaScript, and HTML, whereas native applications employ the platform’s programming language, such as Java for Android and Swift or Objective-C for iOS. Developing a PWA is significantly faster and easier since you just need to construct one version that can be shown effortlessly on practically any mobile device’s web browser.

Cost of Development & Maintenance

PWAs can be substantially less expensive to produce than native apps due to their simple scalability. Because native applications are not often responsive across multiple devices and screen sizes, you will almost certainly need to develop a version for each device you wish to support. A PWA is similar to a website in that it is driven by your browser, allowing it to be adaptable and adapt to operate on any device.

When developing a native app, you must also develop applications for iOS and Android. Each supported version in its separate app store will need additional resources, generally in the form of totally distinct programming languages, to be updated and maintained. This might take a lot of time and money, depending on your final goal and the intricacy of your software. On the other hand, progressive web apps feature a single codebase that is adaptable to all platforms and devices, making development and maintenance simpler and more affordable.

Updating a native app may sometimes be time-consuming and difficult. Every update to your app must be approved by the store, and every version of the app must be updated. Knowing what mobile consumers are like doesn’t make things any simpler. Because everyone will not be upgrading their applications at the same time, it is perfectly conceivable for you to have multiple versions of your app available at the same time, which might be confusing.

Convenience

A native app necessitates the creation of distinct versions for each platform, as well as the submission of those versions to various app stores, the maintenance of store listings, and the management of user ratings. Furthermore, if you add new features to a native app, you must resubmit the altered version to the app stores for approval. Your users will then be required to upgrade to the most recent version.

The Apple App Store and Google Play are the most popular options, but they’re not your only options. Consider the Windows Store and the Amazon App Store as well. You may want to submit your software to multiple app stores, such as the Samsung Galaxy Store, Apptoid, and F-Droid, depending on its purpose and platform. If you want your app to be published, you must satisfy a number of requirements. You may be forced to pay to register your developer account in some circumstances.

All of these stumbling hurdles are avoided by PWAs. All your visitors need is a web browser and your URL. This greatly simplifies the distribution of your program to a bigger audience. Because PWA updates are rapid, you can often update and disseminate your changes without requiring user consent or additional installs. This improves the usability of PWAs for both you as a developer and your consumers.

That is not to say that online retailers aren’t beneficial. In truth, many low-quality or harmful programs are not distributed due to these stringent restrictions. Having apps published on these stores might increase a company’s overall trustworthiness in the eyes of its customers. Web Stores may also advertise your software on your behalf. Being featured in an app store may help you fast increase sales and brand recognition.

It’s all about SEO!

Native applications are not indexable on their own. App shops offer a “listing” page for apps that may be indexed, albeit the content on the listing page is restricted. Businesses are basically forced to rely on app store discovery as a result of this. There are various factors that influence app discoverability, which is also known as app store SEO or app store optimization (ASO). It will require keyword research, writing a good description and an optimized title, incorporating enticing images, and receiving positive comments. To get favorable reviews and downloads, you’ll need to create appealing images, market your app in relevant categories, and reach out to third parties. All of this will take a long time and cost money.

PWAs, on the other hand, behave similarly to websites in that search engines will index them. Although this has its own set of issues, you will see that you may rank similarly to a traditional app even if a PWA employs a different mechanism. While you may miss out on having your app featured on the top page of an app store, you will have significantly more control over SEO, and your understanding of Google Search may assist customers in locating your app.

The Difference Between PWA and Native Apps for Users:

Did you know that the typical smartphone user installs fewer than one app every few months? Much of this is due to the fact that completing the installation procedure takes a significant amount of dedication. Before they can start the app, users must first locate it in the store, wait for the download and installation to complete, then grant the app any required rights. They may use the app once or twice more before it is erased. When consumers remove an app, there’s a good chance they won’t return.

One of the biggest worries that many users have when installing an app is how much memory it consumes. Progressive web applications do not require installation. When using the browser, users may effortlessly bookmark and subsequently add the program to their home screen. The PWA will appear on their home screen, in their app directory, and provide alerts. Furthermore, as compared to complete programs, progressive apps take up less space. Visitors may access and share the app with their friends using a URL.

Updating

PWAs usually load from a server without requiring user input, hence they tend to be up to date. Native apps need to be updated on both ends; the developer must ensure that any bugs or security holes are fixed, and the user must make sure they download the most recent version to guarantee a positive user experience.

PWAs, on the other hand, behave similarly to websites in that search engines will index them. Although this has its own set of issues, you will see that you may rank similarly to a traditional app even if a PWA employs a different mechanism. While you may miss out on having your app featured on the top page of an app store, you will have significantly more control over SEO, and your understanding of Google Search may assist customers in locating your app.

We all know Performance is Important

PWAs may load significantly quicker than mobile or even responsive sites, as you will quickly discover. Scripts that run in the background and are entirely independent of the website page are the core of any PWA. You may control queries, prefetch information, cache answers, and even sync data. All of this is carried out via a distant server. This implies that once your app is put to the home screen, you may use it off-line or in weak network situations and that it will load up promptly (more on this in a moment). One problem with PWAs is that they are browser-based, which frequently results in latency (lag) or higher battery usage than with native apps. Your hardware can provide a better user experience since native programs can connect to the operating system. When everything is said and done, native code is quicker and native apps are really more potent.

Because native applications must be designed for the exact device on which they are used, they may readily use platform-specific tools and fully utilise all of the capabilities given by the operating system. Because PWAs do not allow you to fully utilise these capabilities, native applications perform better overall. Native apps are more expensive to develop, but the benefits outweigh the costs if you want to completely commit to having your app work optimally on all devices.

Extra Features

PWAs and native applications may both access device functionality. This can include your media player, NFC, GPS, camera, and camera accelerometer. There are certain limitations on your device while using a progressive web app. Depending on the device you’re using, it may change. In comparison to iOS users, people who use an Android device will have better access to the functions. When it comes to the launch of your app, knowing distinctions like these can greatly assist you. A lot of these important elements will depend on who you want to sell to.

So When to Use a PWA or a Native App?

Both native applications and PWA apps are appropriate for and address a wide variety of business requirements. Before you decide which one to go with, you should analyze all of your available resources so that you can make the most of your time and money.

When Should a PWA Be Considered?

So, now that you understand what a PWA is, in what instances would you profit from using one? If you have an e-commerce store and want to better engage your customers or acquire new ones, but lack the resources to create and manage many applications across multiple storefronts, a PWA can help you enhance your strategy and customer retention.

If you want your app to reach a large number of users quickly, a PWA app might be the ideal solution. PWAs are the best option if you can already reach a large number of people through your current distribution channels because it is simple to publish a URL link or even secure a featured position on Google search results.

PWAs don’t require any downloads or installation but yet enable you to communicate with consumers through things like push notifications if you’re a startup company looking for a very simple app to generate engagement for your users.

In the end, a PWA is probably the best option for you if you require a single straightforward app that will function across a wide variety of devices because of their scalability and cheaper cost of entry for your organisation.

When Should a Native App Be Considered?

If you have a complicated product that would benefit from more control over a user’s mobile device, you should consider making an investment in a native app. This may include dating websites and apps, as well as financial applications. Your team will profit from the extra possibilities provided by developing a native app because these apps need to provide a greater level of consistency throughout.

When developing high-security apps that will manage sensitive customer data in sectors like finance, health, or banking, a native app is preferred. The extensive control offered by a native app is necessary to give the right level of security.

A native app might be a preferable choice if you believe that consumers would value speed and user interface the most. Because a native app uses the operating system of the device directly and is not at all hampered by the state of the Internet connection or the operating system, it will help you achieve a significantly faster loading time. This is particularly true if you are creating low latency apps like games or messengers.

So the best pick?

If you have a complicated product that would benefit from more control over a user’s mobile device, you should consider making an investment in a native app. This may include dating websites and apps, as well as financial applications. Your team will profit from the extra possibilities provided by developing a native app because these apps need to provide a greater level of consistency throughout.

When developing high-security apps that will manage sensitive customer data in sectors like finance, health, or banking, a native app is preferred. The extensive control offered by a native app is necessary to give the right level of security. A native app might be a preferable choice if you believe that consumers would value speed and user interface the most. Because a native app uses the operating system of the device directly and is not at all hampered by the state of the Internet connection or the operating system, it will help you achieve a significantly faster loading time. This is particularly true if you are creating low latency apps like games or messengers.

Many large corporations, like Starbucks, Twitter, and Uber, have made PWAs a component of their online strategy. Should you follow in their footsteps? In the end, there are many advantages to using a PWA over a native app, but there are also advantages to using a native app over a PWA. It all boils down to the app you’re developing and the needs you need to meet. That is why the corporations mentioned above have chosen to provide both in order to satisfy their users’ demands holistically.

If you want to try to develop something that is quick and easy to set up, a PWA is the way to go; but, if you want something that will serve your brand while giving out trust signals, a native app may be the way to go. When you investigate concepts like this, you will soon discover that you may select the best one for you.

If you need some additional help choosing which app type is the right for you please contact us at B2B websites to discuss your project and we can help you decide the best path for you to take and make your app a reality!

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