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Progressive Web Apps vs Native Mobile Apps: Who is the winner?

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Bhavdip Dhameliya
June 08, 2018

What is Progressive Web Apps?

A PWA(progressive web apps) is a web application that aims to deliver a native-like user experience on a mobile device, such as offline support and push notifications. Pwa apps are written to run inside a web browser. PWA’s gives the user a reliable, fast and engaging experience, much like that of a native application while still functioning in a desktop browser. Pwa apps offer an exact “an app like experience” within the web browser in a way that you won’t even know you are using a website.

What are Native Mobile Apps?

An app developed to be performed on a specific platform or device is termed as Native App. The name itself defines the purpose.

Benefits of Progressive Web Apps:

  • PWA’s provide hassle-free experience, if you want to use PWA you just have to access it by its URL, there are no extra steps.
  • PWA’s provide universal compatibility(write once and run everywhere), PWA is powered with latest html5.
  • There are around 3.77 billions of people who have access to internet globally and even if half of them have access to html5 compatible browser than we automatically have 1.8 billions of users who are just one click away from your PWA app.
  • PWA’s provide responsive and streamlined experience. Even though PWA can run on desktop/laptop, they are designed with a focus on mobile. What that means for end users is that you will get similar experience no matter the device and screen size, it will display the same content and behaves accordingly on all platform or devices.
  • You have full control over your app, unlike native apps which have to follow app store/play store rules and guideline in order to get their app featured in the store. For PWA to go live you don’t have to submit your app for review, you change/tweak the code and you push it live there’s no administration/governance of outer body(There’s no interfering of outside party).
  • PWA’s app is easy to develop and deploy which led to savings of time and money involved compared to the native app.

Benefits of Native Mobile Apps:

  • Native Mobile Apps are faster and quicker in speed and performance because they are developed specifically for that device and its code is optimized for that device.
  • Native app interacts directly with device OS while PWA runs on the web browser which creates an extra layer between OS and app that in turn leads to slower processing for PWA.
  • The native app has a support for GEO-fencing which allow app developer to create a geographic boundary and trigger a response when the device enters the boundary which opens the gates for infinite possibilities for marketing.
  • Native app has a support for NFC(Near Field Communication) which allows you to make payment through your app which is very convenient if you have a retail shop and you accept the digital payment mode.
  • Native app can communicate with other native app and can also share data between them which increase(enhances) the productivity of users.
  • Native app can access mobile hardware such as device sensors and a fingerprint scanner which creates a large array of customizability such as user can select the led notification color and its blinking duration, the app can adjust device brightness based on the presence of light using the ambient light sensor.
  • All native apps go through specific guidelines and a review process which ensures only quality apps gets to the end user and the app store/play store remove a malicious app that may harm the user or its device greatly enhances security.

Who is the winner?

I say no-one. Both PWA and Native apps have their own advantages and limits and it is up to your needs. PWA is a good option for small business or if you lack time or resources to develop a native app. Native apps are a good option if you want to offer maximum features and tailored experience to the user as it utilizes device at full extinct.