Progressive Web Apps vs Native Apps

Written by Akash Narayanan

2 min read ·

A Progressive Web App (PWA) is a meta app. It can run on your mobile phone like a native app and can also run in your browser like a traditional website. A single code base which runs on all relevant platforms with native feel.

A PWA is basically written to run inside a web browser. It is fast, agile and robust. It is built in such a way that a user wouldn’t be able to distinguish between a native app and a progressive web app.

The technology costs of a PWA is much lower than the cost to build an app that would run on mobile and web. These savings are substantial in the development phase. Post development the maintenance cost is also reduced substantially as there is now a single code base for all platforms, unlike traditionally maintaining separate code base for iOS, Android and Web.

PWA support push notifications, which makes it a powerful way to engage your users.

With Progressive Web apps (PWA), developers can deliver amazing app-like experiences to users using modern web technologies.

A native app as the name suggests is one that has been designed specifically for an operating system whose code has been built from scratch and is made to perform efficiently only on that OS. A non-native app used to be noticeably slower on non-native frameworks a few years back, but now with advancements in mobile phones the cost advantage of Progressive Web Apps (PWA) makes native apps less preferable.

In terms of User experience and speed PWAs can now compare to what you can get with native apps.

Features PWA Native Apps
Cost of Development Cheap Expensive. More than 3x the effort. (As skills are varied)
Cost of Maintenance Cheap Expensive. 3x the effort.
Performance Good for almost all use cases. May be faster for specific use cases.
Usability Seamless user interface A bit of configuration needed
Universal compatibility Based on HTML5 Access could be a problem and has to be dealt, case by case for android and iOS
Design Hassle free responsive design Made for single platform
Device integration Does not give access Provides full access to device hardware
Other installations Not required Has to be downloaded from Google Play or App store
Uniformity Uniformity is maintained across platforms Not much uniformity
Aspect ratio Uniform across platforms Not uniform
Instant loading Yes No
Security HTTPS secured HTTPS secured
Build time Reduced development lead time Longer time to develop
Update Simple Complex
User engagement Improved rate of engagement Not noteworthy
Enjoyed this post? Receive the next one in your inbox!
akash-2011-002 large
Akash Narayanan

An avid trekker and swimmer, akash is passionate about startups and technology.

Copyright © 2018 Tech47.