With each passing day, the number of mobile phone users is increasing at a rapid pace. Statista reports that by the end of the year 2020, there will be more than 2.87 billion users, mobile phone users, worldwide. In order to fulfill the demands of customers. Developers need to develop the app with the latest extensible features and are convenient and seamless to use.

Here the demand for mobile apps and progressive web apps comes in. But deciding which app you should choose is a tricky task. You must have knowledge of the drawbacks and advantages of each type of app. This blog will help you understand the details about every type of app so that you could choose the correct app for your business niche.

What Are Progressive Web Apps(PWA)?

Basically the PWA lies between the native mobile apps and web apps. PWAs are developed with three core web development languages, i.e. JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS. However, the PWA also acts like a native app, but the major difference between them is that the PWAs operate on a web browser, which means there is no need to download PWA from app stores. Comparatively, PWA takes less storage on the user’s devices as they run through web browsers.

PWA uses a script called service workers for caching, managing requests, and the shell data in the cache. Moreover, for flexibility, users can also save the app on the home screen directly from the web browser without downloading it. There is no need to hire separate iOS or android teams to build Progressive Web Apps. Due to this, mane developers follow this approach for app development.

 progressive web app attributesAdvantages of Progressive Web Apps

When compared with native apps, PWAs do not need any storage space in your devices. You can directly access them from your mobile web browser. Here are some advantages of why PWAs are growing at a rapid pace.

  • Enhanced Performance

Google states that “53% of users close a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load”. Moreover, after loading successfully, users also want the website to be fast and reliable. To delivers enhanced and improved services to its users, PWA uses a JavaScript called service workers that operate separately from the main browser thread, resulting in improved and enhanced performance of web apps.

  • Low Data Required

Since PWA is smaller in size, takes advantage of caching, they require low data bandwidth as compared to traditional web apps. Taking an example of Tinder, its PWA is of about only 3.0 MB, whereas it’s Android App is almost 30 MB.

  • Quick Installation

PWAs improves user experience by eliminating the long and complex process of app installation. Instead of going to the app store or play store and downloading the app to use it, users can directly access these apps from the device’s web browser. PWAs can be easily accessed on the browser through a URL.

  • High Security

To exclude content tampering and snooping, PWAs operate on HTTPS protocols. This protocol provides data safety by minimizing the risk of security issues. Moreover, these applications use web Bluetooth technology for certain security capabilities.

  • Low Development Costs

When compared to native apps, the cost of developing a PWA is quite less. PWAs provide the best ways to business niche to generate positive ROI. Small start-ups or businesses that are looking to generate quick revenues from their business can use PWAs.

  • Great for SEO

Apart from all the above-mentioned advantages, there is a major advantage of using PWA, i.e. it is good for SEO of your business. As PWAs take lesser time to load, they effectively increase the searchability and accessibility of your app.

  • No Need of App Stores

Web apps do not need any app store or play store for distribution. PWAs operates on search engines like Google, Bing, and many more, which makes the discovery of these PWAs easy. Users can easily take advantage of your service without downloading the app.

  • Offline

PWAs uses JavaScript called as services works, which makes the app to operate offline. The data of the web app is cached which makes the website run even without the need for mobile data.

Disadvantages of Progressive Web Apps

Although PWAs inherit various benefits of using them, there are some drawbacks that make you think twice before going with progressive web apps.

  • Finite Browser Support

As Progressive Web Apps are specified for Android, they do not run on other browsers like IE, Edge, and Safari. Around 51% of the market is ruled by Safari, which means a large number of the user base will miss out on the services of progressive web apps. But the plus point is that the PWAs can easily run on new web browsers like Opera, Chrome, and Firefox.

  • iOS Compatibility

With the release of iOS 11.3 in the market, it is impossible to operate PWAs on iPhones, iPads, and other Apple devices. Moreover, the policies of Apple do not allow PWAs to access features of the iPhone and iPads like camera, Bluetooth, Touch ID, Face ID, and many more.

  • Limited h/w and s/w Support

Progressive Web Apps are new in the market, due to this they are not supported by every device’s hardware and software. In the case of iOS devices, progressive web apps do not have a feature of push notifications and home screen shortcuts.

  • Problems with Obsolete Devices

PWAs have just arrived in the market, so they are not supported by legacy or older devices that have outdated versions of web browsers. Due to this, some users are not able to use PWA services which sometimes results in loss of user engagement.

  • Traffic Loss

Although Progressive Web Apps do not need any installation from the app store, which probably saves data and time of the user. But there is a drawback of this, i.e. it eliminates user engagement and also decreases the traffic that native apps get from app store or marketplace.

What are Native Apps?

Native applications are smartphone applications that are developed using specific languages like Java for android, or Swift for iOS. Native apps are highly reliable and they also need to access to phone’s various features like camera, location, gallery, contacts, etc. The development cost of native apps is also high and they also need an internet connection to operate. However, there are some native apps that do not need any internet connection.

A native app is developed for a specific platform or device. These apps can use the latest technologies like GPS, to provide optimized service to its users. Native Apps are integrated with the device’s OS which enables them to perform faster and smoother than other types of apps. In order to use native apps, you need to download it from the play store or app store of your mobile device.

Advantages of Native Apps

Similarly, like PWAs, Native Apps also offers various advantages. When compared to PWAs, native apps are more optimum, more secure and interactive.

  • Optimum Performance

Since native apps are designed for a specific platform, as a result, these apps provide a high level of operational efficiency to users. As these apps are developed using programming languages and core APIs, they are highly flexible and responsive.

  • More Interactive and Intuitive

Since these apps are integrated with the device’s OS, they inherit the device’s OS interfaces and runs with more flexibility and smoothness. The top advantage of native apps is that they provide a seamless user experience. Native apps have specific UI standards for each platform.

  • Less Bug Issues

Since native apps do not have two different codebases, they are not vulnerable to bugs. As bugs may crash the application which forces the user to uninstall that application, this is one of the most important advantages of developing native apps.

  • Maintains Aspect Ratio

The aspect ratio is the ratio of width to height of different screens. Some apps crash or starts functioning improperly when they are used in a new device with different share or screen sizes. But in the case of native apps, they automatically adjust according to the device’s screen size and resolution and have better control size, orientation, and resolution of the app.

  •  Better Integration with Device’s Hardware

There are various functions of the mobile device’s hardware that you want to integrate with your app, such as GPS, camera, accelerometer, etc. accessing all these features with a web browser is difficult, but with native apps, you can easily and directly access all these features of your device.

  • Easy to Update

In the case of web apps, you are limited to a web browser. You cannot easily integrate new and innovative features in web apps. But with native apps, it all goes with the APIs, which means you can easily add new updates and features in your app to make it more flexible and reliable.

  • Simplified App Distribution

As an app development company, the main thing on which you need to focus on is higher user engagement. With native apps, it is easy to have a high customer base as users can easily download these apps from the app store. Native apps have the ability to get featured in ranking charts of the device’s app store or marketplace.

  • High Scalability

As native apps are compatible with a single platform, it is easier to configure them with mobile devices. So if there are two different native projects, then you don’t have to worry about the compatibility of app dependencies on multiple platforms. There are fewer restrictions in the case of native app development, which means the scalability of the app high and easy.

Disadvantages of Native Apps

Similarly, like PWA, native apps also have some disadvantages which sometimes makes it difficult to choose them for development.

  • High Development Cost

Since native app development requires a lot of coding and integration of APIs, due to this, the development cost of native apps is high. Moreover, the native app development process is complex and it requires more staff for development, which probably results in high funding.

  • More Development Time

Native apps are targeted for specified platforms and OS, they require more time for development for every specific platform. Developers have to write a specified code for Android, iOS, Windows, and Blackberry. This overall results in increased development time.

  • Not Flexible

Native apps are less flexible when it comes to the development phase. Developers have to write different codes for separate platforms. Moreover, if you are developing native apps for multiple platforms, then you have to hire various teams for specific platforms.

  • Needs to be Updated Frequently

Natives apps are vulnerable to bugs due to which they need regular updates. Developers have to submit the updates in the app store and then make sure that the users also get the update in time. Sometimes users do not have enough space to update the app which forces them to abandon the app.

  • Higher Maintenance Cost

These apps need to be updated regularly in order to work with the latest hardware and software specifications. As not everyone updates the app with the latest version, some people use the older version. Due to this, you have to maintain multiple versions of the app, which costs you high.

Native Apps v/s Progressive Web Apps

Feature PWA Native Apps
Security Medium High
Install & Download +
Push Notifications + +
Mobile-Friendly Design + +
Offline Mode + +
Development Cost Medium High
Store Availability +
Cross-Platform +
Added to Home Screen + +
SEO-Friendly + _

Which to Choose?

As discussed, each type of app has its own drawbacks and benefits. When it comes to customer satisfaction and convenience, Progressive Web Apps are the best option. They do not require any long complex process for installation. Users can directly access them from device’s web browser. One major advantage of developing PWA for your business is that, as PWAs use cache to load faster, they can also operate without an internet connection. So if you want to generate positive ROI for your business by spending less amount of funds, then PWA is the best option for your business niche.

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