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        Home > Blog > What to Choose – Native Apps or Progressive Web Apps?

        What to Choose – Native Apps or Progressive Web Apps?

        by | August 29, 2019 | 9:12 am
        Native Apps or Progressive Web Apps

        Progressive Web Apps (PWA) or Native Apps? A debate that has continued since Progressive Web Apps emerged on the horizon in 2015.

        Generally, Native Apps provide a richer experience than traditional hybrid apps and account for 90% of mobile time. However, Progressive Web Apps with their focus on performance and responsiveness seem to spur a renaissance.

        So, if you are deciding between developing a Native App or developing a Progressive Web App for your business, the following comparative analysis can help you make the right choice.

        User Experience

        Native Apps

        A Native App stands out for its rich user experience because it is created with native UI components. Well-designed Native Apps deliver a fast, responsive, and immersive experience that is visually appealing and makes optimum use of smartphone features.

        Progressive Web Apps

        PWAs are connectivity independent but feel like Native Apps. Since a PWA allows to preload key assets into the device, it launches faster and runs seamlessly without consuming precious data. PWAs combine everything good about Native Apps and are responsive to fit any form factor – desktop, mobile, or tablet. Moreover, with 53.9 percent of all retail e-commerce expected to be generated via m-commerce by 2021, one can no longer deny that Progressive Web Apps can reach a larger audience.

        Market Launch Cost

        Native Apps

        Native Apps have a high customer acquisition cost because they need to be developed separately for each platform. Also, developing a custom Native App requires a significant amount of technical expertise, time, and money.

        Progressive Web Apps

        PWAs significantly reduce the customer acquisition cost because they require only one-time development and can be run across platforms, thus eliminates the need to manage separate web, iOS, and Android code base. Easier to develop and introduce to market, it helps reduce costs.


        Native Apps

        Native apps can only be accessed from the Native App stores like Google Play Store or Apple App Store. These app stores serve as an important marketing channel and facilitate monetization for app developers. However, the rising app store fees, frequent regulatory scrutiny, competitive pressure, and other restrictions make deployment and continued success a challenge.

        Progressive Web Apps

        PWAs can be shared via a URL and do not require complex installations. These are progressive and work for every user, regardless of browser choice. Users can access PWAs from popular browsers like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, UC Browser, and Mint Browser. Now with Chrome 72, PWAs using a TWA (Trusted Web Activities) API can be published and distributed in the Google Play Store.

        Mobile Device Features

        Native Apps

        Since Native Apps are stored on the device, they run faster and more efficiently. Moreover, they can easily leverage device’s hardware features and delight users with spectacularly rich UI and UX that users have come to expect from their smartphones.

        Progressive Web Apps

        PWAs combine the features of Native Apps and the accessibility of a website. PWAs can incorporate rich native features such as camera, GPS, and web push notifications with real-time alerts to engage users. But, PWAs have restricted access to a device’s hardware functionality. Features like Bluetooth, 3D, and Geo-fencing cannot be used, probably because PWAs haven’t reached their full potential yet.

        Ranking and Ratings

        Native Apps

        Native Apps are usually ranked based on reviews and ratings. While it doesn’t help your search engine ranking directly, it does help increase traffic and boost user loyalty.

        Progressive Web Apps

        Google values PWAs higher for their ability to deliver an engaging web experience. Moreover, research has shown that over time, there is a correlation between site speed and conversion rates. PWAs offer faster page load times to drive increased visibility and higher conversions.

        Storage and Updates

        Native Apps

        Native Apps can take up a lot of space on the user’s device because installation requires downloading huge packets of data. Also, Native Apps need to prompt the user to install regular updates. Moreover, retaining users isn’t easy. Therefore, to engage current users and attract new customers, a Native App requires constant updates, demanding a significant investment in resources, time, and money.

        Progressive Web Apps

        PWAs are very cost-effective, and have lower maintenance than Native Apps. Because these are mere links to the website, PWAs don’t consume much space on the device. PWA content is always up-to-date and gets updated to the latest version in a web page fashion. Since you do not have to submit PWAs on the App Store, updates can be instantly implemented.

        Trending Technology

        Native Apps

        Native Apps remain a more secure and reliable way to engage the target audience. Moreover, they deliver a more engaging and enjoyable experience than PWAs.

        Progressive Web Apps

        Considered as the new frontier in responsive web design, PWAs offer a fast, reliable way to deliver a better experience even on low-end devices and patchy networks. Google Maps, Google Photos and all major global brands including Starbucks, Forbes, Twitter, Tinder, Facebook, The Washington Post, and many more are embracing PWAs to provide fast, frictionless mobile experiences for customers.

        As smartphones will account for 81% of total mobile traffic by 2020, both PWAs and mobile Native Apps offer significant advantages to your business. This is why you don’t necessarily have to choose between the two, rather, they can work in tandem. While you may have a Native App to engage loyal users, you can use a PWA to reach a newer and larger audience and drive conversions.

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