Progressive web apps (PWA) use progressive enhancement principles to allow access to the basic content of a web page, independent of the browser used. To understand this, take the example of the Twitter Lite app, which is a PWA version of Twitter. Twitter Lite has several features that enable it to be accessed even when connectivity is slow, unreliable, or limited. PWAs work on desktop devices as well as on tablets, mobiles, and other handheld devices. They are faster after the initial download because they do not continually download webpage elements.
There are some reasons, in particular circumstances, to use native apps rather than PWAs for development. Native apps are built to utilize the strengths of the platform they run on —Android or iOS, for example — and provide a rich experience that can elicit brand engagement in the user.
Choosing between PWA and Native
According to a Statista report, mobile internet access accounts for approximately half of global web traffic. Mobile devices, not including tablets, generated 50.81 percent of global website traffic in the third quarter of 2020. Given the relative ease of access PWAs provide mobile users, they are the ideal choice for mobile device-driven e-Commerce ventures and webpages. A clearer understanding of the functionalities of the two, PWA and native applications can help businesses decide cost-effectiveness of both alongside the customer requirements they need to address.
With online and mobile-based transactions surging during the pandemic, and trends pointing to increased mobile phone usage, businesses may want to consider the pros and cons of both native apps and PWA for web site deployment.
- Branding and engagement for your business
Are you looking for increased conversions and brand engagement from your customers? Native apps provide a richer user experience and increased ease of navigation. This may help users associate more positively with the business. However, native apps may need to be upgraded to the latest versions to help users maximize this benefit.
- Security concerns
If providing users a secure browsing experience is a concern, native apps are protected by the operating system on which they run. They do not rely on third-party protection. This allows users a more secure browsing session. However, PWAs are quickly becoming a faster and more reliable means of accessing web content, even with limited connectivity. For transactions where speed and connectivity matter, PWAs may be the right choice.
- Speed of deployment
A PWA can be installed rapidly and without a complicated download or installation cycle. However, unlike native apps, PWAs may have restricted access to the device hardware. This could cause glitches associated with Bluetooth sensors, scanners, and cameras.
- Choosing to go mobile
PWAs can help users shift seamlessly from websites to mobile apps, particularly in cases with browsing and transactions, such as payment gateways involved. Users may not realize whether they are using a PWA or a native device (Android or iOS) app.
Leveraging professional help and insights
As a business owner, you may need to assess multiple business parameters before you choose PWA vs native app development for your business. An effective web application deployment should help your business develop a strong and memorable online presence, allow potential customers to find your business, and help your business cut through the competitive clutter. Partnering with professional and skilled website development outsourcing can provide your business with the advantages of insightful mobile web app deployment without the costs and hassles often associated with it.
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