Native vs Progressive Web App
Progressive web apps (PWA) offer an alternative approach to native / installed applications, improving an app’s cross-platform performance across web and mobile. Compared to native apps, they use much less storage space on a user’s device. PWA users also have the option to save the app to their home screen without the hassle of a full download.
Pros / Cons of (PWAs) Progressive Web Apps
Pros. Let’s highlight the key strengths:
Adaptive. The apps are cross-platform and offer the same UI/UX for all devices and screen sizes.
Optimized performance. The app works fast on any device and internet connection.
Optional installation. The user can use the PWA without installation. So many users may even don’t know that they are using an app.
No obligatory updates. The user always engages with the latest version.
Linkable. The user can share the app via URL only.
Secure. As HTTPS protocol is obligatory, the app prevents information revealing or altering.
Cons…there are some weak spots:
iOS limited functionality. iOS set off the PWA support in 2018 so many features are still locked. If your app looks for re-engagement with Apple users, you should turn to native app development.
Fast battery drain. The PWA requires more CPU and if the app is built of frameworks – it exhausts the battery faster.
Limited access to hardware components and data.
Pros / Cons of Native Apps
Android and iOS applications vary in advantages and disadvantages. To illustrate this point, let enumerate the shared issues for both platforms.
Pros of native apps over PWAs:
Polished performance and UI. The native app integrates seamlessly with the OS. Developers follow the preliminary guidelines for Android and iOS.
Full access to device and hardware capabilities. Native apps got access to all APIs and user’s data. Another plus is their compatibility with other products offered by Google or Apple.
Suitable for complex applications.
Virtual store support. The presence adds to the native application visibility. Besides, the user ratings prove the solution quality. Overall, it serves as an additional traffic source.
Cons of native apps:
Expensive development. The need to build two versions of the native app.
Constant updates and maintenance. The app build requires managing on two different platforms. Plus, the feature update and support become problematic.
Sluggish development process. The native app code can’t run on different platforms.
Longer launch. Native apps should be approved by Google Play or App Store which may take some time.
On-demand, Web-hosted software. Common for business applications.
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