Mobile App Development

PWA vs Native App: Which One Should You Choose?

  • Published on : April 20, 2023

  • Read Time : 16 min

  • Views : 2.1k

PWA Vs Native App | Which One Should You Choose?

Considering the rising adoption of mobile apps among customers for a quick and handy reach to services, it has become a must for businesses to have an online presence to get a taste of success. Mobile apps have become a handy tool for businesses to offer a fantastic user experience with an outstanding outcome. To do so, the Native apps and PWA’s (Progressive Web Apps) have become highly competitive and even put people in the dilemma of choosing one of the aptest solutions for their businesses.

To deal with this dilemmatic situation and to understand the pros and cons of choosing a Native app and PWA, we are going to carry out a detailed comparison of various factors. But, before we share our insights on which solution can best serve your business purpose, let’s understand the concept of PWA and Native App first.

What is a Progressive Web Application (PWA)?

Progressive Web Apps are something between a mobile app and a responsive website.

Such apps are mobile sites developed with modern JavaScript frameworks that are designed to work like a Native app. PWAs can be added to the home screen of a mobile device with an icon. These apps offer a full-screen experience to engage users but these are still a website.

Users can access a PWA on their browser through a URL, but gives an experience of the app on their browser, without downloading and installing. Some of the most appealing examples to understand the concept of PWA are Spotify, Starbucks, and Pinterest.

What is a Native Application?

Native mobile apps are platform-dependent, they are designed to work ideally on either Android or iOS platforms. As a result, a native app can properly avail the usefulness that a device offers.

Unlike PWA, the user has to download the application on their mobile device from the respective Play Store or App Store. Native apps are probably the best choice for brands that aim to build a deeper customer relationship.

PWA vs Native Apps: Detailed Comparison

Languages Written

PWA: PWAs are built to run on a web browser and the programming languages used to develop such apps are HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Native App: Native apps tech-stacks are platform-specific for mobile devices, such as Java for Android and Objective-C & Swift for iOS platform.

Development Costs

Budgeting is an essential aspect of the decision-making process, holding significant importance. Properly estimating and allocating your budget ensures the success and seamless execution of any project. It allows you to determine if you need to recruit additional specialists, taking into account their expertise and resources required. Also, budgeting helps evaluate the complexity of the developed functionality, ensuring that sufficient funds are allocated for its implementation. This further enables you to consider the necessary post-release support, ensuring ongoing maintenance and updates. By diligently assessing and allocating your budget throughout each development stage, you guarantee that you have sufficient investments to support your goals effectively.

PWA: A single codebase can work effectively on multiple platforms. The current website can also be customized by using supported technologies rather than developing an entire app from the start. With responsive design, the upgrades or changes get easily reflected on all devices with the same version of the app. Such flexibility in development makes it quite cost-efficient and time-saving as well.

Native App: Native App development supports some specific tech stacks and requires a version to deploy upgrades. As a result, the Android and iOS app’s new version release requires at least another version in the backup. This takes a lot of time and money as per the project’s complexity.

App Development & Deployment

PWA: The PWA app development and deployment process is quite quick as compared to Native apps, it is so because;

  1. PWA is a website, which demands a single team of web developers to build it. Whereas, the deployment of the app is much faster as the service workers, Lighthouse, or other tools can manage it easily.
  2. It doesn’t require App Store validation or submission of the app on the App Store to seek its approval. Whereas, once the PWA is developed and published on the web server – it is available for users.

Native App: To develop Android and iOS Native apps, two separate teams of experts are required for each platform. If the development for both platforms is started at the same time, then also it will take longer development time to integrate the same functionalities on both apps.

On the other hand, to deploy the app, it seeks app deployment approval from the respective platforms which is also quite a time taking process of about 2 to 4 days.

Overall, Native app development requires comparatively higher development time and deployment time as well against PWAs.

App Installation

App Installation

PWA: The user doesn’t need to download and install the app on their device. They can simply search the PWA site via Google and access it directly. If needed, the user can also allow the option of “Add to Home Screen” to fasten the site access in the future.

Native App: For Native apps, the user has to search for the presence of that specific app on the App/Play Store among the millions of apps, then download the app and install it. Then only the user can access the apps’ services for the very first time, however later on it would be easier to access those services.

Hence, installing a Native app takes comparatively more time, and struggle to find the right solution as compared to PWAs. So, PWAs can help to acquire more new users conveniently.

User Engagement

User Engagement

PWA: User Engagement is the essence that defines the business’s success – the more the user spends time on your platform, the more they will make purchases. For that, Push Notification is one of the crucial features to avail.

Only Android devices support push notification features with PWAs, whereas there is no such functionality support with iOS devices.

Native App: In native apps, the Push Notification works very accurately to promote user engagement. This feature does not rely on the Operating System or device model. Once the user installed the app on their device, they will start getting Push Notifications on their devices.

In this feature, the PWAs lack behind Native Apps.

Offline Accessibility

offline-accessibility

PWA: In Progressive Web Apps, the users can avail of the feature of accessing the platform in offline mode as well. Moreover, it works well in poor or low connectivity areas, as compared to native apps. The platform pre-caches or uploads the content, which the user can access later in the offline mode, but only the previously accessed pages, not the other pages.

Native App: In native apps, the app work quite effectively as it does in PWA in offline mode. In these apps, the content and functionality are shown, which is managed to be cached when the connection was on. All these details get available only because of local storage on users’ devices and smooth data synchronization with the cloud.

In simple terms, the capacity of PWA and native mobile apps is nearly the same. As they work differently, but offer almost a similar offline mode experience.

Device Feature Accessibility

PWA: For an app getting access to a multitude of mobile device features is an excellent marketing medium. As the PWAs run on the mobile browser, these apps lack such support and have to go with restricted hardware functionality access.

In Android devices, PWA only supports the features maintained by HTML5. In iOS, PWAs couldn’t work with primary features like Siri, Face & Touch ID, in-app payment, and more.

Native: Native apps support brilliant customer and business interaction by accessing the varied features of the device, such as camera, GPS, microphone, Bluetooth, etc. This helps businesses to reach out to their target audience, send relevant messages, and do other specific activities in a very precise manner.

Hence, with native Android and iOS apps, the device feature accessibility is very convenient, which also supports quick and easy marketing.

Security

PWA: The PWA app security relies on the browser on which the user is accessing the services. The browser sandbox and its capabilities are highly restricted, and can only access the browser’s resources, what the browser allows. This isolates the app from the mobile device hardware and the user’s sensitive data. So, the user data and interaction with the app are safe.

Native: Native apps can avail of multi-factor authentication and provide safer communication with certificate security. Additionally, enhances security with the respective platform’s Google Play and App Store authentication. As a result, native apps are highly reliable and secure than accessing the app from a URL.

When Do You Need To Create A PWA or A Native App?

Both PWA and Native Apps have some strengths and weaknesses. While selecting the one, you should look for the aptest option that supports your business growth and perfectly depicts your app vision.

Functionality Progressive We App (PWA) Native App
Budget Definite or a limited budget High budget to build Android or iOS-specific apps
Functionality Native-Like User Experience But With Simple Feature Integration Only Low to Complex functionality (as per client’s requirement) with access to device features
Avg.
Development
Timeframe
2-3 months 4-5 months or more (as per projects complexity)
Monetization Quite difficult to monetize the app Easy to monetize the app due to high
data security
Business
Objectives
a) Need to introduce business in the
market in minimum time and budget
b) Avail wider customer reach and
raise brand awareness
a) Aiming for an advanced user
experience with high quality,
complex functionality, and robust
security
b) Build easy business credibility
and trust
Applicable
Industries
Food & Catering, Hospitality, Health &
Beauty, Entertainment, and more
Healthcare, Social Media, FinTech &
Banking, On-Demand Order &
Delive and more

Consider PWA if

  • It is handy to go with PWAs if you are introducing your business in the market and aiming to deploy a simple app for your users. The PWA doesn’t require app downloads and ensures customer engagement via the Push Notification feature.
  • PWAs are comparatively budget-friendly and take less development time, with no such deployment time as with native apps.
  • PWAs are more like any website, so you can make them SEO-friendly to improve brand awareness and reach a wider audience at minimal expense.

Consider Native App if

  • You can build your brand credibility by publishing the app on the respective app stores. As users highly rely and trust on such app stores for their quality services and addon securities norms. Hence, your apps are fulfilling all such criteria which build a trustable and reliable relationship with the user.
  • You can avail of advanced features of the user device by integrating various services like geofencing and sensor/detection, camera, Bluetooth, GPS, and more. Additionally, can also use device data to ensure the smooth working or quick processes of the app.

What factors should be considered in the marketing strategy for the app?

When developing a marketing strategy for your app, it is crucial to consider several factors to ensure its success. These factors include:

1. Monetization: Determine how you plan to generate revenue from your application. Will you offer it as a paid app, provide in-app purchases, or include advertisements? Understanding your monetization strategy will guide your marketing approach.

2. Promotion channels: Identify the channels you will utilize to promote your app. Consider a combination of digital marketing techniques such as social media platforms, search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, and paid advertising campaigns. Offline channels like print media or event sponsorship could also be relevant.

3. User accessibility: Determine the most convenient and user-friendly ways for your target audience to access your app. Will it be available on app stores, your website, or other platforms? Ensuring ease of access is crucial for attracting and retaining users.

4. Industry analysis: Conduct a thorough analysis of your industry and its specific market dynamics. Understand the current trends, key competitors, and market demands. This will help you position your app effectively and identify any unique selling points that can be highlighted during marketing activities.

5. Competitive analysis: Study your competitors and evaluate their marketing strategies to get results. Identify their strengths, weaknesses, and USP which can differentiate your app. Understanding the competitive landscape and SWOT analysis will allow you to improve your marketing approach and stand out from the crowd.

6. Audience analysis: Gain a deep understanding of your potential audience. Analyze demographics, behavior patterns, preferences, and pain points. This information will help tailor your marketing communication and campaigns to penetrate into your target audience effectively.

7. Execution plan: Create a detailed plan outlining the specific marketing activities, timelines, and budgets. This plan should include the rollout of different marketing channels and campaigns, monitoring mechanisms, and KPI’s to track the performance of your marketing efforts.

By considering these factors in your marketing strategy, you can maximize the app’s visibility, attract a relevant user base, and ultimately drive success in the market.

PWA vs Native App: Which Is Better?

Choosing between a Progressive Web App (PWA) and a Native App depends on your business goals and budget. PWAs offer cost-efficiency, quick development, and broader reach, making them ideal for simpler apps. Native Apps, with higher budgets, provide advanced features, credibility, and trust through app stores, suitable for complex functionalities and building brand reputation.

In the Nutshell

PWAs and Native apps are the two different options to take your business online but both have some advantages and drawbacks based on individual business requirements. Both models are going to stay in the market, and the selection can be made according to project demands and goals.

Here, at Codiant, we help our clients in introducing their digital solution which could be a PWA or a Native app. For further detailed discussion and assistance in choosing the right solution or app development services, you can reach out to our business experts. We assure to assist you with the best solution for your business.

Hire Our Expert Developers to Build A Progressive Web App or Native App

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Frequently Asked Questions

Define your business objectives and the specific, measurable results you plan to achieve. Determine if you aim to increase brand awareness, retain customers, reach new audiences, or accomplish other goals. Having clear expectations and understanding the differences between progressive web apps and native apps will help you make an informed decision.

Analyze your industry, competition, and potential audience to determine your marketing strategy. Consider how you plan to monetize your application and which channels will be most effective for promotion. Understanding the most convenient way for your users to reach the app is also important for successful marketing.

Consider your development timeframes carefully. If you have strict deadlines and cannot afford to wait for a long period, a native app may not be the best choice. Native apps typically require more development and deployment time than progressive web apps.

Properly estimating and allocating your budget is crucial. Consider factors such as the complexity of the developed functionality, the need for additional specialists, and potential post-release support. Ensure that you have enough investments for each development stage.

When considering the set of features for your application, it is important to think carefully about the functionality you require. Determine whether your app needs all-inclusive functionality or if simple features will be enough to provide an excellent user experience.

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