Choosing Native Apps or PWAs

We often get asked the question about which is better Native App or PWA (Progressive Web Apps)? To answer, we always start with the difference – native apps are written to run on mobile devices while PWAs are written to run inside of web browsers. On average, most businesses do prefer native mobile apps to reach their audiences due to their rich functionality. However, both are viable answers for a mobile offering. So, here are some thoughts to consider when deciding your next mobile application.

Progressive Web App (PWA) 

PWAs offer an app-like experience but with a whole host of web features. APIs and service workers that deal with requests are the core of PWAs. However, they do have limited access to hardware and only application data in the cache. Additionally, they can only send push notifications on Android, so many mobile device users are out of reach for interactions. However, they do work correctly with a low internet connection and some even offline. PWAs work as a responsive website or a mobile app, depending on the user’s device. Because they don’t require a download, often, many users have no idea that they are even using a PWA. 

Some of their advantages are they can offer enhanced user engagement and are secure and reliable despite your connection speed. They require lower development costs to create, and maintenance expenses are less because PWAs don’t download any software on the user’s device. Progressive apps are best for businesses looking for a cross-platform app to reach a large audience or have a limited budget for app development and updates.

Native Apps

Native apps are acquired from app stores and are known for rich functionality developed for specific platforms, such as Android and iOS. These apps use all the possibilities of device-specific hardware and software to ensure a better user experience and overall app performance. While it’s a widespread belief,  PWAs just can’t replace native apps.

Additionally, native apps have full access to device feature sets as they are built to run as a part of platform software, and native apps can also customize the device settings. One critical point for businesses that consider store presence a must, native apps have the notification function available regardless of the platform or device model. And, only the user can disable receiving push notifications from an app. 

At FocustApps, we help our clients define the best platform for building their mobile applications based on their specific needs and requirements. If you would like to learn more, you can view our Mobile App web page HERE or read our Native vs. PWA document located on our website HERE.