PWA vs. Native Apps: Feature Checklist — TechSketcher
Mobile Web Apps are sometimes hard to distinguish from their native counterparts. Because there are no visible browser buttons or bars. It runs on Safari (for iPhone), users can swipe horizontally to move to new sections of the app (e.g.: making quick payments). Also, browser caching makes it easier to read newspapers offline.
Native Applications use a tap-to-call feature, GPS, camera API, notifications running in the background, accelerometer information, detecting landscape and portrait orientation, complex gestures.
Native and Hybrid Apps are installed in an app store, whereas web apps are mobile-optimized webpages that look like an app. Both hybrid and web apps render HTML web pages, but hybrid apps use app-embedded browsers to do that.
What is a PWA?
Progressive Web Applications update just like an app, takes up less storage space. Functionalities can include Bluetooth, Webcam, microphone, NFC, GPS, camera, accelerometer, media player and hardware sensors. Native Mobile Applications are conditioned to work on a specific part of a mobile application like GPS, Camera, microphone etc.
What are Native Apps?
Native applications also include gestures (standard operating-system gestures or new app-defined gestures), the device’s notification system and can work offline. These Applications are faster than web applications, can access systems/device resources, can work without an internet connection, are more secure than web apps, and are relatively easier to develop due to the availability of developer tools, interface elements, and SDK.
Native vs. PWA: How are PWA and Native Apps different?
Progressive Web Applications combine the functionality of a Native App, with the accessibility of a website. But Native Apps are dedicated to only mobile platforms.
Native Applications are written to be executed on mobile devices, while progressive web applications are written to be executed on web browsers. Native Apps use platform-specific programming languages like Objective-C and Swift for iOS, and Java, Kotlin, Flutter for Android. It also uses Google’s mobile UI framework, Ionic, Polymer, AngularJS, VueJS, React PWA Library, PWA Builder, Magento PWA Studio, Lighthouse, ScandiPWA to enable developers in creating high-quality native interfaces for iOS and Android in record time.
PWA vs. Hybrid: What is the difference between PWA and the Hybrid app?
Hybrid Applications, Progressive Web Applications are distributed through Google Play Store and App Store. Progressive Web Applications (PWA) offer higher discoverability as they are visible in search results and can be added to the device with the “Add to Homescreen” option. It is customizable.
Native vs. Hybrid vs. Open Web Apps: What is the difference between Native, Hybrid, and Open Web Apps?
Native and Hybrid Apps are installed in an app store, while web apps are mobile-optimized webpages that resemble an app. While web apps render HTML web pages, Hybrid Apps use app-embedded browsers to do that.
Benefits of PWA Development for Developers: Why do developers prefer is PWA over Native Apps?
- Time: You’ll require dedicated development teams to develop Native applications for launching on Android and iOS Stores. Each one requires update and maintenance according to the supported version, respective programming language, overall purpose, complexity, and a great deal of time and money. Plus, the app store and play store approval take time. Progressive web apps are faster to build and deliver to the market as it is a website which is accessible as mobile application.
- Platform/Device: Native Apps are coded to be installed on smartphones, tablets, and other smart devices, specific to the operating system and hardware of the device — mobile or computer. Progressive Web Applications (PWA) are websites dressed as mobile apps that work well on a website browser or are installed directly onto the device and accessed like a native app.
- Responsive: Native apps are not necessarily responsive across different devices and screen sizes. It is when you will require building a suitable version for each device you plan to support. A PWA is a website and is powered by your browser. This makes it responsive and adaptable to work across many devices.
- Money: Depending upon the purpose and complexity of the app, Native Apps require a great deal of time and money. In contrast to this, progressive web applications are required to be coded once, and the same app runs across web browsers and mobile platforms. This scalability of PWA is significantly cheaper to develop in comparison to building a native app.
- SEO & Discoverability: Content of Native applications cannot be listed in SERPs, as they cannot be indexed. Although app stores provide an app “listing” page that can be indexed, they offer limited flexibility on the content of the listing page. PWA’s can get indexed by a search engine. These rank in a similar way as normal websites. This makes PWA’s more discoverable.
- Security: PWA’s are more secure as compared to normal websites because they have to run with HTTPS. This protocol ensures that there are no exchanges between server and client. If you offer a secure environment, you can ensure that customers will be willing to share their details. But if it is a native application, you can infuse different security measures. If your app requires login, multi-factor authentication can be implemented to ensure security. And common users tend to trust an app found on a web store more as they pass through the store’s security requirements before they get published.
Brands that Prefer PWA
A PWA has device-specific restrictions. Big brands like Twitter, Uber, Starbucks, Instagram, Smashing Magazine, Financial Times, Forbes, Lancome, Pinterest, Debenhams, Forbes, Wikipedia, BMW prefer PWA’s as part of their web strategy but some others use native applications to cater to their users holistically.
Brands that Prefer Native Apps
Brands preferring native app development include Walmart, Microsoft, Meta, Tesla, Waze, Pokemon Go, WhatsApp, Spotify, Magento POS, and SoundCloud.
Benefits of PWA for Users: Why do users find PWA’s more insightful?
- PWA’s do not require any installation, while Native Apps require normal installation.
- PWA’s are always up-to-date, they do not require any manual updating. Another way round, native applications require updating to adjust bug fixes, security flaws, and to offer a good overall experience to the users.
- PWA’s load much faster. It makes it easier to manage requests, prefetch, cache responses, synchronize data. Once users add it to the home screen, you can load it up instantly and can even use it offline or in poor network conditions.
- PWA’s often show signs of latency, as it runs from a browser. It may consume more battery. Native apps are OS-specific, offer a better experience, code is faster and is more powerful.
- Native apps combine geofencing with push notifications and real-time updates to engage with the users.
Conclusion: How should you choose?
If you know that your app can access a user’s device, customer engagement can become a little more effective. This will inspire you to perform better, reach out to a very specific target audience, and you can pick out a time, location, or anything else to trigger notifications.
When Should You Consider a PWA?
- Consider PWA when you have a limited budget, in case you need to build an e-commerce website and wish to engage your clients or obtain new ones, but don’t have the resources to develop and maintain multiple applications across different storefronts.
- PWA’s can help you improvise your strategy and customer retention.
- PWA’s are preferable in case you want your app to reach a lot of people in a very short time, with existing distribution channels, as it is easy to share a URL link or even earn a feature on Google search results.
- Also, PWA’s are preferable for start-ups to initiate your app engagement. It does not require any downloads or installation, still allows interacting with customers via push notifications.
- Plus, PWA’s can be considered if you need one simple app that works on a large number of devices due to scalability and lower cost of entry for your business.
When Should You Consider a Native App?
Consider investing in a native app for a complex product like banking or finance applications, social media, dating platforms. These require a deeper consistency, high security, advanced control. It should be preferred for speed, better user interface, quality, credibility and low latency. Contact IT Firms to get more information on progressive web app development companies or native mobile app development companies!
Originally published at https://techsketcher.com on March 14, 2022.