Native apps vs Hybrid apps
Native apps vs Hybrid apps

Native apps vs progressive web apps

If you own a smartphone, chances are, you’ll spend most of your time on it using apps regardless of the OS it runs. With that being said, the number of apps you visit on a daily basis could be very minimal, 3-5 apps, even (in most of the cases).

This, however, may not be the same when it comes to the mobile web. Well, at least not according to Google. It seems that mobile web reach is “2.5 times that of the apps.” That’s more than double! So by now, some of you must be wondering where we are heading with this.

Enter, Progressive Web Apps (PWAs).

In today’s article, we are going to talk about PWAs and how they stack up against the native apps. Let’s get started, shall we?

So what exactly is a PWA, you ask?

PWAs are like any of your standard native apps or hybrid apps except, they run on browser environments. In other words, a PWA is simply a website which offers a native app like experience to its users (of course, without the negative aspects of the latter).

Reliable, fast, and easily accessible  

In case you were wondering, PWAs are just as reliable as its native counterparts, if not better. Moreover, they are faster than the native apps in terms of loading times, thanks to the service workers. They also support push notifications thereby re-engaging users to interact with your app. And, users can also add app icons on home screen akin to the traditional apps. So, that’s there!

Fewer barriers, less friction

Let’s say you want to use an app — just one time after which you won’t need it. Now, imagine the number of steps you have to go through to install it from the Play Store. On top of that, you have to wait for it download. And only to make things worse, you have to deal with storage issues (if any) — which, by the way, is one of the most common issues as far as mobile apps go. That’s a lot of barriers for an app you’re barely going to use.

Thankfully, PWAs avoid all these steps since they are hosted on a web server and are available for use instantly. In case you want to use the app more than once, you’ll be prompted to add it to your home screen. There, win-win!

Develop and debug across 3 platforms: Nope!

When it comes to traditional apps, you have to develop it for Android, iOS, and Web. With PWAs, you only do it once which saves time, money, and labor. That being said, since Android and iOS have two different set of rules to go about things, you might have to spend a little time optimizing your app. So, keep that in mind.

No royalties to be paid

As discussed in our previous article, both Google and Apple charge you with a certain amount of royalty to publish your app in their respective app stores. That’s not the case with the PWAs. Also, your PWA doesn’t have to go through the process of rigorous checking before it gets published.

In conclusion, PWAs are definitely something you should be excited about, develop even. However, it will take some time for them to go mainstream since they lack in some departments, better integration with the OS, for instance. But, it will get there, very soon.

So, are you going the native way or the PWA way for your next app? Confused? Can’t decide? Well, why don’t you contact us and we will take it up from there?

About the author

Prajith Sabbani

Travel and adventure junkie. Which is why he's now one of those cliche guys with a camera around his neck at all times. When not writing code, blog posts, or taking pictures, you'll find him uber lazy and glued to Netflix.

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