Differences between PWA and native apps

Whether it’s ordering food or groceries, managing our finances, or tracking our health, mobile apps have become integral to our daily lives. There are two approaches to app development, each of which has unique strengths and considerations: Progressive Web Apps (PWA) and native apps.

Choosing between the two depends on various factors such as your target audience, functionality requirements and budget constraints.

What are PWAs?

Progressive Web Apps are web applications, meaning that they are used on a web browser but deliver an app-like experience to users. They are designed to function on any platform with a compatible browser, and can be used on desktop or mobile.

What are native apps?

Native apps are developed for a particular platform, such as iOS or Android, and are downloaded and installed directly onto a user’s device from app stores.

The major differences

  • Installation – PWAs are accessed through URLs and users can add them to their home screens if they choose to. Native apps, on the other hand, need to be downloaded and installed from app stores.
  • User experience – Native apps offer a seamless and immersive user experience as they can leverage the device’s camera, sensors, fingerprint scanner for security, push notifications and other hardware functionalities. PWAs, although steadily improving, have limitations in terms of accessing certain device features, which can affect the user experience to some extent.
  • Development and maintenance – Since PWAs are built using web technologies, a single codebase can be maintained for all platforms, and changes and updates can be deployed instantly without the need for app store approvals. Native apps, on the other hand, require separate development and maintenance efforts for each platform.
  • Performance and responsiveness – Native apps have direct access to device capabilities and can take advantage of hardware acceleration, resulting in faster load times and smoother animations. PWAs rely on the browser’s performance capabilities and may not always match the performance of a natively developed app.

Get the experts to develop your PWA or native app
Whether you’re looking for a PWA or a native app, or need advice on which would work best for you, Netgen’s team of experts is well-equipped to guide you through the process and deliver exceptional results. Contact us today.

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