Differences Between PWAs and Native Mobile Apps and Why You Need Both

2 min. read

There are many options to consider when building an application for your business. Whether you’re considering Native applications or Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), each type of application comes with different use cases.

Progressive Web Apps

PWAs are a baseline. It’s 2022 and your business must have a basic PWA. PWAs are essentially mobile applications built to run inside a web browser typically written in JavaScript, CSS, and HTML. PWAs are easily accessed on any type of device via a browser, allowing for a wider reach in audiences. They are relatively inexpensive to build and do not require the development of separate apps for each platform, making them easily deployable and updated since it uses a single codebase. All updates to the PWA are also made available to the user automatically; gone are the days a user would need to click a button to download or install updates to view the latest and greatest features. Ease of use and accessibility generally leads to higher usage of the app.

Another perk and also a hindrance for PWAs is discoverability. While PWAs are not submitted to the Apple or Android Store, they can be optimized for SEO. Since it is published inside a web browser, you can use search engines to your advantage.

Native Mobile Apps

Native Apps are for your most loyal customers. They want the fastest, best experience with your brand possible.

If you are an e-commerce, the Native app is for your frequent shoppers who are repeat customers who come back often to shop with you. They are your biggest spenders so they deserve the fastest experience possible, right? A native application would deliver the best user experience. Returning customers don't want to log in every time to check out your latest launch. They want their information safely saved, so checkout is almost too easy to resist; they could even have the choice to access the app in offline mode. The caveat to this is that the user would have to go through the installation process, which may deter them from downloading and using the app versus accessing the full application via a link.

There is no reuse of the codebase when it comes to Native Apps. Native Apps must be written for IOS and Android devices which will increase development time and investment. Also important to remember when shipping updates as the two separate apps must be maintained and all must be approved under the Apple and Android stores.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to choosing between PWAs and Native Apps, you should have both. Constructing a PWA can be more affordable, but the user experience, power, and credibility of Native Apps are essential to your brand's success. And it shouldn’t be cost-prohibitive.

If you are looking to build an intelligent application to help your business grow, we’d love to hear from you.

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