Progressive Web Apps vs Native Apps: Which Type of App Best Serves Your Needs? Part 1
The paradox of choice, right? Didn't it use to be so much easier back in the old days, when you had just one option at hand? "You wanted to go mobile, you just knew this meant “pumping” money into a native app." Clear as a day! But what do you now, when you're facing a "progressive web apps vs native apps" situation?
Which app development approach is the perfect fit for you? For the nature of your business and for your app project's specific needs?
PWAS seem to be “stealing the show” these days: first they intrigue, next they “seduce” with the hard-to-resist-to promise that they deliver:
Empowering small businesses to compete against the "giants" in the mobile app development arena!
And still: native apps won't be going anywhere anytime soon!
Moreover, they'll get even more robust and faster, as the devices that they run on get more and more advanced. And as they'll continue to leverage their great advantage over progressive web apps:
Leveraging mobile devices' smart features and capabilities and thus delivering an enriched user experience.
Now, to put an end to your “turmoil”, I've come up with a sort of “inventory” listing the set of benefits that you can reap from choosing one type of app over the other.
Here it goes:
But First: What's a PWA? And How Is It Different from a Native App?
“An app running inside the user's web browser, that he/she doesn't need to download and install beforehand. And which, moreover, is injected with native app-like functionalities and wrapped in a seamless user interface.”
This should be a clarifying enough answer to your “What's a PWA?” question.
Bottom line, the key difference between PWAs and native apps is:
The first ones run inside web browsers, while the latter run on the mobile devices that they're installed on.
The concept behind this revolutionary approach to app development is both daring and ambitious:
Cutting down the overhead and the discouraging complexities usually associated with a native app's development process.
- reducing time and costs
- eliminating the step where your users download it from an app store
Progressive Web Apps vs Native Apps: Top 7 Benefits From Choosing a PWA
For it all comes down to benefits, right? What's in it for you if you choose one app development approach over the other?
The level popularity that one type of app has gained falls shortly behind the very set of benefits that you get.
Now here are the most valuable ones to consider when you're having a “PWA vs native app” dilemma:
1. You'll Reach Out to A Significantly Wider Audience, With Fewer Resources
As compared to developing an Android-focused or an IOS-focused native app, a PWA will practically grant you access to all platforms. It's a “develop once, run everywhere”, type of situation:
A PWA is a “platform-agnostic” type of app.
Needless to add that your progressive web app's extreme versatility will help you reach the widest audience way quicker and with minimal costs.
2. You'll Reduce The App Development Cycle Times
And this is, undoubtedly, that heavy-weighting advantage tilting the “progressive web apps vs native apps” balance in PWAs' favor. The very reason why progressive web apps gained so much attention in the first place.
With native apps' development process “famous” for:
- all the headaches it causes
- all the complexities specific to any platform-bound solution
- all the time-consuming steps to take: crafting some eye-catching screenshots, writing down the description, identifying the right keywords and strategically sprinkle them across the description...
... PWAs emerged in a highly favorable context and they “exploited” precisely the overhead associated with a native app development cycle.
So, they managed to “lure” developers unsurprisingly easily by:
- eliminating most of those complexities from the app development process
- eliminating the need to build multiple platform-bound versions of the same app
Also, it goes without saying that reduced development times translate into reduced costs.
3. It's a Unified User Experience That Your App Will Deliver
The advantage of being platform-agnostic bubbles up to the user experience itself.
Having a unique version of your PWA running on all platforms, accessible to all customers, it'll be easier for you to deliver the same user experience to your entire user-base.
4. A Hassle-Free User Experience Requiring the Minimum of Effort
Compare the 2 following scenarios:
a. a hypothetical user visits a certain app store, chooses an app, waits for it to download and then goes through all the steps required for installing it on his/her mobile device
b. a hypothetical user lands on a website and gets to use the app right there, almost instantly, with no prior installation; moreover, if he/she wishes, he can save the link as an icon on his device's home screen
Isn't it obvious why, in a "progressive web apps vs native apps" competition, the advantage of easy access will always outweigh most of the native apps' benefits?
In a few words:
- you, as the app owner, get to deliver the content you wish to deliver with utmost ease
- while your users access it using the fewest numbers of steps
- … and high accessibility translates into a higher level of user engagement
A win-win situation!
5. Users No Longer Need to Install The Latest Updates Themselves
A major convenience both for you and for your apps' users:
- you'll get to easily keep them up to date with all the changes that you might apply to your services
- with no updates to run and no need to re-download the app, users always get the latest version of your app, upgraded with the most recent functionality features that you will have added to
6. Extended Compatibility: All It Takes Is a Modern Web Browser
That's right since PWAs run on HTML 5 — the standard for web content — a modern web browser on his/her mobile device is all that a hypothetical user needs for accessing your app.
Talking about maximizing your app's reach, right?
7. You'll Cut Down Costs For Building and Marketing Your App
You can get a progressive web app up and running (and marketed) in no time! With considerably fewer resources of time and money to invest.
- you're facing a limited budget
- you're in the retail or hospitality business
… the benefit of bringing your customer service app to your customers quickly and in a cost-effective way is just... priceless.
The END! Well, not the end on my post on the progressive web apps vs native apps “competition”, but the end of the list of reasons why you should consider going with a PWA instead of a native app.
Stay tuned, for in the second part of this post I'll be:
- putting the spotlight on mobile native apps
- revealing to you all the benefits that you can enjoy from choosing this type of app development approach