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PWA Vs. Native Apps: Which Mobile Solution is Right for Your Business?

People spend most of their time using smartphones, changing how businesses interact with customers. Nowadays, businesses don’t want to miss out on mobile opportunities, as users love mobile experiences. While focusing on mobile business solutions, there has been constant scepticism in PWA vs. native apps. Native mobile applications ensure excellent user experience (UX) with great features. However, PWA technology has come into the picture to reach users on multiple platforms by facilitating responsive and customised designs. But the question arises: Which mobile solution will be good for business?

This blog will clear all your doubts regarding native and PWA apps by focusing on the differentiating factors, helping you make an informed decision.

Understanding Native Apps for Business

An IT support company develops native applications by keeping in mind one operating system to ensure the best compatibility and app performance. Consultants will develop such applications for either Android or iOS by following native frameworks and approaches. Since we have been using smartphones from the beginning, we know that native apps are developed using any mobile device’s hardware capabilities. Both operating systems will be followed by a different approach when developing a native app.

For instance, iOS developers use Swift programming language, and Android developers build native apps with Kotlin and Java. Since iOS and Android apps have different app development frameworks, there will be distinctions in the money and efforts invested in developing those apps. Besides its advantages, native applications have drawbacks, as they are expensive and time-consuming to develop. Likewise, a single native app fails to influence many users.

Understanding Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

In the effort to acquire as many customers as possible, progressive web apps are emerging technologies that will help many businesses engage with a broader audience. PWAs are designed and developed as a website but are also responsive to mobile experience. They can be installed instantly on your smartphone and offer a native app-like experience. This fully functional web application can give mobile-like UX to your users with little development cost and effort. 

Advantages of PWA:

  • Boost Conversion Rate: A responsive PWA can offer higher conversion rates because of fast-loading pages and enhanced app maintenance. It can increase the user time on PWA by 40%, per recent industry estimates.
  • Increased Engagement: Apart from the UX/UI advantages, PWAs are there to increase engagement with push notifications. Users get up-to-date information regarding their orders or support requests, which helps create a smooth experience.
  • Promotes Offline Usage: PWA benefits businesses in building a reliable connection with customers because they can work even when customers have unstable internet connections. Pre-caching abilities can help many businesses to serve customers even when users go offline.

PWA Apps Vs Native Apps: Which Mobile Solution is Better

Here is a detailed comparison of PWAs and Native apps to understand the pros and cons of each, helping you to get a clear view of which mobile solution will help your business reap long-term benefits.

     1. Launching Application in the Market

Developing a native mobile app requires a dedicated team handling iOS and Android. Even when you are developing both operating systems simultaneously, it will take a significant time to ensure the functionality of both applications. However, if you want to follow best practices for designing and developing custom web apps, one skilled development team is enough, which you can see in the case of PWA. Creating an app store validation is faster when we compare them with native apps.

     2. Application Distribution 

There are numerous native mobile applications in the market, which increases competition. With millions of native apps on the Google Play Store, it can be difficult for you to distinguish yourself when you do not have a unique feature to offer customers. The distribution process for PWAs is quite different because there are websites where users will engage. With the help of Google Search Optimization, you can get fully implemented indexing, helping your website rank higher in search results. 

     3. Development Cost

Native apps are costly to develop because you have to follow different app development frameworks for iOS and Android. It would require two different tech stacks to create applications that create usability in users’ minds. Separate codebases will also incur substantial maintenance costs. When we talk about PWAs, they are much more affordable because developers just need to create a website that can have app-like features. Not only cost, but PWAs are less time-consuming in development and maintenance.

     4. App Performance

The mobile app performance for native apps is seamless as they have suitable hardware and software features. Platform-centric code makes them compatible and helps them gain a high-performance score. Because of their direct interaction with the device hardware, native apps provide unrivalled performance. PWAs perform admirably, yet resource-intensive tasks may lag compared to native apps. The reason behind this lag is the third-party accessibility, increasing chances of latency, and high battery consumption.

     5. Security

PWA benefits many businesses looking for quick deployment by harnessing databases to carry out different functions. Therefore, there are chances that you can identify the data threats very easily so that you can develop strategies to cope with them. There is little room for data leakages because they run on HTTP. At the same time, native apps can offer platform-specific functionalities in which security features must be embedded. It can be helpful in improved customisations featuring more dynamic elements.

     6. Discoverability

PWAs are easily found via search engines. Because they are essentially websites, search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo can index them. Users can find your PWA by typing relevant terms into a search engine. When we talk about web app accessibility of native apps, Apple App Store and Google Play Store are where the most native apps are discovered. Users go to these stores, look for apps, and install them on their devices.

     7. User Engagement 

In a world where user engagement is critical, most web application development companies focus on incorporating features that make users spend more time on your application. Native app development involves using push notifications as a prominent feature to create user engagement. In the case of PWA, push notifications are not available for iOS users. This depends upon your users and their experience with your respective product. For that, you must choose which mobile solution will be a better option for your business requirements and align appropriately with the user’s point of view.

     8. Personalisation Level

To some extent, PWAs can provide user account-driven personalisation, although it may not be as advanced or smooth as native apps. There are cookie-based personalisation and recommendations, which can also be limited to your device and browser. Native apps succeed in this area because they allow for extensive personalisation based on user profiles, preferences, and behavioural data. Options like push notifications and offline accessibility make them suitable when deciding which mobile solution will go best for business. 

     9.Updates and Maintenance

For each platform, native apps must be developed separately, increasing development costs and maintenance requirements. Users must actively update native apps via app stores, which can result in fragmented versions. Moreover, web and app development agencies develop PWAs with web technologies, which makes them more cost-effective and easy to manage. The same codebase can serve multiple platforms. PWAs are constantly updated without the need for user participation. Users always have access to the most recent version.

Conclusion: Navigating Your Decision 

Comparing PWA vs. Native mobile apps gives an idea of which mobile solution is best for your business. This decision often hinges on business needs, user expectations, and technical infrastructure. We have mentioned a few factors based on which you can decide your platform requirement. Each of them performs exceptionally when implemented strategically. Do not hesitate to contact an IT business consultant, as they can assist with tailor-made solutions and help you realise your mobile application development project.

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