Mobile and web applications are a big part of our lives nowadays, let's dig deeper for the better understanding of two of the recent advancements in technology, which have created such a buzz in the computing industry. These advancements are Native App and Progressive Web App (PWA).
We will start off by describing what these apps are and what is the difference between them?
What is a Native App?
Native Applications are written for a specific device or a platform like Android and iOS and it can interact and take advantage of the features provided by that specific device or a platform. These apps offer faster access to different device features like camera, microphone, address book. These apps are just a download away.
Native apps can provide highly optimized performance by making use of the latest technology introduced for the platform.
What is a Progressive Web App (PWA)?
Progressive Web Apps are apps that just take the right ingredients, which are the best practices to make a web app work the same way as a desktop or mobile application. PWA is platform-free apps which means you just need an internet connection, a browser and you are good to go! PWA lets you keep the apps you find useful on your home screen without any hassle to download them from an app store.
PWA can function offline as well as on the low-quality connection which is a cherry on top!
These applications cater user experience through gradual enhancements, meaning that the PWA will work as smoothly on any older version of Android as it would on any latest version.
Since we learned what these apps are, now is the time to distinguish their features and functionality.
Native App vs PWA App - A Quick Comparison
Native App: Pros
Speed and Performance
As the app has been developed using the native language of the device, it offers quite high speed and optimized performance.
Memory utilization and power consumption is also considered during development.
Look and Feel
Who likes to have a dull and dreary layout - that's why these apps offer the best UI/UX experience with
Through animations and effects
Effective gesture control and many more.
These apps are responsive, which means they can adjust to any screen size, no matter on which device they are installed. So tilting your phone, again and again, is an old tale now.
Interesting. isn’t it?
Data Protection and Security
These apps make use of device functionality and resources efficiently. Data security and protection is also well maintained.
Flexibility and Compliance
They offer easy interaction with hardware aspects. These apps offer faster access to built-in device features such as GPS, Contact book, Calendar, Camera and microphone.
When Facebook asks your permission to access contact book or when Map asks you to turn on your GPS. Sounds familiar?
Cons of Native Apps
As these apps language is native, you’ll have to learn different languages to develop these apps for different platforms.
Jave, Kotlin (Android)
iOS (Swift or Objective-C)
C# (Windows Phone)
Sounds quite a struggle, eh?
Yes, you’ll have to go to an app store, search for your favorite app, download it and then wait for the installation (could take long time if net is as slow as a snail)
Seems like ages!!! (there's something for you in the mystery box to make you forget all this tedious work)
Development Cost and Time
With a variety of platform each requiring a skill set of their own, it is nearly impossible for a single developer to make a good application for each platform.
Normally, you will need to recruit a professional for each platform to make a fine application. This, obviously, demands a lot of work.
Examples of Native App
Are you familiar with a very addictive game which made some of us, game addicts, wander around in the streets literally? Yes, you guessed it right. It is Pokemon Go, which is also a native app and it asks you to turn on your GPS for the better navigational experience.
And who spend most of their time scrolling down miles for hours and hours and chatting and laughing? Obviously, it's all of us (or if not all then most of us). Congratulations! You have got to know another native app Facebook (It's common as oxygen these days).
PWA App: Pros
Since PWA is a platform-free app IT RUNS ON ANY TYPE OF DEVICE be it (Android, iOS or any other device). You are free from the hassle of recruiting professionals to build the same app for different devices.
Phew… All the worries just vanished
Here comes the best part, you don’t have to download it through an app store. All you need is to allow your browser to pin it on your home screen (tadaaa...) and use it anytime you want.
These apps can function well with flaky networks available (Offline of course). Due to this attractive functionality, now after your first visit to a site, you can come back later and visit sites offline efficiently and smoothly.
As you don’t need to download this app, it is quite memory friendly and uses small a chunk of memory.
The app can be launched from the home screen, the best thing is now you can receive a push notification as well. Find out how PWA are revolutionizing computing here.
If you like it, you can share the PWA with just a brief URL not more than ten characters.
Aren’t things getting simpler, right?
PWA apps always provide up-to-date content due to the service worker update process.
Cons of PWA Apps
Lack of Support
Since PWA is a still an emerging technology, however, all browsers don't support it fully. Google Chrome for Android, Mozilla Firefox for Android, Edge for Android are supporting PWA. iOS supports only a handful of features right now. Incoming updates, iOS is expected to support PWA fully.
Limited Hardware Access
These apps have quite limited access to the hardware and software features as compared to the native app.
Examples of PWA
Are you a shopping freak, who just love to spend their time adding items to their cart (and sometimes ended up buying them), then you must be aware of Alibaba. Yes, you heard it right. This is one major example of PWA app, which lets you shop from across the globe most conveniently.
What about Pinterest which is a plethora of images, from where you get the inspiration for your wedding decorations to life-changing inspirational quotes to healthy dieting tips, is a PWA app.
The decision between Native vs. PWA is entirely dependent on the number of factors such as Business needs, Project Requirements, Development Cost, Budget, Developer Skill Set, and Project Timeline.
Check out this cool comparison between Native app and PWA
Both Native and PWA have their own strengths and weaknesses. Before diving into a project and investing your time and money, It's best you are aware of all those factors and make a decision that suits best to your requirements.
As a service based web app and mobile app development company, Clustox provides their services in both Native app and Progressive Web App (PWA) development. From Designers to Developers, from Testers to Project Managers, everything is available under one roof. We are here to cater all your needs. Shoot us an email and let's get started!
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