Native App & Progressive Web App: What is the Difference?


Are you using Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest apps? Do you find those apps attractive, interactive, and easy to use? Then I want you to do a small thing.

Open any of these apps, did you? Now open Google and search that same app. You will see its website, open it! Let’s take Instagram – Now compare both the Instagram app and the Instagram website or any of those apps. You noticed something? You found both the app & the website similar, same front page, same menu. Interesting, right?

Now quickly search Skype (if only the app is present on your phone) or any apps currently on your phone except those three apps (Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest). We suggest that if you don’t have Skype, search WhatsApp on Google. Click on their website. Is the WhatsApp website the same as the app? NO not at all!

We know there’s a question in your mind: why isn’t WhatsApp’s or Skype’s website similar to its app?! Let’s not keep the suspense further!

Because Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter are Progressive Web Apps (PWA) while WhatsApp or Skype are Native Apps.

You are now aware that PWA & Native Apps are different.

The question arises how Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are different from Native Apps and what you should choose for your business needs.

To let you explore both the Progressive Web Apps (PWA) & Native Apps platform, we will list the explanations that App Development Company Belgium has curated for businesses & start-ups who want to invest in an app.

PWA vs Native apps

What is a Progressive Web App?

As the name suggests, PWAs combine WEB and APP components. It allows your users to access the app on any browser, so your users will not have to download to avail your services (It can be downloaded if users want).

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are known for using limited features of the phone, such as cameras. Thus, it allows users to use the elements even when their internet is slow or is entirely out of connectivity. PWAs especially solve storage issues in a user’s phone and help the users save the data.

The best progressive web app example would be Twitter, which allows you to log into your Twitter app via your mobile’s browser. And Eureka! You’re now operating a PWA that can perform all the actions as a native app would!


Benefits of Progressive Web Apps (PWA)

  • PWAs are notable for being cheaper and more timesaving than native apps. Reason? Native apps need to be developed for two different platforms (Android & iOS), which amounts to more time and money.
  • As a PWA is easily accessible from the web, you will have the freedom to refrain from submitting it to the App stores. Easy accessibility comes as a significant benefit of PWA compared to a native app.
  • A PWA saves a smartphone’s memory. Here comes an added advantage of a PWA. Let us tell you that 25% of mobile users delete apps due to a lack of storage on their phone, and if you have a PWA for your business, then your customers could use it even without downloading so it would be less risky & have more advantages.
  • PWAs work faster and can be shared easily. Users do not have to download all the content to use a PWA. Consequently, content can be accessed much quicker, and if they like, they can share the URL of the PWA.
  • PWAs have URLs and thus, are assorted by Google, which means PWAs are likely to come first if the customers search for related search terms via search engines.

Drawbacks of Progressive Web Apps (PWA)

  • Limited features compared to Native Apps. As PWAs are hybrid apps, they are restricted in some parts. Consequently, you will not be able to access Bluetooth features. But you can send push notifications through PWAs.
  • It is out of the question to monetize a PWA.
  • Restrictions in UI & UX. Restricts integration of 3D technology.

What is a Native App?

Native Apps are the type of app that have been developed for a long time. A native app must be developed on two different platforms: iOS & Android. Therefore, native apps can utilize the device’s full functionality and work effortlessly on either platform. To use a native app, your users would have to download it from the app store but let us tell you native apps account for 87% of the mobile traffic.

Benefits of Native Apps

  • Native apps do have outstanding performance, as they are specially developed for native devices. They are faster and more convenient to operate compared to PWAs.
  • Native apps are secure & reliable. There is no doubt that PWAs use https to secure the URLs, but native apps are more secure & reliable to access information.
  • Native apps can interact with other native apps. A native app can easily interact with any external service. For example, your native app can allow users to connect with Facebook or FedEx.
  • Native apps enable greater possibilities in terms of features. A native app allows more features than PWAs, which leads your customers to explore more fantastic options of the app.

Drawbacks of Native Apps

  • Native apps must be developed for both iOS & Android platforms. So, the cost of developing a native app is higher compared to PWAs. You will have to pay for both platforms as the development procedures for both iOS & Android apps are different. Adding to it, native apps are complex to develop & costly to maintain.
  • Some users find it time-consuming to download an app, as to download an app one has to go to an app store. So, some users may feel PWA be more accessible.

PWA vs Native Apps? What to choose?

It is indeed evident that both Native Apps & Progressive Web Apps have their advantages & disadvantages but a pro tip we would like to give you is:

Check up on your business clients and compile user research to find out which apps they prefer.

Focus on your budget and choose accordingly.

To wrap up, we would like to say that PWAs are progressing technology, and it appears that PWAs may soon also have the same kind of features & functionalities as Native Apps. But if you want to offer excellent performance and high functionality, then Native Apps are meant for your business.

Let us know what you went for.