Progressive Web Apps (PWA) have already started to create a buzz in the IT industry. Many tech-geeks even believe that Web apps are likely to dominate the app industry in upcoming years. Web apps have better user-engagement and are easy to install as well.

They are a step forward in terms of providing a better user experience. If you follow the right approach and then implement the best strategies, a PWA is far better than the native apps. In the battle of web app vs. native app, web apps are definitely in the lead.

And the reasons are pretty simple; they are less complicated, easy to install and have the same functionality as the native apps. As a user, having a lighter version of an app which has a smaller size but the same functionality is nothing but a dream come true.   

What are Native and Progressive Web Apps?

Before moving any further, let’s first understand what are native and progressive web apps? The apps that you install via Play Store or App Store are known as native apps. They are mainly platform dependent.

It means that a developer will use different tools and APIs to develop the same app for different platforms. As a result, native mobile app development eventually becomes a time-consuming and expensive task. Even highly experienced developers are likely to take several months to develop a native application. 

Progressive Web Apps, however, are the hybrid of a web app and a native mobile app. They act like normal web pages in the web browser, and once the user pins them to the home screen, they behave as a mobile app.

However, the mobile hardware has no control over these apps, and therefore they are platform independent. Whether the user has an iOS or an Android smartphone, the progressive web apps behave the same on every platform.

Now, that you know the difference between web apps vs. native app, let’s start with the scenarios where your business may need a progressive web app.

It’s your First Time Investing in the App Business

Let’s say you don’t have an app yet. Now, if it’s your first time investing in the app business, it is wise to invest in a progressive web app. Reason being, they are cheaper, take less time to develop, and have the same functionality as well. With progressive web apps, you can provide your customers with advanced functionality in no time.

You Want to Spend Less On App Development

As we mentioned earlier, developing a PWA costs less than a native app. For a native app, you need several resources like developers, testers, and designers. Native app development is also a time-consuming task, which eventually increases the app development cost. A progressive app, on the other hand, take fewer development hours, and therefore the development cost is less as well.

If you are a startup or a small-enterprise, looking forward to entering the mobile industry, progressive web apps are the perfect option for you. Most of the startups struggle with fundings and thereby have a small budget. In such a scenario, invest in progressive mobile app development and provide customers with the same functionality.  

Brand Awareness

Progressive Web Apps improve brand awareness. If you have a native app, which provides advanced functionality to the user, you are already a step ahead of your competitors. However, to always stay in the front, provide users with something that they desire. A lighter version of the native app which provides the same functionality but takes up less space will easily engage a user.

Many businesses also spend thousands of dollars on paid promotions. Though this is a perfect strategy to increase brand awareness, the user is less likely to experience your services. He/she can only see the advertisement and decide whether he wants to opt for your services or not. But with a progressive mobile app, you are providing users with real-time experience. If your progressive web app is feature-rich, a user is more likely to join your community.

Improve Your SEO Results   

If you have been struggling to improve your website’s rankings, a progressive web app might be your solution. Though native apps appear in the search results, they have no relation to the rankings of the website. In fact, they do not affect the website rankings at all.

Progressive Web Apps, however, can help your website to rank higher on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP). How? Well, for starters Google has already started to focus on the mobile version of a website for rankings.

It means that if your website is not optimized for the mobile, you have already lost the 50% chance of ranking on the first page. Having a mobile-friendly website is crucial if you want to rank higher. However, along with having a mobile-friendly website, a progressive web app will improve the search engine rankings. Since these apps are web apps, they affect the rankings of your website.

Progressive Web Apps Have Restrictions Too

Though in above-mentioned scenarios, a progressive mobile app will help your business to grow, they have several limitations as well. For instance, you can’t develop a progressive web app with hardware integration. Since PWA works within the browser itself, they cannot access the mobile’s hardware. It means that you can’t allow the user to access Bluetooth, NFC, and other device’s sensors.

As of current technologies and capabilities in hand, this is the biggest obstacle for every progressive web app. Though, in upcoming years this barrier may get broken with advanced technology trends. But, in our opinion browsers are less likely to get access to smartphone’s firmware.  

Furthermore, progressive web apps are yet to be supported by many web browsers including Safari and Internet Explorer. So, if a user uses these two as his primary browsers, he/she cannot access your web apps. As a result, you will eventually lose a potential customer.

Native apps also have third-party app integration which is still a dream for progressive mobile app development. Since these apps are an advanced form of a web page itself, third-party app integration is not possible.

Wrapping Things Up

In today’s mobile dominating world, both native and progressive web apps can help a business to grow. There isn’t a definite winner between native app vs web app. While there are a couple of areas where PWAs surpass the native mobile applications, a business cannot solely rely on progressive web apps.

As a business, you can go with both the app development approaches to provide your customers with the best features. However, web apps still cost less than native apps and if you want to spend less on app development, go with progressive web apps without thinking twice.    

Ranjit Singh is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at RV Technologies. In the past 10+ years, he has focused on helping clients to expand their business through the best digital solutions. Leading a team of 100+ employees, he knows how to implement the best market practices to transform a client’s business growth and help him achieve dedicated goals.
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