Progressive Web Apps are expected to boom in 2018. With Google pushing developers for their wider application, it’s a no-brainer to jump into this technology and start ranking higher in SERPs.
They are fast, easy to install, and carry almost the same functionality as native apps. Constant comparisons of the web apps to the native apps might suggest that natives are still better and that PWAs are just trying to copy them.
Are they just a reinvented wheel? Of course not! Let’s dive into the differences between PWA and native app development. Which should you choose and when? Let’s find out.
Progressive Web App vs Native App
The main difference between web apps and native apps is that native apps are made especially for one platform – whether it be Android, iOS, or Windows Phone. They use the developer tools provided by the operating system owner so that its functionalities can be accessed.
In contrast, web apps are coded to be used in a browser but can be “installed” on a phone by just pinning the page to the home screen. They behave pretty much like native apps but aren’t in control of all of the hardware.
You can dive into a deeper PWA vs. native comparison in one of our previous articles.
But if you were to commit to PWAs, when is it best to use a web app over native?
You’ve Just Started with the App Business
What if you don’t have an app yet, but dream about having one? Web apps will allow you to jump into the app world in no time. They’re cheaper to develop and have all the functionality you need.
However, web apps won’t work if you plan to create an app for iWatch or any other device that is connected to the smartphone via Bluetooth.
You Need to Keep App Development Costs Under Control
Developing a native app is time-consuming and likely to require resources – money, developer time, or other things. What’s more, your team would need to develop different apps for every app store and optimize them for different screen resolutions.
Because web apps are responsive and work in a browser, they can be developed faster. And faster means cheaper to create. Web apps work on almost all devices that support the technology – which is quite a few.
So if you want to keep costs low, web apps are the way to go.
You Want to Grow Credibility as a Brand
If credibility is what you are aiming for, hopping on an app store ranking is a good way to start. Being present in the store means that you passed their security and performance standards. You’re not there to steal people’s data and affect their phones with malware. This is important if your app handles certain kinds of transactions.
If you are in a “serious” industry like banking, finance, or insurance, a native app might seem better – but ultimately it is not. Companies in these industries usually have big budgets, so they already have native apps, but it’s important to give users the experience they desire.
If this experience can be provided by a native app, have one. But if you can achieve it with a web app that will take up less space on phones, you should also have one of these in place. Web apps can reach the same security levels as native apps, so you don’t have to worry – just code them right.