Native App vs Progressive Web App

Web apps are incredible platforms for easy reach to a broad group of users. It is because of their ubiquity across diverse operating systems and devices. But there are situations where native applications become more beneficial than web applications. In this chapter, you will learn how native apps are different from progressive web apps and are beneficial.

What is a Native App?

Native applications are built with specific software and coded in a particular programming language. This enables the app to operate optimally on an OS while leveraging all system tools, dependencies, and frameworks. Building native apps for any specific hardware allows the developer to integrate unique capabilities into the app along with the hardware. It means native apps are usually developed keeping in mind the platform or OS on which they will run. For example, a native app gets coded in Java (for Android) or Objective C, Swift (for iOS). Users can download these apps from the app store or Google Play store.

What is Progressive Web App?

Progressive Web Application (PWA) is an approach to developing web applications that give traditional web apps the look and feel of native apps. With a progressive web app, developers can improve the legacy web application with all the components and features of a mobile app. It enhances usability and extends the user experience (UX). These apps give the experience and feel like a native app.

Advantages of Native Apps over Progressive Web Apps

Native apps have many advantages, and that's why they're preferred over other types of apps:

  • Native apps can be loaded with unique features to leverage all the different hardware components of a device.
  • Native apps can also work without the Internet if they are programmed accordingly.
  • Native apps can access the system or hardware and associated resources, such as Bluetooth, microphone, GPS, camera, etc.
  • Native apps can operate faster than progressive web apps.
  • Native apps provide more security and protection than progressive web apps.
  • Native applications, when uploaded to the App Store, went through rigorous code checks and application functionality checks to protect users from malicious apps.
  • Native apps are more straightforward to develop as there are various developer tools, interface elements, APIs, and SDKs available.

Difference Between Native App and Progressive Web App

Progressive Web AppsNative App
Native apps are mobile apps developed for a specific OS, architecture, or platform, such as iOS (Apple iPhone), Android, or Windows.Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) can be accessed through a web browser. All of their functions work on top of the browser.
Native apps can work without the Internet if they are programmed accordingly.PWAs need internet connectivity to work on their functionalities spontaneously.
Native apps can access the system or hardware and associated resources, such as Bluetooth, microphone, GPS, camera, etc.PWAs have limitations on accessing all the different devices and system resources.
Native Apps are comparatively faster and efficient.Progressive Web Apps are comparatively slower and less efficient.
Native apps provide more security and protection than progressive web apps.Progressive web apps offer less security and protection than native web apps.
Native applications, when uploaded to the App Store, went through rigorous code checks and application functionality checks to protect users from malicious apps.Progressive web apps run on a web browser and therefore do not undergo rigorous code checks and application functionality checks.
Native apps do not utilize service workers for managing requests or caching.Progressive web apps utilize service workers to manage requests and caching to make slow progressive apps fast.
The cost of the development of a native app is high because developers have to build separate apps for different platforms and OS.Progressive web app development cost is low as developers do not have to build different apps for different platforms and OS.
Native apps can use the concept of SEO but not the way PWAs can.Progressive web apps can make better use of the concept of SEO.
App maintenance and frequent updates to native apps make it costly and development iterative.Progressive web apps require minimal updating and maintenance costs.

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