Top Reasons to Select PWA (Progressive Web Apps) Over Native App

Top Reasons to Select PWA (Progressive Web Apps) Over Native App

Before we talk about the top reasons why it is better to select PWA (Progressive Web Apps) over native apps, let us first understand what PWAs are all about.

Progressive Web Apps are exciting and interesting technology that can transform our ways of developing web & mobile apps. While most believe that PWA is only the mobile version of the website whereas a lot of people are still unsure about its capabilities, performance, and security issues in comparison to native mobile apps.

Native iOS and Android apps are renowned for their amazing, advanced performance and exceptional functionality. Despite this, a lot of companies even some reputed ones such as Forbes and Uber are now going for PWAs. Considering that Progressive Web App development is quite cheaper and way faster to develop, is it still logical to even think about native apps?

In this blog, we will discuss the key points and compare the two options – PWAs versus native apps. Let’s begin with a discussion of the key features of Progressive Web Applications. These include:

  • 1. Single technology for mobile & web:Depending on their experience and area of expertise, modern developers like to be called mobile developers, web developers, etc. to signify that they are the masters in the particular technology or domain. The big reason why these different classifications of developers emerged in the recent part is the platform they cater to – those who specialize in iPhone app development like to be called iOS developers, those who specialize in website development prefer being called website developers, and so on.

If we consider the native app development, the developer must possess extensive (or at least satisfactory) knowledge of specialized technologies such as Kotlin, Java, Flutter, and others along with the toolkits such as XCode, Android Studio, etc. In comparison, it is quite easy to start with TypeScript/JavaScript, CSS, HTML, and frameworks such as Angular or React library. Some recent online reports from multiple sources suggest that web developers specializing in multiple languages are highly sought after. These results have a direct impact on the adoption of technology by developers, which means finding a developer is quite easy on the web track.

  • Reduce the costs of development and deliver faster:You don’t need to learn new frameworks and languages if you choose to use the same stack for web and native. However, there is still a way to reuse the code as much as you need. You can compose highly engaging and high performing apps by simply sharing & managing reusable components and/or modules in the cloud component hub. This saves your time and effort in building from scratch for multiple platforms and technologies.
  • Reliable and high performance:PWAs are reliable, engaging, and quick to develop. The best approach to have all these features in an app is the Application Shell Architecture. This architecture offers reliable and fast performance to app users even when they are offline or on a slow connection. Whether you want a native app or a progressive app, you will need to hire a PWA development company or a native app development company.

Here is a quick look at some of the key advantages of this architecture. As per this architecture, the app is divided into two parts i.e. content and shell. Minimum content required for initiating user interface is known as Shell and the dynamic parts for which internet connection is a must are known as Content. Hence, the shell provides a reliable, fast user experience by caching the content and using it in offline environments. For one-page apps, this app is perfect as it offers reliable, fast performance, economical usage of data, and experience of native interaction to users.

  • Offers great UX with service workers:As a web developer, you must have heard about or used service workers, which runs in your web app’s background and is responsible for handling various tasks that do not require the user’s attention. Service Workers are used in web applications as well as in PWAs. Some of the key features of Service Workers include:
  • Run offline: The ability to run offline is a key feature of progressive web apps in comparison to a native app. And, PWAs get this ability due to Service Workers only. With these, you can cache the app Shell and it loads immediately as users return to it. Such background operations are improving the UX of the app since the user will not see any major difference when using the app online or offline. However, the dynamic content is refreshed as soon as the connection is restored. Let’s take the example of telegram – a messaging platform. The app opens normally and you can see & read previous chats, even if you’re offline. The app will refresh with new messages when you’re online.
  • Background sync: This is a great feature that Service Workers have to offer and it allows the app to receive and respond to critical requests when you are online – it lets you make calls as well when you are offline. For example, if you have just sent a message in offline mode, your Service Worker will do the needful to complete your request as soon as the connection is available again.

As already discussed above, the Service Worker helps in event targeting for making background sync work even if the app is closed. Yourfunction() returns a promise that it will surely indicate the activity’s status as success or failure. In case of success, the background sync is complete and if it fails, the next sync will be scheduled afterwards. Remember, yourfunction() name has to be unique. Other than these, there are several other features that Service Workers offer to progressive web apps and these include receiving push notifications (in offline mode as well), caching static contents, caching network requests, etc.

  • Look & feel of the native app: In simpler words, the web applications manifest is a JSON file that takes care of the native look and feel of the progressive web applications. If you install an app from the app store or play store, you will see an app icon on your mobile. The icon makes the app highly interactive for mobile phone users instead of websites. For progressive web applications, the app manifest file (JSON) is the entry-point for user interactions and the metadata (about how the app is displayed to the user) is also included in it. Using this file, developers at your chosen native or React Native app development company can change app elements such as app icons, orientation, theme colors, splash screens, etc.
  • Increased security & transparent access to the capabilities of devices:Security is yet another key aspect that must be considered when considering PWA or native mobile app development services. Assecurity incidents continue to increase across the globe, app users are highly concerned about the security of data on their devices from malicious attacks and hackers more than ever before. So, your app developer must establish the best practices of security with any of these two technologies (native or PWA) so that these issues are avoided. But how can a development agency prevent security loopholes for users through effective progressive web app development? Let’s understand!

Progressive web apps enforce transport-layer security so that the users’ sensitive information and data are encrypted while being transmitted from one device to another and to decrypt the data you need a private key that is stored safely on the server. Because of this reason, the progressive web application’s website should be HTTPS safe and it is a must to install an SSL certificate on the server.

 Furthermore, PWAs do not interact with the hardware of the device unless explicit permission is granted by the user for the same, and hiding malicious code inside the progressive web apps is not easy. If your progressive web app and cross platform app development company follows the best practices for requesting only the authorized access to the device and makes use of trusted & updated JS libraries, the risks are reduced significantly.

Other than these, progressive web applications have got many other great qualities that you would expect from any other high-performing mobile or web application such as reliability, speed, user experience, and others. Your progressive web app development company can easily develop PWAs and you can relax and not even think about the frameworks and/or languages involved in it. PWAs are relatively faster to develop, especially if you compare them with native apps.

On the other hand, if you look at the business side, developing progressive web applications turns out the be quite cost-effective if you opt for a PWA. Hence, do not ever hesitate to consider PWA (even as a trial) when looking for a web and/or mobile solutions in the future.

If we sum it up, progressive web apps are basically an accelerated and improved version of websites only. Developed using CSS, Angular, HTML, JavaScript, React, and other web technologies, progressive web applications look, feel, and perform a lot like mobile applications – except that they run on a browser. And while it seems like a win-win for all, there are still a lot of advantages and disadvantages associated with the progressive web applications and these include:

Pros of progressive web applications:

Compatibility – Because the progressive web apps are accessed via a web browser, it runs on mobile devices and OS of any kind (table, smartphone, etc.).

Reduced costs – As PWA is more of a website, you do not need a massive budget for developing the PWAs. Owing to its immense compatibility with just any device and platform, a progressive web application is usually developed once and that means you need only one team of developers.

URL access – There is no need for you to download & install a progressive web application if you want to use it. You can access the app through a web browser, and then pin it on the home screen of your device. Remember, a progressive web app can be shared via a short URL.

SEO benefits – The progressive web app offers many search engine benefits as well. Now you don’t need to launch an exclusive marketing campaign for promoting your PWA. All you need to do is rely on SEO for the benefits. Furthermore, because of the mobile-first indexation policy of Google first, your progressive web app will easily get a higher ranking.

Saves memory – As PWAs are not downloadable and can be saved easily in small memory, you end up saving a lot of space that a mobile or native app will require otherwise. 

User management is easy – While it is a better version of a website, a progressive web app keeps app users highly engaged with relevant and targeted push notifications.

Great user interface and user experience like mobile apps – A PWA looks and feels quite like a native application.

Easily updated – You don’t need to click on buttons to have the latest features and functionalities installed on your app. PWAs make it easier and faster than your expectations.

But there are some cons too …

Just like it is with any other technology, product, or service you use, PWAs too have a few pros. These include:

Consumption of battery – A PWA requires internet access which causes the battery to drain faster than native apps. Another reason why battery consumption tends to be heavier in PWAs is that these apps run on technologies that are not meant for mobile devices and mobile environments. Resultantly, mobile devices have to work considerably higher for interpreting the code.

Functionality is limited – As progressive web applications are the brainchild of Google it does not support all the iOS features.

Limited access to the hardware – These apps have limited access to hardware and software features. For example, PWAs don’t support features and functionalities not maintained by HTML5. Furthermore, these apps don’t work with iOS devices well due to not having the Touch ID and Face ID, ARKuit, Apple’s primary features, Siri, in-app payments, etc. 

Native app development

In contrast to the progressive web applications, native or mobile applications are developed for a specific platform and/or operating system such as iOS, Android, Windows, etc. The native app utilizes a device’s hardware & software capabilities and offers stellar performance, great user experience, and ease of use. However, a lot of businesses still prefer progressive web applications. Do you know why? It is because of the pros & cons of native apps, such as:

App performance – As indicated by its name, native apps are developed using the device’s native language. In other words, these apps offer high speed, sophisticated features, and mobile apps don’t consume too much of battery power. Honestly, it is the stellar performance of these apps that make native apps the first choice of countless businesses instead of PWAs.

Great user interface and user experience – Highly intuitive and attractive layouts, smooth scrolling, brilliant animation, and more features make native apps great when it comes to their look & feel.

Full access to device hardware – In contrast to PWAs, native mobile apps have complete access to the mobile devices’ built-in features including camera, GPS, contact list, photo gallery, NFC, microphone, player, and accelerometer.

Offline working – Owing to smooth synchronization of data with the cloud and local storage, a native mobile app can work well even in offline mode. These apps typically cache data when being used online and use it when offline.

Security and protection of data – Native apps enjoy full access to the components of hardware and they are amazing at data protection and security. For example, native apps allow two-factor authentication.

Native apps have some cons as well…

Just like it is with any other framework, technology, product, or service you avail, native apps to bring some cons along, and these include:

Costly – As native apps are developed specifically for a particular operating system; you will need the help of a competent team for the platform for which you want an app. Therefore, you will need a Kotlin or Java developer for your Android native app and Objective-C or Swift professionals for your iOS app. Also, you can hire hybrid development services for creating a hybrid app that works on both platforms. But, remember, hybrid apps are different from native apps in many ways. 

Process of installation – To use a native app, you need to first find it on the app store or play store, download it, and install it to start using. This may take some time than using PWAs or the company’s website that is just a click away. There is no need for you to download the PWAs and you can just use them when needed.

Costs of promotion – As you cannot use SEO for promoting your mobile apps, you should be ready to spend money on app store optimization of your app.

Consumption of memory – Amongst the big cons of a mobile app is the memory it consumes. On average, an Android app consumes about 15MB of memory whereas iOS apps eat up about 38MB of your device memory. But, these are not the exact figures and the memory consumption may vary across the apps – their types, size, features, and functionalities.

A quick comparison between native apps and PWAs



Native app


Similar to native apps

Amazing layouts, great performance, intuitive interfaces


Compatible across mobile devices and platforms

Runs only on the OS it is meant for, version dependent



Needs additional app store promotion

Offline mode

Limited functionality

works properly

Battery consumption

Drains battery fast

Consumes less battery


HTTPS encryption

Additional security layers

Hardware access

Lacks full access

Has full access


No installation

Installation is necessary

Inter-app communication

Not available


Memory consumption

Not much RAM is required

Consumes a lot of memory

Push notifications

not available for iOS phones & devices

available for Android and iOS





One team of developers is enough

separate teams for each platform needed



Takes time


Click the URL link and open it

Access the app store to download

In short, a progressive web app cannot replace a native application even if the latter has so many cons associated with it. Despite all, a lot of businesses can still use PWAs instead of native apps depending on their nature of business, products, services, etc. A robust progressive web application can easily suffice your needs if you are looking to expand your reach to a larger customer base without having to increase your budget and spend money on launching an app on one or multiple platforms. 

PWAs work for businesses wherein the expected app’s functionality does not require hardware support (as PWAs will not support them). You can go for PWAs if push notifications aren’t your priority and you can keep your targeted audiences engaged without these notifications as well.

However, you will need a native app for sure if your app needs tight integration with the devices’ hardware elements, push notifications are a must for iOS and Android, biometric authentication is important, and if it is an AR solution or a gaming app.

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Wrapping up

Even if progressive web apps and native apps may look similar at first, they both have different purposes and work for different types of businesses. As we have already discussed the key difference of both the apps, based on their technologies, hardware elements’ integration levels, it is clear that these differences directly mean that the two app types aren’t the same when it comes to accessibility, compatibility, shareability, memory consumption, and other key aspects.

So, you may choose any of these two app types for your business bearing in mind all the differences we just discussed above and what to expect from which type of app. However, don’t forget to connect with a specialist native or React Native app development company or a PWA development company to have your confusion cleared in this regard.

The choice of developing a PWA or a native app will largely depend on your business needs, budget, and targeted audiences. It is prudent to have a detailed discussion with an expert to ensure you make an informed decision and reap the maximum benefits of either option you choose to go with.