How are Progressive Web Apps better than Native Apps?

With the passing years, there are more and more people accessing the internet on their mobile devices. So much so that it has made the once used desktop culture out of trend. Yet the content consumed by people on mobile phones is 2x times that was consumed on the desktops. This is good news for website owners across the world as their reach has only grown wider.

Now there are a few ways to create a mobile presence that’s going to let your users access your content on mobile:

  1. Firstly, there’s a responsive web page, which allows your users to connect with you via your website.
  2. Then, there are apps called the native mobile apps, which users can download from an app store and use them any time they want.
  3. And lastly, there are Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) which take a midway approach between mobile websites and mobile apps.


What is a progressive web app? 


A progressive web application can be defined as application software that is delivered through the web. It is built with the help of common web technologies such as JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. In other words, these are mobile sites designed to work like a native app. The user can add these to his mobile’s home screen. 


PWA vs Native apps


How are progressive web apps different from native apps? Which one of the two is better in comparison? These are a few FAQs when it comes to downloading either. Let us dive into a detailed comparison between these two types of apps to find that out.


Below are the 5 main differentiators that make progressive web apps more beneficial


Although both have advantages of their own, here are a few key points that make PWAs an easier option than native apps.


  • Installation


Native apps: These are installed through an app store, such as the Play Store or Apple App Store. App Stores here act as a massive gateway towards all services and content that people consume on their mobile phones. The opportunity for app owners is considerable if they can be found with popular keywords or have a well-established brand and can count on people looking them up on the stores. So now when you build an app, you have to submit it for consideration on more than one app store. Then it is up to the users to download it based on the description reviews and needs. 

PWAs, on the other hand, help you cut short the hassle of all the administrative work. As these web apps run directly from the phone’s browsers.


  • Cross-Platform Availability


Talking about the cross-platform availability, there is no question of such, in a native app. Here, more heed is paid to shaping your app according to a certain device platform. Hence these apps are tailor-made for each platform.

With PWAs, the developers have to develop a single app. The users across a wide range of mobile browsers can engage with that app. So while native apps might be more user friendly, PWAs can significantly help in cost and time-saving.


  • Discovery


A native app can be discovered in app stores or search engines. However, both of these depend on a number of other factors as the pages of the app itself cannot be indexed and listed in search engines. Instead, you will have to do ASO – App Store Optimization, which in turn comes with so many steps. These include identifying apt keywords for your app and including them in the title as well as the description. The description has to be attractive to users. The reviews and ratings also play a role in the discovery of your app. Also, the more niche-specific your app, the more relevant app store search results it will appear in.


On the other hand, the PWAs work well in the SEO related factors as they work just like any other website.


  • Storage data and power

Native apps installed in the mobile phones tend to pull information directly from the device’s resources. Sometimes when we forget to close these apps, they tend to drain the device battery. Also, the storage space issues and high data usage can be found.

PWAs, in comparison, don’t consume much in that case. And when it comes to using apps in the areas where data charges are higher, progressive apps are your best options.


  • Cost

The cost of developing a native app is way more than that of a progressive app. These apps are basically developed in Java or Kotlin for Android or Objective-C or Swift for iOS. The main disadvantage of these apps is that they take a long time to develop and then are duplicated for different platforms. Hence there’s a high cost of maintenance for these apps.

PWAs are cost-effective as the cost and time are invested in developing only one app that runs on every platform.




The native apps vs the progressive web apps debate is never-ending. But it doesn’t have to be a hard choice for you at all. It just depends on what you really need. If you don’t really need your app to have regular native features and are mainly looking forward to presenting an improved experience on mobile devices, a PWA would be a cheaper and quicker solution.


To know more about progressive app development, you can contact Applify at Our experts will guide you to the best options.

Vaishali Uniyal is a content writer. She is also an avid reader and a mental health advocate with a dream to travel every nook and corner of the world.

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