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PWA applications vs native applications – technology comparison

 

PWA application or native applications?

When creating a mobile application, there are always many questions what technology to choose? There are various possibilities such as PWA application, cross-platform applications or native applications. Today, we will explain the differences between these technologies and suggest in what situation a given technology should be chosen.

PWA application – what is it? Progressive Web App – Progressive application

First of all, let’s explain why the application is called progressive – this type of application adapts perfectly to any type of device, thanks to which User Experience is perfectly adapted to any type of device. PWA is very well adapted to mobile devices. These types of applications can use various functions of mobile devices, but there are some limitations here. These types of applications are launched from the browser level on the device (eg Chrome, Firefox). Of course, a shortcut to the application is created on the device, thanks to which the user has the same impression as when using an application written in hybrid technologies.

PWA application – Advantages
PWA saves money – When writing a PWA application, one code is enough for the application to work on Android, iOS and web platforms. If the application is written natively, then the client must create an Android and iOS application completely separately.
Progressive applications do not take up space on the user’s device. The icon on the phone screen is only a shortcut to the web application

Users do not need to install applications from the AppStore and Google Play stores. Access to the application is via URL link.

The developer of the application does not have to throw the application into stores. Therefore, verification of these applications in stores is also not required. It is similar with possible updates. In the case of PWA, it can be uploaded immediately.
PWA application – Disadvantages

PWA applications are not supported by all internet browsers
Despite the growing popularity, applications of this type are less well supported on Apple devices than native applications
Device camera access – On some browsers there is a problem with accessing the device’s camera and it will not be possible to scan codes directly in the application
PWA applications are not published in stores and therefore their marketing is difficult. Owning an application in a market increases trust and users are more likely to download such an application.

Progressive Web Apps drain the battery a lot.

PUSH notifications – This is the biggest disadvantage of PWA. At the moment, PUSH notifications are not supported on any iOS mobile browser

In general, PWA is very limited when it comes to using phone modules. If in the future you would like to add functions using the GPS of the device or the vibration module in the application, it will not work properly on every browser
Native applications

Unlike PWA applications, native applications are written for a dedicated platform. In this case, applications for the iOS and Android platforms must be developed separately. Native applications are the fastest and best adapted to run on mobile devices. They allow you to use every possible functionality offered by the operating system. They are also much more expensive to create because the code must be written for a given platform.

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What are the advantages of native applications?

The speed of mobile applications is the fastest in the case of mobile applications
User Experience in the case of native applications is the best – intuitive components in Android and iOS layouts, always smooth animations are great advantages of this solution.
Access to all device modules – The ability to freely use modules such as GPS, NFC, Camera, Bluetooth, gyroscope or access to contacts in the application. Thanks to this, we are not limited in this respect when creating native applications.
High security of mobile applications and the possibility of using the best security in mobile applications

What are the downsides of native apps?

Native applications take up phone memory and consume RAM
Higher costs of creating native applications. This is due to the fact that applications for the Android and iOS platforms are developed using different technologies. Each application must be written from scratch.

Long time for releasing applications and making updates. Each time a new version of the application is to be released to the Google Play or AppStore, the full approval process must be completed.

Cross-platform applications

There is also a solution to write a cross-platform application. These are technologies such as Flutter or React Native. These technologies will force the need to write some common code for the Android and iOS platforms, and separate parts for these two platforms. As a result, it is faster than writing both applications for both platforms.

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