Today, time has changed, as we can access the internet by not only using computer devices but with mobile phones or smartphones as well.
With the increase in the number of smartphones, the number of people who access the internet has also increased! In five years from 2014 – 2019, the worldwide mobile App revenues have grown by approximately five times.
In 2020 too, we can expect businesses to use state-of-the-art mobile apps that reach in-features and enhance real-time engagement with users.
Mobile Apps are a fundamental part of any business and are used broadly to educate, promote, and provide information about their product and services to the targeted customers. Business presence on the mobile app is more important to inch towards success in this technically built business world. Today, mobile apps are not just limited to businesses there are various features and functionalities that are emphasized to build an excellent app converting your app idea to reality. Now, the question that arises is “How do you convert your App idea into reality?
To utilize and develop the Mobile App for your business, one must understand the flow of Mobile App Development. Once you get the idea about the App development process the main thing that comes in mind will be “What are the ways to do it?”
So, basically there are two technology bases for Mobile Apps!
Android & iOS!
When it comes to choosing one out of both, there are many options available in order to convert your business idea into reality.
There are multiple methods. A few options are building a Responsive website, a Native App or a Progressive Web App for businesses that want to stay connected with the audience through smart-phones!
Let’s understand them in brief!
Responsive Mobile Website
A Responsive Website changes the layout to offer an experience suitable for the device in use, especially ideal for mobile viewing. Responsive mobile websites are easy to develop but they tend to be less amiable when we consider user experience.
But at times, the responsive website takes time to load as well as it doesn’t cover all the user needs. The user may face browser compatibility issues sometimes with responsive websites.
Native Apps are built to run on a specific operating system like Android or iOS.
After building the Mobile app it has to be submitted and reviewed by the Google Play Store or Apple App Store to make sure it marks up to each platform’s standards.
Native Apps can be easily downloaded by users from app stores and can be added to home screens of smartphones.
Native apps development has a number of benefits and is excellent at offering the best UI/UX, but they are limited to certain devices and have high obstacles to acquisition.
Progressive Web App
Progressive Web App (PWA) is still a website though it looks and feels like an app, all the credit goes to modern web technology.
Users will browse Progressive Web App on their browser with a URL just like they do for any general website, but right after that, they feel the experience of using an “app” on their browser, without any requirement to download and install.
When a Progressive Web App is active in the web browser, the user can receive push notifications through it, or add it to the home screen to access the application faster.
It is also possible to save data to preview the app offline, as it utilizes cache data.
Let us describe it in a more imaginary way- We can say it is an app that lives in the cloud.
In simple words, the Progressive Web App is a mobile website that follows an approach that lies between mobile Apps & simple websites!
In Andrew Gazdecki’s article in Forbes, it has been said with specific reasons that progressive web apps will replace native mobile apps in the future, focusing on the point “Google, Apple, and Microsoft, which are the three main standards while we consider the native App, are all transforming to PWAs. In its own way, Progressive Web Apps are the future of mobile app development.” as remarks from Andrew Gazdecki points it out.
PWAs can be directly downloaded from the website & can be opened in any kind of browser!
It provides full-screen experience i.e. the user won’t be facing the annoying navigation panel.
A PWA is fast to load and is an app of lightweight!
Native Apps vs Progressive Web Apps: Which is better to use, is still in debate and here is the reason.
No one talks about the “fact” that there are desktop PWAs, but they are much less popular than mobile PWAs.
In fact, desktop progressive web apps offer less advantage compared to websites, so its development is a personal choice.
As this technology is under continuous development, it may give rise to new opportunities and might become the upcoming bright future of desktop development.
Google describes PWAs as the web experiences of users that are Reliable, Fast, and Engaging.
Native and PWA both have their own Advantages & Disadvantages!
Let us directly jump to the topic! When to use PWAs & when to use Native Apps!
When to opt for PWAs?
For a Cost-Efficient Budget
If you have a limited budget and cost-efficiency is your first requirement, choose PWA, because, Native App Development needs a separate development process for each platform. Android & iOS are famous ones but not the only platforms in the market! Native App Development limits you to a certain market while the PWA lets you take the App ahead globally!
To avoid the stress of App Deployment on app stores
If you are fed up with the deployment of Mobile Apps on the App Store, PWA is a better solution. PWA is directly downloaded from the website, thus the headache of technical fulfilments & OS issues can be eliminated. Minor changes & version updates are very easy to go in the case of PWAs. After deployment of App, there is no surety that your app will be visible to every user. You will have to fight for the chance to be seen among the apps on the app stores.
For better Revenue Generation
For maximum Native Apps, the App owners face a pinhole in the revenue as a percent of revenue is given to app store owner for paid downloads, subscription, in-app purchase, But for PWA all the revenue remains in the hands of the one who owns and launches it!
To gain User Attention
PWA is a website by nature and hence it has inbuilt SEO (Search Engine Optimization). We know that Native apps are also not lagging in that topic as they are ASO (App Store Optimization) optimized. Ask any leading Digital Marketing service providers and they will tell that SEO provides higher results as compared to ASO. Google prioritizes PWAs over the traditional websites or mobile applications hence, your PWA will easily be available to the users, thus enhancing the visibility of your business.
To Prioritize Data Speed
If your application is heavy in terms of data load, and the loading speed is your priority then prefer PWA! While we talk about PWA user do not download the content, which happens while opting for Native Apps. PWAs cover a less amount of phone storage thus making it easy for users!
To Achieve Users’ Loyalty & Fan-Following
Sharing a PWA is very easy, as copying URL is what one needs to do! No need to look for apps in the app stores and search for the specific one in order to share. A user just opens the link, saves icon on the home screen and uses it anytime. Annoying updates are also not present in PWAs, which is also an attractive point for users! For native apps efforts are required to keep applications up-to-date!
For Small Businesses or Start-ups
The development of PWAs is faster, simple as well as cheaper, which is a perfect choice for small start-ups. It is also affordable and suitable for your new emerging business! While talking about Native Apps they consume a large amount of time in development and they are expensive too. Large and Medium-size businesses can also prefer PWAs as Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter are the best examples of PWA which offer a huge business development value.
When to opt for The Native App?
To keep things Under Control
You should choose native app development when you want to control things. PWAs are not supported by all the browsers perfectly, and as an owner of a business, you won’t be having any power to change that.! Example: PWAs do not offer any chance to use 3D!
To develop complicated Functionalities
When you are familiar with the functionalities of your future App, if they are complicated then you should prefer Native Apps! For example, Bluetooth is not possible using PWAs! The connection of smart devices and providing geolocation is possible only through Native Apps!
Security as Priority
If the security of data is your first priority then you should choose Native app development! Web platforms are more possible to get breached as compared to Mobile apps! Though PWAs have security protocols, Native apps are safer and hacker-resistant compared to PWAs!
When Website is not a Compulsion
If your business doesn’t have a website nor you plan to have one, then you should go for native apps! Native Apps are self-sufficient in such a way that they can function as a standalone application!
To use Geo-Fencing
An opportunity that is offered only by Native Apps is Geo-Fencing! It is a technique used by businesses to track the movement of people nearby and act accordingly. For Example: – Any store can send notifications to the user if the customer is in the nearby surroundings of the store, inform the customers about the store, draw their attention & offer discounts to attract them to store. PWAs will hopefully adding this functionality in the future!
To conclude, the decision of choosing one out of both depends on the feature requirements, budget, and user experience. Native apps are costly in terms of Progressive Web App, but Native Apps consist of great features and provide an amazing user experience. PWAs are the most affordable in terms of development but need precision in developing an efficient one. They are efficient, but not as much as native apps. At present, PWAs have restricted features, but soon the scenario might change with the passing of time.