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Native Apps vs. Progressive Web Apps (PWAs): Everything You Should Know



Native apps are known for their exceptional performance and superior user experience. They have been the go-to business mobile apps for decades, but not anymore.

Progressive web apps (PWAs) are slowly but steadily taking over. Businesses are jumping on the bandwagon, insisting that PWAs drive user engagement, are easier to install, and generally, offer better app performance.

But how true is this?

This article compares a progressive web app vs a native, bringing to your attention their advantages, disadvantages, and differences.

Let’s delve into the specifics.

What is a PWA?

A progressive app is an application you can not download to your phone and only access via a browser. A developer will design it as a website but leverage cutting-edge technologies to make it adopt the functionality of mobile applications.

What is a Native App?

A native mobile app is a software program coded for Android or iOS. It is uniquely designed to function on specific platforms or operating systems. Unlike a web-based app, React Native programs can be downloaded from App Store and Google Play.

Pros and Cons of PWAs vs Native Apps

Below we dig deeper into the advantages and disadvantages of these two applications.



  • These have faster loading times compared to their counterparts.
  • They allow consumers to access information or services across multiple platforms.
  • Since they are multi-platform, businesses don’t need to build apps for the different platforms, making them cost-effective.
  • They offered businesses unmatched convenience by eliminating the need to upload them onto different stores.
  • Considering they are available on a browser and not tucked away in app stores, they present increased visibility.
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  • While you can incorporate various progressive web app features, PWAs have limited functionality.
  • You cannot access them without an Internet connection.

Native Applications


  • Native app performance is impressive as these programs are built to work on single platforms and come with preloaded elements, allowing them to work faster.
  • They support offline mode.
  • They will easily integrate with other mobile applications
  • They support monetization strategies as businesses can include payment processing features, among other things
  • They support robust security capabilities, allowing businesses to add multiple security features for data, consumer, and company security.


  • They do not work on all platforms or operating systems
  • Their development process is often complex, which translates to higher costs.
  • They require ongoing software maintenance to ensure they function optimally.

PWAs vs Native Apps from the Developer’s Perspective

  • They are coded using different languages

While PWAs will use frameworks and tools such as HTML, JavaScript, and CSS, native apps will use Java, React, Objective-C, and Swift due to their varying functionalities.

  • Development complexity

Another notable difference between a progressive web app and a native app is that the former is easier to build than its counterpart. They do not need coding from scratch, minimizing costs as well as any arising complexities.

Are PWAs the Better Option for Business?

Yes and no. It will depend on the use case.

If your consumers are available on multiple platforms, then a PWA for Android and iOS would be ideal. The application will be universally available to consumers from both platforms, boosting outreach.

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Additionally, if you offer services and solutions that do not need you to access, for instance, the user’s location or contacts, a web app will be much appreciated.

However, if your business needs mobile apps with advanced features such as mobile payments, Facebook detection, analytics, live streaming, or location tracking, PWAs will not make the cut.

How to Choose the Perfect One?

Many companies are often in a fix, wondering whether to choose a native app or PWA. Sure, both have their pros and cons, but there are various situations where one is a superior option.

As such, you must consider factors such as third-party integration, security, installation, and push notifications.

For instance:

  • If you are a start-up company operating on a shoestring budget, custom web app development is an excellent option. The same applies to companies that need interactive applications that don’t require downloading.
  • On the other hand, if you want to build a robust application that offers optimal functionality for specific platforms, a React Native application would be perfect – the same as if you want downloadable applications with advanced security options.

Summing Up

Are you still trying to weigh PWA vs Native applications?

Scimus can help.

We are a software development company well-versed in engineering cutting-edge mobile and web applications. We will analyze your unique needs, helping you pick a custom development solution that delivers an end-to-end solution. As a plus, we are experts in testing native applications and PWA, guaranteeing quality products that untangle your complex business problems.

Contact us today.


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