The mobile app has become a crucial tool in every company's toolbox, and it must provide a fantastic experience and outstanding outcomes. Indeed, Progressive Web Apps, a new form of app, have gained popularity in recent years (PWA). It combines the functionality of a native application with the usability of a website. Many people have questioned if PWAs would eventually replace native applications.
What is the distinction between a PWA and a native application? What are their pros and cons? Which one should your business take into account? Let’s find out with expert insight from VNEXT Global!
A progressive web app is less cost-consuming to develop than a native application. In the case of a native application, you must learn the language and create a version for each platform. This necessitates a minimum of two versions for iOS and Android, as well as the capacity to maintain and update each version. Depending on the function and complexity of the application, this demands a substantial investment of time and resources.
Developing and maintaining cost
You can utilize a single codebase for multiple platforms, not just the two most popular ones. Instead of designing an app from scratch, you can adapt your existing website using Google Lighthouse and other tools. With responsive design, you only need a single app version, and it will appear identically on all devices.
In addition to designing unique versions of a native application for each platform, you must also submit them to the respective App Stores. The most popular app stores are Apple's App Store and Android's Play Store, but there are also Amazon's Appstore and Windows Store. In order to be published on each of these platforms, you must fulfill a number of requirements. Occasionally, you must pay a charge to register a developer account.
The search engine cannot index and list native app pages. Users can access your application through the app store or its website. Several factors influence app discoverability, and App Store Optimization can help customers locate your app more quickly (ASO).
ASO is the process of improving your website's position in store search results. It includes keyword research, developing an effective title and meta description, capturing high-quality screenshots, employing relevant categorization, reaching out to third parties for downloads and reviews, etc. All of these, however, add time and expense to the delivery of your app to the market.
In contrast to native applications, PWAs function like websites and may therefore be indexed by search engines. PWA has greater performance and engagement compared to standard/responsive web pages, helping your website rank higher in search results.
The following additional measures will ensure that your PWA is SEO-friendly:
- Implement a comparable SEO framework to your website;
- Use rel=canonical for several URLs to avoid duplication content;
- Googlebot will not index anything following a "#" in URLs, as the symbol prevents indexing.
- Using tools such as Google Search Console, you may determine if Googlebot is indexing your site properly.
You may refer to this blog: How Can You Optimize Your React Web App For SEO?
Security and confidentiality
PWAs are more private than standard web applications since they must operate via HTTPS.
These security protocols ensure that no alterations are made to communications between the client and the server. In a secure atmosphere, clients can enter their credit card and personal information without fear of theft.
With a native application, you have the option to include numerous security measures. Implement Multi-Factor Authentication if your application requires a login. Certificate pinning is also available for even more secure communication. In addition, customers are more inclined to trust an app than a URL due to the App Store's stringent security criteria.
A consideration between PWA and native application
Both native applications and PWAs have benefits and drawbacks. When deciding between them, you should analyze the strengths of each choice and how well they align with your app's mission.
Choosing PWA if:
- You've just begun and desire a simple application for your user: PWA does not require a download and enables interaction with the user through push notifications.
- You have time and financial constraints: PWA development and publication requires less time and money;
- You want to increase brand exposure and search engine optimization. A PWA is similar to any website and reaches a large audience.
Choosing native application if:
- You wish to increase the reputation of your brand: Publishing software via app stores improves their dependability, and native applications offer greater security options.
- You desire to use advanced smartphone functions: If geofencing and sensor/detection are crucial to UX, or if your product demands a substantial amount of CPU resources.
Both progressive web apps and native applications have benefits and drawbacks. Their functions serve distinct goals, therefore organizations must proceed cautiously when selecting the most suitable alternative. Depending on the purpose and resources of your project, you can pick the appropriate choice.
If you are looking for a trusted IT partner, VNEXT Global is the ideal choice. With 14+ years of experience, we surely can help you to optimize your business digitalization within a small budget and short time. Currently, we have 400+ IT consultants and developers in Mobile App, Web App, System, Blockchain Development and Testing Services. We have provided solutions to 600+ projects in several industries for clients worldwide. We are willing to become a companion on your way to success. Please tell us when is convenient for you to have an online meeting to discuss this further. Have a nice day!