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Native Apps vs Progressive Web Apps

Updated March 3, 2021
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Native Apps vs Progressive Web App, What’s the Difference?

We have gotten this question a lot, and as a professional website design and app development company we realize the benefits of both, but this may not be so apparent to non-tech geeks like us! In this article, I would like to spread some light on the subject and hopefully help businesses make an educated decision when deciding between a native application and a website with progressive app functions.

What is a Native App?

A native app aka (NMA) is also known as a smartphone app, ie Android Apps or Apple Apps. These applications are downloaded by the user from the respective provider marketplace, ie, the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, to the user’s device. A native app allows for push notifications from the app. Any changes to the app’s coding need to be downloaded by the user on their device in order for the new features to be updated. The core coding files of the app are stored on the user’s device.

What is a Progressive Web App?

A progressive app aka (PWA) is not downloaded on the user’s device through the app store, however, the user can save the app on their device using a bookmarking function. This creates a small file on the user’s device to open the progressive web app and load items faster than a traditional mobile website. A progressive app function allows for push notifications and user accounts very similar to a native application.

Comparison Chart

Below is a non-objective comparison chart of the capabilities of both native mobile apps and progressive web apps. However please note, these comparisons of capabilities will rely heavily on the budget of the project and the scope discussed with the team developing your project.

With that said, if function over budget is your main focus, I would recommend utilizing both technologies, as some of the largest companies in the world are moving forward. Some examples of companies paving the way for a cross between both technologies are Apple, Google, and Microsoft, which are now utilizing both NMAs and PWAs for their organization tools.

If you need help with a PWA, NMA, or both, contact us for your next project—we would love to help you build your business. Contact us or give us a call (702) 904-4262

Capability
Easily secure access to proprietary company news and information.
Reach customers where they are – mobile, web, and email.
Personalized experience – target by property, job type, etc.
Consumer-like experience for ease of use and adoption across employee base.
Automated push notification sent to user’s device.
Single point of publishing to mobile, web, and email. This is a capability, however, this will depend on the complexity of the build.
Easy access to ADP and other internal systems.
Full email newsletter integration ability, including templates, branding, scheduling, drip campaigns, and analytics.
Unified analytics that track across all communication channels and employee segment. Ability to view how key company initiatives are resonating.
End-to-end support, including technical support and 24-7 user support.
Needs to be downloaded on user’s device.
Developed for specific device types. This can improve some user-experience, however, the cost of development and maintenance goes up substantially.
Lower cost to develop and maintain, since native mobile apps need to be developed for each operating system they are created for. The cost is substantially increased in contrast to a progessive web app which is designed based on the size of the screen the user is using.
Low device Storage Usage, which is a benefit for users who do not have extra storage space on their device.
Online visibility. Native mobile apps are only available in their respective app stores. Websites with progressive web app features are available on search engines and are indexed on the internet.
Can be both available to the public and private, depending on the rules given within the application.
The ability for an easy to use user-interface for non-tech users to add content to.
Battery consumption. Native mobile apps are written in code specific to the user’s device causing less processing power and ultimately less battery life. However, this is a small factor unless the user is spending several hours on the app.
NMA
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
PWA
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Both
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes/No
Yes/No
No
No
Yes/No
Yes/No
Yes
Yes/No
Again, if we can help you in anyway on your business app journey we’d love to help. Contact us or give us a call (702) 904-4262

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About the Author

Justin is a local marketing expert with over 15 years of experience creating brand recognition around digital strategies.

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