Progressive Web Apps VS True Native Apps

By Blog

Many mobile developers are shifting to Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) as an alternative to true native apps. While PWAs have some pros, there are also some negatives. Which should you choose? To make the right call, you should choose the option that’s most beneficial for your business and not just the developer.


But what are the differences?

The True Native App


As the name suggests, the true native app is built specifically for the platform it runs on – iOS or Android. That’s Swift or Objective C for iOS, and Java for Android. This gives developers the power to create a powerful app from the ground up, taking full advantage of the functionalities of the specific device.


In this development method your app enjoys the power of specific code, which is the cornerstone of most powerful and efficient applications. In the hands of creative app designers and gifted programmers, the possibilities are endless. Even when you’re selecting from a collection of white label native apps, you know you’re getting the best mobile performance. Your users and business will benefit from all the device specific functionality that went into the development of the native app.


An additional benefit, is that users put more trust in native apps. Why? Because these apps are downloaded directly from the App Store. Customers will be more willing to download an app that has been approved by Apple or Google. Associating ones business with Apple and Android also garners trust in the brand.


So, does a true native app have no cons? Well there are a couple of potential downsides for some developers. We’ll talk about them later.


Let’s take a look at the progressive web apps.


Progressive Web App (PWA)


As this name suggests, a progressive web app is built on web based technology. This means they run in a browser, much like a responsive website.

PWAs aren’t supported by all browsers. Notably, Safari (the default browser on all iOS devices), which means no offline work mode, home-screen installation or push notifications. The lack of push notifications alone could be a disadvantage. You’ll be missing out on the huge iOS market. Moreover, PWAs tend to be slower than native apps.


In contrast to the language that’s used to build true native apps, PWAs are written in high level web code. This means users’ mobile phones will have to work harder to ‘interpret’ high level code, and that means consuming more battery life.


A PWA can access some, but (unlike native apps), not all device specific functionality. So things like proximity sensors, advanced camera controls, geofencing etc. are unavailable.

This could limit what your app can do.


Which is a better choice?


Choose True Native if:

  • You need an app on iOS
  • You want the best user experience
  • Your app will have many features
  • Your app needs to access contacts


Choose PWA if:

  • You need simple functionality
  • You need easy distribution
  • You need an app for Android


True native apps can be more expensive, and can take longer to develop than PWAs. However, this is not the case with our managed white label app service.


You can select one of the amazing apps we’ve developed for your specific business niche. It’s cost-effective and certainly doesn’t take a lot of time.


The white label app industry has changed significantly in the last 6 months. Apple has become increasingly strict on the apps it approves. This is why it is important to create high quality native apps if submitting to iOS.


In any case, you’re now in a much better position to judge the merits of both true native apps and PWAs. Feel free to check our true native apps collection and see which fits your niche.