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Progressive Web App vs Native App: Is PWA The Future?

Over the past decade, native apps have ruled the school yard. Native apps had all the cool features, and the web seemed pretty weak just a few years ago. Everyone was crazy about native apps. The web was feeling like the ugly stepsister.

Now, users are growing tired of native apps. The web is making a comeback. PWAs are adding more and more new features that deeply integrate with the platform. With native apps, the money is made with two app types: games and media subscriptions.

Yet, the average adult downloads zero new apps in a given month. Most app downloads happen because the user is purchasing a new phone and putting the apps they were previously using back on the phone.

Here are 6 ways that a PWA could be superior to Native Apps:

Mobile Screen Time

Native apps dominate user screen time. They account for 87% of the time we spend on our devices. And the vast majority of that time is spent on Facebook. Almost all of the time is being used in Facebook-owned apps. The top apps are Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, and the rest is divided between SnapChat, YouTube, and Gmail.

Native Apps Lose 20% Per Step in Download Process

Ninety percent of the native apps we download are removed after one use. That means the majority of native apps have a terrible ROI. On top of that, according to research, native apps lose 20% per step in the download and install process.

Start With 100 Potential App Downloads

Load Store – 800

Find App in Store – 640

Click Install – 512

Accept Permissions – 410

Download App – 328

Use App – 262

The PWA’s Secret Advantage

The web has an ability that native apps may never get or reach. You can send a user a link to a specific page in a site, and your browser will load that content. Your content can also be discovered in a search result.

Newer Web APIs open up access to more common platform features. For instance, native push notifications are one of the more exciting new platform features in recent years. Some additional options, such as Bluetooth, camera, GEO location, sharing, and other APIs can be available on the web.

Shortened Time To Launch

With a PWA, the time to launch a web app is almost instantaneous. PWAs offer an untethered experience, free from app stores, lengthy downloads, or updates. In addition, users can have a unified, omnichannel, in-app experience across all devices. Users also receive a simplified development process that takes 50-75% less time than a traditional native mobile development process.

Why Native Apps Are Languishing

Native apps must be approved by the Apple Store and Google Play first before users can download the apps. The process can take a week or more to get approved. And, in some cases, apps are rejected by the app stores for various and often unknown reasons. In addition, both app stores take a fee of 15 – 30% of your pre-tax revenue on any transaction. You are limited to using the app store payment service.

Here are the Pros and Cons of PWAs in 2021:

Features                                  PWA    Native App

Functions offline                     Yes      Yes

Push notifications                   Yes      Yes

Installable on home screen   Yes      Yes

Mobile-specific navigation    Yes      Yes

Indexed by Google                  Yes      No

One place to enter content    Yes      No

No download required           Yes      No

Bypasses the marketplace     Yes      No

Requires no updates             Yes      No

Can be linked and shared      Yes      No

Low data requirements          Yes      No

Final Thoughts

PWAs are a great channel to grow your organization and engage clients. You need to use your website to sell your app. Why force a visitor to leave your website, go to a third-party app store, and then go through several more steps to load your app? Even if a website visitor doesn’t add your PWA to their home screen, your PWA is installed as soon as they visit any page on our site.

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