By now it is pretty well established that companies and influencers really should have a mobile presence. Mobile apps are very much the next web at this point. Though, with at least two popular platforms to support, having an app made for you can be confusing and costly. Native apps are built specifically for the operating systems they run on, and generally have the best hardware access and user experience. Progressive Web Apps (PWA) though, let you build once, and have it run on either Android, iOS, or even desktop. Which one suits you the best? Native mobile app or PWA? Let’s see their respective pros/cons.
Good old native apps!
Sometimes old is gold. Native apps are still the way to go for providing the absolute native UI experience of Android or iOS, or accessing some advanced hardware capabilities. While the performance and compatibility of PWAs have already gotten very good, the native option is still the more overall stable one. Especially with lower end devices, your app is more likely to offer a fast flowing and hiccup free user experience this way.
It is not all roses though. Like you may already know, native apps are custom built to specifically run on the platform they are built for. Code an Android app, build it, publish it on Google Play Store, code an iOS app, build it, and then publish it on Apple App Store. Sometimes the apps are in sync with each other, other times they offer wildly different user experiences and features. Oh, and, it isn’t unknown for one of the app stores approving your app, while the other rejects it. Having two different native apps, especially if built by two teams can end up being rather costly for you. And as you see, the headaches and overheads to deal with do not end with the cost itself.
Finally, when you want to update your app (and you should frequently, it is one of the common qualities of successful apps), you will need to go through a lengthy process of re-coding features, re-building the apps, and re-submitting the updates to the stores, for each platform. Obviously, with almost all the hassles involved the first time around…
If you want to have an app with quick and frequent updates, and with a low cost on both platforms, the answer for native mobile app or PWA may not be the native for you.
New kid on the block: PWA
Where there is a challenge, there will come a solution. For all the advantages native mobile apps have over mobile web pages, they have almost as many disadvantages. Indeed, before the PWA, the question was “mobile apps vs mobile websites“. If you’ve read our post on that though, you will know that mobile websites were hardly the answer most of the time. They offered limited-to-no access to hardware features, they did not offer the true app experience, and they did not perform as well.
PWA technology bridges the two. A PWA is a web application that will run great on any standards-compliant browser. However, it is not just a webpage trying to pretend to be an app. PWA will have access to most app features and hardware that make native apps powerful, and can be an icon on the home page like a native app. Push notifications, camera, and location sensors, offline working capabilities, they are all there.
The main advantages however, are where the native apps suffer. The PWA will run on Android, iOS, and even desktop systems just fine! Develop it once, and it’ll work the same on all the platforms. They are quick and easy to update too. As long as browsers do not act up, they work great. Thankfully, the browser incompatibility issues, and lack of compliance with web standards are things of the past for the most part. So, now when we ask “native mobile app or PWA”, the answer seems obvious right?
Although, there may be yet another answer…
Native mobile app or PWA… Why not both?
What if we say that there is another way? You actually can have your cake, and eat it too! Using the power of an app builder platform will give you an app that you can publish on both Google Play Store and Apple App Store. You need no code, you can build your apps yourself in minutes. No, we are NOT talking about crummy looking apps either. Proper, professional looking mobile apps.
MobiRoller is just that! You can create your apps with clicks in a what you see is what you get fashion. You can publish it for both Android and iOS, and it has all the strengths of native apps.
Let us give you the best of both worlds. Start using MobiRoller for free now!