Have you heard about progressive web apps(PWA)? If yes, then you should be familiar with what it has to offer.
For the uninitiated, PWA apps use web technology to deliver a similar experience to both the web and the mobile device. This means that you don’t have to create an app for mobile environment explicitly.
Some of the great examples of PWA apps are Flipboard, Twitter Mobile, Flipkart Lite and so on. Many companies also reported positive business outcome by transiting to PWA apps.
For example, Flipkart reported 70% more conversion after their introduction of Facebook Lite.
As promising it may sound, there are still issues that revolve around PWA. But, what can go wrong?
In this article, we will list five reasons why we think that progressive web apps aren’t a replacement for native apps.
1. Write Once, run-everywhere doesn’t work every time
PWA is marketed as the ultimate solution that will enable companies to create an application that once created will be used universally.
“Write Once, run-everywhere” is the mantra that almost every single programming language use. Remember, Java? It also claimed that it runs on any platform.
The user needs to install the required JDK. But, this doesn’t mean that it is used everywhere.
Similarly, progressive web app, even with the ability to cater to multiple platforms, will not make native apps perish.
Let’s try to understand the above statement carefully. In the real world, different platforms work differently.
Even when PWA are created, they are just not at par with the native application. They can cater to one particular audience but may fail even to get noticed from the other.
We already have hybrid frameworks that let any business create one application that can run on both Android and iOS. But, still, we see companies investing heavily in creating native apps.
In the end, we might have to give up on the superiority of the native apps and settle with mediocre PWA apps.
2. It’s not cheap to develop PWA apps
Another selling point of the progressive web apps is cheap development. It may sound counterintuitive, but developing and maintaining PWA apps is not cheap.
It requires the best developers effort to create PWA apps that work on multiple platforms without any little to no compromise on features and functionality.
Native apps, on the other hand, are easy to create. It also doesn’t need a huge amount of investment compared to PWA apps that require more expertise.
Also, it is hard to find app development companies who excel at this skill at the current stage of the market
3. Native apps perform better
Native apps are famous for their performance. The simple reason behind this is the fact that you can build your app directly using native APIs.
However, it is not the case for PWA apps where the app developers have to access the core functionality of a platform using a wrapper class.
4. Monetizing can take a hit
There is no doubt that native apps have to go through their storefronts such as Google Play or App Store. This means that your app either have to be freemium or paid from the start.
Also, most of the apps have ads included. Native apps always enjoy the already available monetization platform.
However, that might not be true for the progressive web apps. Monetizing PWA for a different audience and emerging market can be a challenge which might require the team to integrate multiple payment gateways for a simple app.
The last point that goes against PWA is its discovery potential. Many analysts and proponents of PWA believe that it will become easier for smaller companies to find more customers as mobile users rarely install new apps that are not so much popular.
Even though this seems plausible, the truth is far away from it. Native apps hold the similar rate of success when it comes to becoming popular.
Multiple apps are released by unknown developers that get traction if they are good. For example, Sebastiano Poggi, an Android developer released his simple home screen widget app on AppStore.
His open source app got downloaded by 150k+ users over a span of 1 year. So, according to what we see here, it is not hard to sell your app on native platforms such as Android and iOS.
That’s it; we discussed the five reasons progressive web apps aren’t a replacement for native apps. Do let us know what do you think about it in the comments section below.
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