Comparison: Native Apps and Progressive Web Apps

Native Apps and Progressive Web Apps: A Comparison

Google has shaken up the app market with the launch of Progressive Web Apps. But how exactly does this new app type differ from the well-known native apps? We would like to explain this in this small comparison and take a look at the differences between native apps and Progressive Web Apps.

Native apps

Native apps are designed and delivered for a specific operating system – Android or iOS. The sales platform for these apps are the well-known App Stores. These users reach the apps and download them to their smartphone.

Native Apps and Progressive Web Apps in comparison

Sources: Google Play Store and Apple App Store

Other features

  • Creation, care and development costly and time-consuming
  • Access to hardware (e.g., camera)
  • Storing data in the device’s memory
  • Paid apps increase the company’s revenue as it recovers developer costs
  • Installation of the app on the home screen
  • Regular updates via the respective App Store

Progressive Web Apps

Compared to native apps, Progressive Web Apps are not available in any App Store. They can be found as websites on the World Wide Web. In addition, they combine the advantages of responsive websites (adaptation to the respective device) and the advantages of native apps (all app functions). They are accessible via the Internet browser and the user experiences the typical handling of a native app. They can also be used in offline mode, as their contents are stored in the cache of the device and so offline all important elements are loaded. So far, however, only all Android app functions are supported, e.g. the sending of push notifications.

The difference between Native Apps and Progressive Web Apps on Android and iOS

Other features

  • “progressive”: gradual adaptation to technical requirements of the terminal
  • Google indexing
  • Up-to-date thanks to Service Workers
  • Fast loading times
  • Distribution platform is World Wide Web
  • No installation necessary; but dropping off on the homescreen
  • Easy sharing via messenger services, external pages or via QR code
  • SSL encryption



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