What Are Progressive Web Applications (PWAs)?

by Andy Jones ,
December 16, 2022
Web Application Development

In this day and age, there is an app for everything. Whether you need help with banking, trading cryptocurrency, or even shopping, it’s safe to say that there is now a simplified way to approach just about anything. If you want to gain a much deeper understanding of what PWAs are and how they compare to native apps, then simply take a look below.

What’s a Progressive Web App?

A PWA is an app that has built-in web technology. This could be JavaScript, CSS or even HTML. With this in mind, it’s important to understand that it has the same feel and functionality as a normal, native app. A native app is a software solution that has a very specific programming language. It’s made to work with a specific platform too, such as Android or IOS. PWAs on the other hand give you the chance to send push notifications, as well as allowing you to work offline. They are also enhanced with a lot of modern APIs, giving you the chance to take advantage of improved capability across the board.

Top Characteristics of PWA

  • Responsiveness
  • Independent Connectivity
  • Fully Installable
  • Discoverable
  • Cross-Platform Functionality

PWA VS Native Applications

Believe it or not, PWAs are actually way cheaper to develop when compared to native apps. The main reason for this is because when you develop a native app, you will have to take the time to learn a programming language. You will then have to build a version of the app to suit every device. Down the road, the resources required to maintain and then update the app add up, so this is another cost to take into account. In the case of a PWA, you will have a single codebase for various platforms. This is time-saving as it means that you don’t have to develop it from scratch.


One thing to take note of is that a native app cannot be indexed by the search engine. You can only find them through the App Store or the Play Store. It’s possible for you to increase the discoverability of your app by using the ASO, but that’s about it.


In this day and age, if you want to run a website, you have to make sure that you encrypt it with SSL. This helps to make it more secure. PWAs are essentially a website which has been converted into an app, which means that they are far more secure. If you want to make your native app secure, you have to implement various security measures, such as multi-factor authentication.


Native applications have to be found and installed via the app store. This requires a great deal of commitment from the user, from finding the app to checking permissions. The great thing about PWA is that you don’t need to concern yourself with any of this.

So, as you can see, PWA is far superior to a normal, native app. If you want to create an app, then you would be doing yourself a disservice if you overlooked the potential that this kind of app has to offer.

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