PWA and Native App: Which one do I need?

As a business owner, you want to reach your customers wherever they are and provide them with a seamless shopping experience. One way to do this is by having a […]

As a business owner, you want to reach your customers wherever they are and provide them with a seamless shopping experience. One way to do this is by having a mobile app. But with so many options out there, it can be confusing to decide which route to take. Should you use a Native Mobile App or a Progressive Web App (PWA)? This article will explore the difference between a PWA and a Native App. This to help you determine which one you need and is best for your business. So, buckle up and get ready to dive into the world of mobile apps!

A bit of history

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) have been around for a few years, but they’ve really started to gain traction in the last couple of years. So, what exactly is a PWA, and where did it come from?

A PWA is essentially a website that functions like a Native Mobile App. It can be added to a user’s home screen and provides an app-like experience, including offline functionality and push notifications. The term PWA was first coined in 2015 to bridge the gap between the web and Native Apps. The idea was to create a new type of app that would be faster and more reliable than traditional web apps while also providing users with a Native App-like experience.

In the years since their introduction, PWAs have become increasingly popular among businesses and developers. This is because they offer several benefits, including reaching a wider audience (since they can be accessed through a browser), lower development and maintenance costs, and faster deployment times.

Today, PWAs are used by many businesses, from small startups to large enterprises. And with the growing popularity of mobile devices and the increasing demand for convenient and seamless mobile experiences, it’s likely that PWAs will continue to gain in popularity in the coming years.

Key differences

How do customers get access to it?

The first key difference between a Native App and a Progressive Web App (PWA) is how you access them. You must download Native Apps from an app store, like the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, and installed on your device. This means you have to search for the app, click install, and wait for it to download and install before you can use it.

On the other hand, you can access PWAs directly from a browser on your device. All you have to do is type in the URL, and you’re good to go. No need to search for the app or go through the hassle of installing it. Just open the browser, type in the URL, and boom! You’re ready to use the PWA.

How it’s made

The second key difference between Native and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) is how they are made. Native Apps are created specifically for a particular platform, like iOS or Android. They must be built using that platform’s programming language. This means that if you want to make a Native App for iOS and Android, you’ll have to create two separate versions of the app, one for each platform.

On the other hand, PWAs are made using web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. This means they can work on any device with a modern browser. You only have to create one version of the PWA, and it will work on any device, whether it’s an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy. Talk about efficiency!

Now, Native Apps can access certain device features that PWAs can’t, like the accelerometer. But if you’re looking to create a basic app that works on multiple platforms, PWAs might be the way to go. They’re like the Swiss Army knife of app development – they may not have all the fancy bells and whistles, but they get the job done.


The third key difference between Native Apps and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) is cost. Building a Native App can be more expensive than creating a PWA. This because it requires specialized development skills and often involves making separate versions for different platforms. PWAs, on the other hand, only need to be built once and will work on any device with a modern browser, saving you time and money. So if you’re on a budget and want to stretch your dollars as far as they’ll go, PWAs might be the way to go.


The fourth key difference between Native and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) is maintenance. Native Appsrequire updates to be distributed through app stores and installed by users, while PWAs only need to be updated at the web server level. This means that if you want to update a Native App, you’ll have to go through the app store review process and wait for users to install the updates. With a PWA, you can make updates as soon as they’re ready, and users will see the changes the next time they access the app. It’s like magic! There is no need to go through the hassle of waiting for app store approval or hoping that users will install the updates. Just make the changes and watch the magic happen.

User experience

The fifth and last key difference between Native and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) is user experience. Native Apps can offer a more seamless and intuitive experience because they are designed specifically for the platform they are used on. They can take advantage of device-specific features and are optimized for the hardware they are running on. PWAs can provide a similar experience but may not be as smooth and responsive as a Native App. They’re like the difference between a tailored suit and an off-the-rack one – both might look good, but the tailored suit will fit and feel better. So if the user experience is your top priority, Native Apps might be the way to go.


So there you have it, the top five key differences between Native and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). Ultimately, the choice between the two comes down to your specific needs and goals. Do you want a tailored app that’s optimized for a specific platform and offers a seamless user experience? Go for a Native App. Are you looking for a more cost-effective solution that works on any device with a modern browser? PWAs might be the way to go.

No matter which option you choose, it’s essential to consider your business goals and needs carefully. Both Native Apps and PWAs have their benefits and drawbacks, and the right choice will depend on your situation. So take the time to weigh the pros and cons and make the best decision for your business.

FastForward – The PWA solution for your brand

Are you ready to take your eCommerce game to the next level with a PWA? Look no further than FastForward! This awesome platform takes the Salesforce PWA Kit. It supercharges it with customizable modules and pre-built components that let you create a unique and specific storefront to your brand. And the best part? It’ll get your PWA up and running in no time without you having to do a ton of tedious development work.

But FastForward isn’t just about speed – it’s also packed with features and tools to help you manage and optimize your PWA. Need to boost your search engine rankings? No problem. FastForward has you covered with its SEO optimization tools. Want to manage your PWA’s content and design easily? FastForward has a Page Designer (CMS) for that. And when it comes to increasing conversion, FastForward has a ton of UX improvements like streamlined checkout flows and personalized recommendations to make your PWA more user-friendly and engaging.

In short, FastForward is the complete package for businesses looking to launch a PWA. It’s got everything you need to create a successful, brand-specific storefront that’s tailored to your unique needs. So why wait? Start using FastForward and watch your PWA (and your sales) soar! And we are here to help you with making that decision!

Download the whitepaper below and find out how FastForward can benefit your business. 

Want to know more about this topic?


We’ll guide you in finding the right solutions. Our specialised team is skilled in diverse commerce solutions like e-commerce, loyalty and omni-channel and will keep you on track for the future.

Forward Newsletter

Subscribe now and be up to date about the latest developments