React native app development company

Mobile app development: React-Native vs PWAs

People these days spend most of the time on their mobile phones moving from one app to another and it is to no surprise that they expect two things: an elevated performance and a better storage capability. These users are also on a constant rise which today surpasses three billion. Based on data by Statista, China, India and the United States are amongst the countries with the highest number of smartphone users.

With new technologies rolling out for mobile web app development every other day, the question that now needs to be addressed is the choice between native mobile apps and cross-platform hybrid applications. The answer is really simple as in this tech-savvy consumer-driven era people are attracted to anything that is compatible with numerous platforms and operating systems thus making life more convenient for them. Therefore, native mobile apps are now being replaced with hybrid applications.

When dealing with hybrid app development, the choice between using React Native and Progressive Web Apps is always in question. Which app development company would be the best fit to develop your application? How to choose between them?

In this article, we will take a look at both of the technologies extensively, and will help you determine the best fit considering the type of application you want to develop.

Introducing React Native and PWAs

A React Native app development company develops a software framework that provides a native look using JavaScript as its primary programming language. With the help of some native code, the single app is functional on both iOS and Android platforms. It holds favor amongst developers but has its shortcomings – it is an open-source framework, still new, and it needs to be injected with some native code to be fully operational on both iOS and Android.

As discussed in the previous article, Progressive Web Apps are an advanced form of web applications incorporating the features of both the web apps and native mobile web app development. PWAs can be installed on devices and are also made available to the users during limited or no internet connection. Due to their higher responsiveness, safer security protocols, discoverability, and automatic updates they can be a good fit on any mobile device, desktop, or tablet.

How to choose between React Native and PWA?

When choosing between a PWA and a react native app development company, some points must be kept in mind which should be the basis of the final decision-making process. Let’s take a look at them one at a time:

Target end-user

If your target audience is people using app stores for downloading then, go react native and if your goal is to reach a wider range of end-users via the browser then, opt for a PWA.

Cost-effectiveness

If your company is looking for a low-cost option then PWA will be a better choice in comparison to react-native since they have a well-defined tech stack. A single app using HTML, CSS, and JS will be fully functional pretty much everywhere a browser is available. If you wish to run the application on smaller screens like smartwatches then a hybrid app can be built using a Webview that helps wrap your PWA so they can run on those tiny screens. If you want your app to work on a wider range of devices, you need to ensure that your app is responsive and relies on progressive enhancement.

User interface responsiveness and performance

If you intend on having the finest UI responsiveness and an enhanced overall performance then, go react-native since this native software uses the iOS and Android native UI controls which most of the users are familiar with. The interactions with PWAs are always cumbersome – poor animations, less responsive touch, and the absence of multithreading will always keep your interactions struggling for priority.

The efficiency of low-end devices

If you want to have better performance at the low-end devices then, PWA is slightly better in comparison to react-native since the underlying data communication in react native is in JavaScript. Due to the lower JS throughput at the lower-end Android devices, especially when an app deals extensively with data, congestion might likely occur which makes the UI feel inept.

Bandwidth and storage

Apps developed using react native need to be installed on your device before they can be used whereas PWAs can be accessed immediately with the browser. In areas where you have good bandwidth and storage capabilities, installation is not much of an issue. If you intend on reaching a larger part of the globe which includes areas where bandwidth and storage have limitations, a PWA should be the right way to go.

Developer’s expertise

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of the development phase is the expertise of your development team. It is important to keep this in mind as learning new technology and training your team on it may become cumbersome. You must, hence, prefer going for the tech your development team is skilled in.

Consumer-focused app or enterprise-focused

If your application is consumer-focused then the visuals play a vital role in the overall look of the application features and that tends to favor react-native since it lets you work with the native UI controls. Enterprise apps should also be visually pleasing but that is often not a discriminator since most of the enterprise apps can’t be substituted for something similar. A PWA which is rich in features and has good offline capabilities could address most of the enterprise requirements.

Accessing native device APIs

If you only require access to the camera, microphone, geolocation, etc, then go PWA as it does not allow you to go beyond what Web APIs provide access to. But, if you need more in-depth control over customized hardware and sensors, enhanced Bluetooth support, and so on, then react-native should be the right choice.

The desired platform – desktops, mobiles, or both

If you wish to run your application on Desktops, then react-native would not be the appropriate choice for you. There are, however, desktop ports of react-native available but you will have to address most of the loopholes yourself since there is no official support available for them. A PWA, on the other hand, will run on desktops but access to low-level APIs will be prohibited due to the browser security protocols unless you make use of the WebView inside a native app to make your PWA fully functional.

Both react native and PWAs are much cheaper in comparison to native apps. Choosing the right React native app development company helps you in developing native apps because you require native developers for each Android and iOS since these developers will facilitate the code to provide access to the camera, enable notifications, and so on. The PWAs, on the contrary, don’t allow the app to be included in the app store and hence you will have to rely on your web users to download it. Also, they are much more economical when compared with react native apps.

If your business already has a website that is popular amongst its users then, PWAs are the best course of action. If a slightly bigger budget is affordable, and you favor a native app look and feel, then choose react native. For startups intending to build a Minimum Viable Product before launching a full-scale native app, choosing the right react native app development company is a very critical step.

Finishing up

Both React Native apps and Progressive Web Apps have their perks but which approach to use depends on your application requirements. Going with PWAs makes sense unless your app requires features or APIs of native apps. Nowadays, building for both the web and native is trendy as it helps in enjoying the best features of both platforms.

The competition between both the platforms is an endless debate as either one is good for different purposes and its usage will be influenced according to your requirements. There’s a high probability, however, that PWAs might replace native apps as they are the perfect solution for smaller businesses and startups.

If you are looking for an app development company to help build your application and are unable to decide on what would be the best fit for you then contact us and we will provide you with all the required assistance.