Progressive Web Applications (PWAs) are a type of web application designed to deliver a user experience similar to native apps, particularly on mobile devices. PWAs run in a browser that makes them cross-platform but with some limitations.
In our opinion, there are a few key advantages of PWAs over standard web applications
- PWAs can operate 100% full-screen mode, eliminating visible browser navigation elements, just like native apps.
- PWAs can cache data and perform background syncing, enabling them to work offline.
- You can install PWAs through app stores such as Google Play, Apple App Store, or just by adding the shortcut to your home screen.
- PWAs can also function as web applications for desktop users.
- PWAs can send push notifications to users.
PWAs bridge the gap between standard web applications and native apps. They are often more cost-effective to develop than native apps because they use a single code base for all platforms. However, they do face some limitations, particularly in terms of hardware integration. Apple's platform is more restrictive in this regard, although the differences between Android and iOS tend to shorten each year. You can refer to this guide on PWA features availability on iOS and a comprehensive article about PWA on our blog.
To summarize, PWAs offer many benefits. They are ideal if you need mobile features such as the ability to work offline, push notifications, or availability in the app store. However, if high performance or deep hardware integration is required, a native app may be the only option.