Choosing a technology - PWA or a native app?

7 min to read

Each technology covers different business needs and requirements. For example, if you have an e-commerce platform and want to acquire or re-engage customers, it is high time to develop a progressive web app that hopefully will be added to the successful PWA apps list.

Choosing PWA for such domains as media, marketplace, or growing business in developing countries is the best way to go, too. At the same time, if you have a very complex product to roll out like banking apps, social, or dating platforms, which will need all the native experience across the board, you'd better build a native mobile app. Before making the decision, you should also consider all your requirements and resources, both time and funds:

  • Who is the target audience?

  • How many months are you ready to spend on building the application?

  • What is the budget for development?

To conclude, let's sum up all the PWA vs native pros and cons to see which one will be a better choice for your business.

Offline functionality


Available but limited only to the data that has been cached while online.

Native mobile apps

Some apps can work with no connection, while some don't. Some have limited offline functionality.



User needs to open the progressive website, click the button "Add to Home screen", and the PWA shortcut will be quickly and easily added. The PWA is not downloaded to the device.

Native mobile apps

User needs to find the app in the store and install it, after multiple stages, sometimes sign-in is required. The app is downloaded and installed on the device.

Access to device features


Access is limited to certain features only. More possibilities for Android devices than for iOS.

Native mobile apps

Full access to device features.

Data consumption


Since the file size of a progressive web app is small, it does not require a lot of data.

Native mobile apps

Some mobile apps can be large in size and require a lot of traffic for constant data exchange.

Launch to the market


Quicker to create and launch due to only one version required, no stores bureaucracy involved.

Native mobile apps

Takes longer to create and launch, because there's a need to create two versions and wait for store verification.

User interface and user experience


While still being a website, a PWA look is very close to that of a native app and very adaptive to any device.

Native mobile apps

Mobile apps are famous for their great user experience, as they are created for particular platforms with original UI components.

Volodymyr Andrushenko
Co-founder, Business Development Manager at CookieDev
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