Can Progressive Mobile Apps Replace Native Apps?

There is currently an intense debate about the difference between progressive mobile apps and native apps. A progressive mobile app is an app that runs within a web browser, while a native app is an app that is downloaded to the device. Both have their own advantages and features.

According to Experts…

Some experts predict that progressive mobile apps could replace native apps. They say that progressive apps are easier to build, don’t take up space on the device, and can do many of the same functions as native apps. These facts alone lead many to believe that progressive mobile apps will become more popular.

Some of this popularity has to do with accessibility. The progressive mobile apps are always available through a browser. They are continuously kept up to date and don’t use up a lot of phone memory or data.

In addition, progressive mobile apps use less data to function than native apps in many cases, and they are often accessible when a data signal is low. On the contrary, many native apps will not run without high-speed data.

According to Developers…

From a developer perspective, progressive mobile apps are faster to build and update. Much less in the way of resources, time and funding is necessary for progressive apps to be developed and maintained. This makes them tempting for small businesses and big corporations alike.

According to Research…

Research shows that people are starting to turn away from native apps. While apps were all the rage, in the beginning, many people do not download any apps for months at a time. An app really has to offer something of tremendous value for someone to download it onto their device. This argument is another reason tech giants predict that progressive mobile apps will replace native apps.

In Terms of Features…

However, there are also some good arguments for native apps to remain, if not on top, at least accessible and well used. There are a lot of features that you cannot incorporate into a progressive app. For example, only native apps are able to access information on the device such as the contacts, calendar, and browser bookmarks.

Native apps are also the only option if you want your app to be able to provide alarms, work with the devices telephony features, access hardware features, gain system access, or handle custom URLs or particular file types. These are all features that are only available within native apps.

Because progressive mobile apps do not allow access to the device itself, there are a lot of features that they will not be able to implement. If you have a business or website in which you want to offer full access and fully loaded features, native apps are still the way to go.


If you are looking to build native apps for your website, make sure you do your homework. Find a company that not only specializes in apps, but also understands mobile web design.  When you work with developers whose service fully creates and maintains apps, you can look at both options with professionals who understand the market.  Then you can determine an options that is most economical and practical for your business.

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