When developing a cross-platform application, there are roads that can be hit – building it as a Progressive Web App or as a React Native App. Most of the time, people get confused when they start researching what approach is better for their business.
As a result of the research’s tendency to lead to further speculation, it’s not surprising that some readers are left scratching their heads. However, this isn’t how things should go.We’re talking about complicated processes, but they can all be simplified quite easily. Only when completely understood, an informed decision based on your company’s requirements can be made.
In order to help you get out of the “land of confusion”, let’s break down the basics of both frameworks and see how they react (pun intended) with the features you are developing.
React Native apps are written in Java-like codes and are able to run on different mobile devices, regardless of the OS platform. This is possible due to the cross-platform utilization framework which is in its nature.
They live on the user’s smartphone and are entered by touching its icon on the Home screen. These apps can use all of the device features including the camera, contact list, GPS and others, can provide notifications, have offline capabilities as well as gestures incorporated.
The most important benefits of this framework are:
- Reliable and fast apps with great performance
- Amazing UX
- Immense security
- Native design and reusable code
- Full device integration
It’s difficult to identify a single use case since it is used to construct a variety of applications, including prominent social networking apps like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and so on (e.g., Skype, Discord, Tencent QQ, etc).
In its core, PWAs provide 4 key technologies that set them apart from competition:
- Application shell architecture which provides fast loading time
- Transport Layer Security that bring data and privacy integrity
- Offline support
- Exact same code for both iOS and Android
App-like features like push notifications, offline availability, and the ability to install PWAs are all provided by service workers and web app manifests at their core. It’s steel hard security allows browser to server encryption since it’s based on HTTPS.
This cost-effective framework brings another amazing benefit – relying on SEO, since in a nutshell, they are a website.
This framework is ideally suited for websites that want to deliver more engaging, connectivity-independent experiences, or simply for websites that want to reach a broader audience, because of their web-based nature.
In the e-commerce business, where features like push notifications and offline availability are critical to increasing conversion rates and cultivating a more loyal client base, PWAs are already experiencing widespread acceptance.
Both of these approaches to cross-platform app development have their specific advantages. Some businesses may take a less expensive approach, but in some cases that might negatively affect their earnings in the long run.
There are many different pros and cons to both approaches, but we will present to you some of the most important ones.
Due to the high degree of complexity required, React Native applications tend to be costly to build. Simpler projects may cost upwards of $15.000, you can publish your app to both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, lowering overall development expenses without compromising user experience.
A basic PWA project should cost between $1000 and $10.000, but the costs can drastically vary. If you choose the headless design (which is more flexible and scalable than the conventional architecture), your PWA development expenses would skyrocket owing to the increased degree of technical skill needed.
Accessibility and UX
Native apps get you access to a greater range of native APIs, considering its nature. Consequently, it is feasible to get systemic and low-level access to the device’s hardware, such as access to NFC (Near Field Communication), the contact list, or other features, in order to enhance the user experience.
A React Native app is inherently more secure and less susceptible to vulnerabilities because of the increased degree of interaction with the device in use. During the development process, different ways may be used to increase the security of a project, such as
- SSL Pinning is used to protect app-to-server communications.
- Biometric/face authentication may be used in conjunction with keychain/sensitive-information storage.
- Added levels of self-defense can be accomplished using Jscrambler.
In other cases, most of the security work is done by the browser since PWAs exist in the browser environment and use the browser for most of their capabilities. Unlike a conventional website, the PWA’s essential component—the service worker—only uses HTTPS, ensuring that all communication between the client and server is always secured.
Launch Time and Installation
Progressive Web Apps don’t need to be searched, downloaded and installed. There is no approval time from either Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store. Not even possible rejections due to plagiarism or copyright infringement, allowing a much faster launching process.
Anyone, with or without an internet connection, can access them instantly, leaving no time for the customer to second guess their decision on the App Store.
As mentioned earlier, Progressive Web Apps act like websites, which means additional SEO work can be done around, allowing a more successful, organic promotional strategy. A cost-effective SEO strategy, such as keyword research, eye-catching titles, and meta descriptions can help you get new customers by boosting your App Store search results’ visibility.
So, what is the right framework for your business? Are you looking for a lightweight solution, with an effortless updating and installation process with multiple features and functionalities? Or your company is in need of a full device integration with reusable codes and guaranteed security?
For the time being, it is safe to say that both of these frameworks will continue to be equally relevant. Prior to choosing the app development strategy, the most important step is clearly defining your company objectives in terms of your target audience and intended app features.