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KaylaO

Thoughts on PWAs

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Hi guys I’m seeing more and more blog posts on PWAs advantages over such a familiar thing as native apps. Some of them are even backed up by compelling stats:
https://love2dev.com/pwa/progressive-web-app-vs-native/
https://www.codica.com/blog/progressive-web-apps-vs-native/
https://pixelplex.io/blog/native-app-vs-web-app/

But I was wondering if your attitude towards PWA is as positive?

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I can only speak for myself, but my answer is: If the task you want to accomplish can be done in a browser, you probably don't need an app at all, PWA or otherwise. I notice a lot of companies trying to get users to download an app which is basically just an alternative way to navigate their website.

If I was interested in building an app that works in the browser, I would not use PWA since I can build the app in native Javascript which allows more freedom and control over how the application is built. There is nothing that Google's PWA framework can do which cannot be done in native Javascript, because PWA was built with native Javascript.

Generally, it's about using the right tool for the right job. Browser apps are certainly easier to develop, but don't have access to all of the features that native apps do. If you don't need those features, a browser application may be the better option for you.

There are a few advantages to native apps:

  • They can work without an internet connection (save the user's data and your server's bandwidth)
  • They have access to sensors such as the gyroscope, compass and accelerometer.
  • They may be able to read and write files on the device.
  • They can interface with the user's contacts and messages (if the user grants permission).

 

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Thanks for such a comprehensive answer! Now it is clearer for me. It's just that seems like building PWAs is becoming a trend now which you shouldn't miss out on (I guess it's some kind of technical FOMO 😄).

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Personally, I don't like to follow trends. I evaluate each technology and determine whether it fulfills my needs or not.

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