PWA vs Native Mobile App | Which Is Best For Startups?

Mobile App Development
Mobile App Development

If you’re a startup looking forward to developing a mobile app, PWA and Native Mobile Apps are two popular options available. Choosing the right one can be a daunting task, as both are equally lucrative and offer unique advantages over each other.

Ultimately, the decision depends on your business objectives, and this blog will help you in your decision-making. As a mobile app development company, WDI has developed multiple PWAs and Native Apps for startups across the world. We know the intricacies and nitty-gritty that play a major role in a startup’s success.

In this blog, we’ll explain the benefits and drawbacks of both of them so that you can make the right decision based on your business requirements.

PWA vs Native Mobile App | Which Is Best For Startups?

What Are PWAs and Native Mobile Apps?

Before diving into the pros and cons of each option, let’s understand what they are exactly.

Progressive Web Apps (PWA)

Just as their name implies, PWAs are web apps that are designed to offer a native-like experience. We develop them using web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and they are accessible through web browsers without the need for manual installation. They can be downloaded through the app stores on mobile devices. A major USP of PWAs is that they can run on almost any device with a browser and a network connection.

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Native Mobile Apps

Native Mobile Apps, on the other hand, are applications developed specifically for a particular mobile operating system (e.g., iOS or Android) using platform-specific programming languages (Swift for iOS and Java/Kotlin for Android). They’ve got to be downloaded specifically from the App Store or Google Play Store. As they have access to device features and APIs, they provide a high-performance and feature-rich experience.

Comparing PWA vs. Native Mobile App

Now that you’ve got a basic understanding of what PWAs and native apps are, let’s watch the fight.

User Experience

This is a major factor that determines the success of a mobile app. Native apps win this round because they have access to device-specific features, offering smoother performance. They can also offer offline functionality, which can be a game changer in areas with weak network connections.

PWAs have come a long way in catching up with native apps, but they still can’t match the level of polish and performance that native apps can offer. Perhaps in the future, with constant evolution, the gap will narrow.


PWAs take this round, as users can access them through web browsers without the need to download and install them. While it’s not that big of a hassle, users don’t have to go through the friction of installations and updates. Another major win for PWAs is that they’re search engine friendly, making them discoverable through search results and potentially increasing your app’s visibility.

Native apps are available in the app stores, requiring users to manually search for and download them. This can be a downside if you’re looking forward to expanding your reach quickly.CTA 4


Native apps land an uppercut here with their optimization. As they’re designed for specific platforms, they can fully leverage the capabilities of the underlying hardware. This results in faster load times, smoother animations, and better overall responsiveness.

While PWAs are improving, they’re still miles behind native apps, especially when it comes to dealing with resource-intensive tasks or complex animations. However, we can expect them to close the gap with advancements in browser technology and improved 5G coverage.

Platform-Specific Features

Native apps throw PWAs out of the ring in this one. If your app concept requires platform-specific features such as advanced camera functionality, push notifications, or deep integration with device hardware, Native Mobile Apps are the way to go. They’ve got direct access to these features through platform-specific APIs, resulting in seamless integration and a tailored experience.

PWAs have made strides in supporting some platform-specific features, but they still lag behind native apps in this regard. If your startup’s success depends on leveraging these features, the choice is clear.

Maintenance and Updates

Maintaining and updating your app consume a significant portion of resources over time, but they’re mandatory. In this case, PWAs offer a more streamlined update process. They can be updated instantly, as there is only one code base to maintain. Users also don’t have to manually install the update. If you want to listen to user feedback and iterate quickly, PWAs offer a significant advantage.

Updates for native apps have to be deployed separately for iOS and Android, which can be more time and resource-consuming. You also have to adhere to the individual platform guidelines, which can further lead to delays in updates.


Distribution plays a vital role in reaching your target audience. Native Mobile Apps are distributed through app stores, which can be a double-edged sword. While the app stores offer a large user base, they also have a stringent review process that is challenging to pass. You also have to factor in the thousands of other apps you’ll be competing against in your niche.

PWAs have a more straightforward distribution process because they’re accessible through browsers. Users can access your PWA through a URL, and you have more control over how you market and promote it. However, you may miss out on the discoverability that app stores provide.

The Right Choice

Both PWAs and Native Mobile Apps landed some heavy blows and took big hits, but in the end, IT’S A TIE!

It’s up to you, as a startup, to make the decision by evaluating your business requirements and objectives. If you’re still confused, WDI’s support team is always ready to guide you. Being an industry leader and having served hundreds of startups worldwide, we’ll provide you with a definitive answer to all your queries.

Contact WDI today and let’s work towards success together!


Author: Wdipl

WDI, founded in 1999, is a leading mobile app development company. We believe in making a change with our mobile apps and highly researched blogs that explain complicated technological aspects in a simplified and enjoyable manner. We take pride in guiding mobile app startups to bring their app ideas into reality with our expertise.

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