Progressive web apps vs responsive web apps vs native apps


You must be hearing a lot about Progressive Web Apps these days, and must be wondering what is the difference between Progressive web apps vs responsive web apps vs native apps, so this article tries to answer that question of yours.

We all know that Mobile and web apps are the core components of a successful engaging online business. Customers interact with your business using these apps and you on the other side collect data for analytics to improve your service and ultimately increase your revenue. As the technology is continually growing and progressing, the options to take a business online has increased manifolds. Native and hybrid apps to provide custom and personalized user experience and web apps to offer big screen immersive online experience. Recently, Google introduced a new concept called as Progressive Web Apps into tech mobile industry.

Progressive Web Apps are the next version of web apps which offer native app user experience. That means you will work on a web app which will look and function more like a native app i.e., offline accessibility, faster and optimized performance, secure, etc. Or in non-technical terms we can understand it as that a user will now be able to access native apps in a browser i.e., he no longer needs to go to app store, search for your app, download & install it to finally watch it in action.

However, every technology has its own pros and cons and use totally depends on client’s requirements. So if you are also getting confused with more tech terms introduced in the industry every day, we have written this post to make things simpler. Read this comparison of progressive web apps vs responsive web apps vs native apps to decide which type of app is good for your startup or business.

That being said, let’s dig deep and see which one is better.

1. Progressive Web Apps:

As we already said that Progressive Web Apps are next version of web apps or responsive web apps. It looks and feels very similar to native apps but in reality, it isn’t a native app. Native apps are specifically written for a specific device type or a set of device types. Conversely, PWAs run on any device type without any differentiation as it uses web technologies.


– Responsive + app like features.

– Works best on slow internet connection types.

– Users visiting a PWA can start using it immediately with the option of adding the web app to their home screen. This allows users to easily access it later.

– Offers offline support – caches website content to work flawlessly even if you are not connected to the internet.

– Provide app like interface – web browser in full-screen mode will not even let you know that you are working on a website.


– PWAs can’t use device underlying hardware components including sensors, LED lights, etc. So, if you want to develop a PWA to interact with the device hardware, then they are not the best options.

– Functionality is quite limited as compared to native and web apps.

– Best for demonstrating the preview of your native app to users.

– Not good for apps that require heavy processing.

2. Responsive web apps:

Responsive web apps work on any device type as they use web technologies which adjust the website elements depending on the device screen, resolution, and even platform. Responsive web apps are quite similar to PWAs, the only difference is that they might not offer offline support or provide limited offline support like Google Keep.


– Help internet marketers and website owners to keep their SEO efforts tidier.

– They offer best possible web experience.

– Integrate with external services to keep track of users and do the behavioral analysis.

– Can do more intensive process than PWAs.


– Most responsive web apps don’t provide a user interface like native apps.

– Page loading issues on slow internet connections.

3. Native apps 

Native apps are specifically designed for a single platform to offer users a seamless personalized user experience like Android & iOS apps. Unlike PWAs and RWAs, these apps can use device hardware to do complex computations and deliver a more immersive UX. Native apps are best when you want to connect with your customers and future prospects in a more personal, professional, and aggressive manner.


– Connect with customers as you want.

– Directly sell or promote your services.

– Design a UX that your customers or clients will love.

– Integrate with external services, SDKs to offer additional functionalities and analyze behavioral and functional use of your app.

– Best for apps which require heavy CPU processing like graphics editing apps, utility apps, and games.

– Can use device sensors, inbuilt functionalities to dial mobile numbers, access voicemails, etc.

– Can be coded to work on different device types, work on slow internet connections, and even work in offline mode.


– Can’t be accessed from anywhere unlike PWAs and RWAs.

– Users need to install i.e., download it from the app store.

In the battle between Progressive web apps vs responsive web apps vs native apps, no one is the winner. Like every other technology, they have their own pros and cons and you have to decide as per your business requirements. If you want to offer a seamless mobile experience then native apps are the best option. Web apps offer universal availability and PWAs for demonstrating the functionality of your native or hybrid apps without explicitly asking your users to download it from the app store.

In case, you are still confused, you can jot down your queries at [email protected] and we will do our best to clarify your doubts and devise a core mobile strategy for your business.

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Sudeep Bhatnagar
Co-founder & Director of Business
Sudeep Bhatnagar

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