PWA vs Native App - What's your preference as a user? As a developer?

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Myself, I feel like PWAs are great for quick and easy cross platform development but at the end of the day nothing beats a native app for me as a user.

However, having fell out of the app game some time ago it would take an immense amount of time for me to get back up to speed on things (especially on iOS). So, I tend to lean towards PWAs for development if I'm going to share with the world.

I would like to know the community's view on this...

Do you prefer to install PWAs or native apps on your device? And, do you prefer to develop PWAs or native apps for distribution?

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If you were to ask my personal preference, I prefer web technologies if for no other reason than they are open and not controlled by a single corporation. That really matters when Apple does things like charge 30% on digital sales for being nothing more than a file server.

Having said that, practically speaking the product and target users dictate the technologies. If you have an app that needs to be native, then so be it. If you can get away with being only a PWA, then the write-once-run-anywhere capability makes it far superior to having a significant chunk of code being held hostage by corporations who are incentivized to trap developers into their ecosystem.


That and, it's easier to tell my dad how to install an app from the app store vs installing a PWA.


From a DEV perspective, who builds web and mobile, the PWA's make more sense as you can use the same code base for both, mostly to prove concepts for ideas etc.

I agree that ultimately a native app experience is better on mobile.

So, hitting native mobile and desktop web with the same code base is ideal and there are projects that are attempting this that look rather promising, but nothing final yet.


As user I prefer everything as native and low-level as possible. Less energy wasted, and things are usually faster.

A non-technical user might not care, as long as the performance is not catastrophic. Although I don't think PWAs will really take off, as long as installation on iOS is hidden in a menu.

As a game-dev-hobbyist I just love PWAs and websites in general for distribution, to quickly throw something on a device, and also having a way to do offline-caching.


I agree on all points! Though, I'm not a game dev, I do have some PWAs I make for close friends and family but nothing I feel that is ready for prime-time.

Classic DEV Post from Apr 25

Form habits by making the right thing easiest

Tools should always work for you, not against you! Invest some time making sure you configure them to adapt to shifting conditions.

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