What Are Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) and What Are Their Limitations?

What is a Progressive Web App (PWA)? A PWA is a lighter web-based version of your app which you can use to distribute your app without needing to submit it to Apple and Google’s app stores. PWAs do have limitations compared to the Native version of your app (the version that is submitted to the app stores) so please keep that in mind when considering if you want to use the PWA version or the Native version of your app. In this article we’ll go over what those limitations are and what differentiates the PWA version of your app from the Native version of your app.

What are the benefits of a PWA?

The main benefit of PWAs are that you aren’t required to submit your app to the Apple and Google app stores, thus circumventing their review processes. This can also help if you don’t want to worry about adhering to Apple and Google’s app store guidelines regarding the content of your app.

PWAs also allow you to distribute your app in a couple of other ways than what you would have with the Native version of your app since PWAs are web-based. If you would like to learn more about how to distribute your PWA, we have a dedicated article on that which you can access here.

Since PWAs are web-based, you can use meta tags to help improve your app’s SEO (search engine optimization) as they are searchable in search engines such as Google. Also, you have the option to create your own custom domain for your PWA, as well as add an optional layer of security in the form of an SSL certificate for the PWA version of your app.

What are the limitations of a PWA?

Now that you know what are the main benefits of PWAs are, let’s go over what their limitations so that you can make an educated decision on if PWAs are right for you.

One of the main differences between PWAs and the Native version of your app is that PWAs don’t support push notifications, so if you want to send out push notifications to your app’s users, then you’ll want to go with the Native version of your app.

The other difference is that certain features such as the WebView have limited functionality in PWAs, but are fully functional in the Native version of your app. Some features such as our locations-based GeoFence notifications will not work in the PWA version of your app since push notifications aren’t supported.

Those are the main differences between the PWA and Native versions of your app. You can think of the PWA as a lite version of your app due to the limited functionality. You may be looking for a very simple app, and if that’s the case then you might want to consider using the PWA version of your app, but if you want an app where all of the features fully function, then we recommend that you go with the Native version of your app.

Ultimately it’s up to you as to which version of your app you want to use, and we hope that this article helps you make an educated decision on which version you’re going to go with.

In addition to this article, we recommend checking out the following related articles so that you have a better insight into how to use the system to its fullest advantage:

Still have questions? No problem! Reach out to us and we’d be happy to help :)

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