Native Apps vs Web Apps vs PWAs

To solidify the ever-growing importance of their mobile presence, publishers are sometimes faced with the difficult decision of investing resources in a web or native app. 

The task of choosing between the two can be very frustrating because publishers want the inherent benefits that both options provide. They want the enhanced discoverability and audience acquisition that a web app promises, but also the increased engagement and session time of a native app, in addition to the performance and monetization advantages

This decision is further complicated when considering the constant evolution of usage patterns on mobile. 

Native Apps

Statistically, native apps offer publishers the elevated engagement from their dedicated users because the apps are accessed directly from the user's mobile home screen which simplifies access significantly. Just as attractive, the user can also receive push notifications while not actively inside the app that further increases and encourages usage. 

Publishers also feel that the realms of possibility are larger in native apps and this added value can be delivered to their readers, especially in terms of performance and smoothness. 

Another pivotal factor of native apps that appeals to publishers is that they can deliver ads that aren't available on the web, opening the door to an entire new revenue stream.

But as explained in the Marfeel blog post - App or Website? Why not Both? - the discoverability of new apps and their use is decreasing remarkably. 

The average American now downloads zero new apps a month because users are convinced they have all the apps they want and don't feel the need to browse for new ones. 

WebApps

The biggest draw of a WebApp is the remarkable contribution it makes in acquiring new users. Marfeel accomplishes this through:

  • An optimized UX that mimics a native app, maximizing session time and keeping high-engagement users coming back
  • A responsive and fluid reading experience
  • A prominent presence on the mobile web to maximize reach and new user acquisition
  • Dynamic social sharing options to increase distribution
  • pain-free implementation with no IT support required
  • Less data consumption 
  • Improved conversation rates
  • The agility and innovation of the Marfeel engineering team that develops new features rapidly and automatically pushes them to all customers without any IT support needed.

Yet publisher's still want the heavy engagement native apps demonstrate that's unmatched by the new unique users a web app attracts.

PWA

A PWA (Progressive WebApp) is the next big thing in mobile that addresses the lull native app downloads are experiencing. It's essentially a lightning-quick mobile site that equips a web app with the traditional beneficial features of a native app such as:

  • The ability to send push notifications in the browser 
  • The ability to save the site on the user's home screen and hide the browser user interface when accessed so it comprehensively mimics a native app
  • Offline access.

Browser vendors are working aggressively to get all the necessary APIs there to make PWAs a fully functional reality, and Marfeel is right there with them as an early adopter and working on the edge to incorporate them as they're published.

Marfeel's committed to being part of the continuous improvement in mobile. The mobile landscape now demands PWAs and Marfeel is determined to effectively and efficiently deliver them to keep providing the best experience possible to all customers and their valuable readers.