PWA vs Native vs Hybrid App – Know The Actual Difference

June 27, 2024
Hybrid vs PWA vs Native

There are multiple ways to build mobile apps, which leads to confusion among startups and enterprises. Choosing the best method can help companies with faster time-to-market ideas, greater audience reach, and cost-savings too.

Studying the PWA vs Native vs Hybrid App comparison allows you to select the ideal option for building ideas. Each of these three methods is unique in terms of app development process, code architecture, and deployment.

This blog discusses the pros & cons of all three methods and helps you choose an ideal option for the business. Before we divulge into the details, let’s have a quick look into the differences.

PWA vs Native vs Hybrid App – Comparison Table

Features PWAs Native Apps Hybrid Apps
Performance Its performance depends upon the internet connectivity. Native apps offer the highest performance among the three.  Its performance depends upon the internet connectivity.
Cost of Building PWAs can be built at the most cost-effective budget Native app development is the dearest option. Hybrid apps can be built at a cost-effective budget.
Platform Support It supports all major browsers and operating systems. It supports only a single operating system for which the app is built.  It supports iOS, Android, and various other operating systems depending upon the technology used.
Leverage Device in-built Capabilities  It can access a limited number of device in-built capabilities. Native apps can access all of the device capabilities.  It can access a high number of in-built capabilities of the device.
Launching Platform You can launch it using the URL. App Stores of different operating systems. App Stores of different operating systems.
Time to Build Ideas You can build the app quickly. Native app building is a slow process and requires more time. Hybrid apps can be built in less time when compared to native apps.


What is PWA?

A PWA or progressive web app is a website that resembles and performs like a mobile application. As websites, they are built using web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, but they come with various app-like features. For example, users can install them on the home screen just like regular mobile apps.


The key benefits of building PWAs are

  • They can run on all browsers, which ensures a massive audience reach.
  • Developers can build them with screen-responsive features which means the app can run on all screen sizes like desktop, smartphones, tablets, etc.
  • Works well with poor internet connection and like apps, it can offer few features even with zero internet connectivity.
  • Companies can use push notifications to re-engage users.
  • Users can keep the shortcut of the PWA on the home screen.
  • It can be easily shared via links and is completely free from complex installation issues.


  • PWA is somewhat limited in features when compared with native mobile apps.
  • The UX of progressive web apps varies significantly with different platforms.

When to build PWA?

  • Trying to reach a greater number of users
  • Building an application with a limited budget

PWA Examples

Various global organizations have launched progressive web apps PWAs like

  • Twitter Lite
  • Starbucks
  • Pinterest

What is Native App Development?

Mobile applications built specifically for running over a single platform like iOS or Android are native apps. For example, developers can use Java or Kotlin for building android apps and Swift or Objective-C for iOS platform.

In the Native vs PWA vs Hybrid app comparison, Native mobile apps offer the highest performance. This is because they can directly access the device’s in-built capabilities and leverage platform-oriented APIs (application programming interfaces).


  • Building a native mobile app allows you to ensure optimum speed performance and deploy high UX.
  • The app can be optimized according to the device hardware and software for seamless integration.
  • 100% direct access to the device hardware like camera, GPS, etc. helps to build feature-rich mobile apps.
  • Native apps provide a seamless UX as the user interfaces are designed according to platform-specific guidelines.


  • These are costlier options, and you must build apps separately for iOS and Android platforms.
  • Building two different applications can be time-consuming, and you also have to handle two teams.

When to Build Native Apps?

  • The app requires the use of specific device hardware
  • Application UX is paramount
  • Building gaming or animation-based applications

Native App Examples

Many apps that we use are native mobile applications:

  • WhatsApp
  • Pokemon Go
  • Spotify

What is Hybrid App Development?

Hybrid mobile app development refers to writing code using regular web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and wrapping it within a native application. The code is wrapped using technologies like React Native, Flutter, etc.

This approach allows developers to design a single code base that can run the mobile app across multiple platforms, such as iOS & Android. It also facilitates a faster development pace and a cost-effective solution.


  • You can launch hybrid mobile apps over multiple mobile platforms
  • It is a proven, cost-effective option for reaching a greater number of users
  • Developers can launch the code as a website or a native app package
  • Hybrid apps built with React Native have a reliable and fast performance
  • Updating a single code base facilitates simple maintenance
  • The application can be created in a shorter time frame compared to building separate native apps.


  • Hybrid apps run on web view, which may impact UX significantly
  • Unlike native apps, hybrid apps may fail to access all of the device features and hardware capabilities

When to Build Hybrid Apps?

  • Testing new ideas or building prototypes
  • Building an app that targets a large user base
  • Simple or mid-level complex apps

Hybrid App Examples

  • Instagram
  • Uber
  • Baskin Robbins

Wrapping Up

The PWA vs. Native vs. Hybrid App comparison provides you with the three main alternatives for building mobile apps. Each option has its fair share of pros as well as cons.

At JS Panther, a hybrid app development company, we can help you build ideas with the best technology tools and industry-standard practices.

Based on the precise business requirements, such as the number of app users, the platform you want to launch the app on, and the need for updates, we can build the app with the best approach.

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