Is PWA a Native Mobile App?

Tyler Yates

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) have been gaining traction in recent years as an alternative to traditional mobile apps. However, there is still confusion among app developers and users alike about whether PWAs are considered native mobile apps. In this article, we will explore the differences between PWAs and native mobile apps to determine if they are one and the same.

What is a Native Mobile App?

A native mobile app is an application that has been developed specifically for a particular platform or operating system, such as Android or iOS. These apps are written in the language specific to that platform, such as Java or Kotlin for Android and Swift or Objective-C for iOS. Native apps have full access to the device’s hardware features such as camera, microphone, and GPS.

What is a Progressive Web App?

A Progressive Web App (PWA) is a website that has been optimized for use on mobile devices. It uses modern web technologies such as HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript to provide a mobile app-like experience to users. PWAs can be accessed through a web browser on any device with an internet connection.

Differences Between PWAs and Native Mobile Apps


Native mobile apps need to be downloaded from app stores like Google Play Store or Apple App Store before they can be installed on a device. On the other hand, PWAs do not require installation; they can be accessed directly through a web browser.

Access to Hardware Features

Native mobile apps have full access to the device’s hardware features such as camera, microphone, and GPS. This level of access allows native apps to provide more advanced features than PWAs which are limited by what web technologies can access.


Native mobile apps generally perform better than PWAs because they are specifically designed and optimized for the platform they are developed for. PWAs can also suffer from slower load times due to their reliance on web technologies.


Native mobile apps need to be manually updated through the app store, whereas PWAs can be updated automatically through the website.

So, Is PWA a Native Mobile App?

Based on the differences outlined above, it is clear that PWAs are not considered native mobile apps. While PWAs offer many benefits such as easy accessibility and automatic updates, they cannot match the performance and functionality of native mobile apps.

In conclusion, while PWAs offer a great alternative to traditional mobile apps with their ease of use and accessibility, they are not the same as native mobile apps. As technology continues to advance, it will be interesting to see how these two types of applications evolve and whether they will become more similar in functionality.