The more the technologies, the more is the confusion. With a number of cross-platforms rising, it becomes difficult to decide upon which one is the best. Well, sit back and relax as here is a guide that will give you a clear picture. Mobile development was an easy process earlier. People approached a mobile app development company, mutually decided the features, developed, launched, it and done. Today, the competition has become fierce, and the technologies have multiplied. The era of cross-platform is here! No, that does not mean native apps are becoming a thing of the past, they are still in demand but many entrepreneurs consider it as an additional expense when they have the website and back out in order to avoid chipping in for both Android and iOS individually. While cross-platform, it is like you can kill two birds with one stone.
The reason cross-platform is getting too much fan-following is because of the flexibility it gives in developing applications that can run on multiple platforms. It uses a single codebase which is then exported to various smartphone platforms allowing the one “app” to work across multiple habitats. With cross-platform development, the benefits for a business are many like – low development cost, less time consuming as the coding has to be done only once, increased uniformity across different operating systems that provides users with seamless user experience, wide customer reach, quicker deployment, increased exposure, high ROI, etc. Now coming back to the point, today, there are two famous cross-platform frameworks – Flutter and PWA (Progressive Web App), that are winning hearts but simultaneously making people confuse with their similarity, about which, we are going to take a deep look into its features, benefits, and come into a conclusion which one is the best for business but before that let’s understand each individually.
A progressive web app is like old wine in a new bottle. It is a website that gives the look and feel of a native app while eliminating the drawbacks. It provides a seamless native app experience along with offline functionality and can be opened in a web browser on any device including desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. It has access to the device hardware (push notifications, camera, GPS, etc.), and can be installed on the home screen directly without any need to download and update, unlike a native app. In short, it is an incredible mix of the best of both, the web and native applications.
If you shop from Alibaba, run campaigns on Google Ads, book an Ola cab or watch videos on Voot, then guess what? You are already using Flutter apps. Google’s new open-source technology – Flutter is more of a comprehensive SDK i.e. software development kit than a framework because it comes with everything that you need to build the cross-platform application which includes rendering engine, readymade widgets, options to test and integrate APIs etc. Its ability to create fully-featured native Android and iOS apps with the help of a single code base has made it popular on GitHub within a short period of time. Now, although both are Google’s creation and can create mobile apps using a single codebase, it is time to compare them by getting into the details of each.
|Creation||Initially released in May 2017 and remained beta for a very long time until on 16th September 2020, when Google released its stable version.||Released in 2015, PWA is gaining the attention of developers and business owners ever since with its abilities that beat native apps but gives the feel of it on a browser.|
|Installation||Is installed just like native apps on devices.||No need to download and install. Is simply added to the home screen as a shortcut.|
|Development||Fewer development efforts are required for Flutter app development. Single codebase, hot reloading feature, and readymade widgets significantly reduce the development efforts & time.||PWAs take a bit more time compared to Flutter due to its single codebase being converted into Android and iOS-specific.|
|Performance||Performance-wise Flutter is faster just like native apps as it uses a rendering engine.||There is a very fine line of difference in terms of performance in PWAs. As it uses web DOM and requires a browser to implement, it lacks a bit when compared to Flutter.|
|Integration||It supports contact integration, read messages but requires manual action to invoke calls.||It needs third-party integration to support contact integration and can neither read nor send messages but can manually invoke calls.|
If you need a fast-performing application to serve iOS users at large, that supports device hardware features, with beautiful app designs, then Flutter is for you. While if you are low on budget and are planning to serve both Android & iOS equally with seamless user experience, then PWAs should be your choice. They may look a lot similar but, ultimately, it depends upon your requirement whether to opt for Flutter or PWA and as far as Flutter PWA is considered, we have to wait and watch. For now, if you need the best progressive web app builder for eCommerce, MobiCommerce is at your service.
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