There are three different kinds of apps: native, hybrid, and progressive. While each has its own approach, progressive web apps are slowly taking over the app industry. An evolving technology-dependent society has heavily contributed to this but what is it about progressive web apps that are so appealing?

What are progressive web apps?

Similar to Java’s main goal, progressive web apps have adopted a ‘code once, use anywhere’ motto. This allows them to be used through a phone app or a website. However, the code is universal and is used for both versions. Teams of developers prefer to use progressive web apps because they are restricted to the number of resources they can use or they want to release their app to the market faster.

What are native apps?

Native apps are the oldest of the three types. They are coded individually to suit different platforms, meaning there is essentially as many versions of the same code as there are platforms the app is on.

What are hybrid apps?

These apps utilize third-party frameworks with similar basic codes to build apps. Some of the frameworks used are React Native, Cordova, and Ionic. The third parties help developers release the app on different platforms without having to completely alter the app’s code. They serve as a bridge—thus, becoming a hybrid of native and progressive web apps.


The acronym, FIRE, stands for Fast, Integrated, Reliable, and Engaging. This is the goal of every progressive web app.

  • Fast

Patience among users is decreasing significantly as time goes on. They want fast loading and performance speeds as well as pleasant experiences. If they have to wait for apps to load, it’s likely they will uninstall the app. Ensuring that an app processes quickly and efficiently is crucial.

  • Integrated

Integration and ease of access across multiple devices and platforms plays a significant role in the success of an app. This is often combined with the Fast element of progressive web apps since users want availability just as much as speed when it comes to their apps.

  • Reliable

Data privacy and an app’s dependability are ‘make or break’ features for users. They need to know that any information collected is protected from hackers or viruses, as well as being able to consistently use the app without being concerned it will crash.

  • Engaging

Modern society has evolved to be visually-focused. If an app functions properly but isn’t appealing due to its plain format, a user is highly likely to uninstall it. Aside from the general visual appearance, users want to be able to interact with the app’s features. Having features that are broken will deter users from using the app—again, assuming they do not uninstall it.

The Consensus

Progressive web apps have been utilized by major companies such as Twitter, Pinterest, and Uber. However, as long as the app follows the FIRE characteristics, users won’t concern themselves with whether it was built with a native, hybrid, or progressive structure. Developers should, on the other hand, keep in mind the difficulty of building apps using each of the three types and apply that to the criteria for deciding which to use.