PWA vs Electron: Which One Is The Future?

PWA vs Electron is considered as the two future technologies. Do you wanna dig deeper into the definition, pros and cons, and the situation when we should use each one? So, this post is for you. Scroll down and find out now!

What is PWA?

Progressive Web Application (PWA) is a web standard that employs design patterns and advanced technologies to provide users with a fast and dependable experience on both mobile and desktop devices. It can run on any platform with standard-compliant browsers and aims to:

  • Boost customer engagement
  • Increase conversion rates
  • Diversify your revenue sources.

It’s hard to tell if a website is PWA just by looking, but there are some tips that you can try, including checking the website loading icon, service worker, or HTTPs origin. Many leading companies have also already jumped on the PWA bandwagon and launched their web applications with native functionality, including AliExpress. As one of the successful examples of PWA, after implementing its PWA, AliExpress’s conversion rates from new users increased by 104%. This mobile web investment also boosts conversion rates on Safari by 82%. The new strategy also resulted in a significantly improved user experience. Users now visit twice as many pages per session, and the average time spent per session has increased by 74% across all browsers. (2017 statistics)

example-of-pwa

Example of PWA (AliExpress PWA)

More inspired PWA examples may be found HERE!

What is Electron?

Apart from PWA, Electron or Electron framework is a Framework (open source by Github) that enables the creation of desktop apps that run on any platform (Mac, Windows, Linux) and are based on web technologies (Nodejs, HTML, and CSS).

Skype is one of the most well-known Electron apps. It provides consumers with a long-lasting experience, particularly when communicating with people from all over the world. It has gone a long way since it was first designed in 2013, and you can now see the most recent version of Skype 2020 below. Its most recent version is v8.58.76.92, and Microsoft replaced the React Native UQP version with the Electron-based desktop version. The primary enhancements to its features are: no more people app integration, no more outlook sync, and no more automated MSA sign-in. Skype is one of our favorite telecommunications programs, and Electron has helped users better their connections with others!

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Example of Electron (Skype’s Electron apps)

Pros and Cons of PWA vs Electron

So, when should we use PWA and when should we use Electron? This is dependent on a variety of factors, but we may compare two technologies to determine the benefits and drawbacks of each.

Availability

In comparison to the Electron framework, Progressive Web Application offers the advantage of being accessible with almost any device that has a PWA-compliant browser. If your device has a PWA-compatible browser, you can access the PWA at any time, even when you are not connected to the internet.

Electron-based programs, on the other hand, are a hybrid form of desktop applications that are uninstallable on mobile devices.

Performance

PWAs share resources with the browser because they are powered by it. Because Electron has its graphics and Node.js, some overhead must be considered.

When we compare PWA vs Electron, it can be seen that Progressive Web Application (PWA) can achieve better performance on the first load and near-instantaneous load time on subsequent. Because loads everything is cached on the fly. And much of the JavaScript overhead can instead be shifted onto the service workers that are an integral part of PWA. Because PWAs are driven by browsers, they share resources with them.

Meanwhile, an Electron-based software should feel as fast and light as a text application if done right – but it’s not the top performance you can get. Furthermore, since the Electron framework has its own rendering engine as does Node.js, there are costs to consider.

Installing and Updating

It is incredibly difficult to update desktop applications automatically. Despite their offline features, PWAs are still largely web pages. Service workers make it simple to cache your content. PWA developers have no control over the installation process, but they also do not need to be concerned about it.

If you use a PWA, all updates will be performed on the server side, simplifying the installation procedure and ensuring that the changes are properly integrated into that revision.

In contrast, if you’ve used native programs, you’re aware of the difficulties customers have when installing and updating them, and Electron is no exception.

Size

A PWA can be installed by just going to a website. An Electron app will almost certainly never be less than 45 gigabytes in size.

Mobile

Electron is and will most likely always be used to build desktop apps. PWAs are more adaptable. That is the difference we can easily notice between PWA vs Electron.

Security

PWA is simply safer because it relies exclusively on secure connections (HTTPS) provided by the browser. PWAs are designed to provide a pleasurable and secure user experience. After putting the PWA icon on their home screen, users can access PWAs from their device as they would a native App. When customers are not actively using their browser, service staff can re-engage them via push notifications.

While Electron, being a web application wrapped in a native app container, has to do everything manually by itself. Electron framework includes a number of APIs to help with the construction of desktop applications, and it can also leverage Node.js modules. Because Electron-based desktop applications have access to Node.js modules, they can support more functionalities than ordinary web applications running in a web browser. However, enabling Node.js introduces additional security vulnerabilities. For example, if attackers can inject malicious Javascript into the program, they can execute system instructions on the victim’s machine.

Web developers work in a golden sandbox, where they are strictly governed by the browser. While this severely limits your app’s capabilities, it also decreases security concerns. Electron applications that load and show remote content must carefully consider how and when to keep that content under control.

Why is PWA becoming more popular than Electron?

PWA is the New Standard for Mobile Websites

The technological world is essentially designed for constant change and creation. And mobile users have specifically become the new pretty normal. According to Statista, the number of smartphone subscriptions globally has surpassed six billion in a subtle way. By 2026, the number is kind of predicted to exceed 8 billion in a major way. So, learn about the usefulness of mobile devices in the approaching years, which is fairly significant.

According to research, mobile phones account for 54% of global Internet traffic. The usage of web pages as apps is facilitated, and this should be added to the CSS, HTML, JavaScript, and Angular. The trend isn’t new, but it will gain traction in the future years. This allows websites such as Google Maps to operate quicker and offline. PWA systems are already used by Starbucks, Uber, Twitter, and Pinterest.

pwa-vs-electron-why-pwa-is-more-popular

 Source: Ivivity

Another study done by the TOP 30 PWAs report in 2020 found that the average conversion rate for progressive web applications was 36% greater than that of native mobile apps. The major reason for this, as indicated by Tom Karwatka, CEO of DivanteLTD, is a peculiar phenomenon known as the “mobile revenue gap”.

This gap, as Tom argues in his paper, is especially obvious in the retail business, where “mobile traffic and customer spend on mobile are substantially higher than on desktop.”

mobile-revenue-gap

Source: Beezer

Going over the benefits of Progressive Web Application such as native-app-like experience, enhanced security, faster loading time, offline accessibility, much better user experience, cost-effective, platform-independent, everything is discoverable, increased conversion rates, and fairly easy to update, PWA becoming the new standard in mobile websites mostly is about being able to kind of predict the future, or so they thought.

PWA creates omnichannel customer experiences and is ideal for businesses

Progressive Web Application outperforms in every aspect imaginable when it comes to the omnichannel experience because it is specifically designed for the responsive multi-device experience. Depending on the type of business, PWA may be the best option for companies who want the same user experience across all devices. As a result of their minimal data usage and quick loading time, they have so far provided fantastic results for organizations. They improve both the user experience and user retention rates. They improve app security while lowering development expenses. 

Besides, choosing PWAs for your company allows you to target your mobile audience. We’ve already highlighted the year-over-year growth in mobile users. As a result, if you want to take your business to every mobile screen, you must target mobile users.

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PWAs’ effect on certain major brands

Image Resource: PWAStats

Top 9 Magento PWA Development Companies You Shouldn’t Miss!

When should you choose Electron?

While it has advantages, PWA cannot be an all-encompassing solution for all business models, and this is where Electron excels. 

Using existing web technologies, the Electron framework assists us in developing cross-platform applications. In most cases, you don’t need any special skills to create apps with Electron. 

If you want your program to be available on all of the platforms we discussed, you must distribute it utilizing various technologies. This is an extremely manual and time-consuming process. When we talk about Electron, it’s clear that it’s a JavaScript-based framework. Electron framework makes cross-platform app development easier because all platforms use web technologies. Visual Studio Code, Slack, and Atom are examples of popular Electron applications.

PWA vs Electron, what should you choose?

Both PWA vs Electron can be particularly useful in certain situations in a generally major way. However, this essentially is not always very much the best tool, which is quite significant. It all relies on the demands and goals of your app, pretty contrary to popular belief. 

Electron particularly is an excellent alternative if you essentially enjoy working on projects with a pretty much bigger community, really further showing how. However, this kind of is not always the best tool, which is quite significant. 

PWA may also definitely be useful if you need to get your software to market quickly, support mobile devices, and essentially do not want to particularly maintain 2 types of basically your app in a sort of big way.

Conclusion

The above article has given you a brief but detailed introduction to the difference between PWA vs Electron. The decision between PWA vs Electron is based on your expectations and objectives.

Although web technology is catching up quickly and when combined with activity from large enterprises to drive PWA adoption forward, it should come as no surprise to see more of the PWA’s in the future. 

However, Electron is still quite active and is expected to be around for a long time. Electron should be chosen over PWA if you want the freedom to create and utilize Node.js features. Furthermore, Electron allows you to access all of the APIs contained in the operating system, implying that Electron, unlike PWA, operates in user mode. If you believe your project requires the unique capabilities and functions afforded by native applications, go with Electron; otherwise, continue with PWA. The importance of a PWA to business is undeniable!

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