Progressive Web Apps vs Responsive Web Apps: How they are Different from Each Other?

Emorphis Technologies
Emorphis Technologies
5 min readNov 20, 2019


As we all know, smartphones are catching up to the lifestyles of its users. That’s no secret, users seeking every solution in their phones whether to book a cab or to find the nearest good restaurant. To get things done easily, people have many reasons to expect their mobile experiences will be good as PC based ones, but most of the webs have failed.

According to Google, 53% of users bounce off a web page which takes more than eight seconds. And, yet the average homepage still takes 15 seconds to load on mobile phones.

Unless a customer feels an extreme sense of urgency to make a purchase, it’s unlikely they will bear the pain of waiting for page after page to load as they try to get through a purchase selection and checkout process on their phone.

This was one of the reasons that the idea of progressive web apps was proposed. Google has introduced a new term in 2015 referred to as progressive web apps with a thought to provide native-like experiences to the users visiting a website.

You may also like to read — Progressive Web Apps- Everything you want to know about them

Before we mover further, get an idea about the term Progressive Web apps and responsive web apps-

Progressive Web Apps -

Progressive web apps are an open-source initiative that uses the most up-to-date web capabilities to offer app-like capabilities to users, without them having to download an app. They are more reliable even in the flaky network, have a faster response time to the user’s interaction, and are more engaging to users as compared to the responsive websites.

PWAs are dependent, takes up less storage space and updates just like a web page- so that the users can see the update functionality which may include such as Bluetooth, webcam, microphone and other hardware sensors.

Responsive web Apps –

Responsive web apps are a holistic approach to crafting user’s experiences better on different devices. An explosion of devices capable of viewing web pages hitting the market since the iPhone has launched in 2007.

Users always seeking for better experiences at your site no matter what types of devices they have been used and what type of network they have been but they expect better experiences. You need to be set certain strategy which meets users’ expectations, unrealistic they may be. Responsive webs make a strategy which completes the expectations of people while working well on devices but not sufficient enough.

What Makes the PWA differ from Responsive web apps

Responsive web apps are the same functionality as the progressive web apps other than the scale of a site. So, you’re wondering how PWA is different from responsive web apps? Aren’t they just website too? Yes or no, well the answer is yes, PWA is opened with just a URL like a website. The webpage is just the beginning of PWAs, and where it’s separated from responsive web apps is in its functionality. The more you involve in the functionality layer of progressive web apps the more you get the feeling like native apps and easily differentiate responsive web.

PWAs are dynamic and can be personalized according to user’s needs like push notification, option to enable locations, camera access and even the ability to add the mobile experience to your home screen. Like we said earlier, you don’t have to download PWAs, with Google’s full support of PWAs, they’re accessible through the google or add home screen icon directly through Android.

Let’s have a look of some game-changing features of PWA which make better from responsive web apps-

Push Notification -

The major difference between progressive web apps and responsive apps is push notification. The web app brings forward a popup asking the user to subscribe to notifications. The user subscribes to receive push notifications. Once the user subscribed, they get a subscription ID where each push notification of every user is unique and just like that PWAs are giving you a feeling like a native app. Lyft provides a great example of how PWA uses push notification to maximize its potential. Whenever you open the PWA, the users automatically promoted to enable push notification in order to ease in sharing the experiences of ride.

Add to Home screen — PWAs are able to live directly onto your phone screen with just a home screen icon, with the tappable icon giving it look and feel like a native app. Andriod users directly get home screen icons of PWAs while iPhone users get this icon after using Safari’s “Add to home screen” features. Adding to the home screen icon is just like adding icing on the cake as to why PWAs exits just like a native app but has all the features in back-end framework and connectivity that makes a website so appealing.

Adoptive — Unlike a responsive web app, the responsive design of PWAs makes capable it to run any kind of device. You don’t need to develop separate coding for the platform (Android, iOS, web), making it one is the best cost-effective options for a native look.

Higher Loading Speed — PWAs are using “App Shell” comprising of the code that got cached to your mobile when you load it to the first time and then it can be subsequently run, making it much more faster and feel like a real app.

As the content are already in cached so it makes possible for PWA to run in offline mode as well.

So Finally, who is the winner?

Speaking from the bottom, Tons of big companies like Flipkart, Lyft, Twitter, Starbucks and more are already adopted PWAs. While responsive web apps are becoming a thing of past, PWAs has all the functionality like responsive web and in fact much more and the opportunities of PWA are going to be endless.

In the battle of progressive web apps and responsive web apps, no one is the winner. Both technologies have their own pros and cons and you have to decide which technologies are right for your requirements. If you want to offer a seamless mobile experience, then you must select the progressive web apps and If you’re looking to increase site speed and availability for most users, RWD might be the better choice.



Emorphis Technologies
Emorphis Technologies

Emorphis Technologies is a world-class software development company. We serve industries ranging from unicorns and startups to large multinationals.