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How businesses can save huge costs by migrating from Native apps to Progressive Web apps

When we say migrating from native app to Progressive Web App (PWA) is good for your business and you can save huge cost, it calls for comprehensive analysis to justify that statement. This article is intended to do exactly that. Here we will dissect the app building process, point out where actually you end up burning that big money of yours, and tell you how by migrating to PWA you can spearhead your business towards increased user engagement, reduced data usage, and improve overall reach.

For this we have brought in an interesting example of Nike+ Bluetooth smart sensor shoes to enlighten you on how an enterprise, especially one dealing with large volume of data, while building a Native app, can end up spending cost on both, server side as well as on app development.

Then, we will talk about How and where businesses can save cost. Why Progressive Web Apps could be your best alternative.

Okay, without further delay, let’s quickly get down to business.

Nike+ – Shoes with smart sensors

These shoes come with four different sensors fixed in the insoles. The aim is to provide Nike+ users with accurate readings of their physical movements, such as how fast you run, how hard you train, how quickly you play, the impact of the landing, right foot impact score, left foot impact score, HRM (Heart Rate Monitor), cadence, fatigue level, pace and so on. These training information is measured and transferred to your smartphone via bluetooth.

In a nutshell, the shoe acts as a real time physio stats tool. If that sounds pretty intricate, creating app that flawlessly executes this functionality is no less intricate.

Now, let’s say Nike wants to build a Native app for this new innovation.


First, they would want to build an app that can be used on varied devices such as iOS, Android, Blackberry etc. In order to do this, the app development company has to employ expertise in each of these areas. They will need a team of iOS developers to code the app for iOS device users, Android developers to code the apps for Android device users, and so it goes on, employing teams for as many devices as you intend to cover.


Let’s say there are about 20 million users of this new Nike+ Training shoes.

Consider the wide array of features it offers such as how hard and quick you play, the impact of the landing, right foot impact score, left foot impact score, HRM, cadence, fatigue level, pace etc. All this data is collated and reported back to Nike+ apps and websites, and then this data is converted into training information.

It gets even more interesting…

If 1 Nike user is training for 2 hours a day, for 5 days he trains 10 hours. So, per week he receives about 10 hours of training information.

If 1 million Nike+ users are training for 2 hours a day, for 5 days they are training for 10,000,000 hours. So, per week they should be receiving 10,000,000 hours of training information.

If 20 million Nike+ users are training for 2 hours a day, for 5 days they are training for 100,000,000 hours. So, per week they should be receiving a staggering 100,000,000 (100 million) hours of training information every week!

Now, imagine this for 1 month, 6 months, and 1 year. That’s the monster of a data we are talking about here. The capacity of Servers Nike requires to store and distribute this data is left to your imagination.

cost factor

While building a Native app, there are two areas where major cost is involved.

1. Expertise

In Native app, you’ll have to code independently for different mobile Operating Systems, like iOS, Android, etc. The more type of mobile devices you code for, the more the cost. That’s how it works universally. There is no single cut-and-dry method to reduce this development cost. Though several app development companies have their own methods to work around this problem, nevertheless, enterprises have to pay that development cost, as it cannot be completely revoked.

2. Data Storage

This is the biggest of the two. Investment in the server. This part is inevitable, as you can see the kind of the data generation and transmission that takes place every time the shoe is put into action. 

In order to store and distribute this mega data, Nike needs a super fast, granddaddy sort of a server, which – it goes without saying – accompanies a hefty price tag. Consequently, a big chunk of its budget goes for the Servers.

How do you save cost with Progressive Web Apps?

To begin with, Progressive Web Apps are not typical apps per se, nor a website, they are a combination of both, but works more like an app. In simpler definition, the PWAs are designed to act and function like an app without being a traditional app.

When it comes to saving costs in these two areas – expertise and Data Storage – Progressive Web Apps takes a different approach to cut through this these expenses.

First, instead of coding in different languages for different smart devices, a common language, JavaScript, is used to code the application, which can be used on all the devices.

So, the need for developing separate codes for different mobile operating systems is completely eliminated, resulting in huge cost saving.

Image source: Firebase

Second, is the most crucial and bigger challenge – data storage. Today’s technology offers several alternative platforms to store massive data without investing in exorbitant Servers. One such platform is Firebase. Acquired by Google in 2014, Firebase is a mobile platform that helps developers to build high-quality apps quickly and efficiently. It offers real time, cloud-hoisted database where you can store and sync data between users in real time.

Image source: Firebase

Today, it stands out as one of the most widely used platforms in creating hassle-free Progressive Web Apps, where massive data are stored in the cloud, and not on expensive and space consuming servers.

Apart from cost saving, Progressive Web Apps come with a host of other advantages, too. Here they are.

  • Less expensive and time-saving
  • Increased user engagement
  • Accessible through browser. No downloads or installs required.
  • App-like push notifications
  • Works even in flaky network connections
  • Can also be used offline
  • Automatically updates every time it’s launched


Though PWA comes out as a stiff competition for Native Apps, it too have its downside, just like any other. However, recent developments in PWAs are surely creating an edge for Native Apps. Mobile users don’t really care about the technology that goes behind an app. As they say, for them – if it looks like an app and feels like an app – it’s an app! As simple as that. And PWAs are giving them exactly that.

Prior analysis suggest that, over the last two years, there has been a spate of migration from Native Apps to Progressive Web Apps. In this relentless mobile culture, most of the user interaction takes place on the fly. So, what really matters for them is the instant loading capacity and fluid browsing experience. And if you offer users an app that doesn’t require downloading, you’ve earned an extra brownie point.

By adopting PWAs, more number of enterprises were able to cut down major costs and increase user engagement. And these two factors are making PWAs a lovable alternative to Native Apps.

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