Two years ago I switched to using Twitter's PWA instead of the Android native app. PWA was still in its infancy during that time and I wanted to try and check what other companies are doing with their PWAs and inspect their capabilities. Fast-forward to today I'm back to the native app. Following is my feedback on the PWA vs Native app, and my reason(s) for switching back.
- Native app animations feel more seamless - scrolling, swiping, etc...
- PWA's typeface looks more natural than the native app, where the fonts look bigger and, ironically, don't match the rest of the system
- PWA doesn't have an "ICYMI" section which is a good thing; Native app has more interstitial/micro interactions, e.g., ICYMI, "What's Live", etc.. whereas the PWA has none of these.
- PWA stores back-forward history as part of the the browser history which can be annoying as it adds noise and could be a privacy issue for some. Native apps don't (expected).
- PWA still uses the browser tech - cookies, histroy, etc... whereas Native apps are their own thing.
- PWAs don't support Android's Digital Wellbeing feature, so even if you add a timer to a PWA it won't work.
So why did I switch back to the native app?
My main reason for switcihng back was due to the Covid-19 news stream on Twitter. Having been WFH for a while now, the somewhat apocalyptic news that's been coming out have been triggering my anxiety and stress. This alone means I have to limit my Twitter usage and ensure my phone can shut the app down after 1 hour or so (which is what I set it to). Sadly, the PWA doesn't support this but the native app does.