Originally, Windows programs were standalone software that had to be installed on the operating system in order to use them. These programs did not depend on anything other than their own files and libraries, and generally, except in specific cases, they work with static content. However, in recent years, and especially with the rise of mobiles, a new software concept has gained great popularity: progressive web applications, or PWAs. So PWA or Win32? Right now, it can be tricky to know what kind of software to choose.
Win32 programs: the usual
Win32 programs are the same old programs. These programs are designed to work on a specific operating system (for example, Windows) and make use of the APIs and libraries of that system in order to function in the best possible way. These types of programs are capable of doing everything, and all they need are the appropriate libraries for it.
Win32 programs have their own information included . Unless you have online update functions (for example, if you have to download and update a database), these programs do not depend on the Internet at all. And since they run natively on the operating system, they don’t rely on any browser or other base software either.
- Programs optimized for an operating system.
- Many more possibilities.
- More options and much more complete.
- They do not depend on the Internet.
- Much more variety of software.
PWA – The increasingly popular web-based applications
Progressive web applications, PWAs, are a type of web-based applications . In other words, what we download and install is basically an interface, through which we can have access to the information we are looking for. This allows us to have very small applications that hardly take up space on our hard drive or consume many resources. PWAs run a separate instance of our preferred browser to show us the information we want. And its objective is to visit the web for which it has been designed, since we cannot leave there.
These PWAs do not have their own database, but it is downloaded updated every time we open it . This guarantees that we will always have the program updated, and we will be able to have access to the latest information. Of course, they make use of a cache so that, if we have to consult their information and there is no Internet, we can still open it.
- Very small and resource consuming applications.
- Dynamic content.
- Always up to date.
- Compatible with any operating system.
- Online and offline operation.
Win32 vs PWA which is better?
In the end, the best type of program is going to depend on the type of software we are looking for . PWAs are designed to function as “websites installed on the computer”. Also, not all websites are designed to be installed as PWA, so we are quite limited in this regard. Twitter, or ITIGIC, for example, can be installed as progressive web applications. But many others do not.
If we need a somewhat more advanced program, whatever it may be (a video player, a photo viewer, an editor, etc.), then we will have to resort to the usual classic Win32 programs . These are much more complete, they will be able to perform tasks and functions that PWAs will not be able to do, and, in addition, they do not make us depend on an Internet connection to function.
What if a website (Twitter, for example) offers a PWA and an official Win32 client? Surely the official client is a covert PWA, an app created with Electron (or similar) with the same functions as the web. Therefore, we will be able to do practically the same with both. In that case, we can choose the one we like the most.