While the terms ‘Apps’ and ‘PWAs’ might sound like lines of code, they should be as familiar to Building and Facilities Managers as everyday terms like air-conditioning or comfort cooling, or even RAMS and Competencies. In our field, we’ve encountered numerous property technology companies—over 10,000 to be precise—operating within the sector. Many of these companies offer users an ‘app’ to interact with their systems. However, the question arises: are they referring to a conventional app or a Progressive Web Application (PWA)? Though these two may seem identical to end users in terms of appearance and functionality, their construction and operation diverge significantly. Choosing one over the other could lead the building’s owner or occupants to bear substantially different development and management costs. As such, it’s imperative for building and facilities managers to grasp this distinction and determine whether opting for an app holds more value than selecting a PWA, or vice versa.

Most mobile apps can also be categorized as native apps, tailored specifically to a particular mobile platform (iOS or Android). These apps are usually downloaded and installed from platforms like the Apple App Store for iOS or the Google Play Store for Android, functioning as self-contained software packages residing on your mobile device. In contrast, a PWA is a type of web application that harnesses contemporary web technologies to provide users with a more app-like experience directly within web browsers. Unlike native apps, PWAs negate the need for downloading software onto your mobile device. Instead, users access the provider’s web service through their preferred web browser, such as Chrome. The concerns surrounding downloading apps onto personal devices, retaining personal data, or tracking user activities are matters we frequently encounter. Understanding the alternatives remains a pivotal piece of knowledge in the toolkit of Building and Facilities Managers.

At TAP, we possess a clear understanding of these distinctions and solely advocate for what suits the end user best. We place paramount importance on budget considerations and service management as we cultivate enduring relationships.

Find out more by contacting us at https://tap-in.co.uk/contact/