iA Cast iA Cast Weekly

iACast 143 – Relaxing At Home

Show description

On this episode, Jason, Charles, Leslie, Michael and Jeff discuss all the ways they relax at home. Audible, Netflics, video games are only a few of the topics discussed.

Providing Feedback

We love hearing from you, so feel free to send an email to You can follow us on Facebook, and Twitter. You can also find us on Reddit, and all around the web. Also, don’t forget to check out our YouTube page, and for all things iACast, check out our iACast page. If you’d like to help support us, you can do so via our PayPal and Patreon pages. If you wish to interact with us during our podcasts live then please do join us on our Slack channel.

Hands On Safety iA Cast

SafetyCast 2 Calling For Help

Show Description

Leslie, George and Meaghan discuss setting up the fastest ways to contact people in the event of an emergency and providing medical information for first responders. Leslie demonstrates setting up Emergency SOS settings in iOS and talks about the settings for the Apple Watch app. George demonstrates adding emergency contacts for android users. The team also discusses setting up medical ID information, fall detection on the Apple Watch and third-party apps. Some of them listed as the Top 5 apps to keep you safe. For more details about the apps discussed, read Meaghan’s review.

Providing Feedback

We want to hear from you, so please send an email to You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter. . Soon, you will also be able to find us on the web, for resources and other safety related topics.

iA Cast iA GameCast

#iAGameCast 19 – Making Minecraft Accessible

Episode Notes

On this episode, Michael discusses possibilities for making Minecraft accessible. Minecraft contains information that can be presented through text, which can allow for accessible software to be used to detect terrain changes and where blocks can be found in front of the player.


Learn more about Minecraft

iA Cast iA Cast Weekly

#iACast 142 – Working From Home

Show Description

On this episode, Michael, Jason, Leslie, Rose, Jeff and Charles discuss tools for working from home. They covered which platforms they use for meetings such as Skype For Business ZoomWeb X Microsoft Teams. Other apps used for productivity were Fantastical Cardhop Microsoft To Do and the Calendar on IOS.


Jason: Discord

Jeff: 1 Timer

Rose: Telegram

Charles: Unigram

Leslie: Zoom

Michael: Fantasy Star Series from Saga

Providing Feedback

We love hearing from you, so feel free to send an email to You can follow us on Facebook, and Twitter. You can also find us on Reddit, and all around the web. Also, don’t forget to check out our YouTube page, and for all things iACast, check out our iACast page. If you’d like to help support us, you can do so via our PayPal and Patreon pages. If you wish to interact with us during our podcasts live then please do join us on our Slack channel.

iA Cast iA GameCast Report

#iAGameCast 18 – Sequence Storm

Show description

On this episode, Aleeha, Jason, and Meaghan demo a really neat game called Sequence Storm from Special Magic Games LLC.

Providing Feedback

We love hearing from you, so feel free to send an email to You can follow us on Facebook, and Twitter. You can also find us on Reddit, and all around the web. Also, don’t forget to check out our YouTube page, and for all things iACast, check out our iACast page. If you’d like to help support us, you can do so via our PayPal and Patreon pages. If you wish to interact with us during our podcasts live then please do join us on our Slack channel.

iA Cast iA Cast Weekly

#iACast 141 – Our Perspective on New Tech

Show description

On this episode, Michael, Aleeha, Leslie and Jason discuss new phones and devices released by Apple and Samsung. They also talk about a new app in development by iAccessibility called Perspective AI. If you’d like to get early access and help shape the future of the app, you can install the TestFlight version. Once installed, you will be able to send feedback.


Samsung releases the Samsung S20 Series
Apple releases new iPad Pro, MacBook Air Mac mini, and Power Beats.


Michael: Doom Eternal

Aleeha and Jason: Google Pixel 4

Leslie: Victor Reader Stream

Providing Feedback

We love hearing from you, so feel free to send an email to You can follow us on Facebook, and Twitter. You can also find us on Reddit, and all around the web. Also, don’t forget to check out our YouTube page, and for all things iACast, check out our iACast page. If you’d like to help support us, you can do so via our PayPal and Patreon pages. If you wish to interact with us during our podcasts live then please do join us on our Slack channel.


Guide: Getting Started with WordPress

Building a website can be a difficult task. You have to purchase a domain, look for web hosting, and then decide how you are going to design your website. Thankfully, WordPress helps by making the website development and design process easier. Many webhosts even have software that can install WordPress with just a few keystrokes. iAccessibility’s webhosting program offers this through a software package called Softtaculous. While this is certainly an option, it is also important to know how to install WordPress manually. Here’s how it’s done.


To set up WordPress, you will need a domain. You can purchase a domain from several places online, but some popular options include Google Domains, Hover, and Namecheap.

Once you have your domain, you will need web hosting. iAccessibility offers web hosting at $5 per month, but Bluehost, DreamHost and others offer similar pricing plans. We will offer a guide at a future time to discuss setting up and managing a monthly web hosting plan. One thing to consider is that your web hosting provider should have access to a database provider like MySQL. It will also help to have PHPMyAdmin installed in case you need to make database changes. You will also need an easy way to modify databases, which cPanel and other major providers like Plesk can provide.

Along with having these online services, you will need an FTP client. Some of these include FileZilla, WinSCP and File Explorer for Windows. For those of you who use the Mac, you have several options. Transmit for macOS, CyberDuck and FileZilla will all allow you to upload and download files from FTP and sFTP servers.

Setting Up WordPress

WordPress is a complicated web-based software platform that allows web developers to build complex websites with very little effort. To start, head to, and download WordPress to your computer. WordPress will download as a ZIP file, so you must extract the files to a folder on your computer. Extracting WordPress will create a new folder with all relevant files included.

Once you have all the WordPress files, you will need to upload them using your FTP client. This guide does not cover each client, but you will need to upload your files to either a folder called www or public_html. This part may take some time, so take a break and come back when it’s done.

WordPress is now up on your server, but it won’t work until you connect it to a database. This is why you need MySQL. MySQL is a database engine that allows WordPress to store information for fast retrieval. If you have cPanel, you will need to perform the following tasks:

  1. Open MySQL Databases on cPanel.
  2. Create a new database. The database will contain your username followed by an underline and then the database name.
  3. Once you create the database, create a MySQL user and set a password.
  4. The final step here will be to associate that user with your database and give it full access to the database.

Now that our database is set up, it is time to tell WordPress how to connect. Here’s how this works:

  1. On your computer, open the downloaded WordPress folder.
  2. Find the wp-config-sample.php file and open it in a text editor.
  3. Add your database name, username and password that you set in cPanel.
  4. Save the file without the word sample in the name, and upload that file to your WordPress folder using FTP.

This will now let WordPress work correctly.

WordPress Installation

The last part of this process is to run the final WordPress installer. This is as simple as going to your new website address in a browser. Doing this will start the WordPress setup application. WordPress will ask you several questions like what username you would like to use, what email address will be used for the website, your desired time zone, and web address.

WARNING: Please do not use the username of admin at this point. Hackers look for WordPress sites all the time, and they always try to hack sites that use the admin username for administration.


Once your site is set up, head to to login and change aspects of your website. The administration screen is where you will go to create posts and change the settings of your site. The first thing you should do here is to find the general settings screen, and make sure all information is correct. This includes your site address, email, time zone, and date formats.


WordPress is a powerful content management system, but it would be useless without a theme. A theme is a template that provides the design for your website. Out of the box, WordPress is a completely accessible solution, but not all themes hold accessibility in such high regard. You can find accessible themes by looking under the accessible theme category at One of the nice things about themes provided by WordPress is that they are accessible. If you see a theme with a year name as the name, like twenty-twenty, then you know that the theme came from WordPress and that the theme will be accessible.

Once you select a theme, you will need to set its appearance. To do this, head to your administration screen, select appearance, and then customize to your liking. You can change your site’s look and colors from this area.


WordPress has a lot of features built in, but there are a lot of plugins that can be added to extend the functionality of your site. Here are a few suggested plugins to get you started.

  • Akismet – a great security plugin
  • Jetpack – a plugin from WordPress’s parent company Automatic to integrate a WordPress site with
  • BBPress – a great forum system for WordPress sites.
  • Yoast SEO a greatat search engine optimization plugin.
  • WooComerce – a shopping cart plugin for WordPress
  • WordFence – An antivirus plugin


It is very important to secure your website. Akismet for personal use and WordFence are great plugins to keep your site safe. You may also want to consider disabling login support if you are not going to have a community-based website.


Updating your WordPress website is essential. WordPress will automatically update, but your plugins will not. A good suggestion is to login once a week to your administration screen and make sure your plugins are up to date. Themes need to be updated as well, so make sure that there are no updates available on your site and, if there are, make sure that you install the latest versions to protect your site against plugin and theme exploits.


WordPress is one of the most powerful and accessible content management systems out there. This guide was written to help you install WordPress, but there are so many things you can do that we can’t touch on everything here. Google has an abundance of websites with guides on customizing themes, creating child themes, and even creating your own plugins, so I encourage you to keep learning about this platform so it can be what you need it to be to make your website successful.

iA Cast iA UnboxCast Report

#iAUnboxCast 44 – Google Pixel 4

Show Description

On this episode, Jason, Aleeha, and Michael unbox the Google Pixel 4

Providing Feedback

We love hearing from you, so feel free to send an email to You can follow us on Facebook, and Twitter. You can also find us on Reddit, and all around the web. Also, don’t forget to check out our YouTube page, and for all things iACast, check out our iACast page. If you’d like to help support us, you can do so via our PayPal and Patreon pages. If you wish to interact with us during our podcasts live then please do join us on our Slack channel.


The iA Team’s Top Tech Picks of 2019

It is now 2020, and that means it’s time for each member of the iA Team to pick their favorite device that they have used in the previous year. Here is everyone’s favorite device from 2019.

Jason – AirPods Pro

The AirPods Pro are arguably Apple’s most popular entry into the wireless earbud space. They feature a case that can be charged either wirelessly using a Qi-certified charger or with the Lightning connector. The AirPods Pro last up to 4.5 hours with ANC (active noise cancelation) or the Transparency mode active, and up to 5 hours with both modes turned off. Because they have silicone ear tips, they create a much better seal in your ear, giving you two benefits. The first being sound quality. They sound amazing, especially when compared to Apple’s EarPods and first and second generation AirPods. ANC works really well, as does the Transparency mode, and I seem to get battery life that exceeds Apple’s estimates. Add in there “Hey Siri” support, and you end up with a set of earbuds that wow me enough to make them my end of year tech pick for 2019.

Apple – AirPods Pro

Meaghan – Apple Watch Series 4

Disclaimer. I could go on forever about the following topic but have made it short and sweet.
My favourite tech purchase of 2019 has to be the Apple Watch Series 4, GPS only 40 millimetre gold aluminium case. I owned a series 3 before I made the spontaneous upgrade. I wasn’t going to do it, but I ended up in an Apple store in January and played with it and fell in love.
The thing I like right off the bat was the gold colour. It looks a bit better than space grey. One thing I noticed immediately was the increased navigational speed with voiceover. Not only is traveling with voiceover faster, but the watch also has a faster processor than the Series 3. Apple added better sensors for detecting your heart rate and the ability to take your own ECG just by holding your finger on the digital crown.
Another feature that the previous generation watches do not have that i enjoy is the capacity to have more than 6 complications on your watch face. The series 4 and up allow for a maximum of 8 complications.
Overall, the Series 4 is definitely an upgrade on the Series 3. I wish the battery life was better, especially for days that I do workouts, but I am in love with the apple watch. Don’t get me wrong, there are pros and cons to every device. however, i think it’s worth the purchase. i wear it everyday and it just doesn’t feel normal when I am not wearing it.
One thing you should note is as of fall of 2019, the Series 4 was replaced with the Series 5 which doesn’t have much of an improvement except for an always on retina display, international emergency calling, and a compass which doesn’t interest me very much. The Series 3 is still available to purchase for a bit cheaper and is still a very reliable device. I can’t wait to see what improvements Apple comes out with in the fall of 2020.
Apple Watch Series 4 at Best Buy

Leslie – Surface Book 2

In the midst of my reflections on 2019, I realized that it was a big year for me in the way of tech purchases, although it didn’t really seem that way at the time. And while I love all the devices I purchased this year, I finally decided to make the surface book 2 my pick of the year. For the past four years, I have been using a 2015 MacBook Pro with a BootCamp partition for Windows. This configuration has served me well enough, but I felt it was time to have a dedicated Windows machine in my life. After setting my budget and doing some research, I ended up buying a slightly used 13.5 inch Surface Book 2, with an Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB RAM, and a 1TB SSD. This was much more computer than I needed, but I love it for the following reasons: First, the battery life on this machine is amazing! I can easily work 10 to 12 hours or more before needing to charge it. The keyboard feels great under my hands, although it has taken me some time to get used to the way the function key toggles on and off rather than only working when held down. At just over 3 pounds, it’s perfect for traveling. I haven’t really used it as a tablet, but I like the idea of having that as an option. And, Set-up with Microsoft.

Microsoft – Surface Book 2

Chelsea – IRIE BrailleTrac 120

The IRIE BrailleTrac 120 is hands down my favorite embosser and it contains the new “Power-Dot” Braille technology! The embosser that it is most similar to is the Juliet 120. The BrailleTrac 120 has very similar specifications as the Juliet does, but the BrailleTrac 120 is much quieter, cheaper, and much more reliable.  Each embosser also comes included with a copy of the TactileView Design software and the GoBraille Wireless Print Module. The GoBraille is a new piece of technology. The GoBraille allows the embosser to be recognized as an “AirPrint” printer, making setup and embossing much easier. It also has on-the-fly Braille translation software built into the GoBraille so you can just send standard print files to the GoBraille and it will convert the files to Braille as well as emboss them out automatically. I absolutely love this embosser because as a Teacher of Blind Students, singer, and one who is active in church as well as the National Federation of the Blind and iaccessibility, I am always looking for ways to promote Braille! Braille rocks and so does the BrailleTrac 120!


Irie BrailleTrac 120 Embosser

TactileView Design Software

GoBraille Wireless Print Module

Aleeha – PowerBeats Pro

This year, Apple teased better AirPods, with in-ear fitting and different colors. In May, however, a pair of earbuds were released which were, in my opinion, better than the second generation AirPods and a significant teaser for the AirPods Pro. These earbuds were the PowerBeats Pro wireless earbuds. Priced at $250, these headphones offer premium sound, a secure fit, water resistance, and many more features, including dedicated volume controls on each bud and Hey Siri support. We published an in-depth review of these earbuds, available in a past article on this blog. I believe I’ve found my favorite pair of wireless earbuds, despite my hatred for the in-ear design. The reason for this is that they offer amazing sound, audible even over a loud vehicle, they stay in my ears even when out walking, and I can control my music using the buttons on each bud, rather than needing to rely on my phone for audio control. With amazing battery life in each bud and in the case, these will be my companion for many years to come.

Apple – PowerBeats Pro

Michael – Beats Solo Pro Headset

This year, Apple released so many different kinds of headphones, and I have owned many of them. The second generation AirPods, the AirPods Pro, the PowerBeats Pro, and the Beats Solo Pros. While I love my AirPods Pro, the quality and comfort of the Beats Solo Pros is just the best. I am using them right now to listen to music and write this parapgraph. They come in several different colors, and cost $300. Like the Solo3 headset, the Beats Solo Pro headphones last for 40 hours if you are not using noise cancelation, and 22 hours with noise cancelation on. They are also nice because you can now use transparent hearing, which is like the mode on the AirPods Pro. I think the only thing I don’t like is the case. I wish it was more like the Studio3 case but it will do. I just bought the Apple Lightning to 3.5 adapter so that I can plug these right in to a regular headphone jack, which makes them amazing for use with my Switch or my Surface. I could just use Bluetooth, but it is easier to use that with iCloud devices.

I really think that the Beats Solo Pros are some of the best headphones in 2019, but they are not for everyone, so I suggest people try them out before buying.


The iA Team would like to wish you all a very happy new year, and we will be back next week with an all new iACast episode.


Accessory Review – AMBEO Smart Headset


The AMBEO Smart Headset has become, and will probably remain, one of my all-time favorite wired headsets. It has caused me to reconsider my feelings on the headphone jack. For a long time, I use to feel that the headphone jack was the single most useful audio feature a product could have, and now, I’m not so sure that’s true.

As everyone knows, Apple removed the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 and later, causing wide-spread controversy, both in and outside of the audio-file world. I even remember saying that if Apple ever removed the headphone jack from products like the iPad and Mac, it would be a sad day indeed; but I’m not ashamed to admit that I might be wrong. You can do things with Lightning and USB-C ports that would be impossible with the standard 3.5 MM headphone jack. Not only can you play high-resolution audio, there are also headsets that can provide you with noise cancellation, all without the need for extra batteries. You can purchase headsets that have an equalizer as well, allowing you to tailor the audio to your exact taste. Because the connection is digital, any changes you make to the audio will affect everything on your device, including any screen reader you might be using, such as VoiceOver for iOS. If that’s not enough, you can buy headsets that allow you to record in binaural (or 3D) audio.

What is binaural audio? Binaural (or 3D) audio is a method of recording that replicates how the human ears hear audio. The result is that when played back through stereo headphones, you almost feel as though you’re in the room, or crossing the street, depending on where the recording takes place. You can find lots of examples of binaural audio on YouTube, SoundCloud, and other similar places. iAccessibility even records it’s UnboxCasts in binaural audio. Mix together noise cancelation, a system-wide equalizer, the ability to play high-resolution audio, and you’ve got all the ingredients to make a headset I want to have in my life. You’ve got… the AMBEO Smart Headset.


The AMBEO Smart Headset features Sennheiser’s signature sound, along with Apogee’s proprietary Soft Limit and mic pre-amp, making for an extremely natural and noise free recording. Not only does the headset feature the ability to cancel noise and record binaural audio, it also allows you to hear your environment using the same microphones used to make recordings. You can choose between three levels: reduced level, which brings in a little background, while still mostly hearing your music; natural level, which is meant to let you hear your surroundings without any amplification; and amplify level, which amplifies the volume of your surroundings, bringing them to the forefront of what you hear. You can customize all of this using the Smart Headset app, available for free in the App Store. The app is mostly accessible, with the only major issues being the “Getting started guide” and manually adjusting the EQ curve when using the Custom preset in the equalizer. The headset also features a microphone on the right cable, meant for talking to Siri and taking calls.

Layout and Controls

Exploring the headset from the top, one will first find the earbuds. These earbuds are an in-ear style. This means they require you to have a good seal to achieve the best sound quality. Attached to the earbuds, you will find a set of medium silicone ear tips. Other sizes are included in the packaging. You can buy tips from lots of companies, and in various styles, if the default ear tips cause you discomfort during use. For example, I ended up purchasing some memory foam ear tips, which not only improve sound isolation, but also made the earbuds stay in my ears better. The earbuds also feature both the binaural microphones and the ear hooks (They sit behind your ears) that  help with stabilization when the earbuds are in your ears, the microphone on the right cable, and nothing else until you reach the rectangular controller. The first thing you’ll find on the top left side of the controller if you are wearing the earbuds in your ears, is the Smart slider. By default, the slider changes the microphone level from Natural level to Reduce level. You can change the function of the slider in the app. You can choose to have it mute and unmute the telephone microphone, open Voice Memos, launch the Smart Headset app, open the camera, open an app called Meta Recorder, and open an app called FilmicPro. I haven’t used Meta recorder and FilmicPro, as the AMBEO Smart Headset will work with most any recording app. Finally, you can have the Smart Slider toggle a feature Sennheiser calls “Interact”. While I don’t use this feature on a regular basis, I definitely think it’s extremely useful. When you turn it on, the headset will lower the volume of any audio that’s playing, and pass your environment through using the binaural microphones via the Situational Awareness feature. The Smart Slider is textured so your finger doesn’t slip off during operation. This slider is a spring-loaded slider, meaning that when you slide it all the way up, it will slide back to its original position. Just below the Smart Slider, you’ll find a little LED light. It changes color depending on the status of the microphones, and it will also indicate if you’re recording is distorting. Below the LED is the volume up button, the multi-function button for manually bringing up Voice control, Siri, managing calls, and media playback. Below this you’ll find the volume down button, and the rocker switch. The rocker switch is used for controlling just how much of your surroundings you hear, and whether or not noise cancellation is enabled. Again, you can customize the levels that the switch cycles through in the app. When you adjust the switch, the headset speaks the setting you’ve landed on. The speech sounds like audio recordings, rather than text-to-speech. The voice Is easy to hear and understand. You can choose to disable voice prompts in the app. You may want to do this if you use the headset a lot. Below the control is the rest of the cable that terminates in a lightning connector.


Recording with the AMBEO Smart Headset is just as easy as you mmight expect. Open Voice Memos with the headset connected, and tap on the Record button. That’s it. You’re making your very own binaural recordings; straight on to your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.

Voice Calls

When making voice calls with the AMBEO Smart Headset, I have found that the microphone on the cable is really quiet. It also sounds like the headset is noise reducing some background hiss created by the microphone. The audio is downsampled to 16 kHz. As most HD voice calls don’t go beyond that sample rate, this is not usually an issue. Some apps however, will allow you to transmit in binaural, using the microphones on the earbuds, rather than the microphone on the cable. TeamTalk is such an app. Other apps such as WhatsApp, use the binaural microphones when recording voice messages, but they aren’t recorded in binaural. That, I assume, is dependent on the codec and sample rate used by the app.

Situational Awareness

One of my favorite non recording features of the AMBEO Smart Headset is the Situational Awareness feature. As mentioned above, the headset uses the binaural microphones to allow you to hear your surroundings. Latency doesn’t exist when using this feature. That means that what you hear sounds very natural. Other than some microphone hiss, I can’t tell a difference between how my surroundings sound through the headset, and how my surroundings sound without the headset in my ears.

Noise Cancelation

The Noise Cancelation feature on the AMBEO Smart Headset is pretty good, but I wouldn’t say that it’s the best noise canceling headset out there. It does a good job at canceling noises like the rumble of a car ride, airplanes flying over, etc. I can still hear some conversation, though I do hear a difference when noise cancellation is disabled. I’m not sure if this is because the noise cancelation uses the binaural microphones, rather than microphones on the inside of the earbuds, but I don’t notice much of a suction feeling in my ears when using the feature. Using different styles of ear tips can improve sound isolation, which can assist the noise cancellation feature in blocking out external noise.


One thing you’ll want in a set of earbuds is great sound, and the AMBEO Smart Headset doesn’t disappoint. The sound is Rich and detailed, and nothing sounds over emphasized to my ears. I haven’t yet found a genre of music that doesn’t sound amazing over the AMBEO Smart Headset. When you play back binaural audio on the earbuds, it’s almost as though your ears have been transported to wherever the recording has taken place. Remember that sound is subjective, so you may experience the sound of the earbuds differently. As mentioned earlier, with the equalizer found in the Smart Headset app, you can Taylor the sound to fit your taste.


With the features the AMBEO Smart Headset offer, the quality of the recordings, and the sound, I would call the Smart Headset my, almost perfect, do everything wired headset. The only weakness they have in my opinion, would be voice quality for tasks such as phone calls and FaceTime. If you are searching for a great sounding pair of earbuds that are lightweight, comfortable, sound great, and can Make high-quality binaural audio recordings, give these a look. You can pick them up for $199.95 US at Amazon and other dealers.


Book Recommendation: Take Control of Shortcuts by Rosemary Orchard

Android users have always bragged that their phones could allow for a higher level of customization than iOS. In ways this is still the case, but Apple’s introduction of Shortcuts has brought both operating systems closer together in how customizable the experience can be.

Unfortunately, many users do not know that this feature exists, or how to use it, so I am very excited to recommend this book by Rosemary Orchard called Take Control of Shortcuts.

I personally have learned a lot from this book, and I have been writing shortcuts since they were called Workflows in the Workflow app. I love that I can change the brightness when I open a game, or set do not disturb when I am reading a book. I could go on but I think you will find your own favorites by reaing the book.

Even if creating shortcuts just isn’t for you, you can learn how to find shortcuts that apps make for you by reading this book, so I urge all users of iOS 13 to check this book out, and also to listen to the Automators podcast to keep learning how to automate your life.

Take Control of Shortcuts – Take Control Books 
The Automators


Progressive Web Apps vs Native Apps: A Comparison

Software applications have typically been written to work in our operating systems like Windows and macOS, but with the improvements made to the Internet, it is now possible to make web pages that act like software applications. A few examples of this would be Gmail, Google Docs, or Microsoft Word online. These web based applications are commonly called Progressive Web Apps or PWAs because they are applications that can use your device’s hardware similarly to an application built for that device. This is why applications like Microsoft Word and others are referred to as native apps Lets compare the two types of applications, and then we can determine if one approach is better than the other.

Native Applications

Native applications are applications or programs built on a particular platform in the native SDKs of that platform. This would be similar to a developer building an iOS app in Swift or an Android app in Java or Koklin. Native applications compile to machine code, and are loaded on a person’s device through an installer, or an app store.


Native apps are built using Software Developer Kits herein called SDKs and Application Programming Interfaces which will herein be called APIs. these SDKs and APIs let developers write code specifically for a certain set of devices. This allows the applications to run faster with low latency. This means that your games will not lag, and your GPS will update quickly.

An applications look and feel mean a lot to a user, and an app that is built natively will more than likely look like it was built specifically for a certain device. There are several methods for building cross platform apps, but using a platform’s built in and familiar user interface controls will always make users happy.

Even desktop users are concerned these days about how many resources an app uses, and this is why native apps can shine. Native apps do not run in conjunction with a web browser or other platform, so resources can be used the least to get the same job done.


Native applications are amazing but they have a few limitations. The first of these is that they have to be updated. A Progressive Web App can be updated on the fly, but an app that is installed on a device needs to be updated on each device for the user to get the benefits of the software change.

User Interface design takes a lot of time, and developing a good interface for multiple devices takes time and effort. The User Interface used on iOS should not be the exact same for Android and so on. WhatsApp for iOS does not look anything like WhatsApp for Android, and neither does Facebook. This means that a user interface must be created for each platform for a native app, which can take more time and money than a company is willing to invest.

Progressive Web Apps

Progressive Web apps are applications built on the web. They still use the standard HTML pages we have come to rely on when we go to a website, but they then use JavaScript and other languages to refresh the page content without refreshing the entire page. Again, examples of this would be Gmail, Google Docs, and Microsoft Word Online.


Progressive Web Apps allow developers and designers the ability to develop and deploy without having to send out a massive update to users. A developer can commit changes to the application and the user will see those changes the next time they login to the web app. This makes Progressive Web Apps very scalable, and free from review periods which Apple and others require on native applications.

While having a native interface is good for built in applications, Progressive Web Apps can deliver the same user interface across platforms. This means that the user will see the same interface on a Chromebook as they would see in Microsoft Edge in Windows or Safari for macOS.


Progressive Web Apps do have their drawbacks. The most notable one is that they do not always provide an easy way to be used offline. Many of these do, but there are many that do not work while offline.

As said earlier, computer resources are essential, and multiple browser tabs with web applications can take up your computer’s resources. This is why Chromebooks also allow for Native Android apps along with Chrome web apps so that the user can use both on a chrome based machine.

Accessibility practices are key for blind and low vision users to have equal access to online applications. Native apps are no where near perfect in this space either, but they do have an edge as many PWA frameworks do not allow for accessibility out of the box. This is why many online apps have accessibility barriers where as many native apps that fulfill the same use case work well with screen readers.


Both Native Apps and Progressive Web Apps have their place in the modern Internet and both solutions have their strengths and weaknesses. The important thing is for developers to know when to use the right solution, and for users to know what works best for them. For example, I find that Microsoft Word online is a bit cumbersome, so I prefer to use Word for Windows or Mac. The same goes for mail. Gmail has a nice online UI, but I find that a native mail client works best for me. The nice thing though is that I have the option to use Gmail online if I am not at my own computer, and the interface works well not matter where I go.

The reason we felt that this article needed to be written was so that users could learn the difference between these kinds of applications and so that people could be aware that there is usually more than one option available, and to use what works best instead of what others want you to use.

We also advise that you reach out to both native app developers and web app developers alike and leave feedback on how each experience can be made better.