Web Apps via Brave Vs. Dedicated WebApp App

Hi everybody!

I’ve started the process of securing my Android phone as much as possible/reasonable for me and part of that includes replacing native apps for PWAs as much as possible (especially social media). Brave allows you to install a website as an app but I know there are dedicated apps like Native Alpha which do this as well. Is there any security benefit to creating PWAs or PWA-like apps through dedicated apps like NA or will the browser suffice? I’ve installed Native Alpha and just from a cursory glance, you do seem to get finer control over the PWAs like sandboxing and other tweaks but are these customization options enough to use it over Brave for example?

1 Like

Honestly, it’s personal preference. Brave is going to have its benefits like tracker and Adblocking. Even if the dedicated PWA apps have some of those features… I doubt they’re anywhere near the same quality.

Now as you mentioned, the dedicated PWA apps have more dedicated settings. They’re built for it, right? Plus sandboxing is (in my opinion) a huge benefit. You don’t need to worry about cookie and browser data as much.

Personally I’d use the dedicated PWA apps, and just rely on my DNS to block trackers.


Can you mention some of those dedicated PWA apps other than Native Alpha?

Here’s a good list from AlternativeTo:

The first dedicated PWA app I discovered was WebApps on F-Droid but I think this has been discontinued and no longer maintained.

Are the PWAs created by Native Alpha’s free version properly and adequately sandboxed?

I am reading here that paid version from Play Store supports that:

1 Like

Nope. Sandboxing is a paid feature. But the app is cheap and a one-time purchase so I felt it was definitely worth it to pay to get full functionality.

1 Like

The problem for me is that I am on a custom rom with no Play Store.
I wouldn’t want to log in to play store via Aurora.

Perhaps I could contact the developer and see if there are other means to make the payment and get a link or something to download the paid version.


Native Alpha doesn’t block ads. Brave does, but tends to be very slow on mobile.

Consider a Firefox based browser for mobile web apps. Firefox or Mull.

Also, everytime you load up a web app, it refreshes the page and reloads the webpage. This will consume more mobile data thsn native apps which keep your data stored in device.

1 Like

True, but I mainly rely on my NextDNS config with blocklists to block ads so it’s okay if NA doesn’t. It’s true that the web apps are slow but I’m okay with that if it means I don’t have to deal with trackers as much. Mobile data consumption isn’t really an issue as I do have an unlimited data plan.

1 Like

Can you block youtube ads and all trackers with NextDNS?

Another point is if most of your apps are FOSS, you don’t need to worry about hidden trackers.

I don’t know about YouTube ads anymore as they’re starting to implement the policy of blocking video playback if you have adblockers turned on, but as for other ads and trackers yes you should be able to deal with a good majority of them with NextDNS blocklists.

for me it is gonna be GitHub - nativefier/nativefier: Make any web page a desktop application program it is also called nodejs-nativefier i can change what i want & it works with youtube

You can block trackers but not ads. NextDNS uses DNS-based filtering. The problem is that YouTube/Google doesn’t implement video ads on separate domains like ads.youtube.com (This domain doesn’t exist, just an example). It implements these ads on domains used by Youtube to work, so if you block these domains, YouTube won’t work. (Videos not working, buggy links, no “login” button, etc…).

If YouTube/Google does implement ads on separate domains, sure, NextDNS will block these ads but that’s not the case :slightly_frowning_face:

The best option here is to use NewPipe or a browser capable of blocking ads without DNS like Brave and Firefox.

Depends on you need, what you are looking for, and what are you using them for.

For me, I use Brave for Twitter, as Brave blocks all Twitter ads and cookie banners which are annoying, on mobile.

For this forum, I use the PWA(Safari). Great isolation from the browser itself and there’s nothing(like ads) to really block on this forum. This also applies with something like elk.zone for mastodon.

For IG, if you have used them before via their web app interface, you’d know that this method is unusable(for web apps that are kept inside of your browsers)(both on Brave and Firefox!), so for that, if I were to use it, I’d use the PWA.