When building your startup, it’s always good ship as fast as you can. Thus, building a web app version of your idea is the fastest way to get your idea into market. However, we can’t deny that mobile apps have become the global trend nowadays, and the number of mobile app users is still steadily increasing. Thus, the demand for more functional apps has also resulted in widespread interest in mobile app development. This is where Hybrid App Development comes in. Hybrid App Development became a fast-growing term. That’s because it provides a balance between a native app and a web app, a shorter development timeframe, and its low development cost. In this article, we will cover everything there is to know about Hybrid App Development. It includes the following:
Hybrid app development means creating a single app using a single codebase that can function across multiple devices or platforms (e.g., Windows, Android, iOS).
That said, it makes the app accessible through multiple platforms (e.g., Window, Android, iOS). And just like native apps, they can be installed and be downloaded in the app store.
With that bit of knowledge about Hybrid App Development under your belt, let’s dive deeper into the topic by understanding its pros and cons.
The most significant advantage of a Hybrid mobile application is its Cross-Platform nature. You build it once and then can quickly deploy it on different platforms such as Google Play store or iPhone iTunes store with ease.
One of the best advantages of hybrid apps is its development cost. The fact that hybrid apps can target multiple platforms (e.g., Windows, Android, iOS) using a single code base, you don’t need to worry about making separate versions for each platform. Thus, the development cost is much lower than native apps.
Since hybrid apps use a single code base for multiple platforms, it is much easier and faster to maintain than native apps.
Hybrid apps can also access some native apps features including, GPS notifications, gestures, camera, and contacts using plug-ins. Thus, you can offer a more native-feeling app experience.
Hybrid apps can also work offline because of their native infrastructure. Users might not experience real-time accessibility while offline, but they can still load their previous data.
Native apps have different versions for each platform. Each platform is built using different languages (e.g., Java for Android and Swift for iOS).
Because of the nature of hybrid apps, they rely on plug-ins to access the device’s built-in features.
The drawback of such is that those plug-ins might be out of date or unreliable. And sometimes, developers may need to create plug-ins on their own to access certain functionality on the device.
Regardless of what you choose: native or hybrid apps, user experience should always be a priority for the app’s success.
To put it simply, if you focus heavily on Android, the user experience will be worse for iOS users and vice versa.
Design issues remain a factor in hybrid app development since different platforms operate differently. The scope of graphic and visual representation is limited in hybrid apps since it targets multiple platforms.
As you noticed, we mentioned “native apps” a lot while discussing hybrid app development, but what exactly are native apps? and how is it different from hybrid apps? Let’s find out!
Native app development is the creation of an application that runs in a specific device or platform. It can be an app for TVs, desktops or any gadget. But the most popular target is smartphones.
Native mobile apps are coded in platform-specific languages (e.g., Objective C for iOS or Java for Android). Native apps provide fast performance and high reliability.
Since native apps are platform-specific, they need to be downloaded on a specific app-store like Apple’s App Store or Google Play.
The most valuable benefit of a native app is its user experience since it is built for a specific platform.
As a result, the app’s flow is more natural as they have specific UI standards for each platform.
Thus, it allows the user to quickly learn the app’s features, such as deleting an element or edit. Sticking to specific guidelines eliminates the learning curve and enables users to interact with the app using actions and gestures they’re already familiar with.
Because native apps are built for a specific device/platform, the app can take full advantage of the device’s software and operating system’s features.
As a result, it can directly access the device’s hardware such as the GPS, camera, microphone, etc. They are faster in execution, which ultimately results in a better user experience.
Native apps are very fast since it is built for that specific platform. Thus they are quicker in the application, which offers a better user experience.
The biggest drawback in creating a native app is its development cost and maintenance.Why? Because native apps are platform-specific applications.
Let’s say you are planning to create a native app for both Android and iOS. Since native apps are platform-specific applications, you have to treat them as separate projects, doubling both development cost and maintenance.
Moreover, most developers have a single platform specialization; iOS, Android, or any other. When creating a native app, you will need different development teams for each platform you want to be built.
Thus, the more platforms you add, the more team you have to include, which results in a higher budget.
Since native apps need to be developed separately for each platform, it requires more time and effort than hybrid apps. This is especially the case if you target multiple platforms.
Since you made it this far reading. I expect that you already know what hybrid and native applications are. So, let’s compare both.
|High development cost
|Low development cost
|Difficult to maintain
|Easier to maintain
|Downgraded a bit
|Great User Experience
|Downgraded a bit
As you noticed, native and hybrid apps have their benefits and drawbacks.
While native apps provide the best user experience and responsiveness, the overall costs for the development are incredibly high, especially when targeting a vast number of users.
On the other hand, hybrid apps don’t give you the best user experience like native apps. The overall development cost is much lower than building a native app. Also, the number of users you can reach on a single app is much higher than that of the native app.
But in the end, it is not about understanding the concept of native vs. hybrid applications. It is about what kind of app you want to make, the timeline, budget, complexity in features, security, etc.
Instagram is the most popular video and photo-sharing social media app. The app allows users to upload media, which can be edited using filters and organized with tags and location information.
By doing the hybrid approach, the app can support offline data and rich media.
Evernote is a hybrid app designed for note-taking, organizing, task management, and archiving.
The app allows users to create notes, such as text, drawings, photographs, or saved web content. Great design and performance make the app stand out from other similar apps.
It is one of the most popular email-sending applications in the world, with more than 1.5 billion users.
HTML previously powered Gmail, but after adopting the mobile strategy, Google has successfully combined HTML and native elements into the application to make it more meaningful with a flawless performance.
By adopting into a hybrid app, the app’s performance and loading times have greatly improved.
Uber is also a great example of a hybrid app. Simple navigation and intuitive design thus make the app stand out compared to other competitors.
Twitter is also one of the most popular social networking hybrid apps in the world. It can cater to millions of users at the same time, without encountering any performance issues.
You might wonder what hybrid app frameworks are. Hybrid app frameworks are tools required for you to create hybrid applications. That said, there are different ways to create hybrid applications using various tools. So, here are the top 4 Hybrid app development frameworks that are widely used:
The core of Hotwire is Turbo. A set of complementary techniques for fast first-load pages, simpler and more productive development experience in any programming language, without worrying about the speed or responsiveness of a traditional single-page application.
Moreover, the framework works perfectly with native hybrid applications for iOS and Android since it was solely designed for both operating systems.
If you want to know more about Hotwire and Turbo, feel free to visit https://hotwire.dev/.
Flutter is one of the best hybrid app frameworks ever existed. With Flutter, one can craft a high-quality native interface that works both in Android and iOS. Flutter offers a great user experience on both operating systems, which makes it very convenient for developers.
React Native is a free and open-source framework that provides a great user experience for Android and iOS. Apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Uber Food were built using React Native.
Ionic is by far currently the most popular hybrid framework on the list. The great thing about Ionic is that it provides a rich collection of powerful features such as mobile components, interactive paradigms, typography, and an extensible base theme that makes the job easier.
When planning about creating a hybrid app, you might think of hiring a suitable company for the job.
Now, here are the best hybrid development companies to work with:
If you have a hybrid app startup idea, then Bootyard is the best company on the list. Bootyard is a mobile and web app company that is based in the Philippines. The company believes that design isn’t all just about making things pretty. But the chance to create a user experience that will make your app stand out from other competitors.
That said, Bootyard will design and develop your idea in a way that will live up to your expectations. If you want to know more about Bootyard, feel free to visit http://www.bootyard.com/
Cubix is a progressive mobile app, games, and enterprise software development company.
They are experts in developing, customizing, and integrating complex enterprise-level solutions, business intelligence analytics, and advanced web and mobile solutions.
With over eight years of experience and they have worked for clients that include individuals, startups, and organizations.
A mobile application development company. The company is known for leading in mobile app and website development.
They make sure to deliver a visually-appealing and fully-functional app in a short period of time to their customers.
Also, the team delivers very consistent results and always finds solutions to problems encountered during the project.