Hybrid mobile apps have been around for quite some time now, but advances in mobile development software and changes in user behavior have allowed it to grow. Today, users expect hybrid apps, even if they wouldn’t know what a ‘hybrid app’ actually is.
What is a Hybrid mobile app?
Advantages of hybrid mobile apps
Hybrid mobile apps can run on both Android and iOS devices (the two most prominent OS). This is great for developers as it means less work for them – code can be reused for progressive web applications and desktop applications with minor tweaking.
Disadvantages of hybrid mobile apps
Although they’re extremely versatile, hybrid apps have certain disadvantages. They’re often a little more expensive than standard web apps because you have to work with the native wrapper. It’s also sometimes a disadvantage to be dependent on a third-party platform.
Compared to native apps, hybrid apps aren’t quite as interactive and often a bit slower. Of course, the app is dependent on resources from the web. Hybrid mobile apps also generally have a standard template. Any customization you want to do in your application will take you away from the hybrid model. If this is the case, you may as well go native.
Hybrid mobile app frameworks
There are a good range of hybrid mobile application frameworks out there for mobile developers at the moment. Let’s take a look at some of the best.
Ionic Framework is an open-source SDK for hybrid mobile app development, licensed under MIT. It is built on top of Angular.js and Apache Cordova. Ionic provides tools and services for developing hybrid mobile apps using Web technologies like CSS, HTML5, and Sass. Apps build using Ionic can be distributed through native app stores to be installed on devices by using Cordova.
Microsoft’s Xamarin Hybrid development platform allows developers to code in C# many platforms in C#. Developers can use Xamarin tools to write native Android, iOS, and Windows apps with a C#-shared codebase, and share code across multiple platforms.
Hybrid mobile apps are great for users
Hybrid mobile apps are particularly effective when you want to build and deploy an app more efficiently. They are also useful for building prototype applications. However, the key thing to remember about hybrid mobile apps is that many users today expect the type of experience they deliver. The old distinction between browser and native experiences has almost disappeared. A well-written hybrid app does not behave or look any different than its native equivalent and that, really, is what users want.
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