The trend of hybrid mobile applications
Hybrid mobile application development simplifies the task of web developers. It's easier and faster to build a single application that works effectively on many platforms such as iOS, and Android.
In addition, the hybrid application has many advantages. These include low-cost development, access to a wide range of mobile hardware and software capabilities. As a result, the hybrid application is a profitable investment for companies!
What is a hybrid application?
A hybrid mobile application (or simply "hybrid") is an app that combines elements of native applications and web applications, like PWA. Simply put, hybrids are web applications conditioned in a mobile application.
This type of application can be installed on a device like a regular application, from the App Store or Play Store. Or, because hybrid app is based on web technologies, it can run on a web browser like any other website or even opened as a Progressive Web App (PWA).
Not to be mistaken with a cross-platform application
It is important to note that hybrid and cross-platform applications are not the same. The only thing they have in common is their ability to share code between different operating systems. As a result, both allow developers to speed up the application development process for multiple platforms. For the rest, especially the technical parts, the development of cross-platform and hybrid applications are completely different.
Cross-platform is the development of a mobile application using multi-platform development tools such as React Native, Xamarin or Flutter. They allow developers to build a unique code base, which runs the application on any platform.
Hybrid development accessible for any type of project
To make a hybrid, developers build or adapt a website to make it mobile-friendly and add native APIs. Finally, they connect it to smartphone hardware or a tablet.
There you go! Your website becomes a mobile app. The package (the native functionality package) comes with a framework of choice, such as Ionic in this example.
The most important thing in the development process of your hybrid application is the framework your project needs. You have to choose your framework wisely!
Let's take a look at the hybrid mobile application frameworks we use at Esokia taking into account the functionalities, features and user experience.
Open Source technology with a front-end SDK. Components based on native APIs using Cordova and Ionic Native. Used by McLaren Automotive, Diesel, National Museum of African American History and Culture etc.
The advantages of a hybrid application
In 2017, the Ionic Developer Survey asked more than 13,000 developers about the tools and technologies they deploy to develop applications. In particular, the survey revealed an impressive decrease in the number of developers using only native tools (almost 7 times less). In addition, 32.7% of developers mentioned that they would like to completely abandon native app development in favor of hybrid development.
No need for a web browser like web applications (PWA)
Much slower than native applications
Access to the internal PLCs of a device
Dependence on a third party platform to deploy the app wrapper
Only one code base is required for all platforms
User experience (UX) may decrease if the user interface (UI) is not similar to the browsers the user is used to.
Functions online and offline
Not able to integrate all mobile functionalities
Cheaper to develop than creating two native versions
The more the application needs to be customized, the more expensive hybrid development is
In summary, a hybrid application is an excellent option for you if :
- You want to target several mobile platforms
- You want to take advantage of mobile functionalities such as geolocation, accelerometer or camera
- You want the application to work when the device is offline
- You don't need advanced graphics performance