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5 Things You Should Know Before Developing A Hybrid App

websoptimization profile image Nikunj Shingala ・5 min read

One question arises every time you want to develop a mobile app: Whether to go with mainstream Native App Development or to choose cost and time effective Hybrid App Development?

Here in this post, we have listed 5 things that you should consider before getting into the development of a Hybrid Mobile Application.

Before getting into the details, let’s clear out what Native and Hybrid apps are.

What is Native and Hybrid Mobile Apps?

Native Apps: These apps are built for a specific platform such as Android or iOS using programming languages like Objective C, Java, Swift, etc. It means that an application developed for Android won’t run on iOS devices. Native apps are usually costly and time-consuming in the development process since dedicated developer(s) would be required to build an app in each operating system i.e. iOS and Android.

Hybrid Apps: On the other hand, Hybrid apps are based on Web Technologies like HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript which are covered by a native wrapper. The wrapper translates the code in native languages of Android, iOS, or any other platform which in turn runs the application.

Hybrid Apps Development is comparatively less expensive in terms of cost and time compared to Native App Development. This can be achieved by the WORA (Write Once, Run Anywhere) motto of hybrid app development frameworks. This implies that for each operating system, you need not create a separate codebase for a single application.

Now that you have a clear idea of what the difference between these two is, let’s see which are the 5 things you should consider before getting into Hybrid Mobile App Development:

Factors influencing the choice of Hybrid App Development:

The Platforms you want to target: When it comes to mobile app development, your priority should be to finalize your requirements of features. Because it will determine which platforms you can develop and launch your app.

There might be some cases where your required features can’t be implemented in a specific platform due to various constraints. In that case, developing a hybrid mobile app should not be your choice.

For example, one of my recent projects named Callyzer (A Call Analysis tool for businesses) could not be developed in iOS as its system does not support call monitoring & fetching of call logs for security reasons. It thus becomes crucial to finalize your feature requirements before jumping into development to avoid any obstruction.

Feasibility Check: Though with the advancements in hybrid app frameworks performance has reached on par with native applications, there are still some limitations in hybrid apps related to the feasibility of developing heavy processing applications. For example, applications based on substantial processing like games are still not practical to implement in a hybrid mobile application.

Though A hybrid app like Instagram facing hundreds of thousands of users at a time shows how well apps developed on a hybrid framework can perform.

Need of Native Features: When Hybrid Frameworks were introduced, a lot of developers were facing the need for libraries to access native features like Cameras, GPS, and other sensors. As time progressed new libraries and components were introduced to ease the access to various components, but there are still some issues.

For example, if your device is listed under Apple’s MDM policy, some of your basic features such as camera, location, or Wi-Fi can be restricted by your IT administrator. So if you want to build a hybrid app for your Enterprise, you should also consider these restrictions before commencing the development.

Choice of Framework: In the early 2010s there were only a few options available to develop hybrid mobile apps, but as more companies found the hybrid app market lucrative, they jumped in with their frameworks. Facebook came up with React Native in 2015 while Google developed its Flutter in 2018.

Each of the frameworks can develop hybrid apps but they all have their differences; some of the frameworks are free while some charge you extra for additional features. For example, if you are considering Xamarin as your hybrid framework, you should be ready to shell out $5,999/year just for Microsoft’s Visual Studio IDE enterprise license.

Other than that the number of Operating systems supported also plays a role in choosing a framework if you want your app to support multiple operating systems.

Focus on UI and UX: When it comes to a mobile app, it is the UI and UX which are facing and interacting with the user. Thus it becomes important to create an app that has native-like user experience and looks familiar as well as easy to use for the user.

Most of the frameworks present today have close to native UI and UX capabilities, but still some of the elements and animations are not as fluid like native apps. So hybrid apps are suitable for those apps which do not require high use of animations and transitions.

Having a few problems with hybrid apps still makes it one of the highest used app development frameworks. Why would one choose a Hybrid App over a Native App? Here are the reasons:

Why should you opt for Hybrid Mobile App?

Hybrid apps are cost and time effective: The fact that you have to develop a single codebase for several platforms saves you time behind the development, and this reduced time will also save you the money behind app development resources.

Also, you do not have to hire dedicated developers for each technology so you are further saving a substantial amount behind the development and training of developers.

It is easy to maintain: The task of development doesn’t end with the launch of a mobile app, there might be some bugs to be solved or additional requirements from the client to be incorporated.

When you develop a native app, you have to include those changes to all the languages individually in which the app is available. But if you have utilized hybrid frameworks, you only need to modify the code in the main codebase, It will be reflected in all the platforms accordingly.

It is easy to use: Hybrid mobile apps are developed using technologies like HTML, CSS, and Javascript, so a developer having experience in these technologies can easily start developing codes on hybrid frameworks.

Plenty of ready-to-use libraries available: With the support of thousands of hybrid framework enthusiast developers, there are numerous open-source ready-to-use libraries available which you just have to include in your code. These libraries work uniformly throughout the selected platform array. It saves a lot of your time and makes the development easy for developers.

Conclusion:

The fact that companies like Uber, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest using hybrid mobile apps proves that it is possible to create efficient and scalable hybrid apps and provide an immersive user experience without compromising on quality and user experience. A hybrid mobile app should be your choice if you want to develop an app supporting multiple operating systems in a cost & time-efficient manner.

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Nikunj Shingala

@websoptimization

Nikunj is a CEO at Webs Optimization which is successfully delivering services in the realm of UI/UX design, mobile app development including Android and iOS app development.

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