The blend of native and web applications is known as hybrid app or hybrid application. In a computing device, native applications are installed for a certain program. But, to run web applications, multiple frameworks are available over the internet. Hybrid apps are often mentioned in the context of mobile computing.
Hybrid Mobile App Development:
Hybrid mobile app development can be define as a programming approach for mobile devices that combines together the features of native programming and HTML5 mobile app development.
Hybrid apps are used by corporate developers to reduce the time consumption. Also, the costs of an enterprise can also be reduced. Administrative tasks can also be simplified in BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) environment using hybrid approach. Just like native mobile apps, app stores also distribute the Hybrid mobile applications that can be simply downloaded and run on mobile devices. Private developers make their apps available on multiple app stores to reach the potential customers without rewrite the apps for each device type.
There are certain tools that developers can use in the development process to well-organized the mobile software creation. In today’s generation, however, developers may not aware of all the programming languages but there are different tools and software builders which are helpful for the developers to create a great mobile application supporting multiple platforms.
Mobile Software Development - Native vs. Hybrid
The two approaches to develop mobile software are native and hybrid app building on which the developers rely.
Native development specifically designs for one platform. It depends on tools and programming languages that are original for the operating system and for the device.
- Swift and Objective-C is used by iOS apps
- Kotlin and Java is used by Android apps
- Basic, C# and XAML is used by Windows Phone
Developers are guided by specific Operating System requirements to install apps on a computing device after native applications are created which then enables the program to use available features. However, it is notable that with native app development a single app cannot be created for all platforms. Hence you need to create one app for each targeted platform. This process is time-consuming as well as cost-intensive
This approach combines both native code and independent code that can run on several programs. It can be used on different mobile apps. These applications can function identically and it can fit to any platform.
Advantages of Hybrid Development:
- Fewer efforts
- Results accuracy
- Reduction in costs
- Time safety
- Enables fast launching
- Requires basic level of knowledge about standard languages because the remaining tasks will be observed by using the development tools
- Provide near-native functionality
Top 5 Hybrid Mobile App Frameworks
For your app creation, you can use numerous tools. Below, there are top 5 hybrid mobile applications developments tools are listed that are more frequently used.
In 2018, Ionic was amongst the most favorite and best hybrid mobile app framework for developers. And, until now, it is on the top of the list for developers. It possesses native-styled elements and layouts.
Features of Ionic:
- Regularly provides latest updates
- Provides a library of HTML, CSS and JS components
- Possess native functionalities
- Have Customization tools
- Rely on wrappers like Phone Gap or Cordova to run as native
Originally named as Sencha Touch, the service is no longer supported. It has been merged with Ext JS to create Sencha Ext JS. It has variety of tools and themes that enhance productivity. It facilitates optimization, design, theming, deployment and debugging.
One of the top hybrid mobile app frameworks, Xamarin, provides the same performance and user experience as native solutions. Xamarin applications are compatible with any mobile platform. The platform allows building native Mac apps using Xamarin Mac Tool.
It is the popular Microsoft cross-platform mobile app framework following C# programming language complemented with .NET framework. Moreover, it is available as a part of Visual Studio under the MIT license.
It includes the following components:
- Xamarin Studio/Visual Studio (its own IDE)
- Xamarin SDKs
- Xamarin Test Cloud
- Hockeyapp and Xamarin.Insights (distribution and analytics platforms)
Framework 7 is a mobile app development framework which is used to build web and hybrid mobile apps in native design. Using F7, developers can create prototypes easily. It allows building simple and user-friendly mobile apps providing seamless user experience.
- Simple open-source tool
- Requires a developer to have only a simple HTML layout and attached CSS and JS files.
- Not compatible with all platforms
- Focused only on iOS and Google Material design.
How to Choose the Best Hybrid Mobile App Framework?
While choosing the most appropriate solution for hybrid development, consider the following factors:
- If you have a small entity or big entity
If your company is small, you can select Ionic or Framework 7. However, for large companies Sencha, Xamarin and other hybrid app development frameworks can be used.
- How much technical skills developers have
Depending on the development skills, if the developers have not enough technical skills then Ionic would be the best framework among all.
- What type of solutions you are trying to get as a result
If you want to create applications that are compatible with all devices or you want to develop a perfect app then hybrid app development tools are the best.
If these factors are not taken into consideration, then it is impossible to say which of the mobile application development is best among the above listed.