Hybrid apps are mobile apps that are designed and built to run on more than one operating system. Hybrid apps are also called cross-platform applications. They’re widely popular because they behave, look, and feel exactly like native apps. They’re easy to build and offer high functionality that is compatible with most devices.
Benefits of Hybrid Apps
A single codebase
The main advantage of building hybrid apps is that they require a single codebase. When a company starts building a hybrid app, the developer only needs a single code that can be used for multiple operating systems. It’s a single code for all kind of deal!
Since hybrid apps don’t require complex or custom coding, the cost is also cut in half. Depending on your app, it can cost anywhere between $10,000 to $100,000 for a single app that will run on multiple platforms.
A hybrid app developer will be able to provide a quicker app development service as compared to a native app developer. That’s because of the elimination of specific coding for different platforms.
Support the Cloud
The newer frameworks for hybrid app development offer enterprises support for the cloud. It means that the company can integrate their hybrid apps to the cloud if they decide to in the future. All they have to do is use the plug-ins provided by the framework, and your app will be working in the cloud.
Limitations of Hybrid Apps
Slightly Slower than Native Apps
At first, you may not feel a difference in performance and functionality because hybrid and native apps are similar. However, if a native and hybrid app are compared, you’ll notice that a cross-platform app is slightly slower than a native app. The difference in performance is minute, regardless of how simple your app is.
Can’t Support Complex Features
Hybrid apps aren’t meant for businesses that are looking to add complex features in their app. Hybrid frameworks can’t offer all the features of a native app, and this disadvantage might make your app feel restricted.
Negatively Impacts User Experience
If your hybrid app fails to feel smooth, functional, and natural, then you’ll start losing users. The biggest disadvantage of the single codebase feature is that you’ll need to make sure the app works exactly the same way on each platform and device. However, getting this right won’t take up too much time.
Popular Hybrid Mobile Application Frameworks in 2020
There are more than 4 billion smartphone users around the globe who are connected via the internet. To encourage them to connect with your business, you need to offer a smooth and functional app. An app acts as a bridge between you and your customers. People find apps more convenient because they can be accessed through a smartphone – apps are the tip of their fingers. So, make sure when you build a hybrid app, it’s amazing!
Here are the top four hybrid app frameworks that you can consider in 2020!
1. React Native
React Native is the most trending and popular hybrid app framework. It was developed and launched by Facebook in 2015 and has been maintained since. The cross-platform app development framework is open source, meaning it allows public access. The native-like features that the framework offers are Views, Text, Images, that can be added to the user interface of the hybrid app. Some popular apps like Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, Airbnb, and UberEATS were built using React Native, amongst many others.
React Native has a wide community of developers who can come together to discuss, engage, and solve code-related problems. The hybrid apps on React Native can be built using Objective C or Java, both of which are easy to learn and code with.
2. Onsen UI
Ionic is another open-source framework that is used to develop hybrid mobile apps, desktop apps, and web apps. It was developed by the engineers at Drifty.co in 2013. The developers, first, launched an alpha version, and later in 2014, the beta was released with the final coming out in 2015. The apps are created using HTML5, CSS, and SaaS. Ionic offers more pre-defined and pre-styled components for hybrid app development, as compared to React Native. The framework allows code reusability for different kinds of apps like desktop, web, wearables, etc.
Additionally, you can test the finished app on any browser without needing an emulator; however, it offers suboptimal user experience. The popular apps built with Ionic are Tinder, Restaurant Finder, Sworkit, Honeyfi, JustWatch, and the most popular one being WhatsApp. There are a lot of features that you can integrate into your hybrid app using Ionic.
Flutter is an open-source SDK (software development kit) that offers all the tools for the development of hybrid apps. Google launched flutter in the Dart developer summit of 2015, and after further modifications, the framework version we know today was launched in 2018. Flutter offers a complete UI toolkit to build exquisite looking hybrid apps. The toolkit can also be used to develop desktop and web apps using a single code.
Choose the Best Framework!
There are many hybrid app frameworks out there to choose from. The features offered by each framework can influence your decision, but when you decide the framework, get the best team to start building your hybrid app!
If you’re building an enterprise-level app, your best bet is React Native; otherwise, you can pick any other framework to work with.