Every business wants to grab the versatility of web and ease of mobile. Is not the same with you? We can hear your loud ‘yes’. Well, anyone would agree that in spite of the power, the web is too generic and commonplace while native mobile platform minus the web is easy to access but devoid of real-time edge. You are not alone, actually, the majority of businesses having a decade-long web presence now feel the need of having a native mobile presence without losing the power of web inside. Thus, the hybrid apps emerged as a solution.
Hybrid apps are more like having the goodness of both web and native apps into one. Sounds great, eh? But, wait, do you know hybrid apps are more complex in nature and needs frequent updates? Well, if this is the flip side of it, there are some impressive solutions as well. We have a whole array of rapid app development tools that will make building hybrid apps easier than ever. But before getting into this let us have a glimpse at the basics.
What is Hybrid Mobile App?
Mobile apps are mainly of three types, respectively as native, hybrid and web apps. Native apps allow using device capabilities and the operating system and the respective platform has little to do with the app performance. This is why native apps experience the least number of performance issues. On the other hand, a web app needs to be built for different operating system platforms. The best thing about web app is that you do not need to build a separate app for each platform and thus the cross-platform approach will save you lot of time and cost. Hybrid apps incorporate the best of both native and web apps. By using the common code base for different platforms it allows native capability across diverse platforms. Obviously, there are some pros and cons with hybrid apps as well. Let’s have a look at some of them.
- Existing web development skills are enough.
- You need only a single code base for diverse platforms
- Because of one-time development, you can save lot of time and cost
- You can easily make responsive web based design addressing various form factors
- Such apps also allow access to some device specific features
- It comes loaded with enhanced offline capabilities
- As it allows native distribution through handsets, the app enjoys better discoverability through both app stores and through search engines in mobile browsers
- Hybrid apps can suffer from performance issues if too many complex native functionalities are used.
- To deliver the native ease, comfort and accessibility lot of development time and effort is required
- Many devices and operating systems ultimately make it look and feel like web apps. Native features are not supported by all devices and operating systems.
- Apple App Store has a strict attitude towards hybrid apps lacking enough native feel. Underperforming native apps can be rejected by Apple App Store.
So, what? Is building hybrid apps easy?
We must say ‘no’, because building such apps involves too many challenges, not to mention the required professional skill set. But, what’s about the rewards? Aren’t they equally impressive? Yes, hybrid apps can help your app reach a wider audience at ease while helping you stay connected with your users all the time just like any native app. So, in spite of the challenges and complexities involved in building them, your business seriously need to consider the potential hybrid apps offer. We have an array of rapid app development tools that can take care of these challenges and complexities. Actually, we are here to inform you regarding tools.
DIY (Do It Yourself) VS. RAD (Rapid App Development) Tools
For a developer building a hybrid app just from the scratch by deploying all of the components, patterns and animations can be a challenge and even if the challenge is taken with open arms, the end product can be less than satisfactory. This is the reason why rapid development tools like the UI frameworks are preferred by enterprises to deliver a business focused hybrid platform with native look and feel.
There is an array of UI frameworks exist that makes your job incredibly easier. From the open source ones like Ionic to commercial frameworks like Kendo UI, frameworks with a common UI like the jQuery Mobile and Onsen UI to frameworks with multi platform-specific UIs like the Sencha Touch and ChocolateChip-UI, you have an enormous range of options to choose from. The only word of caution is regarding the app performance. As almost all of them have an all-encompassing approach, you need to judge by trying the demo runs on your own handheld device for few minutes.