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What is Hybrid Mobile App Development?


Published on: 27 Oct 2020

By Vinod Subbaiah

Updated August 2021

When businesses are looking to create a mobile app, hybrid application development is one of the several well-known app development options to consider. It is increasingly becoming a preferred choice due to its extensive list of capabilities and benefits.

In these fast progressing times, it’s only natural to look for adaptive solutions that are easy to build, maintain, and scale. 

A hybrid application combines elements of a web and native application. It is developed using web and Javascript based technologies and development frameworks, namely HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS and ReactJS. It is further wrapped in a native shell, like Apache Cordova or Ionic Capacitor that enables the incorporation of platform-specific features. 

If you’re looking for a mix between functionality, cost-efficiency, and a native feel for user experience, hybrid applications are the way to go. 

What are the benefits of hybrid mobile app development?

Besides its multi-platform nature, and a highly valued advantage, hybrid application performs fast and well on all OSs and devices. With present day processor speeds, they also deliver a native app-like experience while enabling you to save considerably on development costs. So how are these attributes of hybrid app development making a difference in a business’s success?

  • Cross-platform capabilities. Compared to native applications, building a hybrid app requires developing a single code-base to be deployed on multiple operating systems, whether it is iOS, Android, or Windows. Instead of channeling your effort on developing separate apps for each platform, you create a hybrid app that is compatible with all of them, which significantly increases your customer reach and speeds up your time-to-market. With hybrid apps, just like native apps, you can secure a place in an app store/play store quickly as long as the app meets the guidelines.

  • Well-known web technologies. It won’t be hard to find highly skilled software engineers proficient in web technologies like JavaScript, CSS, or HTML5. Hybrid applications are web apps at their core, so using these well-known technologies means that you can find developers to build hybrid mobile apps in a short duration, and that in turn will expedite the development process. However, you still might need a couple of native developers on your team to cover all your bases and ensure that the application runs smoothly.
  • Lower costs. By using a single code base, the development time frame for a hybrid application is significantly reduced. The app can be deployed on iOS and Android simultaneously, without the duplicative effort of building separate apps for each platform. With one team working on a single application, you can reduce costs, and launch your applications much faster, giving you the chance to build a competitive edge against your competitors.
  • Easy to update and maintain. One of the biggest
    advantages of hybrid apps is that they are easier to maintain than the native
    ones. When an update occurs, you don’t need to make the change for each
    platform individually; it covers all operating systems at once. Besides, the
    user will have access to the new version of the app instantly on all devices at
    the same time. 
  • What are the limitations of hybrid apps?

    Although there are several benefits to building apps using hybrid frameworks, being aware of their limitations will help you make an informed decision and prepare an action plan for your app development.

    • Relying on 3rd party integrations. Being a web application at its core, a hybrid application requires integration with 3rd party systems, in order to access a native platform’s built-in features. 
    • Necessity of a middle layer. In a native application, the developer can easily access the user’s calendar, media, or the Touch ID feature to build a more engaging customer experience. On the other hand, a hybrid app requires a middle layer that would enable it to build these capabilities and fully access the mobile device’s features. You can usually accomplish this with specific plugins combined with custom development if an existing plugin does not cover the desired functionality. 
    • High customization costs. The User Interface of a hybrid app has a couple of limitations, as it cannot fully take advantage of the native platform’s capabilities. Achieving a native app’s feel might involve extra customization that could add to your development effort, and therefore your costs. Offering an equally compelling and smooth experience on multiple platforms could mean a certain amount of tweaks to find a balance and ensure consistency.
    • Slow performance for specific apps. Hybrid applications are known to be highly-performant with a couple of exceptions. In gaming apps or applications that use complex graphic elements, a hybrid app might take longer to load all its content. So, if you plan to launch an application that is content-oriented rather than graphics-oriented, the hybrid app will, without a doubt, meet your performance expectations.
    • More complex QA testing. Though not quite a limitation, the QA testing process for a hybrid application differs from a web or native application. The hybrid app’s cross-platform capabilities call for testing the app on all the operating systems and devices it is deployed on and usually takes a bit longer. Although a specific feature might be held in common, it’s recommended to have it tested on each platform individually to ensure a seamless customer experience. Moreover, your team will also need to test every block of native code to safeguard the performance of platform-specific capabilities.
    • Hybrid mobile app development is undeniably one of the fastest and more powerful ways to build an application that can reach a customer base that transcends any device preference barriers.

      By leveraging both a web and a native application’s best capabilities, the hybrid application enables your business to unlock the power of a customer-centric tool that also creates the opportunity for building a tangible competitive advantage for long-term financial growth.

      Does your business need a hybrid mobile app?

      If your business is looking for custom web application development or mobile app development services then we can help. Contact us regarding your project today by clicking the link below!

      Here are some of the questions asked to us by startup business owners:

      Q: How will my business benefit from a mobile app?
      A: Our transformational mobile app development projects provide technological and business advantages to every business we work with. Our New York-based app development team is equally adept at building standard features in apps such as push notifications, social integration, location services and mobile purchases as well as advanced features like QR/Barcode scanning, advanced analytics and augmented reality. With vast experience in mobile application development and a versatile portfolio, our development company takes a holistic approach, employing web, mobile and cloud solutions to solve our customers’ application needs.

      Q: How much does it cost to have a mobile app developed?
      A: The time and cost it takes to complete a project varies from one project to another, as each client’s requirements are unique. In some cases, depending on the nature and complexity of the project, a detailed discovery phase i.e.; requirements gathering phase is required in order to assess the total effort (time, money and resources) for project completion. Our costs scale based on the size and the end goal of the project.

      Q: Will your mobile app comply with our standards and security policy?
      A: At Asahi Technologies, we ensure the code of your software is secured and follows all of your strict business guidelines.

      Let the established software development team at Asahi Technologies help you with your next custom app development project for your business.
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      Vinod Subbaiah