Hybrid App: What is it and how can it boost business?

The word hybrid means something made by combining two elements. A hybrid app is a combination of a web app and a native app. Essentially, by using APIs and other tools, the web app is presented in a native shell. This allows for the application to be accessible on both mobile platforms. When developing native mobile apps for iOS and Android, you will need two code bases. The iOS version is coded in Swift or Objective-C. While the Android version is coded in Java or C++. Both codes have to be maintained separately and adhere to different app stores like The App Store for iOS, or Google Play, or any other alternative Android app stores for Android. Alternatively, you may choose a hybrid mobile app. Which allows the app to be written with a single code base. This codebase is then presented to both platforms using existing tools and APIs.

what is a native shell?

This native shell will allow your application to interact as a native application would. This cuts down on costs significantly. As it lowers maintenance and development costs. The native shell is also referred to as a “container”. In fact, by using a Webview mobile object the application can display web content. However, for any features exclusive to the platform, native tools can be used to use these features. Since the app displays web content, it can be written in a plethora of languages. For example, the hybrid app can be coded in HTML, CSS, C#, or JavaScript. Web languages are widely known in the developer community. Therefore, finding developers that are well-versed in them is a breeze. Here at Twelfth Dream, we recommend this type of application to many of our clients.

hybrid app

The benefits of Hybrid Mobile Apps

The reason being that it gives you the best of both worlds with little compromise. In fact, you would be getting a great bang for your buck and in great time too. The cost of maintaining and developing one code base is significantly less. You would also be getting access to all the available platforms with one app. Utilizing frameworks such as React Native, the applications can communicate with mobile devices as native apps. Or at least, almost like a native app. This is advantageous to many startups and companies who are not ready to go all in on a native app. You would also have to compromise between the platforms. Or bear the costs and create two apps simultaneously. Either way, it is a costly affair.

Native app development needs an extensive team with knowledge of the platform. At Twelfthdream our specialists know the ropes. Team As A Service (TAAS) is at your service. We employ Agile Scrum in our  6 step process to keep track of tasks. Book a discovery call now. We help you at our best.

More on hybrid apps

A hybrid app is also much more in-tune with the device than a simple web application. The features that modern users have come to expect from their daily apps are mostly accessible through this type of development. Access to features like device location, and the device camera can easily be implemented using plugins. Web apps do not have access to such features and can feel limited in comparison. Another benefit of a hybrid app, is the offline availability. According to Google APIs, 70% of users abandon an app if it takes too long to load. Without needing constant internet access, users can access data on a hybrid app instantly. Think of Instagram and the posts that are still available even when offline. This function can also be as simple as alerting the user that they are offline.

hybrid app

How a Hybrid App can help boost your business

When it comes to making a business-oriented decision, scalability is everything. Even a good app ideas can falter if it is not scalable. This is one of the many business benefits a hybrid app possesses. Your hybrid app has the option to be available on any mobile device. The cost and the time are also important. They are vital to a new idea and to beating your competitors to market. A native app has a ton of features but takes time and money to develop. A web app is relatively easy to make but lacks many of the features and the native feel. For startups or businesses beginning to invest in app development, a hybrid app is the best option around. We have worked with many companies in Vancouver and beyond, this is an app type we recommend often.

You could be unsure of the app’s imminent performance. Or maybe it is not in your budget to take on native app development. Deciding to develop an app is a consequential business decision. A big factor to consider with mobile app design is the biggest app stores on these platforms. Namely, Google Play and the iOS App Store.

With every update, these stores take a considerable amount of time to get back to the developers. Which could be due to the high traffic of apps being submitted. It could also be due to the high standards they promise their users. Nevertheless, a hybrid app holds the advantage as you would only need approvals for changes to the native code. As in, you can update the web based code that is within the native shell as often as needed without a need for new approvals.

Some drawbacks

While we speak of the benefits of a hybrid app, its drawbacks must also be acknowledged. There is always an air of a hybrid app not being a full fledged app. This means there will always be features a hybrid app cannot fully take advantage of. APIs and the other tools available for hybrid development have and continue to come a long way. However, there are certain apps that are better developed natively. For example, mobile games and navigation apps. A fluid experience is key to both of these applications. The slightest delay or performance setback and the users may abandon the app completely. This is due to the high standards that keeps being set by new native apps. So, you may definitely want to consider the necessary features for your app before choosing hybrid development.

Another setback building off the previous, is the overall costs of maintaining two apps at once. Sure, there is one code base, however, with enough features it can feel as though you are working with native apps. That is why it is always important to consult professionals when making these decisions. Once entered into a development path, a pause can considerably slow the project down. Also, you must consider your users and their experience. Maybe, your website is giving them all they need and a mobile-friendly website would solve your business needs. Or even a progressive web app(PWA). The reason this must be considered is the modern app fatigue. Many users feel that their phone is bloated with a large number of apps. There needs to be an extra incentive for them to download your app.

Successful examples

Again, everything depends on what your project needs. There are many examples of extremely successful hybrid apps. Instagram is a great example. Even though it is a hybrid app, it can offer its users a myriad of features. These features include messaging, calls, and even photo editing! The app can also gain access to the camera and allow users to post in the moment. This has done wonders for Instagram’s user engagement over the years. Which was only heightened after they adopted the “stories” feature. Another great example is Uber. Uber can locate the user and connect them to a nearby driver. The app can work with extremely weak connections. Which is necessary for Uber as a user may need a ride at any time and any place. The app also allows users to pay with a digital wallet that eases the process.

Twitter is a fantastic hybrid app. By leveraging micro posts and a character limit, users are encouraged to post in the moment. There are many moments where users report back as “you had to be there” on Twitter. There is also livestreaming content which is a big market on the social media space right now. The app can also update news regularly, which keeps users engaged and wanting to log back on. Even if your internet is out, you can still see recent tweets and have access to some media. We will round out the great examples with Gmail. A widely used email service that dominates the mobile market currently. Gmail has multiple account support and a huge 15gb cloud storage for emails and media. It cannot be stressed enough that, with many ideas a hybrid app can do more than enough for your business. As these examples demonstrate.

The Bottom Line when it comes to the Hybrid App

A hybrid app can be a blessing in disguise or it can be a step towards more complex app development. It all depends on what suits your project. We at Twelfth Dream have worked with multiple companies and have developed different app types. See our case studies. Whether it is our local projects in Vancouver, or ones beyond the city, we have experts with extensive knowledge in the field. If you are in doubt to choose us, then read, how to choose the right mobile app development company for your project. We have all the criteria.

A hybrid app offers a faster development time and is more cost-effective. However, you may lose access to some features, and bugs can be more frequent than with a native app. You can book a discovery session with us and we can take a look at your project. We will review all possible options and provide you with an accurate quote based on the available information.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are hybrid mobile apps frameworks? 

There are many hybrid app frameworks. Some examples include: Xamarin, Kendo UI, Ionic, and Mobile Angular UI.

Between native mobile apps and hybrid mobile apps, which one put in the best performance?

Native mobile apps provide higher performance. Because they can take advantage of every feature the platform has to offer.

When it comes to design, which app offers a smoother user interface?

A native app is known to best gel with the platform it is on. This is due to the app being made specifically for that platform. Therefore, the users of said platform have a more intuitive experience with the app’s UI.

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  1. Isidro says:

    I’m not sure where you’re getting your info, but good topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.

    Thanks for great info I was looking for this info for my mission.

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