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Blog: Hybrid Apps – The Future of Mobile App Development 

POSTED ON: August 26, 2021 TAG: Application Development

Today’s business environment is uncertain, and this constant uncertainty due to external and uncontrollable factors makes management feel indecisive. Business leaders are in a difficult position, with several industries paralyzed in a “wait and see” posture. One thing that has grown progressively amidst this uncertainty is consumer spending on mobile apps and installations. Between 2019 and 2021, consumer spend1 on mobile apps witnessed a significant increase, reaching almost $50 billion during Q4 2020. Hybrid apps have primarily contributed to this growth of mobile app development. More than 70% of the leading iOS retail apps are hybrid apps. Mobile app development companies make significant investments in building these apps due to a faster market turnaround time and their functionality on multiple operating systems and devices. Besides accelerating mobile app development, hybrid app development brings cost-efficiency too. 

Before getting into the nitty-gritty of hybrid app technology, let us see what hybrid apps are. 

What are Hybrid Apps?

A hybrid app may be defined as an HTML5 web app within a native wrapper. This type of mobile app is written using CSS3, HTML5, and JavaScript. It is then compiled into native Android, iOS, or other mobile platforms utilizing wrapper technologies. In other words, hybrid apps are web pages wrapped in a mobile app through WebView. Hybrid apps are a combination of native and mobile apps. The best part about these apps is that they can use any device’s features and have built-in capabilities. As far as the web app part is concerned, hybrid apps depend on HTML provided in a browser embedded within the app. Developers built hybrid apps utilizing cross-platform frameworks that include Xamarin, Ionic, React, and Sencha.  

A Quick Peek into Cross-Platform Apps

Other than building hybrid apps, cross-platform app development is worth considering. Your enterprise should choose cross-platform development due to the exponential rise in the cost of per platform development and the demand for faster market turnaround time. Maximum user exposure, easier maintenance and deployment, low development costs, faster app development process, reusable code, and reduced time-to-market (TTM) are a few reasons application development companies build cross-platform apps.  

Among the top-performing cross-platform app development frameworks available today, Microsoft-owned Xamarin open-source platform allows developers to share code between Android, iOS, and Windows, producing native apps simultaneously. The final product, therefore, is the same as if you would use the native language. We also built Xamarin based android application for one of our clients into offering inmate entertainment. We built this app for seamless transit and transmitting data from one mobile platform and customized tablets. Seamless user interface and real-time tablet activity monitoring came in handy with Xamarin based android app.  

Hybrid vs. Native Mobile App Development

Is your mobile app development team starting with a new mobile app project? Are you unsure whether to choose hybrid app development or go the native way? Choosing the right strategy depends on multiple factors. It would be best to begin by assessing your budget, timeline(s), target audience, and your team’s experience with enterprise mobile application development. Cost, product complexity, platform independence, and portability are a few of the relevant considerations when choosing between native mobile apps and hybrid apps. Native app development is more expensive than when you develop hybrid apps. At the same time, hybrid apps demand less maintenance. You don’t want to program your app for each respective platform, say iOS and Android when you can use the same codebase for the two platforms. Besides, maintaining native apps is quite a task, as security updates, enhancements, etc., cannot be quickly loaded onto the server. Instead, the operator should communicate such updates to app stores. The users should then install the updates. Such is not the case with hybrid apps. In hybrid mobile app development, apps are more portable across multiple devices than in native mobile apps. 
Native vs Hybrid 

How Hybrid Apps Stand to Win Over Native Apps in the Future?

Avoid App Store Limitation 

To release native mobile apps, you should package the code, submit it to the app store, and then wait for its approval. The entire process of native app development until its launch can take from two days to a week. But the world of enterprise application development calls for a faster market turnaround time. Native mobile app development faces the challenge of app store limitations. Hybrid apps, thus, offer a significant advantage for developers to update their apps more often. It isn’t essential to resubmit the new version of the app in case of modifications you don’t touch native code.  

Make Code Reuse Possible 

Most of the native mobile apps have an Android or iOS version, developed using chosen programming languages of mobile platforms, including Java for Android and Swift or Objective-C for iOS. While hybrid mobile app development enables you to build apps with languages, your developers are familiar with JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. They must write code just once and deploy it across all mobile platforms. Besides, mobile app testing comes with its set of benefits in hybrid mobile app development. Developers must not write unique test scripts for varied app types. Most importantly, testing against a single codebase minimizes the testing infrastructure you need while simplifying the quality assurance (QA) process. 

Extend DevOps to Mobile

Hybrid apps enable you to extend DevOps to your mobile apps. Mobile app developers practicing DevOps for their web apps wish to update their mobile apps multiple times a day as and when needed. Hybrid apps allow you to transition from extensive quarterly app updates to a bi-weekly cycle. You can thus update as often as your web app, which is not the case with native apps. Contrary to native app development, hybrid apps call for automating the two primary parts of your continuous integration (CI) process. The first one is builds, and the other is tests. Git, Appium, and Jenkins tools have a crucial role to play here. When well-integrated, you can entirely focus on app development and testing. As a result, you update apps many times during the day and be responsible for the entire mobile app development process. 

Improve User Experience (UX)/User Interface (UI) 

Hybrid mobile app development provides a seamless and impeccable user experience across Android and iOS mobile platforms. Moreover, the lightweight UI of a hybrid app leads to faster loading of graphics and content. Due to the fantastic UI experience, there are high chances of your app’s quick approval at the app store. Hybrid apps adapt to varied device screens to ensure fast data display and hassle-free data streaming, leading to cost-effectiveness.  

Increase Performance 

Hybrid mobile apps provide high speed and performance, faster than responsive and progressive apps. They perform extraordinarily well than mobile web apps and websites, running smoothly on operating systems with a high load of content or users. Apps with a more significant number of users show better speed on all devices. No dependency on network communication is responsible for this increased performance. The Twitter mobile app is one of the examples of hybrid mobile apps that tackles humungous amounts of content and traffic all the time. 


Future of Mobile App Development

Gear up for the Future, Embrace Hybrid Apps 

Applications are the future. In the remote work environment or when people are confined due to prevailing restrictions, applications play a crucial role in driving employee efficiency. They can thus grow more productive and deliver anytime, anywhere. Organizations thus consider adopting the hybrid approach. It is the most favorable, given the increasing need to build mobile apps and factors that include the universal shortage of mobile app developers, time and cost of development, efficiency, and rising competition for customization. Choose a hybrid framework based on open web standards and future-proof your development strategy. Increase the speed-to-market and improve your user experience with the high speed and performance of hybrid mobile apps. Most importantly, go the hybrid way and save more than 75%2 costs compared to native. 

Learn how our contemporary application development practice puts you at the forefront of innovation. 

POSTED ON: August 26, 2021 TAG: Application Development

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