Hybrid App

What is a hybrid app?


An app developer who is new to building apps, they have lots of questions about the options available to them and lots of confusion about web apps or native apps, or hybrid apps.

In this blog, we will discuss what is a hybrid app is, its benefits, and its limitations. To know what a hybrid app is, let us know in short what is a web app and native app.

What is a Web app?

A web app is an application that is accessed via a web browser over a network like an internet. Web apps do not need Play Store or Apple Store. Web apps load in browsers like Chrome, Firefox. They do not take any memory or storage in a device like a mobile app. Web app development is done using JavaScript, CSS, and HTML5.

For example, Wikipedia is a website that provides information.

What is a native app?

A native app is a software application built with a specific programming language for a specific device or platform. The platform is either iOS or Android. The native iOS app is written in Swift or Objective-C whereas native Android apps are written in Java.

For example, Pokémon Go is a mobile game.

What is a hybrid app?

Hybrid apps combine both web applications which are created for web browsing and native application design for a particular platform that is installed on a device. It runs as a real app, not as a web page. So, it can work offline. Hybrid apps are usually developed using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and then wrap in a native app with the help of special platforms.

For example, Netflix is an online movie and TV shows streaming service.

what is a hybrid app

How does hybrid app work?

Hybrid apps work like Web apps, but they can be downloaded from the device like native apps. Like web apps, hybrid apps are also written in HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript. It runs inside a container. The device browser engine is used to render HTML and JavaScript and native APIs to access specific hardware. When a hybrid app needs support from a database then it works online otherwise it works offline.

 Benefits of hybrid app

  • Reuse the code

The code is written once, and it is deployed across all mobile platforms. Instead of building two apps, you build one app and simply tweak it so that it will work on two different platforms.

  • Reduce development time and cost

You manage only one code. So, you shall require half the number of a developer when compared with a native app.  Or with the same number of developers, a hybrid app can be published in half the time. Hybrid app developers are often less expensive than native app developers.

  • Easy to scale

A hybrid app is built on one platform, it can easily scale to another.

  • Access device features

With the help of PhoneGap which acts as a bridge between native SDK and WebView in which the app is running. So, a hybrid app lets you retain the access device feature.

Limitation of hybrid app

  • Limited user interface

Hybrid apps have a design that does not have a native app feel. iOS and Android users are very loyal to their platforms as they have been using them for years. The differences are subtle but can be frustrating for app users.

  • Tough to develop cross-platform

To get your hybrid app run appropriately on each platform, in general, takes substantial work. Normally hybrid apps are less expensive to develop compared to native apps. But in a cross-platform development situation, the total cost associated with a hybrid app can be similar to a fully native app.

How to choose the right app type?

The organization must consider a certain number of factors before deciding to take their product or service into the Market. They have to decide whether to develop a web app or native app or hybrid app.

Following are a few questions that can be used to make an adequate choice.

  • What is the user target group?
  • How will our users access the app?
  • Should it be available in-app store?
  • Do you need to update the app frequently?
  • What kind of user experience do you want to offer?
  • What are our development sources?