Have you ever wondered how some smartphone applications come about? Often, when we imagine the development of powerful applications, it’s always for big-screen monitors powered by high-end computers with a team of professional coders working nonstop. Rarely do we see how some applications can run both in browsers, smart devices, and other portable gadgets as well.
With hybrid apps, you have web applications that run on native apps. It’s like creating the same application but tailor-fitted for the device and operating system that runs it for the user. There are various hybrid solutions available, so there is more than one way to bridge these web apps to native devices.
For example, there are many smartphones available, and various operating systems run these devices. To run these web apps smoothly on any native smartphone, developers should perform testing procedures from a professional mobile testing company. Glitches and bugs affect the user experience of the application, whichever device it runs.
What is a Hybrid App?
A hybrid application is a product of written web technologies and native mobile applications. The term hybrid comes from the fact that you operate these web apps in a smartphone, tablet, or any other compatible device, with the additional native features of the device.
Some examples of hybrid apps are our famous social media applications. For instance, you can access Instagram through the web, but you can also download the application on your phone via app stores. Depending on what phone and operating system you are using, the Instagram experience may differ.
Many applications fall as native applications, web applications, or hybrid applications. However, hybrid apps present unique capabilities and benefits that you don’t see for other types of applications.
What is Hybrid App Development?
Next, developers use frameworks to support the code from development languages. Then, these frameworks “wrap” the code within the native application. Access to the device provides more plugins that add features to the app. The app is now tailor-fit to the device operating system. Voila, you can now access an app via your smartphone, smart tablet, or compatible device.
Pros of Hybrid App Development
There are many benefits to hybrid app development. More than having a handy way of app access through smart devices, there are more advantages that you may not see at first.
Higher Market Reach
Hybrid apps serve as another marketing strategy that makes or breaks profits for companies. In the fourth quarter of 2020 alone, the US spends as much as 50B USD on mobile applications.
Having a hybrid app allows users to access an application on various platforms. Think of it as a strategy to increase market reach fast via mobile phones. As of 2020, 81.6% of the population in the United States owns a smartphone.
If you have a hybrid application that can run both on the web and smartphones, there’s a better chance to market your app well and make it profitable and valuable on both ends.
Imagine making a native app for a specific operating system alone. If you develop an app for IOS, then the application is usable with devices running on IOS only. On the other end, if you have a hybrid app, you can run the same code for all devices but use a different framework to open the said code on different devices.
Maintenance costs are lower than having to write and rewrite codes for native apps of different systems. For native apps, it’s like doing the same thing repeatedly to make an app for different gadgets and operating systems.
Cons of Hybrid Apps Development
Despite having benefits, hybrid apps are not perfect. There are downsides to creating one, but whether or not you want an app to succeed falls on how you run it and maintain it.
The ideal version of an app falls on the one that is more developed than the rest. The quality of an application may not be consistent if the developing team doesn’t keep tabs on all the application versions running on different devices. It’s not uncommon to sometimes find more bugs and glitches in the mobile version of a hybrid app when a team gives more focus to the web app of the program.
User Experience vs App Interface
When you make a hybrid app, you are essentially changing the way a user experiences the app. If a user likes the web app better, it’s not unlikely that the user may respond and enjoy the current platform version of the application.
Remember, how an app displays on a personal computer monitor is quite different from how developers present it on a 6-inch smartphone screen. In the same sense, a hybrid app may never wholly match the experience of a native app built specifically to a particular OS or device.
A hybrid app combines native apps (i.e., smartphone app version, tablet version) and web apps (browser version). Depending on how and where developers focus efforts in the app development process, the success of an application follows.