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Why is Hybrid App Development on the rise?

Going Hybrid for Mobile The use of mobile devices has risen dramatically. According to GlobalWebIndex, 80% of Internet users own a smartphone. Yahoo’s Flurry Analytics...

Nacho De Marco

By Nacho De Marco

CEO/founder Nacho De Marco established BairesDev in 2009. He is General Partner at BDev Ventures and the author of "IT Outsourcing to Latin America."

10 min read

Software developer working in hybrid app development

Going Hybrid for Mobile

The use of mobile devices has risen dramatically. According to GlobalWebIndex, 80% of Internet users own a smartphone. Yahoo’s Flurry Analytics also found out that apps account for 90% of mobile media time. Marketers and businesses have taken note of this, and as a result, the demand for mobile development has seen significant growth. A survey conducted by Red Hat, a leading software provider, shows that about 50% of businesses need a mobile app to make their operations more effective and efficient.

As the demand for mobile apps surges, many businesses find themselves facing a dilemma they had not anticipated: do they develop a sophisticated native app for each major mobile platform or do they develop a simple web app that can work on any mobile device through its browser? While native apps offer better functionality and user experience, they are more costly to develop, because separate apps have to be developed for each mobile platform. The code cannot be shared because each platform-specific app needs code that is unique to the platform. Web apps, on the other hand, are easier and cheaper to develop. Since they have cross-platform compatibility, the code only has to be written once. Unfortunately, web apps cannot be downloaded from the Android or Apple app store, and they cannot access some device features either.

The solution to this dilemma lies in hybrid app development, which provide a compromise between native apps and web apps.


What are hybrid apps?

Hybrid apps combine the functionality of native apps with the cross-platform compatibility of web apps. Like web apps, hybrid apps are developed using standard development tools such as HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript. The hybrid apps are then hosted inside a native Android or iOS container so that the same code can be deployed on multiple mobile platforms. Since they are hosted in a native container, hybrid apps can access the hardware features of a mobile device and can also be downloaded directly from app stores. To package the hybrid apps in a native container, developers use platforms such as Apache Cordova, Titanium, PhoneGap and Ionic Framework.


The Advantages of Hybrid Apps

Hybrid apps have a number of advantages over native apps:

  • Cost-effectiveness: you can build a fully functional app without denting your business’s finances. Even those on a budget can easily afford a hybrid app.
  • Cross-platform compatibility: you only need to write code once. You can then deploy it across multiple mobile platforms, unlike native apps which require different code for each mobile platform.
  • Quick development: In a dynamic business environment, businesses need to make fast decisions and quickly adapt to new changes with respect to technology. Since hybrid apps don’t need different sets of code, they are faster to develop and deploy.
  • High-quality: Despite being easier, faster and cheaper to develop, hybrid apps still deliver high-quality functionality and user experience.


Disadvantages of hybrid apps

Despite all the advantages, there are some downsides to hybrid app development. Sometimes, hybrid apps do experience performance lags. Some might have limited access to the device’s data. They might also have some design issues since they are built for multiple mobile platforms.


The future of Mobile Development

Mobile development is gradually shifting in favor of hybrid apps. With their cost-effectiveness, cross-platform compatibility, access to hardware functionality, high quality and quick development, hybrid apps provide the best of both worlds, which businesses are keen to take advantage of. Therefore, we can expect that hybrid mobile development will keep rising.

Nacho De Marco

By Nacho De Marco

Nacho De Marco is the founder and CEO of BairesDev and General Partner at BDev Ventures. Beginning with bootstrapped investments, he led the company to become the largest and fastest-growing software corporation in the world. He is also the author of "IT Outsourcing to Latin America."

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