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Hybrid Mobile Application Development

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Hybrid Mobile Application Development is the process of building hybrid apps with the combination of different technologies, methods and approaches to provide them cross platform compatibility for both native and mobile web technologies.

Hybrid Mobile Application Development

A hybrid application is basically derived with the integration of a set of technologies, methods and other related elements, which makes it compatible with both native and mobile web technologies.

Hybrid apps are written with the same technology, which are used for websites and mobile web implementations but they run inside a native container, and use the device?s browser engine to render the HTML and execute the JavaScript . Thus, hybrid applications possess the property of cross platform compatibility and hence on high demand at present.

Hybrid Mobile Application Development uses HTML5 , CSS and JavaScript to design hybrid apps by implementing both the Native and mobile Web approaches. A web-to-native abstraction layer allows access to device capabilities, which are not accessible in Mobile Web applications, such as the accelerometer, camera and local storage. Thus, this can be inferred that Hybrid Application Development process is an integration of web technology and native execution.

In Hybrid Application Development, the developer uses a web view control (UIWebView on iOS, WebView on Android and other mobile platforms) in order to showcase the HTML and JavaScript files in a full-screen format with the help of native browser rendering engine.

Advantages of Hybrid Mobile Application Development:

  1. Hybrid Application Development takes less time in developing an app with in comparison to pure native app development time cycles. Moreover, it requires only a portion of native code to be re-written for different kinds of devices thus reducing the time cycle.
  2. Hybrid Application approach is also cost effective as it provides cross platform adaptability at lower cost.
  3. Hybrid apps are a good option for certain types of requirements such as developing productivity apps and utility apps.
  4. Hybrid apps are easy to maintain, upgrade and execute.
  5. Hybrid Application development provides good UX experience with the modern JavaScript toolkits such as gestures, swipes, tap and transitions.
  6. Hybrid apps also provide access to native features.

Disadvantages of Hybrid Mobile Application Development:

  1. The performance of the hybrid apps lowers as the HTML5 and JavaScript part of the app is rendered and executed by the platform's Web engine, which adds another layer between the user and the app. This leads to access of data through multiple layers and hence affects the performance.
  2. The Hybrid Mobile Application development tools are still not advanced enough to allow developers to fine-tune their code. In addition to that, these tools are still immature to help the programmers solve problems that may affect final end users. Some tools such as debuggers, memory profilers, and code analysis are still not mature for HTML5 and JavaScript in the mobile environment.
  3. Data storage is another concern for hybrid apps as they use HTML5 storage mechanisms, which restricts the storage capacity to a few megabytes depending on the platform support and implementation of the HTML5 standard.
  4. Hybrid apps provide limited UX experience compared to native UI.

Thus, in order to opt for Hybrid Application Development, it very important to understand your requirements and then decide whether to go for native or hybrid apps development. Once more key point to be kept in mind while taking the decision is the amount of investment you are willing to make for the apps development. Native apps development requires codes written in more complex languages, designs and structures. In addition to that, they also need to be written/rewritten for each mobile platform you are aiming for and hence expensive and time taking. However, hybrid apps enables you create more platforms faster and cost effective but has certain limitations.

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Posted on: October 4, 2013

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