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Things to Know about Hybrid Application Development

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Things to Know about Hybrid Application Development

Introduction

This article describes about the hybrid application development system which is currently used to develop the applications for the computing devices. There are generally two ways through which the applications for computing devices are built such as native application development and hybrid application development. In the following article, the technologies that are used in the hybrid application development and its benefits in developing the applications are discussed. Along with this, the potential threats related to hybrid applications are also discussed.

What is Hybrid Application?

The hybrid applications are those applications that combines the elements of native and web applications (HTML5) of computing devices. The native applications of computing devices are developed for specific platform whereas hybrid applications are generalised for multiple platforms (Kunz, Kehler, & Williams, 1984). The hybrid applications are not installed locally but are downloaded from internet through browser. Almost every application, except ubiquitous calculator apps, is hybrid application to some extent such as online banking applications uses cookies to file local to hard drive and MS word connects with Microsoft server to check about the updates and bug reports.

Native vs Hybrid app space - Where do they meet?
Native vs Hybrid app space – Where do they meet?

There are two ways through which hybrid applications can be implemented such as:
Local: The developer can package the codes of HTML and JavaScript in mobile application binary and can utilise Rest API to transmit the data between devices and cloud.
Server: The developer can implement the whole web application from server by utilising container over UIWebview (Bristowe, 2018).

Technologies behind Hybrid Applications

There are various technologies that are used to develop Hybrid applications out of which the top most technologies are discussed as follows:

PhoneGap

It is a framework that allows the developers to compile and deploy the hybrid applications across multiple platforms. It is a product of Apache Cordova, therefore, the developers can gain the benefit of Cordova’s plugins while developing hybrid applications. The plugins of Cordova allow the framework to connect hybrid applications with native API of mobile devices such as Camera, GPS, and so on.

IONIC Framework

The Ionic framework is another hybrid mobile framework that has the elements AngularJS components. With the assistance of AngularJS components, the developers are able to develop some scalable and complex applications. The main benefit of using Ionic framework is that it is free, open sources and its components are optimised for mobiles.

React Native

The react native is another popular framework that provides fast, streamlined and more native environment to the developers. The user-interface developed in React Native framework can be merged into existing codes of mobile application and making it more like library not a framework. The main feature of React Native is that it blends the productivity of web technology with functionality of native apps that allows the developers to develop hybrid applications easily (Upwork.com, 2018).

How hybrid applications speed up development cycle?

The application development cycle in hybrid applications is very simpler. With hybrid application development, the issues or bugs can be fixed side by side which helps in generating error free application without any issue. Another benefit of the hybrid application development is unified development that helps in developing the applications faster. The developers do not need to prepare different codes for different platforms as the single version of hybrid application can take this load to run on different platforms.

The concept of Hybrid web application
The concept of Hybrid web application

The availability of online resources in hybrid application development also allows the developers to get to the position of getting application in quick time. The large-scale applications can be built easily with hybrid application development as it supports the HTML and JavaScript components through which the applications can be developed with less errors. This helps in reducing the burden of checking errors in every phase or component of application (Canavesi, 2018).

Potential threats of using hybrid applications

Despite the benefits provided by hybrid applications, there are several potential threats that are related to hybrid applications. The main threat associate with use of hybrid applications is the user experiences. It is necessary to maintain the balance between different platform holders in single version of application. For example, if a hybrid application is built by considering iOS platform as main platform, the users of android operating system will be upset with its designing or performance. The performance of hybrid applications is another threat which may vary from platform to platform (Canavesi, 2018). The native applications perform much faster and better than hybrid applications as these are generated with specific code to work with specified platform. Thus, many developers agree to develop native applications for computing devices as they have better performance record.
Things only native application can do
There are various things that can be performed only in native application which are discussed as follows:

  1. Multi-touch: The multi-touch, double tap, pinch spreading and other compound UI gestures can only be performed in native applications.
  2. Offline Support: The native application provides the offline support to users. These applications can be used even without being connected to internet.
  3. Full access to device features: This is one more factor where hybrid web applications lag. Native application can fully utilize device features such as camera, GPS etc. (Budiu, 2013).

However, with Cordova based libraries being developed extensively, this gap between the native and hybrid applications is reducing at a great speed.

Conclusion

Hybrid Applications development system is latest development system used to develop the hybrid applications which are capable of running on different platforms. There are various advantages that hybrid applications provide such as single version of application can be utilised over different platforms. Despite these benefits, there are various potentials threats that are related to utilisation of hybrid application that need to be confirmed by users before using hybrid applications.

References

Kunz, J. C., Kehler, T. P., & Williams, M. D. (1984). Applications Development Using a Hybrid Artificial Intelligence Development System. AI magazine5(3), 41.

Bristowe, J. (2018). What is a Hybrid Mobile App? -Telerik.com.

Canavesi, B. (2018). Benefits and Disadvantages of Hybrid Mobile Applications – brookscanavesi.com.

Upwork.com. (2018). Hybrid App Frameworks: Tools to Build Hybrid Mobile Apps Fast -upwork.com

Budiu, R. (2016). Mobile: Native Apps, Web Apps, and Hybrid Apps -nngroup.com.

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