Hybrid apps: Definition, Suitability, & Best Development Practices

With rapidly increasing mobile phone users, the demand for applications, especially hybrid apps is also rising. More and more business owners are leaning towards hybrid app development over web-based and native applications.

Hybrid apps have garnered so much popularity because of their shorter development time, lean cost, and ability to be scaled for a variety of mobile devices. However, a lot of people are still unaware of this app development approach.

In this blog, Techosquare will tell you everything about hybrid app development. From definition to benefits and suitability to best development practices, we will cover all aspects so you can decide if it is the right mobile app approach for your business.

Are you ready to learn about hybrid app development? Let’s go!

What is a Hybrid App?

As the name suggests, a hybrid application is a type of smartphone application that possesses the capabilities of both native and web applications. This type of mobile app is developed using web technologies such as JavaScript, CSS, and HTML. The web code of hybrid app is then engrossed in a native application using open-source frameworks including Ionic or React Native.

Hybrid applications can be used in various smartphones regardless of their operating system. They allow developers to write a single code base that is compatible with multiple operating systems. Instagram, Amazon, Evernote, and Netflix are some popular examples of hybrid apps.

Who Should Use Hybrid Apps?

Mobile app developers all around the world are going the hybrid way for application development to boost performance and bring down launch time. But the one question that springs up in the minds of entrepreneurs is who should use hybrid apps? Do they make sense for everyone?

Hybrid app development approach doesn’t make sense for all business types. Hybrid apps can be created and used by:

  • Social networking websites
  • Email service providers
  • Application stores
  • Subscription-based streaming service providers
  • Tracker apps
  • Event check-in apps
  • Note-taking apps
  • Ecommerce stores

Explain your business idea in detail to your developers and they will confirm if hybrid is relevant for you or not.

What are Benefits of Hybrid Apps?

Now that we have underlined what hybrid applications are and which types of businesses should invest money into hybrid app development, let’s learn why building hybrid apps makes sense.

Here are the benefits of going with hybrid apps in 2022:

Low costs

We all know that mobile app development demands a big monetary investment and that’s why a lot of business owners shy away from having a mobile app. Hybrid mobile applications offer better features and capabilities while costing less than native apps. Since the developers write only one set of code, the fundamental and maintenance costs are less as well.

Easier to scale

Want to create an application for different iOS and Android smartphones without spending too much money? Hybrid applications got your back! Since they use only a single codebase, they can be propped across several devices of different screens as well as operating systems. For example, when you build a video streaming app like Netflix for iOS, you can easily launch it on Android.

A comprehensive guide on outsourcing mobile app development in India .

Easy to maintain

Every mobile application has three phases - development, launch, and maintenance. If you have native Android and iOS apps, their maintenance costs are going to be pretty high in the long run. Native app owners need to spend anywhere between $250 to $500 frequently so that they can function properly.

Hybrid applications for smartphones are known to use simple HTML which makes them easy to maintain. Also unlike native apps, you don’t have to produce an app from ground zero whenever a new OS is released. Hybrid apps can easily run on a new OS without any changes.

Development time

Remember we told you that hybrid apps use only one set of code? Since there is only one database to take care of, the development time of hybrid apps is much faster than native apps. Applications that usually take months to develop can be created within a few weeks if followed by a hybrid approach.

Constant updates

Updates are really crucial for applications as they can help repair security holes and bugs. They are also critical in adding new features to apps and remove outdated ones. Undertaking regular is easier in hybrid apps.

Unlike native apps, updates for hybrid apps don’t need any sort of permission from application stores. Whenever changes are required to be made in a hybrid app, they are made and shown quickly.

Offline support

One of the best advantages of investing in hybrid app development! Just like some web apps, hybrid applications have the ability to function without an internet connection. Meaning, even if users can’t access real-time data, they can still access and browse previously loaded data with ease.

What are Best Hybrid App Development Practices?

We are certain that after learning about above benefits of hybrid apps, you are convinced to go ahead with it. But all things hybrid are not picture perfect. They need to be built for perfection.

These practices will help make your hybrid app development practical and eventually profitable:

Choose the right tool

Can you repair your PC hardware with plumbing tools? The answer is NO! You need the right tools to make the fixes. Similarly, you need to choose the right tools for your hybrid app development. In recent years, many new tools for building hybrid tools have emerged. Some popular tools are:

  • Xamarin
  • React Native
  • Cordova
  • Phonegap
  • Unity
  • Appcelerator

We suggest doing thorough research on these tools as their language, complexity level, and a total number of external libraries differ from each other. Also, each tool has its own pros and cons. Choose them based on your business requirements.

Keep code compact

Thomas Kindake once said, “A piece of art is a compact form of the universe.” Think of coding as a piece of art and make it compact for your hybrid application. Why? Keeping the coding file compact and light will make sure your hybrid app loads swiftly and performs optimally.

Contact or minify your app code using tools like JScompress or CSSMinifier to minimize loading time, optimize performance, and speed up your hybrid application overall. Also, lint your code and make it difficult to decompile so that hackers can’t pull through your app.

Make UI lightweight

Truth needs to be told - digital users are really hot to trot. They can’t stand a hybrid application that takes too much time to load or lags frequently. Nearly 70% of consumers admit that app speed affects their amenability to use the application. Your app won’t survive in the competitive app market for long if its UI is too heavy.

Use a simple design or an overall minimalist approach using JavaScript and CSS to develop a hybrid application for your business. Also, consider these points to make its UI lightweight:

  • Use CSS Sprite Sheets to optimize photos. Cut down server requests and save on bandwidth.
  • Don't scale your images in HTML.
  • Restrict shadows and gradients.
  • Use optimally sized images. Host them on scalable and distributed systems.
  • Create UI in javascript at the client side instead of a server.

8 things to keep in mind while hiring a UI/UX company .

Select best design patterns

Think of your hybrid application as the human body. Its code is like an internal human system and the design patterns are like image and body features. You definitely want the physical body features to be good, right? Choose design patterns that not only look beautiful but also pioneer easy testing.

Make sure it also provides more flexibility along with reusability. Choosing the right design patterns can save you from many issues in hybrid app development as well as maintenance.

Leverage CI/CD

One of the most important tips that you need to consider while developing a hybrid application for your business. CI/CD (continuous integration, delivery, and continuous deployment) can help you build a hybrid app faster and at a low cost. It can help you build and test the app code and merge it into a shared repository.

Use CI/CD to identify code errors at an early stage. If your code passes the test, changes will be implemented automatically. But if your code fails, you can fix it and retest it again and again.

Prioritize security

App security is a serious concern among users. In the data-driven world where apps collect a lot of users’ data to optimize the experience, there are some people who want to steal, change or destroy information. Ask your developers to apply an extra layer of security to your hybrid mobile app.

Also, ask them to:

  • Update framework regularly
  • Update plugin versions
  • Take action against cross-site scripting
  • Whitelist bad URLs
  • Use complex roundabout phrases and redundant logic

There you go!

We told you everything about hybrid app development. With its help, you can have a mobile application running on different operating systems that too at a low cost. By providing your business app on multiple platforms, not only will you earn huge downloads and profits but you will also increase your brand reach.

Just make sure to hire the best mobile app developers for your hybrid app project. At Techosquare, our hybrid app development experts can assist you to build fully functional and aesthetically pleasing applications to address your most pressing business problems.

Hire us today! Send us an email at info@techosquare.com to discuss your hybrid app goals.

Also read:

Mobile app design and development trends to follow.

Creating a mobile app development strategy

Android app ideas for max downloads and profits

Check out our services:

PHP development services in India

Ecommerce website development services in India

Web application development services in India