Benefits of hybrid mobile app development

Currently developers have three choices when it comes to developing a mobile application. They can go native and develop an app exclusively for use on a single platform. They can create a web app, a mobile-optimised web page that renders onto smaller screens. Lastly, they can develop a hybrid app, a single application for use across the whole range of mobile devices.

Industry professionals predict over 50% of mobile apps will be hybrid by 2016 but is a hybrid app the right choice for your mobile app?

What is a hybrid app?

Currently developers have three choices when it comes to developing a mobile application. They can go native and develop an app exclusively for use on a single platform. They can create a web app, a mobile-optimised web page that renders onto smaller screens. Lastly, they can develop a hybrid app, a single application for use across the whole range of mobile devices.

Developing a hybrid mobile app comes with a multitude of benefits both for you and your customers. Hybrid apps are growing in popularity because they provide cross platform compatibility and are less complicated to build. Whilst they are not as fast or sophisticated as native or web apps they are a good choice if you want a cost effective way of targeting multiple mobile platforms.

Hybrid apps remove the need to develop an app for each mobile platform, which is both a costly and more complex process. For those new to the mobile app market or on a budget, therefore, hybrid apps offer a way in without breaking the bank.

The best of both worlds

Whilst native and web apps provide enhanced user experience in terms of graphics and data transfer they are created using more complex coding. Naturally, this has a knock-on effect to development costs. If your website isn't overly complex in terms of graphics and you don't need superfast response times then hybrid apps are a good choice.

For customers, too, there are benefits in developing a hybrid mobile app.

Unlike native or web apps hybrid apps provide consistent user experience cross platform - what they see on an iPhone they will also see on a Blackberry or a laptop.

Hybrid apps make the most of the devices hosting them, improving overall usability. They are good at integrating with camera, GPS, SMS and other functions on your mobile and provide a more streamlined performance than their competitors.

Whilst not as fast as native apps hybrid apps provide sufficient data transfer speeds to accommodate all but the most graphically complex and demanding apps (such as games). They have the edge over web apps because they do not require network communication to function properly.

Lastly, unlike web apps, hybrid apps can be used even if there is no network connectivity. Utilising the device's API they store data offline which can be accessed by users anywhere and at no data cost.

So if you're looking to develop a cost-effective, utilitarian mobile application that is both robust and user-friendly and take a closer look at developing a hybrid app.

Author Biography

Andy Green is our Digital Creative Director, responsible for our overall creative vision. He also is an experienced interface designer.

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