Top 10 Hybrid mobile application development technology considerations

What is hybrid mobile app development? You have a great potential business idea for Mobile applicati

 

What is hybrid mobile app development?

You have a great potential business idea for Mobile application and wondering what platform to start with? If you choose to develop native mobile app, you would end up developing many applications for different platforms costing you huge money and lot of time. Hybrid mobile app is a buzzword among mobile application development companies in India that is taking the center stage these days.

Technically speaking, Hybrid mobile app is a combination of native and web app. Hybrid app runs on the device and web technologies like HTML5, CSS and JavaScript are used to implement them. It runs inside a native container and leverage the device’s browser engine (but not the browser) to render the HTML and process the JavaScript locally. Hybrid app can be a good choice for your business idea as it helps you develop common app for multiple platforms.

There are many cross-platform mobile app development platforms available in the market like PhoneGap, Xamarin, Telerik AppBuilder and many more. We discuss here top ten technology considerations for hybrid mobile app development for your business idea.

1) PhoneGap

PhoneGap is an Open source technology to develop hybrid mobile applications using web technologies like HTML/CSS and JavaScript. PhoneGap is very popular hybrid mobile application tool among hybrid mobile application development companies in India. PhoneGap uses JavaScript to access device level APIs similar to native app.

Pros:

  • Uses web technologies lie HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript
  • Easily available source
  • This is write one time and run anywhere – Android, iOS, Windows, Firefox OS, BlackBerry etc.
  • Available in Google Pay Store for Android, integrated payments via App Store for iOS and in-app and more

Cons:

  • Poor performance for graphic-intensive applications
  • Plugins are available however many are outdated or unsupported based on target platform.

 

2) Xamarin

Xamarin, newly Microsoft acquired technology, is used to build native mobile applications with cross platform compatibility. It uses portable C# code. All codes are written using C# that developer can do in Java, Swift or Objective-C unlike other platforms. Xamarin studio is user friend IDE for the app development.

Pros:

  • Development is using C# so no need to learn near programming language
  • Xamarin studio is highly user friendly IDE
  • Code reusability is very high (almost 75%) across major mobile platforms like iOS, Windows, Android etc.
  • Android Emulator for quality testing.

Cons:

  • Many open-source libraries for iOS, Android etc. have compatibility issues with Xamarin

 

 3) Onsen UI

This is an open source framework and technology to build hybrid mobile apps using native looking components. AngularJS can also be used to build the apps. It has good documentation that includes good examples and layouts for common features.

 

Pros:

  • This works with predefined components
  • Faster development as it is based on predefined components
  • Good documentation with common features and examples

 Cons:

  • PhoneGap/Cordova builder not included, but supported
  • Currently does not support material Design
  • Onsen UI currently offers only an iOS theme

4) Appcelerator

Appcelerator is the technology used to build native apps using JavaScript technology. This is an enterprise based development platform allowing writing JavaScript with MVC framework.

 

Pros:

  • Pre-built database connection for MS Azure, MongoDB, MS SQL and other database engines.
  • Consists of schema-less data store, ArrowDB, to deploy data models with zero setup efforts.
  • Allows rapid mobile app development
  • Quick prototype development with less time and effort for evaluation

Cons:

  • Pre-built database connection for MS Azure, MongoDB, MS SQL and other database engines.
  • Consists of schema-less data store, ArrowDB, to deploy data models with zero setup efforts.
  • Allows rapid mobile app development
  • Quick prototype development with less time and effort for evaluation
  • Little buggy and laggy, though newere versions are more stable.
  • Poor support from developers community

 

5) Intel XDK

Intel XDK is another popular platform to develop native apps for mobile phones and tablets using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Cordova platform is used to compile apps making them cross-platform compatible.

 

Pros:

  • Developer can compile same solution for different platform.
  • HTML, CSS and JavaScript are used as technology for app development.

Cons:

  • “Native code” component of a plugin is not supported by simulator
  • Device simulator’s emulation of the App Security API does not provide any real security

 

6) Nativescript

Nativescript is an open-source platform for making native cross-platform mobile applications. Nativescript gives mobile application development companies, every native APIs in JavaScript. It offers reusability of existing plugins from npm directly.

 

Pros:

  • Embedded support for TypeScript and js 2.
  • Direct access to native APIs in place of development libraries access and then utilize native components.

Cons:

  • Multi-threading is an issue in Nativescript.
  • Lack of in-depth examples and documentation on features and its usage.

7) Telerik AppBuilder

The Telerik Platform is popular cross-platform mobile application development tool and it also supports native apps developing for iOS, Android and Windows phones. Appbuilder  IDE supports Production of cross-platform and native applications both. AppBuilder also equipped with the Apache Cordova API.

Pros:

  • Easy to develop cross-platform application.
  • It is compatible with .NET, JavaScript/HTML5, Java JSP and PHP technologies.
  • Easy to learn

Cons:

  • It's not a free tool.
  • One can convert all steps to code, but can't revert them back.

8) Monocross

Monocross is an open source cross-platform for mobile application development. It is used to create applications for Android phones and tablets, Windows Phone and iPads and iPhones. It uses .NET C# and the Mono framework for developing cross-platform supported applications.

Pros:

  • Need only C# and .NET compatibility for the application development and maintenance activities.
  • Provides access to full power of the native device APIs still using C#

Cons:

  • Documentation and resource available for Monocross framework is harder for application development.

9) React Native

React native supports creation of proper native apps in place of hybrid ones that run in Webview. JavaScript and React are used as technology for mobile app development.  It also supports Android.

 

Pros:

  • Native-like performance
  • Great community support

Cons:

  • The development tools only work on OS X at the moment
  • Steep learning curve

10) Ionic

Ionic is a popular framework of mobile app development companies for Hybrid mobile apps.  One can use CSS to create native looking designs and best to pair with AngularJS. It also provides command-line interface that includes integrated emulators and a Cordova based app packager.

Pros:

  • Command-line interface to use most of useful features.
  • Works with inbuilt component and Great Community

Cons:

  • AngularJS expertise is required for complex features

Conclusion:

There is no best framework or platform to develop hybrid or native apps. Each has its own advantages and challenges. Platform choice depends heavily on project requirements in hand. Mobile application development companies should consider requirements in hand with features available in platform to decide the platform for the app. One should also consider performance and security parameters to choose the best suitable option for your requirements.

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