Hybrid app development is gaining popularity all over the world, especially among startups and SMEs. So, what are the benefits of hybrid mobile app development and why should more businesses consider it? Let’s find out in this article.
Before we jump into our discussion, here are some statistics to provide context about smartphone usage and the global market share of mobile operating systems. The latter is crucial to understanding the importance of and reasons for the popularity of hybrid app development. According to Statista:
- There are upwards of 3 billion smartphone users worldwide – that’s almost 40% of the current world population! – and the number of total users is expected to continuously grow over the coming years.
- Google Android and Apple iOS are the two leading operating systems, with a collective global market share of 99%. That means 2.97 billion of the 3 billion smartphone users out there either have an Android or iOS device.
Business Apps and Hybrid App Development
As a result of the rise in smartphone usage, most businesses have adopted a mobile-centric approach to grow their operations and reach customers – and developing business apps is one aspect of it. When it comes to business app development, entrepreneurs want to do everything right to build an impressive app that performs perfectly across all operating systems and customers’ devices. This is where the hybrid development approach comes in. So let’s dive into our discussion on the benefits of hybrid mobile development for businesses – starting with the basics!
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Basics Of Hybrid App Development
What is hybrid app development? A hybrid app is a smartphone application that is built to work across multiple platforms and operating systems. What makes such applications ‘hybrid’ is the process of development that amalgamates different aspects of web application development and platform-specific specific development to create a single version of an app that can work on all operating systems such as iOS, Android, Windows, etc.
Think of it as one version of a mobile application with the same code that is available on all app stores like Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store and can work in the same manner for either of the devices.
This is a simplified explanation of hybrid apps but to truly understand what hybrid app development is, we need to talk about what it is not!
What is Native App Development?
Understanding of hybrid app development is incomplete if we do not address the other non-hybrid” app development, which is known as native app development. So what are native apps and how they are developed? Let’s answer that first before we move on with our discussion.
Unlike hybrid apps, a native app is a smartphone application developed specifically for a mobile operating system. For example, applications developed using platform-specific tools and languages, like Swift for iOS and Java for Android. Such applications are developed within the mature ecosystems of the respective operating systems and utilise the technical and user guidelines provided by the OS itself.
On the other hand, hybrid applications are website packages at the core that are wrapped in a native container that uses a mobile WebView object. such as PhoneGap etc. They look and feel like a native app but outside the basic frame of the mobile application, they are powered by the web application itself.
Native vs. Hybrid App Development
Native application development is preferred by businesses and app developers because it results in the fastest, most reliable, and responsive experience for the users. Not only this, but the look-and-feel of most native applications is also consistent across other native apps for the same operating system.
Another significant advantage of native applications is their ability to easily access and utilise the built-in capabilities of the user’s device itself, such as the GPS, contacts, camera, and tons of other things.
However, this does not imply that hybrid mobile applications do not offer the same speed and performance as native apps. In fact, most hybrid apps perform better than native apps and are feasible for businesses.
Let’s take Facebook and Netflix for example. Their smartphone application is a hybrid app because it is powered by the Facebook and Netflix websites and it is built to be compatible with iOS, Android, Windows and every other operating system. For websites like these two, it does not really make sense to develop an entirely new native application for different operating systems because a) it will be time-consuming and expensive and b) because of the sheer amount of content on these sites, a native application will result in suboptimal app performance.
Similarly, there are several additional benefits of hybrid mobile app development that make it a popular choice for businesses. Let’s shed light on the main advantages of hybrid apps in the next section.
Why Hybrid App Development Can Be The Key To Your Success
If you are a confused entrepreneur, struggling to decide between native and hybrid app development, here are 8 main reasons why hybrid mobile apps can be a game-changer for your business.
Saves Money and Time
Hybrid app development requires developing a single version of the app, instead of developing different applications for different operating systems. This ultimately makes hybrid app development cost-effective when compared to the cost of developing separate native mobile apps.
Another benefit of hybrid mobile app development, other than cost, is that it is easy as well because developers do not have to maintain separate code bases for different platforms. Since the code is written once, it substantially reduces development time and costs as compared to native apps. This is essentially helpful for smaller businesses that want to save big and attract more revenue.
Fewer App Store Limitations
Not only do hybrid apps take less time to be developed, but they also take less time to be deployed. App stores like Apple’s or Google’s require a considerable amount of time for validation once a new app or an update is submitted. With a hybrid app, developers can avoid this delay, especially if they require updating their app frequently as it is not necessary to resubmit the new version of the app if the native code has not been modified in the update. This means they can quickly roll out new updates without waiting out the validation period.
Provides Native Experience With Simple Backend
Provides High-Speed Performance
Hybrid apps get a bad reputation when compared to native apps in terms of speed and performance. But in reality, hybrid mobile applications offer a more high-speed performance than websites and mobile web apps and run smoothly on any operating system even with a high load of users or content.
What better example of this than the Twitter mobile application that handles overwhelming amounts of traffic and content at all times.
Attractive and Consistent UI/UX
As established in previous points, hybrid mobile applications deliver high-speed performance and quick loading time which results in superior user experience. It also offers a consistent and flawless experience across the web, Android and iOS devices in terms of design and user interface. The UI of hybrid apps looks like an extension of the web app in terms of design and layout, which improves the experience of users.
For instance, the hybrid application for Netflix has a consistent user interface across every device. It is because it uses the same code base to run UI on all devices – mobile, tablet, smart TVs, DVD players etc.
Offline Support For Apps
Internet connectivity issues are faced on the daily by a large population all over the world, especially people living in rural areas, or people with limited internet plans or poor connections. Therefore, offline support is an important element of modern-day mobile applications and it is one of the essential benefits of hybrid app development. Offline support offered by hybrid apps is particularly important for businesses that want to cater to a wide range of consumers.
Offline support helps users access some features of the application even when they lose connection, and also allows users to store data locally using the device’s API, which improves the usability and accessibility of hybrid apps for its users.
Easy To Maintain
The process of updating hybrid apps and adding new features to them is comparatively easier than updating native applications. While the testing process is time-consuming since it involves testing changes on browsers and webviews on the different platforms, these changes are easier to roll out and maintain. Unlike high-maintenance native apps that require new versions to be rolled out with each update, hybrid apps do not need versioning. This makes the maintenance as simple as updating a web page. It not only saves the effort of the development team but also saves users from having to update their apps with every new update rollout.
Easy and Smooth Integration With Other Apps
Inter-app connection impacts the user experience greatly and since native apps work on the same operating system, it is challenging to make them integrate with other apps. On the other hand, this is a significant advantage of hybrid mobile applications because they can easily integrate with other apps without operating systems’ limitations.
Hybrid Mobile Application Development Company
If you are looking for an app development company experienced in developing robust hybrid apps, look no further. GoodCore has 15+ year of experience of developing impressive native and hybrid apps for clients all over the world.
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The hybrid application offers the best of both worlds. It not only delivers high-speed performance and consistent UI/UX but also saves time, cost, and efforts of the development team. If you are a small-scale startup with a limited development budget or you want to develop and release your mobile application in a short amount of time, then hybrid app development is the right approach for you. Or if you are a company, like Facebook and Netflix, that is dominant in the existing web market and has a sizeable amount of content and user base, then going the route of hybrid app development is also the smartest choice.