Why startups choose hybrid mobile apps

Many of our clients ask me, what is the difference between hybrid and native app? Why should I order hybrid app development? Will I be able to add different features to hybrid app in two years (+ list of features). And of course there is no one correct answer, but I decided to summarize some common knowledge about hybrid application. Not too much text.

I do not insist that a hybrid application is better than a native one. No way) Buuut they definitely have their advantages and these advantages are really underestimated .
Moreover, there are cases when hybrid app development is much more profitable and reasonable for some concret company or project. I always fight for fairness and impartiality.

Our team web100.com.ua (the world must know its heroes) has several departments with talented developers in each of them. And actually one of them develops hybrid & native applications. Hybrid mobile app is like any other app you can find on your phone.

Users really don’t care is it hybrid or native!

They simply want an app that works good and has no bugs. (QA testing is also important and underrated issue).
Trying to understand whether you are looking at mobile hybrid or native application for most of us who are not developers is like trying to compare two varieties of fine french cheeses (or choose your example), both of them are wonderful, almost identical in appearance and taste, but how can you guess what ingredients are included in these two parts of cheese (if you are not chees gourman of course). They both taste really fine (or not:)) And the same we can say for the hybrid and native application.

How is a hybrid mobile app built?

Hybrid mobile app is built in a similar manner as a website.

We create one code that works for all platforms you need.

We use such technologies as CSS, HTML and JavaScript. Instead of targeting a mobile browser, the hybrid application targets a WebView hosted inside a native container. This enables to do things like access to hardware capabilities of the mobile device.

Here in WEB100 Technologies we mostly use Apache Cordova, a platform that provides a consistent set of JavaScript APIs to access device capabilities through plugins, which are built with a native code.

Each platform has its own development framework: like Apple has Objective C, Google has Java, Microsoft deploys C# or Visual Basic (for their Windows Phones). So choosing native means that developers will need to learn and maintain three separate code bases. Each of these three code bases has own distinct nuances. BTW shareholders/partners must be sure that all of them are fully supported with sufficient budget and time.

To solve this issue, companies have started implementing hybrid cross-platform applications with great success. Their developers work only with one set of technologies and then deploy it to all the other platforms supported by this technology.

But these are advantages for developers. What are benefits for companies which order a hybrid mobile application instead of a native one?

● Cross platform development allows to get an app that is very rich in features and animation.
● At the same time choosing hybrid app development you will save hours=financial resources for development as you don’t need to develop iOS and Android versions. It means you spend less money for the same result. (often yes).

Choosing native development you always remember that native development may require:

● Maintenance of multiple code bases and necessity to involve more developers with experience in each framework = more costly
● You always must be sure that your native app is compatible with the latest version of the device (most common thing with iOS devices).

A lot of startups we are happy to work with choose hybrid applications as they can be really attractive for users and profitable for those who created them.

Most native developers agitate to ignore a hybrid application and they definitely have their reasons to do this. But only customer has to make a decision.
Ok, you say that startups sometimes are not ready to spend much financial resources from the start, but what to do when you as a small startup built a hybrid app and now you feel you can/must/ your inner voice told you to build the native one? – Most apps can get away with hybrid solutions with minimal issues. I know/read cases when using Xamarin solution, for example, porting your code should not be a problem.

If you have anything to add/object, please drop a line under my post, your experience is also important!

I personally believe that there is no reason to argue what is better – native or hybrid.

What a customer really should to do is to analyze the situation and requirements and then discuss them with competent specialists to make a decision.

As the famous poet said – If stars are lit it means there is someone who needs it.

The same is to hybrid apps, if the way of cross-platform development was invented, there were a need – people were looking for this.
And even if you develop a hybrid solution now, nothing stops you from changing frameworks in two, three years.