In Europe, about 70% of people are using smartphones with Android, and approximately 26% is loyal to Apple and its iOS devices. When your product has to reach both platforms, the cost of development increases significantly. There is a need for hiring a team that can write software for Android (Java/Kotlin) and iOS (Swift/Objective-C) in parallel. For startups or small companies with a limited budget, such approach is quite often unreachable. That means decision-makers have to resign from one of the platforms or postpone development in time. In such situation, it is worth to take into consideration hybrid applications which allow having just one code base for multiple platforms (iOS, Android, and evaporating Windows Phone). The final cost of the project may drastically decrease, and your app can appear in all stores. Hybrid solutions are not adequate for all use cases, but still, there are situations in which such approach works very well.
How do mobile hybrid apps work?
When using hybrid applications is a bad idea
The main problem with the hybrid approach is poor performance in comparing to native solutions. I would not advise building apps that are highly demanding in CPU or graphics card usage. Games, video/photo editing software are doable however their smoothness and responsiveness may not be acceptable for most of the use cases.
When using hybrid approach is a good idea
Hybrid apps are perfect for prototypes and simple applications. If you need to validate your idea and just see if a community is interested in your concept perhaps it is better to go with the hybrid approach. You can save some money and consider developing a native application in next phase. Applications like schedule/appointment planners, simple social and classifieds platforms, real-time chats, monitoring tools should work perfectly fine. The considerable advantage of such approach is cost-effectiveness and possibility for turning existing web apps into mobile apps. Simultaneous development of iOS and Android can be greatly accelerated by using libraries of ready to go components for a mobile user interface. It can save time that is necessary for adjusting apps to best practices that are very different for each platform.
What is the difference between progressive web apps (PWA) and hybrid mobile apps?
How to start with developing hybrid mobile apps?
Xamarin allows you to develop cross-platform applications using C# language. This platform also has better performance and responsiveness than Apache Cordova, however, Xamarin is not that easy to learn as you need to be familiar with Xamarin IDE and Android/iOS platforms.
Artur is a full-stack developer currently living in Szczecin, Poland. His favorite technologies are Ruby on Rails, NodeJS and React. Founder of the biggest Polish portal about MMO games and new e-sport gaming portal. When not working, Artur is often spending his time on bike trips and reading fantasy books.