Everyone knows what smartphone apps are but fewer people ever care to know about the type of application they’re using. Mobile App or mobile application is software built to run on handheld devices such as smartphones, tablets, or smartwatch. These apps are either built-in a native form or hybrid, depending on the need of the app owner. We’ll talk further about the native app and hybrid apps.
Did you know, over 95% of customers are smartphone users and over 70% of those users shop online? Amazon.com reported that 70% of shoppers placed orders using their mobile devices during the holiday season.
What is a Hybrid Mobile Application?
A hybrid mobile application or simply hybrid app is software that combines elements of both native apps and web applications. By developing hybrid apps, you bridge the gap between PC and smartphone users. One big feature of a hybrid app is that it makes the browsing experience easier and relatable by aligning the UI (User Interaction) of both websites and mobile app.
For example, if you’re a Facebook user who consistently uses the service on both websites and smartphones, you’d want the same features in the mobile app as on the website so there isn’t any confusion while using one or the other. The hybrid application makes it possible by keeping the UI consistent in both the website and mobile application.
Hybrid apps are popular because they allow developers to write code for a mobile app once and still accommodate multiple platforms. You can work with a single development team to create and manage an app for all platforms.
How does it work?
Once you download a hybrid app from the store, the shell of the app is able to connect to whatever capabilities the mobile platform provides through a browser that's embedded in the app. The browser and its plug-ins run on the back end and are invisible to the end-user. It helps to make the entire browsing experience seamless.
Hybrid apps are compatible with any operating software. Android is the most popular mobile operating system developed by Google whereas iPhone OS or Apple’s iOS is a mobile operating system created and developed by Apple Inc. exclusively for its hardware. A hybrid app has the ability to work seamlessly in cross-platforms.
Cross-platform programming or cross mobile app development refers to the development of mobile apps that can run on multiple mobile platforms such as Android, Windows, or iOS. With the growing trend called BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), it has made it necessary for businesses to develop their corporate mobile apps that are able to use in many different mobile devices that operate on various networks and use different operating systems.
Native vs. Hybrid mobile apps
Now let’s talk about native and hybrid applications.
- Native apps are developed for a specific platform. Android apps are native apps that are developed for more than one platform. A hybrid app is partially web-based and partially on a particular platform.
- Hybrid apps are often chosen by small-sized businesses for its portability (one code base, multiple platforms). Medium-sized and big-sized firms can go with a native app that works best in any environment.
- The advantage of choosing a native app is that it is the fastest and most reliable when it comes to user experience. However, you must spend a lot to design it for multiple platforms and to keep it updated.
- Hybrid apps are easy to update and compatible with multiple platforms.
5 benefits of Hybrid App Development
We have talked about hybrid application and its uses; now let’s talk about its benefit to a business.
1. Enhanced User Experience
User Experience (UX) and UI is both an essential part of browsing. Users who frequently use mobile applications pay special attention to user experience. Enhanced user experience to users is related to developing an app that matches its PC counterpart. This is where the hybrid app does wonder by aligning the UX of both websites and applications.
When you open a specific website like facebook.com, google.com, Twitter.com, or Wikipedia on two different browsers, you can experience notable changes. This is true for many mobile applications too which are distant in design and experience to websites. However, this can have a negative impact on user experience. Hybrid mobile app development can help prevent this by creating an application that works and looks similar to its PC counterpart. With many people using a smartphone to browse and shop for products on a daily basis, it’s more than important to create a consistent design for both websites and applications.
A large proportion of smartphone users still continue to download and use mobile apps. Even if an app is downloaded over the millionth time, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all the people who download apps keep on using them. There are many reasons for this where the most resonating reason is accessibility: most apps are hard to download and use or they don’t align with their PC counterparts. A hybrid mobile app helps to prevent frustration in users by making an app relatable.
The best feature of any mobile application is its speed. It’s no doubt that opening or surfing an application takes way lesser time than surfing a website. People tend to use mobile apps in order to make their lives easy; hence, speed is something that shouldn’t be compromised.
This is one of the major difficulties that both native and hybrid mobile app developers will have to face. App developers should also look into optimizing the application for speed. This is where the hybrid app takes the prize away from the native app
4. Ease of Integration
You can find some similarities between hybrid mobile apps and native mobile apps. For example, both these apps use the programming language of the device in order to synchronize with other compatible apps. This can keep app developers away from the hassle that is associated with integration. As a result, the hybrid mobile apps would work perfectly well with messaging, cameras, GPS, and other device information in order to provide the best possible user experience. This can contribute to enhanced customer satisfaction at the end of the day.
5. Offline Use
The best thing about the hybrid app is that the users can use it even without the internet. Just like native mobile apps, hybrid apps also use the API of the device in order to store some useful information offline.
This comes handy for users who don’t want to continuously keep using data. The offline usage capabilities associated with hybrid apps can impress them, as well. As a result, they will be able to use the mobile app without frustration.
How much does it cost to build a Mobile Application?
We talked about the benefits of a hybrid app now let’s talk about the cost associated with developing a hybrid app. A business mobile app with basic features could cost between the US $10,000 - $50,000. This will be suitable only for small or medium businesses.
If you’re a large company with the need for a complex mobile app, be ready to pay anywhere from $171,450 - $350,000. These sorts of apps come with advanced features and unlimited support, cross-platform programming, and complex features.
Searchable Design LLC is the best web development agency in the USA. We specialize in both web and mobile applications for small and medium-sized businesses. Get in touch with us to get a free quote and a demo of the mobile app for your business.