Why hybrid mobile app development is gaining traction these days
About a decade ago, Android smartphones and apps were used primarily in developing nations like India, China, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, etcetera by the working class populations in those countries and iphones, tablets, and Apple PCs that use the iOS were used primarily by people in developed nations like the USA, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Australia, Europe, etcetera. As the IT and other industries are booming presently across the world, the income and living standards of people are improving. Now, even people in developing nations are starting to use iphones, tablets, and Apple PCs that use the iOS. Therefore, it has become imperative for mobile app developers to develop hybrid apps to retain their user base but what exactly are hybrid apps? What are their advantages? Do they have a future scope for growth and what are the SDKs and coding technologies used to develop hybrid apps? Kindly read on to find out.
Table of Contents
What Is A Hybrid Mobile App And What Are Its Manifold Benefits?
What Are The SDKs And Programming Languages Used In Hybrid Mobile Application Development?
Does undertaking hybrid mobile app development have scope for growth in the future?
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What is a hybrid mobile app and what are its manifold benefits?
Hybrid apps are those apps that can run on Android as well as iOS with the same efficiency. The OS platform barrier between various smart devices does not affect the functioning of these apps as they are coded in certain programming languages that can be understood and executed by both the Android OS and iOS. Hence, hybrid apps are also known as cross-platform apps.
The numerous benefits of undertaking hybrid mobile app development
Developing hybrid apps gives app developers many benefits. Some of the important one’s are.
No compromise needed on user base: Since hybrid apps can run on Android as well as iOS, app developers need not compromise on their user base. Every customer is precious to a company and gives businesses a lot of revenue and profits in the long run. Hence, undertaking hybrid mobile app development to retain 100% of one’s user base is a wise business strategy.
You can design an attractive yet simple UI: Hybrid apps are developed using advanced coding technologies and robust SDKs. The enable the creation of attractive, advanced, yet easy to navigate UIs that give hybrid app users a great browsing experience.
Hybrid apps occupy relatively lesser phone memory space when compared to native apps. They load quicker than native apps and can support even complex graphical elements. Generally speaking, hybrid apps have a higher average user rating than native apps.
App development time is lesser: Since hybrid apps need to be coded only once and do not need separate code bases unlike native apps, their app development time is lesser when compared to native apps. A quicker app release also gives hybrid apps a competitive edge in the app market.
Easier to maintain: Like the app development process, hybrid apps can be updated only once unlike native apps that need separate updates for their Android and iOS variants. The fact that only a single update is needed for hybrid apps enables app developers to see the effects of the update on a real-time basis.
Cost effective: Since hybrid apps require only one-time coding, one-time updation, and one-time marketing, the cost to develop and maintain hybrid apps is significantly lesser than the cost involved in developing and maintaining native apps. This cost reduction plays a major role in the success of the hybrid apps and their respective firms.
High performance: Hybrid apps can do a variety of simple and complicated tasks. They can even function to some extent without an internet connection. This makes them faster, more reliable, and thereby more desirable than native apps.
What are the SDKs and programming languages used in hybrid mobile application development?
Native apps for the Android and iOS platforms are coded using different programming languages and hybrid apps are developed using different programming languages and SDKs. We shall study them one by one below.
The Swift programming language was developed by Apple in 2014. It has replaced the Objective C programming language as the coding technology used to create native iOS apps.
Initially, Swift was only used to design native iOS apps but a few years later, modifications were made to the programming language such that apps or PC software designed using Swift could run on Linux and Windows OSs as well. Now, even unofficial extensions are available to make apps designed using Swift run on Android OS as well.
Kotlin is a more secure and concise programming language than Java. It was developed in 2016 by a software tools development company called JetBrains. Kotlin is used to design native Android apps.
Like Java, Kotlin too uses the bytecode method of code compilation. Hence, Kotlin and Java can be used interchangeably to develop mobile apps. This feature gives native Android app developers a great deal of coding flexibility.
Good old Java has survived the test of time. It has an internal working mechanism that enables Java developers to Write Once and Run Anywhere (WORA). In other words, Java is a cross-platform coding technology that can be used to create cross-platform apps.
Java can be used to create simple on-demand delivery apps as well as graphics-heavy gaming and other applications. Java is comparable to Python in terms of sophistication and versatility.
The IJ SDK
The IJ SDK uses the Rust programming language to design cross-platform apps. Rust is a multi-purpose programming langage that can be used to design apps as well as other stand-alone and web-based applications.
Apps or other software designed using Rust can run on iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, and MacOS. This makes Rust a highly versatile coding technology.
Rust has an internal architecture/build similar to C and C++ but can support very complex and graphics- heavy applications like PC and mobile games, analytics applications, web-based applications, etcetera.
Hence, apps designed using the IJ SDK and the Rust coding technology are highly versatile and can be used by all users. The IJ SDK gives no room for user base compromise.
React Native is an open-source SDK developed by Facebook (the child company of Meta) on 26/03/2015. It was developed after a ground-breaking discovery was made by Facebook’s engineer, Jordan Walke.
Flutter is an open-source SDK (Software Development Kit) designed by the Silicon Valley tech behemoth, Google. Flutter uses the Dart programming language to develop swift and secure cross-platform apps.
Apps designed using Flutter can run on the Fuschia multi-purpose smart OS developed by Google as well as on Android and the iOS. This feature has created a very large user base for Flutter as apps designed using Flutter can be used to operate many smart devices (like smart multi-colored bulbs) as well.
In the year 2000, an open source project called “Mono” was launched to develop a new .NET framework for the Linux OS. A few years later, an IT company called Xamarin in the US had supported the project and the first cross-platform app called “MonoTouch” was launched.
Later, in 2016, Microsoft had acquired Xamarin and used the features and elements of its Visual Studio Code software to develop Xamarin’s .NET framework further.
Shortly afterwards, the Xamarin Studio SDK was launched, which uses the C#.net programming language to develop cross-platform apps. Apps developed using Xamarin can run on iOS as well as the Android OS.
Does undertaking hybrid mobile app development have scope for growth in the future?
Research has shown that around 70% of the apps designed for Android and iOS are hybrid apps. Hybrid apps have witnessed an average annual growth rate of 5.8% since 2016.
Since hybrid apps are easier and faster to design, easier to maintain as DevOps app support services can be applied to hybrid mobile apps, and not limited by mobile OS barriers, they will continue to grow in usage in the future.
Hybrid apps have a higher performance, a much more attractive and engaging UI, and are more cost-effective to develop and market than native apps. Hence, they will remain an app developer’s choice for many years to come.