Many business owners express confusion when confronted with the possibility of launching their mobile app through multiple different methods. Traditionally, the decision was less complex, as there were only two apps to choose from: the native app, and web apps. Today, however, there is a new addition to the list: the hybrid app.
A hybrid app combines elements of both web and native apps. Web apps, which are generalised for several platforms, are not installed on a computer or other device, but can be accessed over the internet. Native apps, developed for a specific platform are installed on a computer or other device.
Most of today’s apps are hybrid apps, as they offer features such as locally-stored content and the ability to access online services.
There are many benefits to building a hybrid app:
The hybrid app can also obtain increased visibility due to its ability to be distributed, both to mobile browsers via search engines and natively via app stores.
Those looking to develop hybrid apps can choose between multiple tools. The two main leaders are PhoneGap and Appcelerator, whilst others include Mobile Angular UI, Sencha Touch, and Intel XDK.
As easy as it can be to create a hybrid app, the challenge comes with getting the app to run properly on each platform. This can take a lot of work, and so choosing to create a hybrid app depends on the simplicity of the app, as well as how close a developer wants to get the user to a native experience.