Advantages and disadvantages of hybrid apps

4 min



What is hybrid app

A hybrid app is a mixture of a native app and a web app. The source code of a hybrid app is written once and then converted to both android and iOS by hybrid frameworks.

A native app is developed by using code that is specific to the operating system. Native app code is written differently for android and iOS. But in the case of a hybrid app, the source code is the same for both operating systems.

Hybrid apps are usually developed with HTML, CSS, and Javascript. These apps run on a browser but you will not note if they are running on the browser. For example, the Twitter app is a hybrid app that is running on the browser on the backend. The design of the app is such that it fits different screen sizes. The codebase is the same for different screen sizes and OS.

Pros and cons of Hybrid app
Hybrid Apps

Let’s discuss some pros and cons of hybrid apps:-

Advantages of hybrid app

Some benefits of the hybrid app are:-

Automatically updated:

These apps once uploaded then updated automatically. Because most of the source code works on web view so changing to code is easy.

Local access:

If you have lost an internet connection then the app still works but it uses local storage. For example, you can see Twitter. You can perform activity on Twitter and it is stored on local storage and updated when the app is connected to the internet.

Development cost:

It cost you minimal when developing a hybrid app. The reason behind the low cost is that you write source code once and that code is then converted automatically to OS-specific code.

Debugging is easy:

The quality assurance of these apps is easy and it is done fast. The app doesn’t use native code and only web-related code is built to make the app. So debugging the app is easy as compared to a native app.

The number of users:

As hybrid apps are available for both operating systems i.e. android and iOS so it has a large audience. Android is accessible to 49% of users worldwide while iOS is used by 41% of people in the world.

Best for e-Commerce sites:
E-commerce websites have a lot of data in them. And developing an e-commerce app from scratch is very difficult and costly. Building an e-commerce app in a hybrid way is easy and fast.

Easy to scale:

Hybrid apps are easy to scale. The new features can be added to the app without any problems. Small updates are added without updating the app in the app store while big features need to be updated in app stores.

Maintenance:

As a hybrid app used most of the code is in HTML format so the maintenance of code is easy. Also, the cost of maintenance is low. Any middle-level developer can also do maintenance of the app.

AI Support:

Artificial intelligence (AI) works fine for hybrid apps. Your app can gather user data and learn by itself. You can combine web technologies and AI to better enhance your hybrid application.

Cloud-based:

Hybrid apps can better integrate with cloud services. For example, hybrid apps can be integrated with AWS and Salesforce easily. While using cloud services the apps can load a lot of data in no time. Taking a backup of data is also possible if your app is using cloud-based services.

High resources:

The native apps are developed using Swift and Java language that is difficult to code. Also, the native language developers get a high wage. But in the case of hybrid apps, most of the code is written in Html, CSS and JavaScript. There are a large number of developers available that code in Html, CSS and Javascript. The resources available online for these web languages are high.

Code in normal code editors:

You can use normal code editors like VS Code, Atom and Brackets to code for hybrid apps. But for developing native apps you need to install bigger software like an android studio and Xcode. For coding hybrid apps, a normal computer will work fine.

Disadvantages of hybrid app

Some drawbacks of the hybrid app are:-

UI issue:

If the app is natively developed then the UI issues do not occur but with a hybrid app, most of the time UI issues occur. This is because the same code is written for both the OS (android and iOS). The look and feel of both OS are different. For example, if you develop an app with UI targeting android then the users of iOS may feel difficulty in using the app because its UI is not the same for iOS.

Performance issue:

There occurs few performance issues with the hybrid app because the code is not native with OS but fully web-based. Hybrid apps use 3rd party plugins to implement the native functionality of the OS. The problem with using 3rd party plugins is that it slows down the performance of the app.

Plugins code:

If you use 3rd party plugins for using the native behaviour of OS then it creates a problem. The plugins get outdated sometimes and your app will get into trouble because that code no more works.

Lack of native features:

If you want to use native features of the OS like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and touch ID then it is not possible for hybrid apps. You need to depend on external plugins to use for getting such features supported in hybrid apps.

3D graphics:

As web apps are lightweight so these apps cannot perform well using 3D graphics. Browsers are limited in computing 3d graphics elements.

The transition between pages:

It feels difficult for doing transitions between pages. The web navigation seems sometimes difficult to understand and it takes some time to transition from one page to another.

Internet speed:

Hybrid apps are most of the time dependent on the internet connection. If you have slow internet then you may feel problems using the app. The web elements will not load properly.

Frameworks used for hybrid app development

Popular frameworks for developing a hybrid app are:-

  • Ionic
  • React Native
  • Xamarin
  • Flutter
  • Cordova

Examples of hybrid app

Some popular hybrid apps are:-

  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Gmail
  • Evernote
  • JustWatch
  • Apple app store
  • Uber



Like it? Share with your friends!

Junaid Rehman

I am a blogger and freelance web developer by profession. I love to blog and learn new things about programming and IT World.