Hybrid Apps: Quick and Cost-effective

The 5 Most Important Questions and Answers About Hybrid Apps

Everyone talks about apps – but what, exactly, do people really mean? What is hidden behind terms like: native apps or web apps? And what are hybrid apps? In this blog article, we will answer a few of the most important questions surrounding this topic.

What are hybrid apps?

Hybrid apps are applications that look, are downloaded and operate like a normal (= native) app in a smartphone or tablet. They are run in a browser-like container as a website. This is usually not noticeable to the user.

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Ask about IONIC

Receive specific and valuable recommendations for action to optimize your digital presence.Schedule Appointment

Ask about IONIC

Receive specific and valuable recommendations for action to optimize your digital presence.Schedule Appointment

Overview of App Technologies

Native Apps

Native apps (also known as mobile apps) are applications that are programmed for a specific platform – that is, for Android or iOS. They are installed on the device – a mobile phone or tablet. This means that an app for an Android device does not work on an iOS device and vice versa.

Web Apps

Web apps are applications that can be accessed and used via the browser, so they work independently of the operating system. For the user, they look like a website, but in fact, they work to mask the applications behind them that enable interactivity. Some examples of well-known web apps are Gmail, Google Docs and Microsoft Office Web.

Hybrid Apps

Hybrid apps are like a mixture of these two forms. They look like a native app and are downloaded from the app store in that way, but they use well-known web technologies, such as HTML and JavaScript, and function independently of any platform – so they are not bound to a specific operating system.

Progressive Web Apps

These apps (also called PWA) are the latest trend in the app business because they bring together the advantages of both web apps and hybrid apps. They are run in the browser like web apps, but, for users, they function like native and hybrid apps. PWA do not require the use of an app store in order to download them. But, unlike web apps, however, they can be offered for download in app stores.

How do hybrid apps work?

Hybrid apps are based on web technologies such as JavaScript, CSS and HTML and are programmed using so-called frameworks, such as Ionic or Mobiscroll. This means that an app for an Android device does not work on an iOS device and vice versa. Once installed, being online in order to use a hybrid app is not necessary.

What are the advantages of hybrid apps?

In comparison to native apps, the most significant advantage is the fact that a hybrid app runs independently of the iOS and Android platforms. So, you don’t have to develop two different versions for iOS and Android – but, rather, just one. This expands your reach and saves time in development and costs. The frameworks used to build hybrid apps are also often free as open source applications.
All of the advantages of hybrid apps at a glance:

  • platform-independent
  • expands your reach
  • can be developed quickly
  • easy to optimize
  • cost-effective

Are there any disadvantages of hybrid apps?

Not anymore. A few years ago, one of the disadvantages of hybrid apps was that they were very resource-hungry and, therefore, sometimes reacted more slowly than native apps. In addition, they were not compatible with all devices and lagged behind the development of native apps.

That isn’t the case anymore. Because the newer phones and tablets have significantly more powerful processors, hybrid apps are not a problem for them.

And with the help of programming interfaces, such as Ionic Capacitor or Apache Cordova, hybrid apps can now access almost all hardware elements and associated features, such as push messages or GPS.

Which app technology is right for me?

That depends on what functions you want to offer in the app and how much of your budget you want to invest. A hybrid app is always faster and cheaper to develop than a native app. Even new features and optimizations are easier and cheaper to implement with hybrid apps because only one code needs to be updated.

It can be useful to offer users several points of contact: for example, along with a hybrid app, a web app for the desktop, as well. We would be happy to advise you on the possibilities!

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Step 1: We define the goals and functions together with you

First, we’ll talk with you about the requirements that your app would need to meet. The most important questions at this point are: What goals do you want to reach with the app and what functions do you want to offer your customers? We will also establish a timeline. The development of hybrid apps is tied to an ideal “time-to-market”: Within three months, you can usually get started with your app – developed by us.

Step 2: We layout how the app is used and how it works

After we have clarified and defined the goals and functions, we create so-called “use cases” (Use Case Diagrams), which illustrate, among other things, how your potential customers would use your app, or how different systems would interact with each other (for example, the app and a database or with a CMS, such as WordPress, Drupal or Pimcore).

Step 3: We develop a prototype for testing

Subsequently, we then develop a “Click Dummy” – an interactive prototype that gives you a first impression of the application. This test app allows us to check the app’s usability. Are the various functions easy and understandable for the user? Is the navigation logical and intuitive? Our goal is to provide your customers with an optimal “user experience” (also known as: “UX”).

Step 4: We will program your app using state-of-the-art technology

In the programming of the app, we use, among other things, front end frameworks such as Ionic and Mobiscroll. You can imagine these frameworks as being programming structures with ready-made components for different functions. “Front end” refers to what the user sees and experiences – the user interface. The main advantage of front end frameworks, such as Ionic or Mobiscroll is that they replicate the interface elements of the iOS and Android platforms. In this way, the app on an iOS device feels like a real iOS app, and on an Android device, it feels like a real Android app.

In order to optimally link the app with the functions on the device, we use programming interfaces such as IonicCapacitor.

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We, at codafish, are your partner for the development of hybrid apps

We are always ready to share our expert advice on which app format is best for your business goals and to implement your wishes using state-of-the-art web technologies.
Would you like to learn more with no obligation? Simply fill in the contact form or call us directly: 00800 2632 3474

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