Hybrid Mobile App Development

In this world driven by mobile apps, hybrid mobile app development empowers businesses to exist on multiple platforms simultaneously and enjoy greater reach and visibility.   

With faster development times, lesser efforts, and higher productivity, hybrid mobile app development has been taking the technology industry as well as the business world by storm! It is a development trend that companies must explore for growth.   

However, any technical investment cannot be made without proper information or knowledge about it simply because it involves hefty amounts as well as in-depth work.   

Therefore, to know more about hybrid mobile app development technology, keep reading our complete guide and get all your doubts answered in one place.   

We will start with the basics of the technology and then mention some of the best-performing hybrid apps in the marketplace, in this hybrid mobile app development guide.   

What is Hybrid App Development?  

Before talking about hybrid mobile app development, let’s first briefly understand what are hybrid apps.  

Hybrid apps are primarily web apps that have lightweight native app ‘container’. Using this container, a hybrid app can access certain native platform features as well as device hardware, that are otherwise inaccessible by a web app. These features include a device’s camera and GPS, push notifications, and pinch calendar, as well as spread functionality.   

A combination of native and web technologies, hybrid apps are built using front-end development technologies and languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.  

And how are these apps developed?   

Hybrid mobile app development means building an app that is compatible with multiple mobile platforms. These apps use a single codebase for all operating systems (OSs).   

For example, developers could use a common code for both, Android and iOS. They need to write the mobile app code just once and work it on multiple platforms, eliminating the need to write separate codebases. These apps offer cross-platform functionality.   

Certain tools facilitate communication between the native platform and web view. Thus, once a user downloads a hybrid app from an app store and installs it locally, the native shell of the app connects to the mobile platform’s capabilities with the help of a browser embedded in the app.   

These specific tools therefore allow hybrid apps to be compiled and changed into native apps. And this leaves so many of us confused about Hybrid vs. Native apps.   

So, native apps are applications that are developed for specific platforms such as Android and iOS. Thus, if a developer wants to build a native iOS app, then he/she uses Swift or Objective C and Java or Kotlin in the case of a native Android app.   

With hybrid apps, developers could use a single codebase written in React Native, Flutter, Xamarin, or any other technologies compatible with all the OSs.  

How Do Hybrid Apps Work?  

As mentioned above, hybrid apps are developed using web technologies. The code is then wrapped within a native app with the help of open-source hybrid app development frameworks such as Ionic or React Native.   

This entire process enables the app to run through every platform’s embedded browser in place of the web browser. The browser and its multiple plug-ins execute on the backend and cannot be accessed by the end-user. This allows apps to be installed on mobile devices and submitted to app stores for download just like native apps.  

Technologies such as HTML, JavaScript, and native APIs further utilize the device’s browser engine to access device-specific hardware. In addition, the wrapper solutions provide a suite of user interface (UI) components for the creation of native interfaces.   

Key Features of Hybrid Mobile App Development  

Some of the key features of a Hybrid app are:  

  • Operates even when the device is not connected.  
  • These apps easily integrate with the file system of various mobile devices and additional web-based services.  
  • Offers an embedded browser to provide greater access to dynamic online content.   
  • One source code can be used on multiple platforms.   
  • Various plug-ins could help developers manage software and hardware functionalities.   

While these were the main features of hybrid mobile apps, let’s look at their pros and cons to understand their viability for your next business project.   

Pros and Cons of Hybrid Apps  

Like a coin has two sides, every technology also has its pros and cons that need to be evaluated in order to make the most suitable decision.   

Hybrid mobile app development has the following Benefits:  

  1. Scalable  

A scalable app allows businesses to achieve their long-term goals and add features and functionalities as the app grows. Thus, it is a crucial factor in any mobile app development. Hybrid mobile app development offers easy scalability to businesses.  

Since there are no significant changes that have to be made across multiple platforms in order to scale up the app, developers are able to do this in less time. A code changed once works on all the platforms, offering better scalability than other types of apps.   

Thus, hybrid mobile app development allows businesses to build in and release fresh, additional features for all platforms at the same time.   

  1. Ease of development  

Since a single codebase can work for multiple platforms, hybrid mobile app development is easier and more straightforward than its counterparts. There is no need to learn various programming languages for every operating system. With only three web technologies involved essentially and multiple frameworks namely Xamarin, Flutter, React Native, etc., to choose from, hybrid mobile app development is comparatively simpler.   

  1. Faster time-to-market  

This mobile app development does not demand additional development tools to write codes, outside of what businesses already possess. Businesses do not have to look for new technologies or hire additional resources with proficiency in some platform-specific technologies with hybrid mobile app development.   

In addition, the same code could be used for multiple platforms, and the management of a single database speeds up the development process and reduces the deployment time as well as the costs.   

Hybrid mobile app development allows businesses to launch an app across multiple platforms at the same time, enabling them to grab the attention of and engage larger audiences more quickly.   

  1. Low development costs  

As we know with hybrid mobile app development, developers only need one codebase for different platforms. Hybrid apps have cross-platform functionality. This lowers development costs that would have been allocated for multiple platforms and billable hours, making hybrid app development services a cost-effective venture.   

Moreover, a business does not need any platform-specific kit or specialized engineers for hybrid mobile app development. Fewer resource and time demands than counterparts add to the cost-effectiveness of hybrid mobile app development services.   

  1. Easy updates and low maintenance  

With hybrid mobile app developments, app updates are easier. Updates can be rolled out and changes could be made on multiple platforms simultaneously. Developers can work on a single back end and update the apps. This allows businesses to offer every user, irrespective of the device they are using, the most updated version of the app.   

Moreover, with hybrid apps, developers just need to publish one patch and bug fix in order to fix issues across all platforms as well as devices. They maintain the app code easily and monitor multiple platforms at once.   

  1. Greater reach and uniform UX  

Hybrid mobile app development services allow businesses to roll out apps for different platforms and devices. Users hence do not have to wait for the app to be hosted on their OS before the download. This widens the app’s reach, and it engages the audience across multiple platforms.   

Moreover, the user experience (UX) offered across different platforms and operating systems is also the same, thanks to the reusability of the design elements. This enhances user experience and helps create a positive brand image.   

Looking at the other side of the coin, some of the hybrid mobile app development disadvantages are:   

1. Performance limitations  

Hybrid apps have many benefits but when compared to native apps for performance, the latter is undoubtedly better. For functionalities that require higher graphical processing or real-time operations, hybrid apps might not be the most attractive option.  

Moreover, since a hybrid app loads in a browser-like component, it’s as good as the web view that displays UI and runs JavaScript code. Additionally, a single codebase for multiple platforms might not offer all the native features, hampering performance and user experience.   

2.Time taken to roll out features  

Some native features might not be available in hybrid apps as stated above. Further, hybrid mobile app development sometimes involves third-party frameworks that are not always updated and hence take more time to roll out new features than native apps.   

3.Test complexity  

Since hybrid apps have a common code for multiple platforms, testing might be a bit complex. Some code could be native, which adds complications to the test suite, based on the app. Furthermore, developers need to test it on multiple devices across various platforms to ensure proper functioning.   

4.UI/UX issues  

Since hybrid mobile app development offers great flexibility, developers need to know how to leverage it to create the most suitable app. Failing to do so, the app could be a huge mess. For example, the UX of the app could be hampered due to slow internet or poor connectivity. However, if developers are proficient in progressive web apps (PWAs) development, this could be handled.   

Moreover, developers must write native code to comply with the Android and iOS guidelines for smooth performance. Additionally, they need to get access to platform-specific APIs to allow native features. Thus, developers have a significant role to play in the consistency of the UI/UX of the hybrid app.   

Furthermore, since the codebase is the same for multiple platforms, the UX might not always be positive across them all. Different operating systems might sometimes demand customizations that are difficult to add to an app based on one, single platform.   

Now that we have taken note of the pros and cons of hybrid mobile app development, let’s look at some of the most widely used and popular frameworks used to create these diverse apps.   

Best Hybrid App Frameworks  

Some of the best-performing hybrid app frameworks are as follows:   

  • Flutter  

Developed by Google, Flutter is a cross-platform, open-source framework that uses Dart for both iOS and Android mobile app development. There are a myriad of benefits and versatility that Flutter brings to the table. Leading web and mobile app development firm BigOhTech is skilled at creating next-generation apps using Flutter application development

It helps developers build intuitive UIs and high-performing apps for web, desktop, mobile as well and embedded platforms. Google Ads, MyBMW, Toyota, etc., are some of the famous apps built using Flutter.   

Also read: How Much Does it Cost to Build a Flutter App  

  • React Native   

One of the most popular frameworks used for hybrid app development, React Native was created by Facebook in 2015 and utilizes React to build cross-platform apps. React Native offers multiple benefits and thus, is used globally.  

Using React JSX, UI elements are designed for different platforms and linked to the native code. It then gets changed to native Android and iOS views and becomes an open-source JavaScript language. Since views are native elements, they require a bridge to interact with the JavaScript logic.   

The code reusability feature of this framework however is limited to mobile platforms. So, React Web requires certain tweaks to port over to mobile.  

Some of the famous apps created using React Native are Instagram, Uber, Skype, etc.   

  • Xamarin  

Another popular hybrid app development framework is Xamarin. It was developed by Microsoft and written in C#. It allows developers to write their apps in C# as well as leverage the .NET ecosystem. Hybrid apps for iOS, Android, and Windows OS could be developed using this framework.   

The C# wrappers allow developers to achieve native performance without hampering code reusability.  

  • Ionic  

Ionic is an open-source UI toolkit that is based on Angular and Apache Cordova and uses HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build hybrid apps. It is one of the most preferred choices for the front-end developers. Ionic facilitates ease of development for PWAs with its rich front-end development libraries and multiple UI design components and layouts.   

Also read: React Native Vs Ionic Vs Flutter – Best Fit For Mobile App Development 

  • PhoneGap/Cordova  

Apache Cordova is a hybrid app development framework that helps developers create apps using web development languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It is now called PhoneGap and a single page app gets run within an integrated mobile web browser or a web view. Native features such as a microphone, camera, compass, etc., could be accessed using multiple available plug-ins.   

Next, we will look at some of the most famous hybrid apps built using these frameworks.   

Popular Hybrid Mobile Apps  

Some of the world-famous brands have leveraged hybrid mobile app development services to create the most lucrative and loved apps. Let’s look at some of these hybrid apps:  

  • Instagram  

Instagram is one of the most popular hybrid apps globally with around 143 million users from the US alone. Initially built as a native app, after gaining some significant popularity, it was acquired by Meta and rewritten to function in React Native. This is how Instagram was transformed into one of the most profitable hybrid apps, that allows users to maintain both offline data as well as rich media.   

  • Amazon App Store   

Another famous hybrid app, that needs no introduction, is the Amazon App Store which has been written in HTML5. It uses web technologies to render a UI and native that is easy to use and manage. This enables the app to leverage device features such as push notifications, cameras, etc.   

  • Gmail   

We all know how successful and widely used the Gmail app is. It is a hybrid app that uses JavaScript, AJAX, jQuery, and Vue.js on the front end. It has a large-scale proprietary tech stack and additionally utilizes web views and HTML capabilities to offer a smooth cross-platform experience.  

  • Twitter  

Twitter is also a hybrid app that has gained rapid popularity and has millions of users globally. It also was also initially a native app that started facing performance issues and bugs due to heavy daily traffic inflow. It was then transformed into a hybrid app that managed all the delays as well as delivering a high-quality performance.   

It was built using Node.js, Express, and React Native and is a PWA to be specific i.e., Twitter Lite.   

  • Uber  

Uber is a hybrid most of us use on a daily basis for our commutation needs. It is developed with a single codebase using Base which is a React UI framework for the front-end of the mobile app. It provides a webview on the user’s phone which means that irrespective of its OS, the users will view the same functionality and design and can access all the dynamic features.   


Thus, hybrid mobile app development is a profitable affair for a business due to its cross-functionality feature and faster time-to-market. At the same time, it allows users to get the same app experience across different platforms and devices.   

While the technology has its pros and cons, it is still a cost-effective development process and offers decent performance in comparison to native apps. In fact, 74% of the top 50 iOS retail apps in the US were hybrid in 2020. A business, hence, must explore this development method and reach a larger audience.   

However, the software development company should be chosen very carefully in order to get the maximum results. And this can be an uphill battle at times. With so many options in the market, it’s difficult to tell the good ones apart.   

So, we have come to your aid!  

We are BigOhTech, an experienced and reputed software development, consultation, and it staff augmentation company. We specialize in Flutter as well as React Native hybrid app development services.   

Our dedicated development team and UI/UX design team ensure that the app engages a large audience with its practical features, and functionalities as well as seamless user experience.   

Want to know more about us and our successful projects? Visit our website!   

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