SevenTablets, Inc.

Hybrid Mobile App: Advantages and Disadvantages

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Fifty percent. That’s how much you could save in terms of time and money if you opt to develop a hybrid app.

That might sound catchy, but what is a hybrid mobile app? Hybrid apps are compatible with both iOS and Android devices, meaning they can take the place of two native apps. They are also referred to as cross-platform mobile apps. With some applications carrying a price tag of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, the savings hybrid apps provide can be significant. But, have you carefully considered the many hybrid mobile app advantages and disadvantages?

As you prepare to build a mobile app, the issue of native versus hybrid becomes increasingly important, and it’s no small decision. The operating system and platform that your app can accommodate will impact everything from your development costs and install rates to the ideal app monetization methods.

So what should you consider when pondering the advantages and disadvantages of hybrid mobile apps? The following points are arguably the most crucial to keep in mind as you weigh the facts.

Hybrid Mobile Apps Allow You to Target a Wider User Base

Since hybrid apps can be used on a broader range of devices, you can target a much larger user base, faster. A hybrid app can be used on most, if not all, modern mobile devices, whether there’s an Apple iOS or Android operating system installed.

Choosing a hybrid application can dramatically multiply the number of prospective users, resulting in a greater profit margin. This is especially true when you consider the fact that certain mobile app monetization methods are more effective on iOS, while other strategies are favored amongst Android users. Since you can target both with a hybrid app, you can opt for whatever monetization approach is best-suited to your app

Hybrid Mobile Apps Have a Shorter Development Timeframe

Hybrid development projects tend to progress at a faster rate compared to native development projects, especially if you would otherwise need to develop two native apps. After all, parallel development tends to be impractical since you’ll be doubling your workload as you architect and refine the interface. Therefore, you would be faced with developing first one native app and then the other.

The alternative: build a single hybrid app that can be used on a wide variety of mobile devices, from iOS to Android, and even lesser-used platforms such as Windows and Blackberry.

Hybrid Mobile Apps Are Less Expensive to Build and Maintain

Hybrid apps are generally associated with lower development and maintenance costs due to the programming languages used to build this type of application. More complex languages—such as iOS SDK, Android SDK, Java and Objective-C—are used to build native apps, whereas hybrid apps use simpler mobile development frameworks in conjunction with Javascript, HTML and CSS.

By using these simpler forms of technology, you’ll have a much larger pool of prospective developers to choose from. This translates into more competitive rates for both the initial build and routine maintenancea major advantage to consider when the pros and cons.

Hybrid Mobile Apps Require a More Extensive QA Testing and Integration Phase

The QA testing process is usually more intensive for hybrid applications due to the fact that your app must be compatible with a wider variety of operating systems and devices. As such, your testing team will need to evaluate the app’s performance in two operating system environments (or more, if you want to ensure compatibility with Windows and Blackberry devices). Conversely, a native app is tested for a single type of operating system, which results in a shorter testing phase.

The testing process may also be more complex, as it’s not uncommon to encounter scenarios where addressing a glitch on one platform triggers a problem when the app is used on a different OS.

The only other significant disadvantage with hybrid apps surrounds potential limitations in terms of OS and hardware integration. While hybrid apps generally see fewer issues in terms of hardware, OS-specific software integration can be more challenging. For instance, you may want to configure your app so that it automatically makes a notation in the user’s calendar. But, in order to achieve this, your app will need to interact properly with the calendar interfaces on Android and iOS devices. Achieving this degree of integration can be tricky, and ultimately, you may find it’s just impractical to include a particular functionality. Of course, not every app needs to interact with other software programs, so for many projects, you won’t need to take on this type of challenge. Additionally, an experienced team of developers can circumvent these issues by adding native plugins (tiny chunks of native code) directly to the hybrid app.

If you have carefully weighed the hybrid app advantages and disadvantages and are now ready to begin development, then the next step is to choose the right developers for your needs. At SevenTablets, we take a client-centric approach to everything we do, crafting an interface that will help you achieve your objectives with maximum efficiency. What’s more, we specialize in some of the most rapidly-advancing areas of technology, such as augmented reality, artificial intelligence and predictive analytics. This means we’re well prepared to integrate one or more of these technologies into your app for a truly innovative user interface.  

With company headquarters in Dallas, SevenTablets also maintains regional offices in Austin and Houston. But our clientele extends beyond Texas, spanning the United States. If you’re ready to discuss your app concept, contact the team at SevenTablets today.

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Venkatesh Kalluru

Venkatesh Kalluru

Venkatesh “VK” Kalluru is a technology and business expert with executive and hands-on experience in automating multi-million dollar enterprises and a strong record of success in creating robust information technology architectures and infrastructures. VK brings proven ability in using IT to solve business issues to the Sertics team. Sertics is SevenTablets' sister company, specializing in predictive analytics solutions.

VK studied computer science at Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in Hyderabad, India and earned a Master’s Degree in computer science at George Mason University.

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