Hybrid Mobile App – Benefits for Business

Did you know there are about 5.16 billion Internet users worldwide? Approximately 92.3% prefer to go online from their smartphones, but 65.6% combine mobile devices and PCs. As you may have guessed, businesses must capture both segments by providing consumers with quality cross-platform IT solutions. 

This is where hybrid mobile apps – products that work equally fine on portable devices, desktop operating systems, and browsers – come into play. The idea is to put a web application in a native container using technologies such as CSS and JavaScript. This reduces development costs and cuts development time. But it is not a panacea in the broad sense because the performance and capabilities are inferior to the native mobile app.

Lampa experts conducted a study on the IT industry and are ready to share the results with you. From the material, you will discover:

  • What are hybrid mobile apps?

  • How hybrid app is similar to cross-platform apps, native apps, and progressive web apps

  • The key difference: native vs. hybrid.

  • What type of software is better to develop for business?

What Is a Hybrid Mobile App

A hybrid mobile application is a website or application packaged in a container to run on iOS or Android. Such a digital product requires constant network connectivity and is limited by the native operating capabilities of the original software (platform).

It has a cross-platform mobile implementation that corresponds functionally to the main resource. This means users can use a common profile to use both versions of the platform simultaneously.

Advantages of hybrid apps:

  • relatively low development cost;

  • practically native performance;

  • shortened time to market;

  • good adaptability of the app to modern devices;

  • variability of the framework and technologies to build a hybrid app;

  • one application for iOS, Android, and Linux. 

Hybrid app development lets you capture all target operating systems within a single project or implement only mobile versions of an existing IT solution.

Why Is Building a Hybrid App a Good Idea for Business?

Why Is Building a Hybrid App a Good Idea for Business?

Suppose a business owner needs to capture as much of the target audience as possible. In this case, they will need to develop not only a website but also an app for the mobile platform, as a rule, for iOS, Android, and their forks (MIUI, OneUI, Oxygen OS, Harmony). This is where the main dilemma appears: create native apps for iOS and Android or focus on hybrid applications or even progressive web solutions.

All options have advantages and disadvantages, scaling potential, value, and level of support from the audience. You have to understand which tasks the software will solve and how each type of application will cope with them. Let's consider them in detail.

  • Native app. An app for iOS and Android, created using native frameworks and development languages for mobile OSes. Such software has unprecedented performance and scalability potential and contains all the components required for the work inside the program. It is more expensive than other types in terms of development costs because it is necessary to implement two apps simultaneously. 

  • Progressive web app. Banal packaging of a website or web app into an executable file or container to run an adapted version on Android and iOS. The functionality of such an application does not go beyond the original source, and the adaptability capabilities of the interface are strictly limited. All data is loaded directly from the server, so this solution requires an active connection. An excellent option if you need to quickly present the product to the audience, promising to implement a more presentable view of the software later. 

  • Hybrid mobile app. A combination of the best qualities of native and web products. The app still downloads information from the site but has native features, third-party integrations, and decent performance. The digital solution is implemented based on HTML, CSS, and Javascript, packaged in native format, and distributed via App Store or Google Play. A balanced mobile application development option for startups and companies scaling their core digital product. 

If creating a native digital product is an ideal idea for a serious business, then using a hybrid app development framework is an optimal option for all companies, from startups to corporations. This is because release times are shorter, the final price is lower, and the quality of the IT solution allows you to bring it to market as an MVP or MLP.

Advantages of releasing hybrid apps for business

Whatever type of digital product you launch: a streaming service, a marketplace, a fitness app, a health app, etc., without a mobile niche, you can forget about scaling. 

Given the competition, the release should include IT solutions for Android, iOS, browsers, and desktop OSes (optional). And while there are usually no problems with web resources, the situation with mobile software is unclear.

When building a mobile app for a project, it is the use of the hybrid development framework that opens up many prospects:

  • maximum support for mobile devices;

  • visual identity of native and hybrid apps;

  • native user experience in hybrid apps;

  • low development costs;

  • high speed of software release;

  • use of advanced web technologies;

  • ability to simultaneously implement iOS app and Android app;

  • a wide range of talents among app developers;

  • quick debut in the target market;

  • high return on investment, even at the MVP/MLP stage.

While native code allows you to create a version of an app for one platform, hybrid frameworks do not limit an entrepreneur to such limits. As a result, you can reach the entire audience at once, providing them with a quality cross-platform product.

Hybrid App vs. Progressive Web App

Hybrid App vs. Progressive Web App

Many business owners, hiring a developer to work on their project, confuse the concepts of hybrid applications and progressive web applications. Sometimes this leads to a trivial drain on the budget for an unnecessary product for the target audience. In practice, there is a significant difference between them, which we will consider in detail.

  • Progressive web app: a regular website or SPA packaged in a container for installation in smartphone memory. The content of such a digital product is completely identical to a web resource. All data is pulled from the site, including the interface. The only difference is the adaptability to typical screen sizes and resolutions. As a rule, this is the most economical type of development, and the quality of such software often does not meet the expectations of the target audience.

  • Hybrid app: the same website, packed in a native container, but able to extend functionality, integrate software into the system, and separate from the original UI. Usually, such apps are used by marketplaces or other types of businesses that need constant synchronization of information with the server.

In hybrid applications, the Front-End is implemented on the user side, which allows you to create a standalone interface and several synchronizations (for example, with native payment systems Apple Pay or Google Wallet). Accordingly, the UX in such applications will be higher than in progressive web applications, although it will not always be equivalent to native applications. 

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Hybrid Mobile App?

We can move on to the practical side of developing only after figuring out what is a hybrid mobile app. The cost of this kind of digital product varies in a decent range, from $30,000 to $50,000 to $100,000 and more. In contrast to native app development, where the amounts sometimes exceed $250,000, creating hybrid software looks quite attractive. 

The pricing policy for such projects is not standardized and depends on some factors:

  • Technologies and frameworks: for example, the cost of development services on React Native, Xamarin, Ionic, Flutter, and NativeScript is different, as well as the cost of hiring the appropriate specialists.

  • Region of work: in countries such as India and China, the cost of developer services is lower than, for example, in Ukraine and Poland, and even more so than in the U.S., Germany, UK.

  • Quality of work: the top services are provided by specialists from the U.S. and Western Europe, balanced in price/quality from Eastern Europe and minimal in India and Asia.

  • Scale of the project: the more functions and third-party integrations you need to implement, the higher the cost of resources and, therefore, the final cost of the work.

  • Deadline: the sooner the project has to debut in the target market, the higher the price of its implementation, especially if the deadline does not match the desired scale.

  • Project idea and its specifics: the more complex the concept of the future app, the higher its final cost. This applies not to template products but to completely original ideas.

It does not matter what type of software you are going to develop: native or hybrid. Web and mobile app development is always calculated individually. So if you are interested in the budget for any digital product, don’t hesitate to contact a company representative and discuss the project. 

Pros & Cons of Hybrid Apps

Even the most ideal, at first glance, technologies have flaws. Not to mention cross-platform frameworks and development languages. But this is not a problem if you can wisely compensate for the disadvantages with advantages, which hybrid applications have more than enough of.

Advantages of hybrid applications:

  • the speed and cost of building the app;

  • quality packaging of the web app;

  • scalability of the solution;

  • variability of hiring mobile app developers;

  • variety of available tech stacks;

  • support of popular development tools;

  • high customer loyalty (examples below);

  • a single base for two key platforms;

  • reusable code;

  • almost native mobile performance.

Not bad advantages, are they? But, as they say, there is always a fly in the ointment. And this saying is quite rightly applicable to hybrid applications. Despite their apparent promise, such digital products have significant drawbacks, even if they are not as obvious as, for example, the PWA.

Disadvantages of hybrid applications:

  • mediocre performance of the mobile web app;

  • limited features and integrations;

  • complicated scaling (all key platforms are considered);

  • mediocre software development kit;

  • long exit from MVP/MLP stages.

Despite the above, with a hybrid application, your project returns on investment from the moment it is launched, especially if you are releasing an application for a developed business with an established target audience. 

And in general, if you compare the pros and cons of this type of software, you can see that the advantages almost completely offset the disadvantages. Isn't it a reason to launch your hybrid application on the market and later scale up to native Android and iOS software?

Some Examples of Hybrid Apps

Some Examples of Hybrid Apps

Do you know what is a hybrid mobile app from big brands? Not all global companies use native frameworks and technologies to release cross-platform solutions. Is it because they want to save money, reduce the release time of the next versions, or something else? The result is clear: millions of users worldwide appreciate digital products implemented based on hybrid technologies.

Instagram

One of the best hybrid digital products in the world. Millions use this application, but few people know that instead of building native solutions for every single platform, Meta focused on using hybrid technologies. The result is as follows:

  • excellent performance on iOS and Android;

  • easy scalability and adaptability;

  • speed of release of updates;

  • top-notch UX in mobile and web versions of the platform.

Not a bad example of a successful debut with a hybrid application, is it?

Discord

An app that has become a favorite of millions of gamers. Mobile, web, and desktop versions are implemented based on cross-platform frameworks. Over the years, the developers have expanded the service’s functionality, introduced new features, and achieved incredible platform performance. 

It is a perfect example of how to get the most out of universal technologies.

BMW App

A unique cross-platform solution for monitoring vehicles of a famous brand. Based on hybrid frameworks, the developers managed to implement an outstanding functionality with transport tracking, trip planning, and analysis capabilities. 

The application has a mobile and web version, available to BMW car owners.

Twitter

A popular social network recently bought by Musk, with millions of registered users from all over the world. The developers did not reinvent the wheel but packed a perfectly working web platform into a shell.

As a result, one of the most progressive billionaires saw potential in it. 

NerdWallet

Another quality example of a cross-platform application designed to work with finances. The functionality of the mobile version is not inferior to the web application, and additional third-party integrations only expand its capabilities.

Judging by the reviews, the digital product works well, despite its “hybrid” nature. 

Bottom Line

Is it worth overpaying for native software development? Probably not, unless you need a fully customizable application with full offline functionality. The same goes for PWA, a solution designed to quickly present a digital product to the target audience. 

A hybrid app strikes the perfect price/performance balance and has all the functionality you need, well beyond MVP/MLP. 

Do you want to quickly debut in your target market and attract a wide audience to your digital product? Get help from Lampa experts! We will implement for you a unique application, able to compete with the reference solutions of the industry!

Need professional assistance gathering all the required artifacts to build a mobile app? Order product ideation services from Lampa!

FAQ

1. Which software is used to build hybrid apps?

Frameworks such as React Native, Xamarin, Ionic, Flutter, and NativeScript. Other technologies can also be connected depending on the project's objectives.

2. What languages are hybrid apps written in?

Usually, these are HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript.

Tags:
Mobile Apps
Startup

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