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Hybrid apps – definition, areas of application & advantages

Hybrid apps are applications that utilise both native and web-based functionalities. In this article, we look at the concept of this type of app. In addition to a definition, we also provide an overview of the areas of application and suitable examples.

We also explain the advantages and disadvantages of this type of app development. The article therefore provides a comprehensive overview of hybrid apps and can help you if you are thinking about developing an application.

What are hybrid apps actually?

As mentioned at the beginning, hybrid apps are mobile applications that utilise both native and web-based functionalities. In contrast, there are native apps, which are based entirely on the respective operating system, and web-based apps, which run entirely in the browser. They therefore offer the advantage of being able to utilise both the benefits of native apps and the advantages of web-based apps.

An important aspect of this is programming, i.e. hybrid app development, in which a combination of native and web-based code is used. As a rule, such an app is executed in a native shell, which provides part of the user interface and functionality. While the rest of the code is web-based and executed in a kind of web view.

In addition to mobile apps, this also results in hybrid web apps, which are essentially web-based applications but have a native shell that is installed on the respective device. This shell is used to support native functionalities. These include functions such as push notifications, camera and sensor access and offline mode.

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The areas of application of hybrid apps

Hybrid apps are used in many areas, especially in e-commerce, in companies and in social networks. One example of this is the mobile application of an online shop. This utilises both web-based functionalities such as browsing and purchasing products as well as native functionalities such as accessing the device’s camera to scan QR codes.

Another example is hybrid company applications that enable employees to access company data and resources from their mobile devices. This could be a customer database or a project management tool, for example.

Hybrid apps are also used in social media or dating apps. Another example of this is the mobile application of a social network. Such a platform allows users to upload photos and videos, send and receive messages and access social functions such as feeds and groups.

Costs of hybrid apps

Hybrid apps are a cost-effective alternative to developing native apps, as they can run on multiple platforms at the same time, as already mentioned. Compared to native apps, which have to be developed specifically for one platform, hybrid apps can run on different platforms such as iOS and Android by using a single code base. This significantly reduces development time and therefore costs.

Overall, the costs for developing a hybrid app depend on various factors. These include the complexity of the app, the desired functions, the design and the integration of the backend system. A simple hybrid app can cost as little as €5,000 to €10,000, while the price for a more comprehensive hybrid app with multiple functions and a backend is between €20,000 and €50,000.

It is important to note that the costs of developing a hybrid app can increase over time. Maintenance, updating and upkeep can incur additional costs over time, which you must also take into account.

In most cases, however, it is still a more cost-effective option compared to developing a native app.

Pros of hybrid apps

One of the biggest advantages of hybrid apps is their ability to utilise the benefits of native apps and web-based apps at the same time. Therefore, they can offer a smooth user interface and fast performance like native apps. Whilst also having the cross-platform compatibility and reduced development effort of web-based apps.

One of the biggest advantages of hybrid apps is their ability to utilise the benefits of native apps and web-based apps at the same time. Therefore, they can offer a smooth user interface and fast performance like native apps. Whilst also having the cross-platform compatibility and reduced development effort of web-based apps.

Hybrid apps are also easy to maintain and update. This is because changes and upgrades can usually only be made on a single code base. This is easier than updating each platform separately.

Cons of these apps

On the other hand, there are also a few disadvantages. One of the biggest disadvantages of hybrid apps is that they are sometimes not as fast and responsive as native apps, as they contain an additional layer of code and abstractions.

There may also be compatibility issues when using it, especially when running it on older or less common devices. This can lead to some functions not working properly. The user interface is also not as smooth as it should be in some cases.

Conclusion on this type of app development

Overall, hybrid apps are a promising option for mobile application development that can utilise both native and web-based functionalities. Although there are a few minor drawbacks, these apps offer many advantages. These include, as already mentioned, cross-platform compatibility, lower development costs and easier maintenance and updating.

If you’re considering developing a mobile app for your business or project, it’s important to consider the different options before making a decision. Whilst native apps may offer the best performance and usability, developing for each different platform can quickly become expensive and time consuming.

Web-based apps offer easier development and maintenance, but they are usually less powerful and do not offer the same user-friendliness as native apps.

Hybrid apps in turn offer an opportunity to utilise the advantages of both approaches. They achieve this by combining a native app-like user interface and performance with the cross-platform compatibility and lower development effort of web-based apps.

If you want to develop a mobile application that is powerful, user-friendly and easy to maintain and update, you should definitely consider the hybrid app option. This form of app development offers a promising way to realise your mobile application and can help you reach your target audience and achieve your business goals.

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