The hybrid mobile application market is expanding at a crazy rate. Mobile app developers are working hard to improve the quality of the solutions to meet the needs of their customers.
Hybrid mobile apps are gaining popularity not only because they help developers fulfill the needs of end-users, but also because they help them save a great deal of time while letting them leverage the coding skills they’ve already mastered. Developing a hybrid mobile app has numerous benefits including having a single app version that can run on any device, reducing the development costs by hiring one developer rather two developers to handle the Android and the iOS version, as well, hybrid mobile frameworks make it easier to develop complex mobile applications, especially when it comes to developing a minimum viable product in the early stage of a startup.
Developing a hybrid mobile app involves packaging the application’s CSS, HTML, and JS code within a single “native container” which can be installed and run on any device or operating system with minimal modifications. This can be easily accomplished via hybrid mobile app frameworks that leverage a myriad of code libraries, components, ability to integrate with frontend frameworks including Angular JS and Bootstrap, and APIs, that can simplify and maximize the power of the developed code. As such, to help you pick up the most appropriate hybrid mobile application framework, we will overview the best ones throughout this article.
The Ionic hybrid mobile app framework has become highly popular during the past couple of years, as it yields amazing solutions, especially when utilized alongside Angular JS frameworks. Ionic is a perfect choice for building cross-platform applications, namely due to its inherent diverse set of features, predefined sub-components, and most importantly, the Ionic Developer Community which is a big online community of developers where newcomers can ask questions, share ideas, establish new connections, and make use of the latest resources provided by the community’s top contributors.
Even though React Native is not recommended for beginners, it is inarguably one of the top hybrid mobile app frameworks to build a native-like mobile app. React Native enables developers to utilize the same programming code for implementation on Android as well as iOS devices. Technically speaking, approximately 90% of scripted code can be implemented interchangeably on Android and iOS devices.
Realm is an enormous mobile database that has been specifically established for the React Native framework. It offers full query capabilities and simple object persistence, with a performance profile that is reportedly up to 10 times faster than other options. Moreover, Realm boasts an online community for React Native developers, where they can ask questions, build connections, and learn about the latest trends in the React Native framework.
PhoneGap is an exceptionally easy-to-use hybrid mobile app framework that enables coders to build any form of a mobile app without having to acquire any new coding skills. Basic knowledge of traditional coding languages including CSS3, HTML5, and JS is enough to build mobile apps on PhoneGap’s platform. In other words, a developer would not have to learn any of the programming languages required to build a native mobile app.
The framework boasts a friendly backend system that minimizes development efforts and speeds up the overall process of building a hybrid mobile app. For beginners, PhoneGap is a perfect choice, thanks to the framework’s easy-to-follow beginner’s guide.
Xamarin is a Microsoft owned hybrid mobile app framework. Mobile applications developed on Xamarin’s platform benefit from platform-specific hardware acceleration. Mobile apps built on Xamarin’s development framework include traditional, native end-user interface controls. Via Xamarin, developers can program apps that run on Windows, Android, and iOS devices via means of a single compilation of .NET code.
Applications developed using Xamarin offer native app user experience in an aesthetically-sound manner. The framework’s ability to reutilize programmed code, functions, and tools significantly speeds up the development process, while also saving considerable amount of time.
Onsen UI is an open-source framework for the development of hybrid HTML5 mobile applications. Its framework and basic components are based on PhoneGap’s framework. It enables developers to build mobile apps by means of web programming technologies, such as HTML5, CSS, and JS. Even though Onsen UI is a relatively new framework, its promising design, and readily usable components qualify it to compete against well established hybrid mobile application frameworks like Ionic and React Native.
Onsen UI is free and easy-to-use which renders it an attractive option for newcomers to the world of hybrid mobile apps.
Flutter is Google’s recently launched hybrid mobile app framework. It is free, open-source, and is extremely flexible, thanks to its huge library of scalable widgets. It can be used to develop iOS and Android mobile apps, using the same codebase. One of the outstanding features of Flutter is its high productivity, thanks to its portable GPU based rendering UI which enables it to work on a myriad of up-to-date interfaces.
Flutter comes with full support for multiple development environments including Xcode, Visual Studio Code, and Android Studio. Moreover, it boasts a built-in bug identifier command, known as “Flutter Doctor”, which enables coders to easily identify app problems and remedy them accordingly.
The number of available hybrid mobile app development frameworks is growing steadily. However, determining the project’s goals and clients’ needs is indispensable to identify the most suitable framework to utilize in order to build your desired software solution.