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A hybrid application is a native application built with web development skills: HTML5, CSS, JavaScript that are later packages into a native container. The native application contains a hidden browser (called WebView) that is linked to your HTML files. Using Cordova, PhoneGap, or other similar solutions, it is possible — and even pretty easy — to wrap the HTML code with native code, and you will be able to deploy to the app stores pretty easily.


Building hybrid applications has some benefits. It is mostly cross-platform out of the box, which saves you money and time (which saves you even more money...). Building hybrid applications will give you the opportunity to develop your crazy ideas fast, real fast. It brings another great benefit — you can take any web developer, in any level, and after short period of learning they too can become app developers at your firm. That comes at a lower cost and with a shallower learning curve than Objective-C, Swift, Java and other native languages.

Responsive Web Design vs Hybrid mobile apps

The options are:


Development considerations

  • SPA
  • Performance Considerations:
  • Click versus Touch: The biggest and simplest mistake you can make is to use click events. While these "work" just fine on mobile, most devices impose a 300ms delay on them in order to distinguish between a touch and a touch "hold" event. Using touchstart, or touchend, will result in a dramatic improvement - 300ms doesn't sound like much, but it can result in jerky UI updates and behavior. You should also consider the fact that “touch” events are not supported on non-webkit browsers, see CanIUse. In order to deal with these limitations, you can checkout various libraries like HandJS and Fastouch.
  • CSS Transitions versus DOM Manipulation: Using hardware accelerated CSS transitions will be dramatically better than using JavaScript to create animations. See the list of resources at the end of this section for examples.
  • Networks Suck: Ok, networks don't always suck, but the latency of mobile networks, even good mobile networks, is far worse than you probably think. A desktop app that slurps down 500 rows of JSON data, every 30 seconds, will be both slower on a mobile device as well as a battery hog. Keep in mind that Cordova apps have multiple ways to persist data in the app (LocalStorage and the file system for example). Cache that data locally and be cognizant of the amount of data you are sending back and forth. This is an especially important consideration when your application is connected over a cellular network.



See Hybrid mobile app frameworks.

See also

External links