Dealing with hybrid apps

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19th December 2016

We know that there exist different apps platforms (Android, IOS, Windows Phone). They are built with different techniques, focusing on the problem to solve (or the need that we want to create hahaha).

Also, we know that the same app is available (in most of the cases) on one, two or more platforms. But most people don’t know how much time it takes to create apps, how much time we, developers, need to create a decent app for different kinds of phones, tablets, etc. We face that problem with a group of developers prepared for that. But, what happens if some project appears and there isn’t a mobile developer? What happens if we need an app that quickly solves  a problem? We, then, can use a hybrid app ☺captural

So the question is… what’s a hybrid app? The answer is simple: a web page that pretends to be a mobile application. It seems like magic or a  trick, but they exist and they are very useful. In other words, you can imagine a web page that is wrapped nicely in a mobile application structure. Well, now we will learn a little bit about this kind of application.

If you compare this kind of apps, you’ll find some important differences. First of all, you don’t expect the same behaviour in both app types. With the native apps, you have a very strong environment to develop and the design patterns are with you!

On the other hand, you have a web environment development, you need a framework, probably, to develop an app. Some app behavior is loved by customers or is more familiar because several famous apps use them. If the framework gives you that behavior…nice! You can go on. But, if it doesn’t exist, you have a lot (or not) to do.  In addition, there is a fact.

Creating an app is not easy and imagine if you aren’t a mobile developer. Well, hybrid apps bring to web developers the possibility of creating apps without any knowledge about Java, Swift, etc.  This is the first (and in my opinion) the most valuable feature.

Well, you take the hybrid option…and what’s next? Fortunately, there exist some frameworks to create apps such as Ionic or Native React. As a developer, you have to choose which framework to use based on your own experience. I know AngularJS, so Ionic is more familiar to me. I’ve built a couple of applications following well-known techniques. It’s very useful to use development guides such as the John Papa AngularJS guideline.

In conclusion, you have to think about the data amount that the app needs (a hybrid app isn’t recommendable for large data apps). If you already have a backend prepared, (a REST API is a mandatory requisite) and if you have a soft design, (for example, Ionic provides you several structures to compose an app),  you are able to create a hybrid app.