While native reigns supreme over the mobile web – accounting for 80% of mobile usage according to VentureBeat – an easier development process and faster load and performance could set hybrid apps ahead of the race in the mobile market.
Here’s a look at 3 pros and cons of developing hybrid apps:
1. Pro: Faster Load and Performance
A hybrid app is technically a HTML5 web app within a “wrapper”, otherwise known a simple native application. This allows the hybrid app to run quickly, still with the ability to run offline. As Marko Lehimaki says in VentureBeat:
“The advantage of running the HTML document in the wrapper app, rather than a browser is that most of the assets required by the web page are stored inside the native app package on the device, rather than on the server. This means that the app runs noticeably faster, and can run fully offline as with a native app.
2. Pro: Easier Dev Process
Developers who launch HTML5 apps love the ability to launch quickly. Maintaining the benefits of native apps, hybrid apps can be launched nearly as quickly as a web app. Lehimaki explains:
“Publishing an app to multiple platforms from a single HTML5 codebase also dramatically lower development costs and employing the same codebase as a foundation for a search-friendly mobile website saves further expense, and gets the full suite of mobile apps to market faster.”
3. Con: Sub-par User Experience
Despite the benefits, why do app developers still turn to native? Lehimaki says it’s because hybrid apps are still considered a compromise when it comes to user experience:
“Hybrid apps are normally considered a compromise in terms of the user experience. It takes a great deal of extra work on the part of HTML5 developers to try to produce platform-consistent user interface behavior, which typically falls short of that of the native UI.”
Another con Lehimaki points to is a lack of adequate tools. This might be true in terms of development, but when it comes to QA real world testing services can provide the perfect solution for finding and identifying bugs in hybrid apps.
What do you think? Will hybrid apps gain momentum in the mobile market? Share your thoughts in the comments section.