A Hybrid application has the capability of running on multiple platforms but is written in the same technology. In essence, it is a web app which leverages native capabilities offered by a platform specific SDK. Considering its huge potential it should be a no-brainer for companies to start developing all their apps as such, right? We wish everything would be that simple but here are some pros and cons that an organization should consider before developing a hybrid app.
- Multiple platforms: The biggest selling point of developing a hybrid app is that it can be used to serve people across different platforms without having the need to build a separate product for each platform.
- Single Codebase: While developing a native app you might have to maintain multiple repositories with different languages and frameworks used within them. This is almost entirely eliminated when building a hybrid app where you'll only need to maintain one codebase.
- Growing Community: With the advent of frameworks such as React Native, Flutter, Ionic there is a general sense of excitement in the developer community. Developers with prior experience in React, Angular have felt the transition to a hybrid app technology to be a really smooth one.
- Development speed: In this fast paced world, time is money. Therefore, it is imperative that you get your idea out there as quickly as possible. Hybrid apps enable you to quickly prototype your idea and start gaining traction.
- Complex apps: This approach is not suitable for large apps with a lot of interactions and background processing. Since, a hybrid app relies on its underlying technology to communicate with the native APls, there is a loss of performance as well as processing speed.
- Unpredictability: There is a possibility that the development of a feature proposed in the future might not be supported by the hybrid app framework, thus creating an unpredictable future for the app.
- Cumbersome codebase management: Maintaining platform specific repositories is a straightforward task but keeping a check on a single codebase for multiple platforms is very difficult. Developers might have to cut corners in maintaining the quality of code in order to support a feature. Support for updates: Any update to the native APls will not be supported by the hybrid framework out of the box. A hybrid app wanting to leverage new features will have to wait for the framework developers to support it.
Given the pros and cons of a hybrid app, an organization should consider whether it benefits them in the long term rather than the short term gain it would derive from getting their product to the market quickly.
Regardless of the drawbacks, the development being made in the hybrid app space is keeping everyone excited and it is definitely something for everyone to keep an eye on.