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Just How Native Is Your Hybrid App?

Hybrid Apps are great, but efficiencies gained during the development process may have a steep price if you don’t have a pre-determined game plan for how to best interface with the native platform features that your customer will surely expect.

With the many upsides to hybrid app development, from speeding the development effort to realtime updatability without the need to re-publish, it’s no surprise that they are so popular. In fact, it’s common to start down the road of hybrid app development and forget that at some point you are probably going to want to interface with the native platform to ensure the best overall user experience and unlock the true potential of your app.

All hybrid apps are hosted within a native wrapper that encapsulates the dynamic HTML5 code. Various options including Cordova or Phonegap provide great frameworks to work within and selecting the right framework is half the battle. Often the limiting factor, without crafting custom code, can be the framework libraries that are available to bridge your HTML5 content to the many great native platform goodies.

Features including accessing photos, displaying alerts in the notification center, allowing cross-access to other apps that are installed on the same device, access to onboard sensors like touchID, and accessing the camera all require interfacing with the native platform.

What may start off as a rapid hybrid app development effort can quickly slow unless upfront planning is prioritized early on to quantify the types of interfaces needed with the native platform. In fact, it's quite common for a hybrid app to start off with an ultralight native wrapper that overtime grows much heavier due to the need for an increasing number of native platform hooks.

In the long run, the cost and time differential between hybrid and native app development can really narrow depending on just how native your hybrid app really needs to be.

Just how native is your hybrid app? Let me know!

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