by Beata Green
Today’s businesses are making their day-to-day operations much easier by having a multi-faceted mobile presence. One of the ways to do this is by using hybrid applications, which combine native and web apps.
How and Why Do Businesses Benefit From Hybrid Applications?
Today’s enterprises are looking for a way to build apps that offer all of the features, performance and platform support their customers are looking for, but at a cost that’s affordable. This is a significant benefit of the hybrid app, thanks to its web development characteristics which ultimately result in far less development work being required.
Employee costs can be lessened via the adoption of hybrid applications, which allow workers to continue to use their personal or company mobile devices for the completion of tasks in the workplace, regardless of the device’s platform.
For the company, the use of a hybrid application can mean far less expensive costs for development, thanks to the app’s ability to be used and updated across several devices. Oftentimes, companies will build a hybrid app to act as a wrapper for their existing web site. This allows them to have an app store presence without the cost or effort of developing a different app.
The speed of a hybrid app is far more than that of a traditional mobile web app. As well, hybrid applications do not require any network communication, which is a main cause of slow app usage.
Push notifications allow companies to keep in constant contact with their customers via a banner, alert or badge. A banner will display a message on the customer’s iOS device until it is manually dismissed. An alert will display briefly before closing ion its own. Moreover, a badge will tell the user how many unseen alerts are on their device. All of these push notification types are available for businesses to take advantage of when they employ the hybrid application.
The use of hybrid apps also means that customers enjoy a standardized experience, regardless of the device they use to access the app. In the case of mobile web applications, the company’s website can look different from one device to another. However, with a hybrid application, the capabilities of the customer’s particular device can be fully utilized. As well, should an update to the app be required, only a single update is needed in order to correct the issue across several platforms. This also improves the user experience. Moreover, should the customer change the mobile platform they are using, there is no need for them to ‘re-learn’ the app.
A hybrid mobile app uses the API of a device to store data offline, just as with a native app. This means that customers with poor connectivity or limited funds for data usage have far greater accessibility with a hybrid app. Those who are online while the app is being used may find their experience to be far faster due to the fact that data is cached in this way.
A hybrid mobile app, like a native app is kept in sync with other apps on a device with the use of an overlay or wrapper. This allows it to work seamlessly with messaging, camera, GPS, and other applications. This means that customers receive better overall service from companies who have adopted hybrid apps.
The Bright Future of Hybrid Apps
What does the hybrid app hold for the future of business development? Much, but it’s important to remember that the mobile app space is still in its infancy. As such, developers can still choose to develop for the iOS, Android, Windows and HTML platforms.
Developers and companies having a preference for a particular platform may see the most benefit from the hybrid app. For example, a developer may prefer to create their app in a certain platform, and then use hybrid tools to create their app for other platforms. This saves much time and money, as the developer need not learn a different coding language or hire another developer to create the app.
With more viable app platforms on the horizon such as Google Glass, it is becoming increasingly likely that hybrid app development will enjoy continued growth and increasing importance, both to customers and the businesses wanting to better engage with them.
Beata Green is Managing Director of HeadChannel Ltd., London based bespoke software development company. She is responsible for overall strategic direction and overseeing the company’s continuing growth, building closer client relationships and maintaining best working practices. She enjoys brisk country walks with her red fox Labrador and then relaxing in front of a TV crime drama with a glass of red wine.