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Cross-Platform Hybrid Mobile App Development

Cross-Platform Hybrid Mobile applications are developed for multiple mobile platforms, and their functionality is similar to that of pure native mobile apps.

As the name suggests, cross-platform app development entails creating mobile apps that are compatible with many different operating systems, and are capable of running smoothly on any platform a user prefers.

For these reasons, creating a cross-platform mobile app is a must-have for early-stage ventures and start-ups. By building an app that can be accessed on any platform, businesses can ensure their software is reachable by the most potential customers.

This helps them create safer, faster, and higher-quality application software that users can enjoy a seamless experience with.

At Technology Rivers, we understand the importance of cross-platform applications, both from a business and technical perspective. We guide our customers through the entire app development process, including guidance on the appropriate platform and development approaches.

Cross-Platform Trends

The major trend reshaping the cross-platform app development realm is the increasing use of multi-platform development frameworks. React Native by Facebook, and Flutter by Google are two of the most popular platforms for cross-platform hybrid app development.

Both of these platforms are popular among cross-platform app developers due to its combinability and flexibility, but competing frameworks like Native Script, Xamarin and NoCode frameworks also exist.

Cross-Platform and Hybrid Approaches

As we mentioned above, there are different ways to create cross-platform hybrid mobile apps. Different terminologies are being used in the industry, including cross-platform apps, hybrid apps or wrapper apps.

Cross-Platform Mobile App Development

Cross-platform mobile apps are usually created using a common programming language, instead of a mobile device’s native operating system.

Javascript is one of the most common languages supported by many cross-platform platforms. Ruby, .NET and C# are also supported by some of the popular cross-platform frameworks.

Cross-platform development frameworks allow software developers to access device native controls and native OS functionality using a common programming language. This allows the developers to write one code that can run on multiple mobile devices.

Cross-Platform frameworks provide a proxy to native device OS features through a set of libraries created using native programming languages for each platform and provide one common Software Development Kit (SDK). Native Apple applications are created using Swift and Objective-C programming language. Native Android applications are created using Java and Kotlin.

Cross-Platform frameworks convert the common code into platform-specific components and provide the native device experience at runtime.

Hybrid Mobile App Development

Hybrid Mobile apps are also sometimes referred to as Cross-Platform mobile apps, however, most hybrid apps use a mix of native and web components. Hybrid Mobile apps usually include HTML/CSS in addition to a common language code-base for cross-platform.

One of the most common hybrid mobile app development approaches is leveraging a Webkit feature of mobile devices.

  • Webkit based apps are also called WebView apps and sometimes referred to as Wrapper Apps
  • Web-kit based apps are created using HTML5, CSS, and Javascript), and they are sometimes referred to as wrapper apps.
  • Webkit is a web browser engine on a phone without any visible toolbar and status bars. Applications can embed a web-kit browser inside the apps to load web pages from the web, or from the local phone storage.
  • Web-kit is supported by both Apple and Android platforms. Mobile platforms such as Apple and Android provide an ability to bridge communication between Javascript and Native platform language.
  • Apache Cordova (formally known as PhoneGap) and Ionic framework are some of the famous platforms that are built on the web-kit.
  • Apache Cordova / PhoneGap provides many out of the box components that leverage the bridge functionality, and allow developers to build wrapper apps using Javascript and HTML.

Cross-Platform Frameworks

There are different ways to create cross-platform hybrid mobile applications. Some of the common development frameworks for creating a cross-platform and hybrid mobile app include

  • React Native – open-source mobile application framework created by Facebook
  • Google Flutter – open-source mobile app development framework by Google, to create apps for mobile, web, and desktop from a single codebase
  • Xamarin – open-source mobile app platform for building apps for Android, iOS, tvOS, watchOS, macOS, and Windows with .NET and C#.
  • NativeScript – Open source framework for building mobile apps with Angular, Vue.js, TypeScript, or JavaScript.
  • Accelerator – mobile apps development using JavaScript.
  • Ionic Framework – open-source SDK for hybrid mobile app development
  • Apache Cordova (formerly PhoneGap) – open-source hybrid mobile app development with HTML, CSS & Javascript

Benefits of Cross-Platform Hybrid Mobile App Development

The major benefit of cross-platform hybrid apps is in the development and not much on the final app that is downloadable from the App and Play Stores. Cross-Platform and Hybrid mobile app development provides many benefits over native mobile app development, including:

  • Common Codebase – easier to maintain in the long run
  • Shortest development time – multiple apps created in the same timeframe
  • Consistent UI across both platforms
  • Low cost – less development time, and lower maintenance (single platform dev needed compare to multiple)

Deciding Between Cross-Platform Hybrid Mobile App Development and Native

The user requirements and overall product strategy of your application will dictate whether or not to build a cross-platform app or a native app.

In general, native apps are good for:

  • Applications that rely on hardware features
  • Applications that require animated effects (Konvergent app – True Exec, needed that)
  • Games or similar apps
  • High-performance requirements, such as low-level writing (give an example of Felt App we created)
  • Custom features that may not be available out-of-the-box
  • Team expertise is only in the native

Cross-platform hybrid apps, on the other hand, tend to work better for:

  • Business applications
  • Any applications that have more commonly used features and no custom need
  • Low-budget (build for multiple platforms for the development cost of one)

Our Expertise in Cross-Platform Mobile App Development

Technology Rivers have strong expertise in developing cross-platform hybrid mobile apps. We ensure a strong architectural foundation and follow guidelines and standards from the device manufacturers, to ensure apps are approved without any problem. We work with our customers to guide them on the app strategies and submission process and handle all the submission on Apple Appstore and Google Playstore.

We design and develop a cross-platform hybrid mobile application using:

  • React Native
  • Google Flutter
  • Native Script
  • Xamarin Framework
  • Apache Cordova / PhoneGap
  • Ionic framework

All the cross-platform hybrid platforms provide out of the box functionality to cover most of the device features. However, there are times when hybrid controls may not be available for certain needs, or may not perform well. In those cases, custom plugins for each platform are required.

The Technology Rivers team has capabilities to create custom plugins for all the platforms.

React Native is a hybrid app development platform by Facebook, that allows developers to create native mobile applications using React platform. React Native platform is our preferred platform, as it is a good choice for most business applications.

Some of our Cross-Platform Hybrid mobile (Smartphones and Tablet) apps include:

  • Fleet Management and Scheduling app (Apache Cordova and Ionic framework)
  • On-Demand Delivery Service mobile app (React Native)
  • Bi-lingual book search application (React Native)
  • Multi-Lingual Healthcare Nursing Guide
  • Ride-Sharing mobile app (React Native)
  • Multiple Healthcare / HIPAA mobile apps (React Native)
  • Social Networking apps (React Native)

As part of many different cross-platform hybrid mobile applications created by our team, some of the features we provided in different applications include:

  • Push Notifications
  • Local Caching and Storages
  • Touch ID and Face ID
  • Cloud connectivity
  • Payment Processing
  • Data Encryption
  • Location apps

Cross-Platform Hybrid Mobile App Development Process

Our Cross-Platform Hybrid mobile app development process includes:

  • Mockups / Sketches
  • Visual Design
  • Development of a mobile application
  • Testing on Simulators (both Android and iPhone)
  • Testing on real devices
  • Launch on Apple iTunes Appstore and Google Playstore

Work With Us

Looking for an app development firm that meets your needs? Contact us today and our skilled team will get started with your application software.