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Blog / We Do /  8 Trending Technologies Hybrid App Developers Should Know

December 12, 2017 - Olena

8 Trending Technologies Hybrid App Developers Should Know

Mobile phones have become an indispensable component of our lives, with many of us relying on mobile development solutions on a regular basis to go about our daily lives. Access to the Internet via mobile devices has, in fact, surpassed access via traditional desktops and laptops for over a year now, and in the year 2016 alone, there were over 149.3 billion mobile app downloads. These are clear indications of the widespread global usage of mobile devices and the degree to which mobile devices are being utilized by the average user.

remote hybrid app developer for hire

Unsurprisingly, mobile app development has become an increasingly lucrative industry, bringing in billions of dollars in revenue to companies around the globe each year. However, there are a couple of challenges in this process that, when properly addressed, can make mobile app development even more profitable. For instance, with different operating systems powering a huge variety of mobile devices, most notably Android and iOS, it becomes highly beneficial for developers and businesses to create mobile applications that can run on both these platforms, as well as on other mobile operating systems.

In this article, we take a look at hybrid mobile app development, a mechanism by which such cross-platform mobile apps may be created.

Native vs Hybrid App Developers

The traditional method of developing mobile applications is through native app development, in which the application is written using the programming language specific to an operating system, such as Java for Android or Objective-C or Swift for iOS. Native apps have the advantage of being optimized for the operating system they are written for, as well as having direct access to the device’s hardware and some OS-specific features. However, since native apps are written in the language specific to an OS, native app development requires separate development efforts for each operating system that the application will support. This means that building native apps for different mobile platforms will be time-consuming and expensive, to say the least.

native app vs hybrid app

To address this issue, hybrid app development emerged as a solution to enable the development of cross-platform mobile applications that can run on different operating systems. With this technique, developers will only need to develop a single application, typically written using web app technologies like HTML, CSS and JavaScript, and these applications can be deployed to different mobile platforms where they can be downloaded from the store and installed just like native mobile apps. Instead of running in the native mobile environment, however, hybrid applications run inside the WebView, which is like a browser embedded in hybrid mobile applications. As a result, hybrid apps tend to be slower than native apps due to additional layers of abstraction, but this difference can be minimized when hybrid applications are properly built following industry best practices.

Interest in hybrid applications has been steadily growing, as evidenced by the increasing Google search frequency for hybrid apps according to Google Trends.

popularity hybrid mobile app developmentGoogle Trends Data on the Frequency of Google Searches for Hybrid Apps

Hybrid App Development Technologies

There is a vast selection of platforms that developers can choose from to enable them to create cross-platform hybrid applications. Let’s take a quick look at some of the most popular ones.

Ionic

ionic

Ionic is a popular open source hybrid app development framework. Built on top of Angular, it allows the creation of mobile apps from HTML5 and JavaScript or TypeScript, and it supports deployment to Android (4.1 and above), iOS (version 7 and above), the Universal Windows Platform for Windows 10, and Blackberry 10. Ionic is also ideal for use with PhoneGap or Apache Cordova to maximize performance. To date, Ionic claims that over 4 million apps have been built with the framework and that there are over 5 million Ionic developers from over 200 countries. The framework has 253 contributors and 32,556 stars on GitHub as of writing.

Meteor

meteor

Meteor is an open source JavaScript framework written in Node.js. This framework enables Meteor developers to use JavaScript to create cross-platform applications and deploy them not only as mobile applications but also as web and desktop apps. Meteor also integrates well with Angular, React, MongoDB, Node.js, and PhoneGap. Meteor claims over 508,000 unique installations of the tool. Moreover, it has a developer community of 370 contributors and holds 38,796 stars on GitHub.

Apache Cordova / PhoneGap

cordova

Apache Cordova and PhoneGap are two flavors of a highly popular hybrid mobile application development framework that’s free and open source. These frameworks allow native code snippets to be used in combination with hybrid codes to improve a hybrid app’s performance. It supports Android, iOS, Windows, Blackberry, Tizen, Firefox OS, and Amazon FireOS. When Adobe acquired PhoneGap creator Nitobi in 2011, they rebranded the PhoneGap codebase to Apache Cordova, and then kept the PhoneGap as a separate distribution of Cordova. Currently, PhoneGap contains some added, albeit paid, features over the completely free Apache Cordova.

Sencha Touch / ExtJS

sencha

Sencha Touch was a JavaScript library primarily focused on creating mobile web applications with user interfaces that look and feel like native applications. It features its own set of UI components which can be themed to match the target device’s operating system. It has since been merged with ExtJS, a larger Sencha product for building full HTML5 and JavaScript web applications. The merged product supports various mobile web browsers such as Google Chrome for Mobile, Safari Mobile, Blackberry 10, Kindle Fire Browser, Tizen, and Internet Explorer for mobile.

Kendo UI

kendo ui

Kendo UI is another UI-focused JavaScript library that aims to enable the creation of native-looking, high-performance and highly responsive web applications not only for mobile phones but for all devices and form factors. It is part of the Telerik suite of tools for the development of web, mobile, and desktop applications. Kendo UI claims to cut development times by up to 50 percent, and it integrates well with popular JavaScript frameworks and libraries like Angular, React, Vue, Bootstrap, and jQuery.

Intel XDK

intel

Intel XDK is an IDE or integrated development environment that enables the development of mobile applications using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The IDE provides an Intel XDK developer with tools for creating and editing web applications, as well as simulating them on various mobile devices. Once ready for exporting, the application is then sent to PhoneGap or Apache Cordova for compilation into a mobile app. As of writing, however, Intel XDK is no longer being actively supported by Intel, and future support for this tool will henceforth come from its developer community.

Appcelerator Titanium

appcelerator

Appcelerator Titanium is another free and open source framework that allows the development of both native and hybrid mobile applications, as well as web and desktop applications, from a single codebase that’s written in JavaScript. It comes with its own SDK with cross-platform APIs to enable developers to access native OS-specific features and UI components. With this, Appcelerator claims that Titanium-built apps have nearly the same performance as native ones, but can be written much more quickly with 70-80% code reusability.

Onsen UI

onsen ui

Relatively new to the hybrid app development space is Onsen UI, a framework for developing both hybrid mobile apps and mobile-optimized web apps. Released in 2013, Onsen UI is built on top of Apache Cordova and features cloud-hosted technology stacks that automatically get updated to newer versions as they are released. Moreover, it supports frameworks and libraries like Angular, React, Vue, and jQuery. This framework is pegged by its creators to be incredibly easy to learn and very quick to use.

Hybrid App Developers

According to RedHat, as of 2015, over 50% of companies are planning to hire mobile developers or hire an app developer to create mobile applications to help their businesses. With hybrid mobile application development being dramatically more cost-effective than native app development, this directly translates to an increasing demand for hybrid developers.

If you’re looking to adopt hybrid app development in your business and are looking for hybrid app developers, it will be greatly beneficial to scout the market for the lowest rates. Let’s compare the typical hybrid app developer salary in different countries to see which one it is most economical to hire hybrid app developer from. In this comparison, we use data from PayScale and look at salaries of employees involved in mobile app development. Note that since hybrid developers are only a subset of mobile developers, the individual figures may not be very accurate, but the relative salaries in different countries still hold. That being said, the average gross annual salaries of mobile developers are as follows:

hybrid app developer salaryComparison of Mobile Application Developer Average Annual Salaries in Different Countries (Source: PayScale)

The above comparison clearly shows that Ukraine offers the best rates for mobile app developers, so if you’re looking for a hybrid app developer for hire, your best option would be to hire a remote hybrid app developer from Ukraine.

Hire Hybrid App Developers Now

With the prevalence of mobile devices and the subsequent ubiquity of mobile applications as a convenient means to accomplish various tasks, mobile application development has become a very worthwhile venture that can drive businesses towards success. We’ve discussed the difference between native app vs hybrid app, and we’ve seen how hybrid app development is a highly cost-effective approach towards mobile app development that can result in huge savings. We’ve also looked at the different hybrid app framework platforms that developers can use. Now, it’s a great time to hire hybrid app developers! Here at Mobilunity, we have excellent dedicated hybrid developers who are skilled and proficient in these different frameworks and technologies. We are located in Ukraine, so not only are our remote dedicated developers among the best in Europe, we also offer one of the best rates in the continent! With us, you’re assured to get excellent service for an excellent price.

Contact us now to quickly get started on your ideal mobile app with our hybrid app developers!

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