Much-improved. Sometimes it's the right choice

What is hybrid or cross-platform development?

The idea is great. Rather than developing two code bases (as required in native development), hybrid code should work across multiple platforms (hence the name - cross-platform). One code base to build, test and maintain. A no-brainer, right?

But why then doesn't everyone use it?
Because hybrid apps are not written in the phone's own language there can be performance issues, for example a lag when buttons are pressed whilst the instruction is "translated" into the phone's own language. Security and stability can be worse than native apps. Also, sometimes new native device hardware features can't be accessed by hybrid apps and new operating system releases (e.g. iOS12) can require app updates.

What are examples of hybrid app platforms?
PhoneGap, Xamarin, Flutter, Ionic, React Native, Appcelerator and many more

Which is the best?
Hybrid platforms vary a lot and their popularity changes over time. Some are better for things like data collection or integration with existing servers built on, for example .NET. Some use a lot of native UI elements and perform better. But our current favourite is Flutter because it performs (almost) natively and is supported by Google so the developer community around it is growing quickly.

So when is hybrid the right option?
Nowadays we think Flutter is the right answer as often as not, especially if budget/ timeframes are limited, or you if want to test a concept quickly before potentially migrating to a native app later. Also, if you want one code base for your website and apps then React Native is also a great option.

How will I know if it's the right option?
We will recommend the right approach and platform based on your requirements and the relative strengths of the different platforms. Get a free quote now.

Our Assessment of Hybrid Apps (the higher the better)

App Store Optimisation
Flexibility to build what you want
Ease of updating
Initial Cost
Ongoing Cost