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22 May 2019

Hybrid Development

Mostly on social media I advise against building hybrid apps. I have used ionic, react native (RN), and Xamarin in my mobile app career. I feel that it is really bad to advise against something without explaining the why. I’m going to explain why I advise against hybrid development, but also when to use it and which platform I recommend.

What is a hybrid app?

A hybrid app is an app made for multiple mobile platforms (iOS, Android, Windows) using one coding language. Examples of these frameworks are ionic, react native, Xamarin, and flutter.

Why use a hybrid framework?

Hybrid frameworks are a good option if you or a dev are very good at Javascript/C# vs a platforms native language.

My personal choice

I originally learned to develop natively. From learning Objective-C at NASA to jumping into Android security in Java. Given that background, I almost always try to go native, BUT my hybrid framework of choice is RN. I like react native because it was easy for me to learn after spending a lot of time with nodeJS, but also because it’s fairly easy to port your code from RN to native code.

All that being said, hybrid is a short term solution. You would build a hybrid app for say an mvp (minimal viable product) but as your audience and your feature list grows, you should really move to native Android and iOS. Not moving from hybrid at this point could affect key user features such as load time, or even memory. You might also be limiting yourself of features readily available in the native platform.


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tags: android - iOS - Windows - hybrid apps - react native - ionic - Xamarin - flutter - advice