Hybrid frameworks are great options for reaching a wider audience of multiple operating systems. These best hybrid frameworks deliver more than they offer.
The shift from desktop applications to mobile applications wasn’t incidental but gradual. Mobile apps are a faster way to reach out to wider and more heterogeneous audiences. Speaking of mobile applications, there are various aspects related to mobile app development that accounts for success. Things like frameworks, platforms, ASO, etc. are responsible for the triumph of mobile apps.
When we talk about frameworks, it comes down to native apps vs hybrid apps. Here we’ll specifically talk about the hybrid app framework and the best ones, but before that, you might need to be accustomed to the basic differences to proceed. For developers who are aware know which one to root for but for those who do not know, the following explains the differences between the two.
Native- Native apps are singularly developed for their inherent platforms, either iOS or Android. A native Android app will be written using Java or Kotlin and a native iOS app with Objective-C or Swift. The Android ones can be compiled by Android Studio and iOS apps with Xcode. Native apps are the fastest but at the same time expensive. The app written for one platform cannot be used by the other. For eg., An app written in Kotlin cannot run on iOS platforms and vice versa.
There are many other aspects to Native vs Hybrid apps, but above are the key points to separate the two.
Coming back to hybrid mobile app frameworks, to get the best of it, you need highly advanced and exceptional frameworks. That’s why we provide you with choices where you can decide which of these hybrid frameworks suit you the best.
When we talk about hybrid app development, Ionic is amongst the most popular frameworks to exist today. The front-end HTML is built on top of AngularJS and Cordova using the most upbeat APIs including Shadow DOM and Custom Elements. The official integration with Vue (for support) is in progress. With Ionic, you’ll find it quite easy to build PWAs or Progressive Web Apps. Learning Ionic is easy for developers and it makes it enjoyable to use the framework.
It has a rich library with front-end building along with premier user interface components that enable a developer to create top-notch PWAs. It also enables developers to create fantastic designs and graphical representations in the apps. UI design aspects like image design and placement, typography, innovative themes, etc. are things that the Ionic mobile hybrid framework will help a developer achieve.
The Ionic CLI (Command Line Interface) is a medium/tool which helps you in developing hybrid apps built with TypeScript and Node.js. It helps you to build a hybrid mobile app and get regular updates. The Ionic CLI provides you with an inbuilt development server, debugging tools along catalyze other pits facilities.
Minimum requirements are Android 4.1 and iOS 7. Ionic has helped more than 5 million apps to take genesis.
Developed as a web-interface development platform in 2013, React Native was officially released to develop hybrid mobile applications in 2015 by Facebook. One of the best hybrid app development frameworks, React Native earned a pretty good reputation in 2020 which is expected to continue throughout 2021 as well. Many pits React Native against ionic as they consider them as common alternatives. While experts argue that Ionic leads to better UI and performances among apps, React Native, on the other hand, gives the users an almost native-like experience among apps with more stability. React Native has a huge potential to become one of the best hybrid mobile app development frameworks in the coming years.
Command over React Native depends purely on its usage. What this means is a developer may not gain expertise over it in the first few usages. One has to spend some time with the mobile hybrid framework to comprehend the reactive pattern. But more than that, it’s the restricted UI features and the native features which compel developers to code more and more. Of course, given there are a lot of great things one gets to learn with it as well.
Among application development frameworks, React Native is extensively used to create iOS and Android apps. With a single JS codebase, it allows developers to make innovative mobile apps. Developers who are fluent in Java and Swift love to work on the React Native framework. It comes with Native modules and components which help in boosting the performance of an app.
Many react-native companies are adopting the framework to build hybrid mobile apps for tomorrow. Brands like Facebook, Instagram, 2048 Discovery VR, Gyroscope, etc. are using this best hybrid development framework to develop world-class apps.
There has been a lot of hype regarding Flutter in the last two years. Google’s premier open-source SDK has earned the respect of developers worldwide. Flutter uses the powerful language Dart, another magnum opus of Google’s and the C++ rendering engine. The hybrid mobile app framework also uses Skia, a 2D rendering engine to make visuals. It is quick and aids to create superb foundation libraries and widgets.
Flutter enables developers to create apps with high-productive value as it has a single codebase for Android and iOS. It makes room to create highly creative UIs with flexible designs and allows compelling interactions that lead to the creation of brilliant MVPs (prototypes). That’s why big brands want Flutter to develop their apps.
There is something about Google’s innovations because every new development of theirs is a hot topic of discussion among tech forums. Big names like Alibaba, Birch Finance, Hamilton Musical, etc. have adopted Flutter to create powerful, engaging apps. And since it allows learning the absolute new language (Dart), it’s created a lot of hype and jobs in the market. More and more app development companies are adopting Flutter to develop engaging hybrid apps which the user will love to use. But if you thought, that’s it then let me drop a bigger Fact Bomb. Flutter and Fuchsia will be working together!
YES, you heard that right. Fuchsia which is Google’s new powerful mobile OS will have its app developed through Flutter SDK.
With so many great hybrid mobile app development frameworks out there, why would a developer (still) prefer PhoneGap? First, let us know what it is.
An interesting feature of PhoneGap is ‘Build’. Now, what is it? The build is its cloud compiler that can compile apps even without any SDKs installed. With the PhoneGap mobile development framework, a developer can mold a feature-heavy and fully customized hybrid mobile app. These apps have the potential to reach out to a wider audience in limited ways and function with total efficiency. PhoneGap’s best use can be seen when a developer goes on to create mobile web apps that are not complex rather easy to use and understand. And if there’s a cash crunch, what better than PhoneGap?
Another important hybrid apps framework acquired by the software giant Microsoft, Xamarin is one of the most intelligent frameworks used by developers. It has been written using C# which is more modern and has improvements over Java and Objective-C. But what makes Xamarin so unique that it has the means to include libraries for Java, C++, and Objective-C directly. Xamarin’s assemblage of libraries is huge. The framework is reduced explicit cost and gives minimum budget hassles.
Where it gets interesting that Xamarin is often competing with React Native for the topmost spot. It’s because developers are looking for creative ways to build hybrid apps balancing both creativity and budget with equal proportions.
Xamarin can be used to develop hybrid apps for iOS, Android, percent, and Windows. It’s known to give an equal performance and UX of a native app. With their native UI controls, Xamarin apps show absolute prowess. The Xamarin Mac tools is a recurring name among hybrid app development tools. Interestingly, it’s known to follow the WORA principle which expands to Write Once, Run Anytime. On Xamarin’s official forum and also third party websites, it has a huge community and gets substantial support too.
Setting up Xamarin is a piece of cake. Developers need to download the Xamarin installer and run it. Once the installation is complete, they need to proceed with the configuration where they have to provide the whereabouts of Android SDK and Java. Once the procedure is complete, developers need to go to Xamarin Studio to create their private accounts and follow the rules that are on display. Once done, this best hybrid mobile app development framework is ready for usage.
The apps created in NativeScript are completely native that use the same APIs as used in Xcode or Android studio. The apps can be integrated with this party library from CocoaPods, Maven, and npm.js without the need for the wrapper. Another notable feature is the use of reflection to handle native API endpoints. In place of requiring separate binding layers between NativeScript and the mobile platform API, NativeScript uses reflection to gain information and metadata about the native platform APIs. All the features added to any native platform API can be used for ReactNative apps immediately.
The introduction of NativeScript 2.0 has made use of Angular to build cross-platform mobile applications possible. When you are using Angular with NativeScript you can share large chunks of code between your mobile and web apps.
Kendo UI allows you to easily add advanced UI components into your existing design and take leverage of your existing libraries. It offers a bunch of advanced features like advanced data grid components, charts, spreadsheets, schedulers, and much more.
Framework7 is an open-source and free top hybrid app framework which is used for creating desktop, mobile, and web-based applications with a native feel and appearance. This best hybrid app development platform offers such UI components that will run seamlessly on any platform.
Aurelia is a simple, powerful, and unobtrusive framework allowing users to create multi-platform apps with better routing, composition, and progressive enhancement.
Onsen UI is a great choice of the framework which allows you to create applications and components for various operating systems. It is one of the fastest ways to develop HTML5 hybrid applications. It offers a native look and feel to its users and offers a lot of ready to use components and automatic styling.
Onsen UI has been perfectly optimized for mobile use and is easy to learn. The apps developed on Onsen UI will have a smooth experience even in lower-end devices.
Well, it’s a real tough one, IMHO. Picking one would be impossible so it’s better to settle for two- Flutter and React Native. Flutter is new, powerful, compatible with Fuchsia, and allows learning the new language Dart (It’s a BIG thing). It also gives a single code base for iOS and Android. Flutter could likely be the future of all frameworks. But then we also have the super-efficient React Native. It makes coding an intriguing job for developers and making it easier for them to make interactive apps. Moreover, it supports Node.Js and saves a lot of time and space. Both Flutter and React Native have stockpiles of the best hybrid apps. We suggest you study what the best mobile app development companies would use and suggest for your case.
Now that you have an open book for the best and trending hybrid frameworks for 2021, open up your systems and start creating.
In a single line of difference, native apps are developed for a specific platform and hybrid for multiple. A native app written for one platform can’t be used by another one. For example, an app written in Objective-C can’t be used by Android.
A hybrid mobile app is developed through a hybrid app framework like React Native, Ionic, Flutter, Xandarin, etc.
Aparna is a growth specialist with handsful knowledge in business development. She values marketing as key a driver for sales, keeping up with the latest in the Mobile App industry. Her getting things done attitude makes her a magnet for the trickiest of tasks. In free times, which are few and far between, you can catch up with her at a game of Fussball.
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