Hybrid Mobile Applications

To some, debate about mobile web and native apps is heating up, or it’s already settling down, another approach that is it’s becoming more relevant. It’s an approach that leverages features of both worlds (the best and worst of native applications and mobile web) with the intention to enhance features with a little more income.

What is a hybrid application?

As the name indicates, hybrid is something that’s derived from heterogeneous sources. A hybrid application is an application written in the same language as the web applications, or websites, which is hosted in a native container, like webkit, on a mobile device. It is then, the connection between web technology and native execution, a mobile application that looks and behaves like a native mobile application.

The hybrid applications use a webview to submit the JavaScript and HTML archives in full screen using the render engine of the render engine of the native browser and not the browser itself. Webkit is the rendering engine of open code, developed by Apple, used in iOS and Android, for example.


Apache Cordova (PhoneGap) is a platform for developing native mobile applications using HTML, CSS, and Javascript or it may be a combination of API’s of devices that allow hybrid application development. Cordova uses different tools like jQuery Mobile or Dojo Mobile, among others, to develop mobile hybrid applications for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, etc…

Sencha Space is a platform to distribute HTML 5 and hybrid applications safely for businesses in a managed environment.

Xamarin and it's beginner’s kit for hybrid applications allows you to use HTML for mobile applications according to Mike Bluestein, but at the same time it maintains the core of the application in C#.

In what conditions do I choose hybrid apps?

  • if it’s important to take advantage of the device specifications, like geolocation or the camera.
  • If it’s necessary to use the application when the device is offline
  • The objective is to reach a greater number of different mobile devices
  • If the graphic performance you can get from the native applications is not so important.


It’s true that the Hybrid Apps are gaining considerable importance. Inclusively, Microsoft in their effort to facilitate the cross-platform development with Visual Studio allows the integration of the herramientas del Cordova in the Visual Studio.

The fact that the hybrid applications are developed with web technologies can be an important advantage, because each day there are more web developers and these have the knowledge to start to develop applications.

Written by Chiyana Simoes
Translated by Emily Smith, INUSUAL intern


Aplicaciones móviles híbridas

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