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Definition: hybrid mobile app


A smartphone or tablet application that is programmed like a Web page (HTML, JavaScript, etc.). The Web-based commands (WebView) are wrapped within a native iOS or Android shell that has full access to the device's functions such as the camera, notifications, GPS and sensors. Like a native app, a hybrid mobile app is installed and updated from an app store. Users generally cannot tell the difference between native and hybrid.

More Web Programmers Than Native
Android and Apple (iOS) are the two mobile platforms, and it is easier to program hybrid mobile apps for both platforms than write a native app for each of them. Another advantage of the hybrid app is the greater availability of Web programmers than native Android and iOS programmers.

Native Apps
When apps are written in their native languages (Swift for iOS; Java for Android), any change to the program requires changes in both sets of source code. In addition, efficient native programming requires significant experience, and each platform's architecture, syntax and development tools barely resemble each other (see IDE). However, native programming is generally used for video games and apps requiring extensive processing or unusual functionality (see native mobile app). See Apache Cordova, HTML5, JavaScript, Swift, Java and hybrid app.




Hybrid vs. Native
From a programmer's point of view, the hybrid app is much easier to write and maintain.






There Are Several Mobile App Options
Mobile users run programs that come from either an app store or a website. Although downloading an app from an online store is relatively simple, it must be updated from the store. Nothing is easier than launching a browser and going to a website because there is no installation required most of the time. See mobile website, responsive Web design and progressive Web app.