This post will be the first in a three part article on mobile application development using what is referred to as a hybrid approach. I’ll try my best to explain and illustrate some of the common pitfalls, known limitations and design considerations that should not be overlooked when using a hybrid approach.
Concepts are best learned by way of example – so, as part of the article we will design (and redesign) a mobile app. Lets call it The Unreasonable Download App (tudA for short). I will also provide tips on how to evaluate performance issues and how to fix them. At the end of the series, my blatant bias for hybrid development will hopefully be so imbued on you, that you will be trying to figure out how to cook me a serving of ‘Mackerel Run dung’… All with a hybrid mobile app 😀
What is hybrid application development?
The average mobile application is developed with a platform specific toolchain or SDK. For Android, this is the Android SDK, which provides the developer with a primarily Java based language for writing the application code. On iOS devices there is the equivalent iOS SDK where application code is written using Objective C or Swift. These toolchains (using Java, Objective C and Swift) are often referred to as the native SDKs on their respective platforms. If we intend to simultaneously launch tudA on both Android and iOS, it means we need at minimum two developers working on separate codebases: one for android and the other for iOS.
A hybrid application combines both of these worlds
The application views and logic are built using the Web SDK but are packaged and deployed to the app store just like one fully developed with a native SDK. So using our two developer analogy from before, we have two developers now coding from one codebase, that will be deployed to two platforms simultaneously.
With a high level understanding of native and hybrid development in place, we will embark on developing an application from start to finish and discuss the pros and cons of each method.
tudA -The Unreasonable Download App
Download Project: v1.0.0.zip
Part 2 will deal with common misconceptions about hybrid apps, and we will implement the first iteration of tudA using two different strategies and evaluate how some of those misconceptions come about. We will also look at the pros and cons, and some suggestions on how to tackle the drawbacks of each…
– Martello Jones