What is Cross-Platform Technology?
The development of a mobile application on several platforms (iOS, Android, Windows Phone …) can quickly become a real technical challenge for those who do not master the native programming languages (Java, .NET, Objective-C …).
CORDOVA, the pillar of the mobile hybrid : it is the open source kernel of PhoneGap.
For the record, Cordova was born from the acquisition of Nitobi by Adobe in 2011,
bequeathed to the Apache Foundation, PhoneGap evolves to become Apache Cordova.
Cordova is one of the most scalable and up-to-date frameworks, consisting of:
A user interface part: this is a web browser that will take the surface of the screen. It is this native browser (UIWebview for IOS for example) that will manage the entire display part and will link the user interactions and the Cordova kernel.
Cordova offers the possibility to develop its own “Plugins” if you need additional features.
PHONEGAP, the pioneer: created in 2009 by the company Nitobi and after many changes, it is now used as a proprietary service of Adobe. PhoneGap offers a set of graphical tools for project creation, mobile test application, etc. as well as a “Cloud” solution composed of modules such as:
The project compilation in the “Cloud”, so development teams no longer need to configure or install Cordova on their machines, nor to be equipped with a Mac for IOS application compilation.
The ability to perform scheduled compilations, but also the integration of continuous integration tools.
Hosting and email sharing of the application, with the possibility of installing the application via the sharing of a link sent by email.
Hybrid App and Design:
The design of an app brings together all the graphic and textual elements that will be displayed on the screen of your mobile, the visual experience of an app is then essential to attract your users. It must be well executed. The mockups will then be the reference medium (more or less complex form to achieve, margin to respect, etc.) to ensure the visual rendering during our hybrid development.
Given the limitations of Phonegap, we can dismiss it as an effective solution. Ionic offers a lot of components to get closer to a native view (especially since the release of Ionic2), however when it comes to achieving a “complex” view the layout of its components becomes complicated and anomalies begin to appear. Native development, however, ensures optimal visual rendering, but requires more time and resources. Also taking into account the notion of design, if it is “simple” we can advise you to use Ionic , but when it becomes more complex, it is better to realize the views natively.
Hybrid App and Features:
Each mobile application is composed of more or less complex functionalities in their development. For a rendering of quality, it is this complexity that will determine the use of a hybrid solution compared to a native language.
Solutions can now access the same features as native development and use it even more simply. However, in case of specific needs (eg business app) these solutions will no longer be compatible or will require additional work, which would then make native development the best solution.
If you are a developer you probably know (hopefully) that there are tools to save time or simplify the development of your app (ex: IDE, debug tool, external plug-ins …). If you are not, know that it is possible to facilitate the work of your technical teams!
In recent years, with the integration of hybrid solutions within mobile development IDEs, development teams have access to the same set of tools in both hybrid and native development. One point everywhere, ball in the center!
Hybrid App and User Experience:
The User Experience brings together the ergonomic choices that will make the use of your app enjoyable : fluidity of navigation, rapid response of the application, intuitive interface via icons or design recognized by users.
There are now hybrid solutions like Ionic offering a user experience close to that of a native development . However some differences still exist such as the animations or a reduced performance on the fluidity, the ergonomics of a Hybrid app remaining by default unique whatever the OS. So even today, if you want to have an optimal user experience, native development will be a priority.