Hybrid Mobile Apps

I came across a question – “Questions on Hybrid Apps”  in one of the Forums, and i thought it’s worth writing a blog post, so that it will help others (at least for my blog post visitors 😉 ) May be many of us have doubts about Hybrid Mobile Apps. Let me provide my thoughts –

Hybrid, the word itself states that, it’s mixture of multiple things. Now, Hybrid Mobile Apps – it’s mixture of multiple technologies.

1. How it is different from Regular / Native Mobile Apps?

Let me tell you the basic difference of Native Apps and Hybrid Apps –

Native Apps – Developed using Platform specific SDK (Software Development Kit). Native Mobile Apps built on platform SDK’s. For example, if you wish to develop an iOS App, then you may have to download the Apple iOS SDK and start building app. Now, you thought of powering Android users with your app, then you may have to download Android SDK and start building the app from scratch.

Hybrid Apps –  You can leverage your web skills to develop an Mobile App.

HTML 5 + CSS 3 + JavaScript + (APACHE CORDOVA / IONIC FRAMEWORK / TRIGGER.IO etc., )

We can achieve PORTABILITY – write once and deploy on multiple platforms.

2. How to access the device features like Contacts, Camera, GPS etc.,?

You can definitely access to all the device features through  – APACHE CORDOVA / IONIC FRAMEWORKTRIGGER.IOThese plugins will help us in accessing OS features through their API’s. Same is well documented in their respective sites.

3. Can i deploy the Apps to Stores for different platforms?

Yeah. You can deploy your app to multiple platforms App Stores. Consumers can download you app just like the Native Apps.

4. How do you control the layout of an Hybrid app considering it’s one app which will be run on many different devices with many different layouts?

Responsive Web Design. Using CSS 3 media queries you can achieve responsive web design. It allows to design layouts for different resolutions of the devices.

5. Which development framework is better Apache Cordova or Ionic Framework or  Trigger.io or any other?

Hard to answer. Most of the Hybrid Apps are developed on Apache Cordova. It’s Open Source. Even Ionic Framework internally uses Apache Cordova. Trigger.io is licensed and you may have to pay for it.

Each of the framework will have their own Pros and Cons. It’s better to do through analysis on choosing the right one for you!

Happy Mobile App programming!!!

Firefox browser tool to test Responsive Web design

Modern web browsers are more developer friendly, by providing Developer Tools to make web development easy. Thanks to Mozilla for integrating a feature, which allows to test the Responsive Web design with out using various physical devices.

How to use Responsive Web Design feature in Firefox?

  1. Launch Mozilla Firefox(Latest Version).
  2. Browse the website which you wish to test. For example – i will take – http://tickletheweb.com website, which is developed to have consistent view across the devices.

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3.   Click on Firefox button on the left top corner of the browser, and select Web Developer –> Responsive Design View.

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4.  It loads the Responsive Design View chrome –

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5.  Select different resolutions from the dropdown control on the left corner of the chrome to test the website in different resolutions, which is simple and great.

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6.  It also allows to test  Portrait or Landscape orientations. Click on rotate button, which toggles between the orientations.

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Happy Web programming!!!