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Top 5 Frameworks for Mobile Hybrid Apps in 2018

If you’re the one who still doesn’t know this term, an hybrid mobile application is a combination of HTML5/JavaScript/CSS code and some kind of native application wrapper (Cordova and PhoneGap). Typically, a wrapper framework, like PhoneGap, provides the native code which bridges a gap between the native side and a JavaScript API. This way, an application JavaScript code can perform native functions, for example taking a picture with the camera.

Apache Cordova (Phonegap)

Phonegap- One of the most popular cross—platform framework is Phonegap. The team behind Apache Cordova, the Adobe PhoneGap framework is an open source distribution of Cordova framework. The biggest advantage of using this framework is that a hybrid app developer can reuse existing web development skills and create an application by using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for multiple platforms with a single codebase.

If you go through the core of Apache Cordova applications, you will find them using CSS3 and HTML5 in order to get easy access to underlying hardware such as the accelerometer, camera, and GPS. In fact, it can be extended with native plugins from JavaScript to add more functionalities, so that it can communicate directly between the native layer and HTML5 Page. Also, the plugins allow access to the device’s accelerometer, camera, compass, file system, microphone, and more.

Ionic (Built on Cordova)

Ionic- Ionic is a complete open-source SDK, powered by a massive world-wide community. Built on top of Angular.js and Apache Cordova, the framework provides tools and services for developing hybrid mobile apps. Almost all the apps are built with the help of web technologies like CSS, HTML5, and Sass and then easily distributed through native app stores. It may quite interest you to know that the community incorporates over 120 native device features like Bluetooth, HealthKit, Finger Print Auth, and more with Cordova/PhoneGap plugins and TypeScript extensions. No wonder, it’s been the most preferred framework for most of the developers. The simple collaboration with AngularJS turned out to be sufficient to harness the full potential of the framework.

Last but certainly not the least, Ionic offers a command line interface representing some awesome features, which can be further be integrated and more useful features like deep linking, AoT Compiling, Ionic Native.

Framework 7

Framework 7 is incredibly popular. It’s been around for a fairly long time, and has been used in production by a number of smaller companies.

Originally developed with only iOS in mind, Framework 7 has since expanded to Material Design as well. The themes for both platforms are excellently designed, meshing fairly well with native controls. The animations and gestures do feel a bit odd though, and I’m not sure why. As an added bonus, Framework 7 is designed to be extensible via. plugins, though the majority of them seem to be designed for plain vanilla usage, not for Vue.

It contains an absolutely massive selection of components, and quite a bit of documentation to go with them. However, it does not appear to support custom themes, at least not out-of-the-box. You may have to do it yourself with CSS overrides.

Framework 7 is a proven framework that provides just about everything you need for a hybrid web app.

However, Framework 7 prefers to use its own built-in libraries over allowing you to choose, instead opting to use its own routing and DOM management systems, and offers little in the way of themeing choices. If that’s fine with you, than go with it.

Xamarin

Xamarin is a Microsoft-owned San Francisco, a California-based software company founded in May 2011 which has cross-platform implementations of the Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) and Common Language Specifications (often called Microsoft .NET).

With a C# shared codebase, developers can use Xamarin tools to write native Android, iOS, and Windows apps with native user interfaces and share code across multiple platforms, including Windows and MacOS. Xamarin is the top hybrid mobile app development framework. It saves your time regarding re-utilizing abilities, tools, teams and the best significant part is code. You can influence the array of Xamarin and Android APIs as well as design an amazing experience for glass with the Android SDK and GDK.

React/React Native

  • React.js is an open source Single Page Application (SPA) framework that allows web developers the ability to build large scale JavaScript applications for the browser. It composes common application requirements (such as rendering views) into a single framework that can be leveraged for productivity.
  • React Native is an extension of react that removes browser specific features and introduces mobile specific knowledge. Facebook are key contributers to this project.

The framework isn’t tailored towards novice in the field of web development but certainly, presents a brighter side. React Native framework offers a couple of advantages such as native-like performance and vast community.

Conclusion

If you’re planning to create a mobile application, choosing the hybrid model will save you time and effort and you can reuse the code for creating a web application version too. Of course, the hybrid model is not the perfect solution for all problems, but hybrid apps are a good choice for deploying your app faster and for creating prototype applications, for example. These frameworks can surely provide you a user experience very close to a native application.