Hybrid App Development – 8 Frameworks You Should Know About!

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Developers who write native code per device naturally love their code. But what if the app should also run on other platforms? Right, the same app must then be rewritten for two to three systems. This not only costs time, but also money. Hybrid app development can change that.

Hybrid App Development: One Code for All Devices

Advantage of hybrid development: Applications only have to be developed once with a hybrid framework and voilà: one code for all devices. You use HTML5, CSS and JavaScript – technologies that you already master – and can use them to write apps for different platforms.
Access to native hardware (such as the camera) is via native JavaScript APIs, such as those offered by Cordova. Your app will then be compiled into native packages that can be loaded on mobile devices or in the app store. In the following a brief insight into the best known frameworks.

1. Ionic

This framework has blossomed into the undisputed top class framework in recent years. The framework is regularly updated, whether to add features from the competition or to be able to present your own new features.
The foundation is the Angular framework and also relies on Cordova (like most other frameworks) to provide native code for iOS, Android and Windows platforms.
The advantage of Ionic is that it is easy to write (SASS, HTML and JS), scalable and easy to maintain. In addition, gesture tools are offered to simplify development on mobile devices. A tutorial on the topic of “hybrid development” can be found here at t3n.

2. Intel XDK

The Intel framework is still relatively young, but the features are already remarkable: tools for development and emulation as well as testing and debugging are available, and there are ready-to-use app templates that are available on the open source Intel based JavaScript framework. It can be used to implement iOS, Blackberry, Windows, Tizen or Android apps.
Bootstrap 3, jQuery mobile and the Topcoat UI framework are also supported. With Intel XDK (in addition to the above), applications for Firefox OS, Amazon, Chrome and Facebook can also be developed.

3. Onsen UI

Onsen UI is also a relatively new framework. The open source framework is subject to the Apache license and also uses Angular and the Topcoat UI framework.
The use of jQuery components in particular makes it an ideal framework for beginners. You can do without Angular and instead rely on a lot of finished components. Your app becomes native using PhoneGap and Cordova.

4. Kendo UI

This framework, based on jQuery, starts with almost 80 ready-made jQuery widgets. The biggest advantage, however, lies in the Theme Builder, which, in addition to material design, also allows you to create completely your own themes.
The Kendo UI framework supports Angular and the Bootstrap UI framework. Similar to Sencha Touch, Kendo UI has a good reputation in the enterprise segment. In addition to a commercial version, there is also a free version.

5. Sencha Touch

When it comes to enterprise development, Sencha Touch has the edge – but also at a considerable price. Sencha relies on ExtJS – one of the best-known JavaScript frameworks – which is known for high-performance applications.
Like other providers, Sencha provides ready-made widgets and themes for the iOS, Windows and Blackberry systems. The special thing about the Application Builder is definitely the drag and drop interface.

6. Mobile Angular UI

Those who like Bootstrap and Angular will love Mobile Angular UI. No framework complements Bootstrap 3 as well – without the dependencies on the JavaScript components of Bootstrap or jQuery.
Specifically, the framework Bootstrap adds ‘switches’, ‘overlays’, ‘sidebars’, scrollable areas and absolutely positioned navigation bars. To ensure performance on mobile devices, Mobile Angular UI uses Overthrow.JS and Fastclick.JS.

7. Famous

If you want to develop very graphic-intensive apps, you should have a look at famo.us. In contrast to the other hybrid frameworks, the focus here is on 2D and 3D renderings, which makes them ideal for game development.

8. Framework 7

The main advantage of Framework 7 is definitely the support of iOS apps – only with JavaScript, HTML and CSS. The framework even supports features such as ‘swiping’ and UI elements such as media lists or side panels without developers having to deal with JavaScript.
The downside: Framework 7 does not support other platforms – but it is certainly one of the best frameworks when it comes to iOS development.

Conclusion –Hybrid App Development

For small agencies or freelancers, Ionic is probably the first choice. If you’re looking for enterprise, Sencha and Kendo UI should be examined.
But it is fundamental to say that hybrid development cannot necessarily achieve the same performance as native code that was developed for a platform. So if you want to develop high-performance apps, you won’t be able to avoid using native code. Hybrid frameworks are definitely an 80/20 solution that you shouldn’t neglect. There are also other alternatives for hybrid development, such as Xamarin. Applications are written in C # and then compiled into native code. However, the entry hurdle for C # is extraordinarily higher than for CSS/JS/HTML, which makes development or access to hybrid app development more difficult.