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Top 20 Hybrid Mobile App Frameworks

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Introduction:

What is the big deal all about the Hybrid Mobile Applications and the Frameworks that support creating such applications? Let us now take some time in understanding these technical terms to gain better sense over this area of application development. A Hybrid Mobile Application is like any other application that you should be found on your phone or on your hand-held device. A hybrid mobile application can be viewed as the best (or the worst) of both the Native and HTML5 worlds together. This can further be defined as a web application that is primarily built using technologies like HTML5 and JavaScript and then wrapped in a thin Native container which provides the necessary access to the platform features or resources.

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Now that we have some decent information about what these Hybrid Mobile applications are, let us now take a look at some of the most prominent frameworks that could be used to achieve these applications. The frameworks are neither numbered in order of their preference nor by the preference of usage, hence please go through all the frameworks and all the nitty-gritty details about each of these frameworks to make up your mind to choose the one that suits you the best. Without any further delay, let’s get down to business:

Top 20 Hybrid Mobile App Frameworks:

Top 20 Hybrid Mobile App Frameworks

Here is the list of the most used Hybrid Mobile App Frameworks and we have taken a decision to limit ourselves to only 20 of these fantastic frameworks using which you can create the hybrid mobile applications that suit your business requirements without any hassles. We have made an honest attempt to provide as much detail as possible under each of these tools, hence take the time to go through each detail for your decision making:

1. React Native:

One of the main purposes of this framework is to develop native applications over hybrid applications that run on a web-view. The coding for your applications will still be done via React and JavaScript and one of the features of it is that it is not very customized for the beginners but its active community can help you resolve issues (if there are any) at the quickest and the earliest. With its latest release, they have extended their support to Android which is a welcome move as well.

Advantages:

  • Numerous ready to use components to speed up the development process
  • Provides with a provision to copy the code base between iOS and Android
  • Provides with a provision of hot deployment without the need of the developer to save the changes
  • Bugs can be identified easily as the programming is carried over in a declarative style

Disadvantages:

  • There is still a gap in the form of navigation components that can enable seamless user experience
  • There is still place for improvement in the hardware areas

2. Xamarin:

Xamarin is one of the key mobile application development frameworks that has been employed in many of the Organizations for a very good reason, more than 1.4 million developers strong community around the world. The Xamarin platform is known to abide by the WORA (Write once, Run anytime) principle. Xamarin is known to make business mobile applications with the native look and feel.

Advantages:

  • Microsoft has got its back, supporting all the technical aid that a tool can ask for.
  • More than 70% of the code is reusable between iOS and Android, there by lesser code to write for your own business application.
  • Easy to run tests on these applications
  • Xamarin ensures that you get the same level of performance that you rather get from a Native Mobile application.
  • Xamarin Forms is the tool that provides you with the platform-specific features, over and above the reusable code that you could already use.

Disadvantages:

  • Comes with a huge cost of the business license ($999)
  • It provides its support to a specific number of technical components which are available within its own library.
  • Integration can become a nightmare if applications are created using Xamarin.

3. Onsen UI:

Onsen UI is an open source mobile application development framework that is well equipped to be used without the Angular JS requirement. It also comes with a very nice set of documentation that explains all the nitty-gritty details with examples of the common application structures. It provides the ease of use for the developers to build applications by putting together the native looking components as well.

Advantages:

  • Onsen UI is easy to use a framework that finds its inspiration from Web Components
  • It is compatible with both jQuery and also with AngularJS
  • One of the biggest advantages is that it is free and open-source
  • This tool comes with enough number of features like the Font Awesome, built-in Theme Roller, Screen Transition and many more

Related Page: AngularJS vs. JQuery

Disadvantages:

  • A template upgrade if decided for can kill a lot of time
  • Non-availability of templates created through this tool on repositories like GitHub is another big disadvantage.

4. PhoneGap:

PhoneGap is yet another open source mobile application development framework and is also considered the simplest cross-platform framework. Creating applications with this tool is done all with Web APIs, which in other words is that it develops these applications under a wrapper native app shell and then implements them in the native stores for various available platforms. It also comes with the provision of a cloud service named “Build” that compiles applications without the requirement of any SDKs installed on the environment.

Advantages:

  • Any individual with basic hands-on with JavaScript, CSS and HTML5 can deliver in PhoneGap development from the first day itself.
  • Compatible with Windows 7, Android and iOS.
  • Multiplatform validation can be comfortably skipped and the focus can be devoted to just UI

Disadvantages:

  • There is a definite gap of more UI widgets in the framework
  • Performance is not the best when compared to the other set of tools that we are looking at.

5. Ionic:

Ionic is a very prominent framework and also considered as the preferred choice of most of the developers. CSS portions of the framework are enough to develop native looking applications. The complete potential of Ionic framework can be put to use if it is paired up with AngularJS. With the command line interface that we get along with Ionic, there are a lot of features that we get as like the integrated emulators and Cordova based app packages.

Advantages:

  • Develop once and put them across all supported platform at once
  • Rich and robust applications can be built using it along with AngularJS
  • As the reliability is more on CSS, JavaScript and HTML – the code is more maintainable and also assures quicker development.

Disadvantages:

  • App performances are not as good as applications that were built for a specific environment
  • Tagging along AngularJS creates a skill gap in the budding JavaScript developers
  • Complex in-app navigation at present

6. Framework7:

Like the other frameworks, this is by far the most stable and independent framework – as this doesn’t have any dependency on React or AngularJS. Even with this, there is a good chance that we can make our applications look native with nice animations, fine styled components. This tool also requires just the CSS, JavaScript and HTML knowledge for active development. 

Advantages:

  • Customization is very easy to achieve
  • Helps in creating native applications without the external dependencies of React or AngularJS.
  • Provides many UI widgets and elements that help in developing feature rich mobile applications.

Disadvantages:

  • For any package emulation or to provide any mobile application builder, this has to be put along with either PhoneGap or Cordova
  • A necessity to work with F7 MVC framework for mobile application development
  • It is not compatible with all the possible mobile platforms.

7. Intel XDK:

Next on our list is the Intel XDK, which allows an individual to develop cross-platform applications for different available stores. This includes all the services ranging from web services to plugins for rich content, interactive mobile apps, and responsive apps which are known to run on any kind of device. It is a framework that is known to help developers with almost all the tasks ranging from development to emulation, to testing and to debugging. In the recent times, there was a major change in support for all the functionalities that one would love to build mobile HTML5 applications using either Apache Cordova or any other of choice for Android, iOS and Windows 10 UAP.

Advantages:

  • Provides a lot of developer-friendly features and also acts as a one-stop shop for all development activities
  • Newer releases extend its support to Android, iOS and Windows
  • The tool also allows users with live preview option on the connected device when you are still in the stages of development in an integrated environment with other tools.

Disadvantages:

There is a drag and drop feature that an individual could use but it creates loads of code, which is not required.

7. Appcelerator Titanium:

Appcelerator Titanium is indeed a better solution to create hybrid mobile applications and to get started with this tool, you can go ahead with downloading the Titanium studio. The Titanium SDK is strong enough with all the rapid development features of mobile applications. Alongside to that, mobile applications that are created with Alloy are also easy to use across different applications and hence the development time is reduced by many folds and so is the number of lines of code to achieve this. In the end, the compiled code is a combination of both the native and JavaScript which further improves performance for mobile hybrid development.

Advantages:

  • This tool provides a mixed development environment experience of tools as like Xamarin and PhoneGap.
  • Mobile applications that are created in conjunction with Alloy, enables ease of reuse across different applications and platforms.

Disadvantages:

  • All applications that are written in JavaScript would still require to use custom XML and also Appcelerator’s API in order to support few of the native features.
  • Though this framework is called a cross-platform framework with full support for Android, iOS – it doesn’t include CSS and HTML along with itself.

9. Mobile Angular UI:

Mobile Angular UI can be considered a framework built with Bootstrap and AngularJS very comfortably. With this framework, you are assured to get the best of the Bootstrap 3 and also from Angular framework, in order to build nice HTML5 mobile apps. It can also be considered as an extension to the existing Bootstrap 3 without the dependencies of BootstrapJS libraries or jQuery. All you need here is to have some AngularJS directives to make beautiful mobile applications. 

Advantages:

  • For the best mobile experience, this framework comes with fastclick.js and overthrow.js
  • One of the greatest advantages that one could think of Mobile Angular UI is that it is available for free and is also an open source framework.

Disadvantages:

There are internal dependencies in Bootstrap3 as well which can cause a lag

Related Page: Angularjs Vs Bootstrap

10. Sencha Touch:

Sencha Touch is yet another enterprise-grade framework that is used for building cross-platform web applications with the help of  HTML5 and JavaScript. It is one of the premium choices of mobile app development frameworks in the commercial space and that too mostly constituting the enterprises. ExtJS, one of the most powerful and popular JavaScript frameworks backs Sencha Touch platform. This in turn creates high-performance applications with close to native application experience. Sencha is also known for a drag and drop HTML5 visual application builder, it has tons of ready to use mobile app templates. You can also create custom components and add them to the library to reuse in various applications. 

Advantages:

  • Sencha Touch rates high in the ranking against its competitors as it provides native look and feels across all the platforms that it extends its support to.
  • It is the premium choice for all the enterprise application developments
  • It packs widgets which are ready to use from the word go with offer native look and feel for all the popular platforms like iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows.

 It also has

  • Disadvantages:
  • Though the frameworks like Ionic, Onsen UI or Framework7 will serve the purpose Sencha Touch is for the enterprise application development alone.
  • Alongside that, it is a commercial framework for hybrid mobile application development, the tools that it works with hand in hand all come with a fat price tags.

11. Kendo UI:

Kendo UI is yet another hybrid mobile application development framework which is also an HTML5 framework that is widely used for cross-platform mobile application development. It is powered by Telerik. There is a strong dependency on jQuery and has around 70+ ready to use jQuery mobile app widgets from the word go. This can be integrated with AngularJS and Bootstrap UI frameworks very easily.

Advantages:

  • One of the greatest advantages of using Kendo UI is that it is not very difficult to learn, as most of the developers are already familiar with jQuery.
  • The second advantage is that it is an open source framework which is available free for usage.

Disadvantages:

  • Since that it is an open source technology to use, it comes with a limited set of features.
  • Not just that, it also has a limited community team of developers to provide any further technical support.
  • Most of the commonly used widgets are under commercial license.

12. jQuery Mobile:

When most of the hybrid mobile application development frameworks lean towards providing a native look and feel to the applications built in these, jQuery Mobile has taken a totally different approach in delivering generic applications which perform in a consistent manner in any of the given platforms (Symbian, Windows, Blackberry or the others). jQuery Mobile is a wonderful framework for organizations that believe in the ideology of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) as it provides its support for various operating systems. This tool also enforces on the belief that not every other developer is an iOS or an Android fan.

Advantages:

  • Since its inception, jQuery Mobile has undergone various changes and it is considered a stable environment to work upon comfortably.
  • With the help of ThemeRoller, we can create our own themes without writing any additional code
  • With jQuery Mobile, screens are responsive with the size and also different devices
  • Development is pretty easy, as it is in HTML5 and JavaScript
  • Provides easy to add collapsible menus for your applications
  • It makes it pretty easy to create a client product page and the other custom pages without any hassles

Disadvantages:

  • jQuery Mobile works fine for simpler designs but when we have a custom design, there is a lot of code that has to be overwritten.
  • Custom HTML themes will end up with loads of CSS related issues
  • .NET interaction with jQuery Mobile is one of the biggest troubles, especially with the update panels.

13. Mobincube:

Mobincube is a wonderful application interface that provides its users the ease of developing any kind of mobile application. Mobincube is the best possible tool that is available to build native mobile applications for Android, iOS and Windows platforms. The ease of use of this tool is super awesome with just adding screens and adding elements you can build the core of your application. 

If you are pretty new to this arena of development, there are a 100% pre-built templates that could be used to make the dream application for your business all by yourself with almost no possible coding. There is a possibility that the developers can create applications for businesses, educational institutes, entertainment industry and healthcare industry – so on and so forth. If you want to flaunt your technical expertise, you could showcase your development skills by adding your own masterpieces of HTML, JavaScript for additional functionality and also interaction.

Advantages:

  • There is a provision to create mobile stores to enhance sales
  • Provides very good third-party integrations within the application
  • Provides customization to the lowest level possible within the application
  • Provides free account offerings to try out the features available
  • Provides unlimited storage and also provides multi-platform compatibility

Disadvantages:

  • There is a limitation on the push notifications
  • There is also a limitation on the analytics that can be applied

14. Longrange:

Longrange is yet another native mobile application development framework, which has components as like navigation tabs, form views and commands. The mobile application development framework is basically based on two principles – the mobile app development and also the shorter maintenance process. With the help of existing development tools as like RPG, CoBoL or CL along with LongRange – we can develop a mobile application for a user community as quickly as possible. As LongRange is a native mobile application it doesn’t rely on HTML, CSS or JavaScript as like a traditional hybrid application.

Advantages:

  • Development can be carried out with the current level of programming expertise
  • Ability to build native applications using RPG, CL and DDS
  • Provides rock solid reliability and also runs these native apps faster
  • Programming knowledge of JavaScript, HTML or CSS is not required for developing apps here

Disadvantages:

Has a broader dependency of existing tools for better applications to be developed in a shorter span of time

15. Qt:

Qt is a cross-application SDK which offers cost-effective design, development and deployment framework. This tool can be comfortably used by developers to deliver best possible user experience across a wide variety of handheld devices. Qt is a solution that enables you to connect all the gaps across various platforms and also between the online, physical experiences. It also enables you to deploy applications on Android, iOS and Windows platforms. It also provides you an opportunity for contextual and personalized interaction with the customers outside of the core product itself.

Advantages:

  • Provides wonderful workarounds for buggy SSL servers
  • Provides support for IPv6 and dual mode networks
  • Provides support for opaque Private keys
  • An additional implementation providing parser and compiler optimization on the tool itself

Disadvantages:

  • Usage of metaobject compiler adds the extra layer of complexity to the whole build process as such
  • Qt development team is driving it away from C++ which is not a welcome move in the customer base

16. Alpha Anywhere:

The Alpha Anywhere is a low code and a rapid mobile application development/deployment framework which enables the quickest way to build offline-capable web and mobile applications. It can also be used to build cross-platform web and mobile business applications as well. It can be easily confronted as a one-stop shop for all your desktop application development, web application development, mobile application development and also SaaS application development.

Advantages:

  • Provides data encryption with HMAC and SSL support
  • Provides enterprise-grade mobile data security as mentioned in the above point
  • An abundance of pre-built sample applications for cross verification
  • Provides comprehensive backend data access

Disadvantages:

  • Web application development is not as simple as creating a desktop application
  • There is no built-in drag and drop feature in the form of designer
  • Limited to no technical support on any project obstacles

17. NativeScript:

NativeScript lists the next on our list of top 20 hybrid mobile application development frameworks, to talk about it – this is an open source framework that can be used to build pure native mobile applications with AngularJS, TypeScript or even with JavaScript. To be on the same page, you can write applications in TypeScript which further compiles to JavaScript and hence can be done. All that said, it provides a wonderful feature of writing and deploying mobile applications for iOS and Android applications from a single codebase.

Advantages:

  • Enables the acceleration on the learning curve by the skills used in the development of native mobile applications.
  • True native mobile applications can be built using web skills as like AngularJS and CSS.
  • The NativeScript team has 3 complete real-world application implementations by default

Disadvantages:

  • As not all plugins are available, there is a definite need for the additional plugins to be downloaded.
  • The application sizes are larger when compared to React Native and Ionic2.
  • Since there is no in-built support for HTML, DOM in NativeScript – there is a definite learning curve in learning other UI components to build applications.

18. Firebase:

Next in the list of our top 20 hybrid mobile application development frameworks, Firebase which is yet another mobile application development platform which supports web, iOS, iOSX and Android clients. It holds the capability to cut down the time that is spent in the development phase and also ensures messing around servers, data storage.

Advantages:

  • Provides a cloud service which doesn’t require any further setup on it.
  • Data storage is done in the form of native JSON and hence the feasibility to see how it is stored.
  • Data storage is assured as it requires 2048-bit SSL encryption for all data transfers
  • File storage is backed by Google’s cloud storage
  • Provides a wonderful integration strategy with AngularJS, hence it also enables the creation of applications in a very short span of time.

Disadvantages:

  • Storage format is JSON, hence makes it difficult for normal SQL type of migration
  • Standard reporting tools that use traditional SQL won’t be applicable anymore.
  • There is no on-premise installation available

19. Swiftic:

Next in the line is a tool named Swiftic, which is a dedicated iPhone app development software. This tool provides an easy to use and navigate interface which allows any developer to create an application based on the outlaid business requirements. This tool is an abundance of features that make the business application more useful and also easy to use for your hands and your eyes.

Advantages:

  • Provision to create any custom application and to publish them on leading stores
  • Catch the attention of your consumer base with your push notifications
  • Customers are always round the corner as keeping in touch with them is not a difficult task.

Disadvantages:

  • Tends to limit itself to certain kinds of applications that can be developed from this tool
  • Only supports iOS platform as of now

20. VuForia:

Last but not the least, VuForia is an augmented reality software development kit. That allows developers to create applications based on augmented reality (AR) technology. This also brings in the usage of Computer Vision technology to recognize and also to track images, 3-dimensional objects. This not only ensures robust and reliable experience in a variety of environments but also acts as a means to cross-check the functionality seamlessly.

Advantages:

  • VuForia has the ability to recognize and track a broader range of objects
  • It extends its support to most of the available high-end handheld devices
  • It provides the ability to create the basic most AR experience which works for all major devices
  • Ability to create virtual buttons which the application can see and respond to
  • Provides video playback support
  • 3dimensional experience can be built with VuForia Mobile Vision platform.

Disadvantages:

  • Skill gap in people to get themselves drenched into a totally different set of a technology stack
  • Moves away from the traditional Hybrid Mobile application to an AR-based application

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Conclusion:

In this article, we have gone through in detail about what a Hybrid Mobile application is all about and also at the same time we have also extended our discussion to go through the best available frameworks that help in developing these Hybrid Mobile applications that suit your business requirements. You can go through all the advantages and disadvantages that these tools have in real time usage and based on that you can make a decision of yours as well. Basically the decision to choose the framework for your development boils down to the following three reasons:

Who you are?
What do you expect
from the development platform?
What you want your application to be?

We have compiled all these details giving all the heart and vigor but before any decisions, we still suggest you go through the official tool documentation as it is very difficult to cover all the details at just one place. Hope you’ve got all the details that you were looking for from this article.


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