What is a Native App?

A native app is a smartphone application developed specifically for a mobile operating system (think Java for Android development and Objective-C or Swift for iOS).

Since the app gets developed within a mature ecosystem following the technical and user experience guidelines of the OS, it not only has the advantage of faster performance but also “feels right.” Feeling right means that the in-app interaction has a look and feel consistent with most of the other native apps on the device.

What is a Hybrid App?

Hybrid applications are apps packaged in a native wrapper. They look and feel like a native app, but ultimately outside of the basic frame of the application. It is built using HTML5 and JavaScript, wrapped in a native container. Developing Hybrid App is a popular freelance work as well.

How are Hybrid Mobile Apps built?

Hybrid mobile app development is similar to websites. Both of them use a combination of different technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The main difference is, instead of targeting a mobile browser, hybrid applications target a WebView hosted inside a native container. It enables them to do things like access hardware capabilities of the mobile device.

Top 10 Hybrid Mobile App Development Frameworks:

  1. Ionic: Ionic is based on the Sass CSS extension language, and it is a popular cross-platform framework. You can also integrate it with AngularJS for building more advanced apps. Ionic offers a library of HTML, CSS, and JS CSS components, gestures, and tools. A command-line interface provides emulators, live reload, and logging, There’s also a Cordova-based app packager. Overall a good framework to get started with Hybrid Mobile Apps.
  1. Onsen UI: It is relatively new framework but giving competition to established frameworks in the market. It is open source and available under Apache license. Onsen UI also uses Angular directives and Topcoat framework for its UI components.The framework comes packed with jQuery based components. One can choose not to use Angular in favour of jQuery to build hybrid apps. Onsen UI features a large collection of ready to use components that allow you to build mobile & desktop versions of your apps.
  1. Mobile Angular UI: This open source framework combines AngularJS & Twitter’s Bootstrap into a mobile UI framework. Mobile Angular UI provides some mobile components that are missing in Bootstrap 3 like switches, overlays, scrollable areas, absolute positioned top and bottom navbars that don’t bounce on the scroll. It depends on the robust libraries like fastclick.js and overthrow.js to achieve the better mobile experience. There are no jQuery dependencies, no fat bootstrap js. It retains most of the Bootstrap 3 syntax.
  1. Intel XDK: It is the new framework which includes the complete range of tools that support development, emulation, testing, debugging and publishing. Intel XDK packs basic ready to use app templates built using ‘App ’Due to the clean development workflow and rich feature set, Intel XDK is getting popularity amongst freelance web developers for building cross-platform hybrid mobile apps. You can install it on Windows, OSX, and Linux and it allows you to build apps for any platform.
  1. Sencha Touch: It is an enterprise grade framework for building cross-platform end to end mobile apps with HTML5 and JavaScript. Sencha has a wide range of products that work with Sencha Touch.ExtJS is one of the most popular JavaScript frameworks is at the core of Sencha Touch platform. It helps to create high-performance apps with near native experience. Sencha Touch contains ready to use widgets with native look for all leading platforms including iOS, Android, and Windows. Sencha Touch has a drag and drops HTML5 visual application builder with hundreds of ready to use templates. Custom components can also be built and added to the library for reuse across apps.
  1. PhoneGap: It is mainly a framework for packaging and releasing an App. PhoneGap is based on the open source Cordova and is the commercial version owned by Adobe. You can use any choice of JavaScript or UI frameworks to get started with PhoneGap. Once you complete coding, PhoneGap fetches the code and wraps it based on the intended platform for publishing. The Apps built using PhoneGap use a web view to render their content. It has a minimal set of web APIs to access phone hardware
  1. Kendo UI: This jQuery based HTML5 and JavaScript framework are available in both Open Source and Commercial versions. The Kendo UI offers a wide selection of UI widgets and plugins. Best known for its prebuilt themes with Material Design styling, as well as a theme builder for custom themes. More features include Angular and Bootstrap UI integration, as well as performance optimizations.
  1. Framework 7: It is one of the leading hybrid app frameworks for iOS app development. It is the finest and most feature rich framework for iOS hybrid apps development. The main advantage of Framework 7 is that it empowers developers and freelance gigs to build iOS apps with CSS, HTML, and JavaScript.
  1. jQuery suite: The die-hard jQuey fans community has built this minimalist jQuery Mobile package on top of solid jQueyr and jQuery UI foundation. The focus of jQuery mobile is to build web apps and mobile apps that run seamlessly and with unique user experience across mobiles and desktops. There is not much emphasis on providing native look and feel to Apps for individual platforms like iOS or Android.
  1. Angular UI: With Mobile Angular UI, you get best of both Bootstrap 3 and Angular framework to build HTML5 mobile apps. Angular UI is more like an extension to Bootstrap 3. It utilizes fastclick.js and overthrow.js for smooth and better mobile experience. Mobile Angular UI provides directives for building UI components like overlays, switches, sidebars, and absolute positioned navbars. These essentially are the components that you find missing in Bootstrap 3 for building mobile apps.

There are more Hybrid frameworks in use but we have tried to list the 10 most popular amongst developers and freelancers.

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