Hybrid Mobile Applications: Best Development Tools - image

Hybrid Mobile Applications: Best Development Tools

The transition from traditional desktop to mobile applications did not occur abruptly; rather, it took place gradually. Mobile apps offer a quicker means of reaching a broader and more diverse audience. In the realm of mobile app development, several factors contribute to their success. Elements such as frameworks, platforms, and ASO play a pivotal role in ensuring the triumph of mobile apps.

Speaking of frameworks, the discussion often revolves around comparing native and hybrid apps. In this context, let’s delve into the concept of a hybrid app framework.

App Frameworks: Here’s the Difference

Native Apps

Native apps are specifically designed and developed for a particular platform, such as iOS or Android. They are created using programming languages like Java or Kotlin for Android and Objective-C or Swift for iOS. Android apps can be compiled using Android Studio, while iOS apps are compiled using Xcode. Native apps offer high performance but tend to be more expensive. It’s important to note that an app built for one platform cannot be used on the other. For instance, an app developed in Kotlin cannot run on iOS devices, and vice versa.

Web Apps

Developing web applications primarily intended for mobile and web browsers allows compatibility with various ones like Chrome or Safari. These applications are typically coded using JavaScript and HTML5.

Creating an application offers the advantage of customization, allowing you to design it according to your preferences, and gaining popularity among millions of users worldwide who frequently utilize top-notch applications. However, there are drawbacks associated with this kind of app development. It can be more costly initially and in the long run compared to website creation. Additionally, distributing apps through app stores can pose challenges. As a result, they are often exclusively accessed via the corresponding website.

Hybrid Apps

A hybrid application refers to a mobile app that incorporates a web view, which functions as an isolated browser instance. This web view operates within a native app and utilizes a native app wrapper to establish communication between the web view and the device’s platform. Consequently, web applications can be executed on mobile devices while harnessing the device’s functionalities, such as the camera or GPS.

The feasibility of hybrid apps stems from the availability of specific tools designed to facilitate seamless interaction between the web view and the native platform. Since official tools for the iOS or Android platforms are limited, digital specialists who aim for multi-platform app development often resort to integrating third-party solutions like Apache Cordova. Through this approach, the hybrid app undergoes a compilation process that effectively transforms the web application into a native app.

Hybrid App Development Trends: Best Frameworks

In hybrid mobile app development, three powerful cross-platform tools have emerged, igniting a fresh wave of competition. Flutter, React Native, and Kotlin offer seamless solutions for creating mobile applications. Let’s delve into their distinct advantages, allowing us to determine which tool is set to propel us forward in the nearest future.


Introduced in 2017, Flutter emerged as a freely available user interface (UI) software development kit created by Google, utilizing the Dart language to address challenges encountered with JavaScript. By presenting an extensive toolkit, Flutter API, pre-existing code, comprehensive documentation, libraries, and widgets, Flutter empowers developers to construct visually appealing and efficient cross-platform applications that resemble native experiences, all while utilizing a single codebase.

Multiplatform Development Wizard

As a cross-platform tool, it enables you to build apps for different platforms operating systems like iOS, Android, Web, PC, Mac, Linux, and others from one codebase, and this brings huge savings over the lifetime of a project. If earlier it was necessary for a startuper to hire different specialists for the development of several kinds of applications, now everything can be done by one person, which is an incredible saving of resources, time, and nerves.

If you want to use some platform-specific features, Flutter has you covered as well: thanks to easy-to-use platform channels that allow for direct communication with the native platform, you don’t have to worry about being locked out from using native features.

Unified UI & Business Logic Across Platforms

Most cross-platform frameworks allow for code sharing across different platforms. However, Flutter stands out by offering the ability to share not only code but also the entire UI itself. This is a significant advantage of Flutter compared to other frameworks. To better understand this, let’s explore how UI rendering is typically handled in most cross-platform frameworks.

In many frameworks, achieving a native look and feel on each platform involves complex processes. They often rely on platform-specific components for rendering, which necessitates a mapping layer to connect properties between the platform and the framework's widgets. This can complicate development, especially when incorporating animations that require platform-specific widget calls.

In contrast, Flutter takes a different approach. It doesn’t rely on platform-specific UI components for rendering; instead, it only needs a canvas to draw on. This simplifies the development process and eliminates the need for additional mapping layers. Here’s a glimpse of how Flutter accomplishes this: by adopting this approach, Flutter streamlines the rendering process and ensures consistent UI across different platforms. Furthermore, Flutter’s ability to share both the UI and business logic saves developers valuable time and effort, all while maintaining excellent performance in the final product.

Diverse Range of Feature-rich Widgets

Widgets serve as the fundamental building blocks of Flutter apps. They enable you to effortlessly create functional and visually appealing components, including buttons, text elements, and user input fields.

Flutter’s widgets are meticulously crafted to align with the Material Design guidelines of Android and the Cupertino style of Apple. By leveraging these widgets, you can easily customize the user interface, a task that is typically time-consuming in cross-platform development, with minimal effort.

The Simplicity of Learning & Usability

The Flutter/Dart combination is designed to be user-friendly and quick to learn. The Flutter framework ensures a straightforward installation process that can be completed in under 30 minutes, enabling the creation of fully functional apps with significantly less code, reminiscent of Kotlin’s efficiency.

React Native

Introduced in 2015 by Meta (formerly known as Facebook), React Native is a JavaScript-based open-source framework for cross-platform mobile development. It is a cost-effective and reliable solution widely adopted by large enterprises. This framework equips developers with essential foundations for building cross-platform applications, including widgets, documentation, libraries, and various tools. It ensures a native-like experience and excellent performance.

Hot Reload

React Native’s notable feature, known as Hot Reload, allows developers to witness immediate changes in the application’s interface as soon as the code is modified. This automatic refresh capability enhances the development process.

Extensive Plugin Support

Unlike many other frameworks (including Flutter), React Native supports the utilization of third-party plugins, providing developers with enhanced flexibility, functionality, and customization options. The availability of plugins is considered a superior feature by React Native developers.

Modular Programming

React Native facilitates a modular programming approach, enabling developers to separate different functionalities into modules or blocks. Each block contains the necessary data to execute a specific application function. Additionally, the framework promotes declarative coding, contributing to a flexible and optimized coding flow.

High Performance

React Native boasts its high performance. The framework aids in identifying errors during development, provides pre-built components, reduces debugging time, and enables approximately 90% code reusability. It reduces development time greatly.

Kotlin Multiplatform

Created by JetBrains, Kotlin is an open-source, statically typed language that can be used for various purposes and seamlessly integrates with Java. Widely adopted in Android app development, Kotlin is favored by around 60% of professional Android developers. In fact, over 80% of the top 1,000 Android apps incorporate Kotlin code, including more than 60 Google apps. Its multi-platform capabilities enable programmers to share code, logic, and data across multiple platforms, including iOS and the Web.

Modular Integration

One of the key benefits of Kotlin Multiplatform is its modular integration. This means that teams with existing applications can easily incorporate a module or migrate a small portion to assess its feasibility without making a substantial commitment. This flexibility addresses the common hesitation when transitioning to a new codebase.

Unified Business Logic

Similar to other cross-platform development solutions, Kotlin Multiplatform allows for a single codebase that caters to multiple platforms. However, Kotlin goes a step further by enabling the sharing of logic and libraries beneath the UI layer. This empowers developers to directly interact with the native environment of iOS and Android, enhancing code reusability and maintainability.

Engaged & Supportive Community

The Kotlin community consists of a vast and highly skilled group of developers who are fully dedicated to continually enhancing the language. They actively contribute to the improvement of the Kotlin ecosystem. Engaging with the community offers valuable opportunities to stay informed and connected. You can explore podcasts, participate in discussions on forums, and follow experienced Kotlin developers on Twitter to receive timely updates. The seasoned Kotlin community members are always eager to share their knowledge and provide assistance on any software development challenges that may arise.

Enhanced Performance

By utilizing native components, Kotlin-developed apps exhibit performance comparable to natively developed applications. This advantage is particularly appealing to developers aiming to create robust solutions beyond MVPs.

Hybrid App Performance Optimization

Performance optimization poses a significant challenge in the realm of some hybrid app development platforms, as numerous factors come into play. These factors encompass codebase size, code quality, a large amount of data, plugin utilization, and network conditions. To overcome challenges, several recommended strategies for enhancing performance are available depending on the framework you’ve chosen. These strategies may present maximizing the utilization of native components whenever feasible, minimizing reliance on third-party libraries, eliminating unnecessary rendering, implementing efficient data caching mechanisms, conducting regular testing and debugging procedures, etc.

Choosing the Right Hybrid App Development Tool

When choosing the optimal mobile app development framework for 2023, the decision becomes quite challenging, but we as a company recommend you choose Flutter. As a relatively new player in the field, it boasts impressive power and compatibility. Its adoption of the Dart programming language is a noteworthy aspect, presenting a significant opportunity for developers to expand their skill set. Notably, Flutter offers the advantage of a unified code base, enabling seamless development for both iOS and Android platforms. Some say that Flutter may emerge as the future standard among all frameworks, and we can agree with this statement.

Now armed with valuable insights into the best and most sought-after cross-platform app frameworks for 2023, it’s time to unleash your creative potential and embark on your development journey.


What are hybrid mobile applications?

Hybrid mobile applications are mobile apps built using web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. They are designed to work across multiple platforms, such as iOS and Android, using a single codebase. Hybrid apps are typically wrapped in a native container that provides access to deviсe features and enables them to be distributed through app stores.

What are the advantages of hybrid app development?

Hybrid app development solutions allow to build a single codebase that can run on multiple platforms, such as iOS and Android, saving time and resources. It provides easier maintenance and updates as changes can be made to the codebase once and deployed across different platforms. Hybrid apps can leverage device features and APIs, providing access to native functionality.

How does hybrid app development differ from native app development?

Hybrid app development platforms encompass the creation of apps that utilize web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, enabling them to operate on multiple platforms, such as iOS and Android. While hybrid apps offer cross-platform compatibility, they may not match the performance and access to platform-specific features provided by native apps. The selection between these approaches hinges on considerations such as the target audience, development time, and performance requirements.

Which hybrid app development framework is the best choice?

Some popular and widely used hybrid app development solutions include React Native and Flutter. React Native is known for its robustness and performance, while Flutter offers a rich set of UI components and fast development capabilities and allows the creation of multi-platform applications from a single codebase. It is important to evaluate each framework’s features to make the best choice.


Alex Koshykov
Alex Koshykov (COO) with more than 10 years of experience in product and project management, passionate about startups and building an ecosystem for them to succeed.
Evgeniy Berkovich
Evgeniy Berkovich (CEO ) CEO of BeKey with more than 15 years of experience in software development — in particular, in the digital healthcare industry. Helps startups to bring their product to the market.
Mariia Maliuta
Mariia Maliuta (Copywriter) "Woman of the Word" in BeKey; technical translator/interpreter & writer

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