There has been a lot of industry buzz going around about the advantages and disadvantages of the Hybrid Mobile App approach in relation to Mobile development. In this post, I define what a
Hybrid Mobile App is, the pros and cons and the measurement challenges attached.
What is a Hybrid Mobile App?
The native container wraps specific sections called
web views which is what classifies the App a
Hybrid Mobile App Benefits
In my opinion, the benefits of the Hybrid approach drastically overshadow the drawbacks.
- Faster time to market
- HTML5 developers are typically easier to find and less expensive than native developers
- A reduction in native coding usually results in more reusable code across platforms as the HTML5/JS/CSS code base can be utilized across platforms
- Maintenance costs are usually lower
- App approval submissions for updates can be dramatically minimized
The web-to-native abstraction layer enables access to device capabilities that are not accessible within mobile web applications, such as the accelerometer, camera and local storage.
Hybrid Mobile App Drawbacks
Facebook recently announced that they were going to move back from their Mobile Hybrid App to a full native App. Naturally this has stirred up speculation on whether the Hybrid approach really is the best way to go and if HTML5 is ready. The feedback from the developer community was that Facebook wouldn’t have had to make this decision if they would have executed it properly and that many of the performance issues they were experiencing could have been avoided.
The top drawbacks to the Hybrid approach are:
- Potential performance issues
- HTML5 doesn’t work for everything
- Apple tends to enforce tighter regulations on Hybrid Apps
- Native frameworks can provide advanced functionality that cannot always be easily replicated on the HTML5/CSS/JS side
Hybrid Measurement Challenges
Many measurement point solutions often focus on just Mobile Apps and not Mobile web. So both sets of data cannot always be collected and/or combined.
When you collect both data types, the IDs are usually not synced up so the end result is either missing data or is unable to tie the data together, when you are able to collect both. In turn, when you cannot tie that data together, you are not getting a true picture of what is happening within your Hybrid Apps or with the traffic that is flowing between your mobile experiences.
Webtrends Hybrid Measurement Solution
Webtrends saw this measurement challenge and came up with an industry first solution which is a Hybrid SDK that effectively combines those two data sets into one single set. The Webtrends Hybrid SDK is in development for iOS and production for Android and is being used by strategic partners.
- Privacy compliant default app specific Visitor ID
- Custom Visitor ID override method should you want to use another method such as your own ID or something like SecureUDID
- Automatic Visitor ID syncing for webview content and mobile web to mobile app (or vice versa) traffic
- Easy, developer friendly convenience methods to automatically populate advanced custom reporting (in-app purchases, searches, video, etc…)
- Built-in single line of code opt-out
Decoupled Data Collection/Analysis & Advanced Reporting
- Allows for unlimited combinations of data and customizable roll-up reporting
- True big data collection/analysis at scale
- Large collection of mobile specific spaces, dashboards and standard report sets
- Unlimited custom variables and unmatched custom reporting flexibility
- Integrated 3rd Party Data (iTunes Connect, Google Play, etc…)
To learn more about Webtrends Mobile capabilities and solutions please visit our Mobile specific website.