What's In This Chapter?
- Understanding the benefits and drawbacks of hybrid applications
- Understanding the architecture of hybrid applications
- Building hybrid applications for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone
Throughout the book you've learned how to build native applications, but because of existing infrastructure, technology choice, or other reasons, you might want to use a web-based approach. We've discussed uses for web-based browser applications, and you can combine the two approaches when needed. Hybrid mobile applications involve a combination of a web-based application and a native platform application. The popular PhoneGap application framework uses this approach but with native development done in the de-facto standard programming language for the platform it targets. Using .NET you can improve on some aspects of this approach and offer additional options.
The Reasoning Behind the Web Hybrid Approach
First briefly consider the merits and shortfalls of both the completely native approach and the completely web-based approach. Then see if you can extract the best parts of each to make your own decision as to whether you can use the architecture to your advantage.
Native applications are built using the software development stacks provided by the operating system implementer or device manufacturer. Figure 11.1 shows a simple architectural diagram of how a native application interacts with a mobile operating system.