Hybrid apps are a special form of a mobile app. They combine the advantages of native and web apps by accessing many hardware and software components of the mobile device while simultaneously serving different platforms. They can run on different mobile devices (Smartphone & Tablet) and PCs as well as on different operating systems.

Hybrid apps combine the advantages of native apps and web applications by using source code across platforms. The code is written in web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Hybrid apps run invisible to the user – within the native web browser of the platform, such as Safari or Google Chrome. The framework suppresses all browser controls, such as the menu bar with URL or bookmark bar.

There are different frameworks available for the development of hybrid apps. One of the largest development platforms is Cordova of the Apache Software Foundation and the Adobe PhoneGap based on it. Other companies such as Ansca Mobile, the Corona SDK and Drifty, offer Ionic solutions for the development of hybrid apps. There are different development environments, such as Microsoft Visual Studio, which support the development of hybrid apps.

The framework loads a library that creates the communication between JavaScript and the particular operating system-specific language. This allows hybrid apps to access various hardware and software components of the mobile device. Access is possible, among other things, to contacts, camera, motion sensor, GPS and files. Modern render engines increase the computational speed of interpretation of the HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript code. As a result, the execution speed can be increased by a multiple. Technology such as WebGL accelerates complex 3D graphics without additional hardware extensions.

A key advantage of the hybrid apps is that many platforms can be covered with a development and no more expensive parallel developments for the respective ecosystems have to take place. As a result, the development effort on the part of the software company is considerably reduced, as a result of which the user interface and functionality can be kept constant over several platforms. However, not all device and / or operating system-specific properties can be used and in the implementation of the hybrid app platform-specific interaction design and the look and feel of the respective platform can be considered only to a limited extent. In addition, slow-down loading times and a much lower computing power, for example in complex games, are possible since they operate with the intermediate layer of the web browser.