hybrid application (hybrid app)

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: Guide to enterprise mobile app development and SOA

A hybrid application (hybrid app) is one that combines elements of both native and Web applications. Native applications are developed for a specific platform and installed on a computing device. Web applications are generalized for multiple platforms and not installed locally but made available over the Internet through a browser. Hybrid apps are often mentioned in the context of mobile computing.

Hybrid application features:

  • Can function whether or not the device is connected. 
  • Integration with a device’s file system.  
  • Integration  with Web-based services. 
  • An embedded browser to improve access to dynamic online content.

Most applications could be considered hybrid apps. Web apps, such as online banking services, typically store some content locally; locally stored native apps, such as Microsoft Word, also interface to the Internet.


See also: mobile browser, iPhone, smart phone, tablet PC

This was last updated in July 2011

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Hybrid apps are web based apps that work well on mobile browser. Native apps are written for a particular OS (Android, iOS, etc.).


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