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Understanding HTML5 Hybrid Apps

Introduction

Introduction

HTML5 hybrid apps are platform-native apps that use web content for the user interface. Developing your app as a hybrid app allows you to provide capabilities that are not possible in a web app, due to the security boundary between the browser and the device APIs. When the hybrid app is compiled around the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript resources, you can connect the web technologies with the platform capabilities. Hybrid apps use the Amazon WebView component library to present the HTML and JavaScript files in a full-screen format.

A web view describes a class for embedding web content in a native app on the device. Most mobile platforms, such as iOS, Microsoft Windows 8, and Android, provide a WebView component that allows you to create hybrid apps. When embedded in a native app, the web view allows you to open an HTML5-based view, which can load either local or remote content.

Considerations for Using Amazon WebView

Amazon WebView (AWV) is a component library that you can embed in your app to create a hybrid mobile app. AWV is only supported 3rd and 4th generation Fire tablets. Based on the Chromium open source project, AWV is a drop-in replacement for the standard Android WebView class and is backed by a modern web-rendering engine. This allows you to update existing apps or create new ones that use the latest web standards, as well as advanced technologies such as the V8 JavaScript engine. The web engine for AWV enables apps to display web content using newer features than the stock Android WebView class, and more reliably and consistently than older versions of Android which do not support many of the most recent web standards.

AWV uses a custom build of Chromium that has been hardware-optimized and GPU-accelerated specifically for Fire tablets. Using AWV when targeting Fire tablets provides the following benefits:

  • Faster, more efficient rendering, script performance, and memory management
  • Support for latest web standards (HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript)
  • Hardware acceleration and GPU optimizations for CSS, Canvas, and WebGL graphics
  • Page rendering, layout, and painting improvements
  • Support for Web Developer Tools for on-device debugging and profiling