ReachLocal, a company that provides local online marketing for small and medium businesses, has launched LigerMobile, an open-source framework that allows for the hybridization of mobile apps. While most app developers create either native applications or HTML5 cross-platform applications, ReachLocal's framework draws on the benefits of both, while eliminating many of the drawbacks.
Though ReachLocal is not primarily an app developer, the company had to determine which type of development platform to use for its mobile applications. "Mobile is a big part of what we're doing. We've got two solutions that offer mobile apps and we had a decision to make. Do we go with a native app, or take a cross-platform app?" Chief Product Officer Kris Barton says.
"LigerMobile is a novel approach to building hybrid mobile apps, and it lowers the barriers of entry for Web developers to produce and release high-quality products, regardless of operating system," Michael Lee, head of engineering at ReachLocal, said in a statement."While it significantly increases the feel of HTML5/JS code in the mobile application landscape, LigerMobile also allows developers to include native screens in applications."
The decision by ReachLocal to make the framework open-source was a simple one, Barton says. "Our goal wasn't to be the best app developers out there. We just wanted to create a solution for a very common problem, so we're excited to share it with others," he says. The opportunity to share is coming quicker than Barton expected—the technology was picked up by SXSW and will be featured at the conference next month.