Building Hybrid Apps with Rails - a Case Study

May 03, 2016

How do you launch both an Android and iOS app in a matter of weeks and still gain some of the benefits of going native?

I was tasked with building and launching two mobile versions for our iOS project - dash ( Initially we started out building a native ios app, but when soon discovered most of our initial users were on android. Instead of rebuilding out a complete native version for android, we decided to adopt a hybrid approach and take advantage of Turbolinks 5 native wrappers.

Some Takeaways

• The benefits of going native, but why it might be best to reconsider  a hybrid approach.

• Learn how to integrate turbolinks native wrappers with Android and some pitfalls to avoid when building your native controls.

• And finally, some things to watch out for when integrating turbolinks 5 into your rails app.


If your rails developer thinking of dipping your toe into mobile development but aren't sure where to start, this talk will be geared to you. 


Hi, I'm Thomas McGoey-Smith (@tamcgoey) a 4th year student at the University of Calgary. Over the last year I took part in an iOS class in hopes to gain a feel for what it was like to build iOS apps.

In March we changed directions and started working on a brand new project called dash - a simply way for students to run errands for each other.

We originally built a full native app but soon switched directions when our first set of users were Android only. Instead of building out a completely new app we decided to take another look at building a hybrid solution so we could easily ship both an Android and iOS version right away.

I'll be sharing the lessons learned along the way in hopes that you might reconsider a hybrid approach for your mobile development.