Over the years, Internet surfing has increased. At present times, 92.3% of users approach the internet through smartphones. You might think about what they utilize their time in? Apps, apps, and more apps. On average smartphone users open 10 apps per day and 30 days monthly.
Such stats might make anyone see the increasing popularity of mobile apps among users. Essentially, if you look around and see everyone has their eyes glued to one or another app.
The traditional ways of ventures to schedule a call or meeting with clients became boring and outdated. Businesses understood to engage with more customers, they need to have an app dedicated to their business by opting for mobile application development services from leading mobile app development agencies.
But now, the main problem was to target a variety of audiences, they need apps that run on all platforms effortlessly, Despite the platform whether iOS or Android. In such a desperate time, cross-platform app development was introduced to address the issue of creating apps on multiple platforms.
With the growth in cross-platform popularity, many cross-platform app development tools also started to drift into the market, taking the market by storm. These tools made the work of developers easy and improved their productivity. But, now we have so many cross-platform app development tools claiming their greatness in the field.
To clear the air and help you pick the best and perfect cross-platform tool for your project, here is the list of top cross-platform app frameworks that will help you to create an app that target more users and run efficiently on all platforms.
But, before going further, let’s understand the basics through this mobile app development guide for cross-platform in which we covered the best frameworks, their features, and tips to choose the right framework.
What is Cross-platform App Development Framework?
Cross-platform app development frameworks are software that can run on multiple platforms such as iOS, Android, and Windows. In previous times, developers had to write separate code for different platforms whether iOS, Android or windows which was time-consuming and costly.
This also resulted in longer development cycles and maintenance complexities. The cross-platform app development framework helped to eradicate the issue of separate coding to build an application for each platform. Cross-platform frameworks allow the developers to build an app using one source code that runs in multiple platforms.
Over time, it has become one of the popular ways of developing a robust application for businesses, and with innovative methods and frameworks, it has become a lot easier to develop cross-platform applications.
Difference Between Native and Cross-Platform App Development
There are different approaches to mobile app development among which native vs cross-platform app development have always been the topic of heated discussion in the tech community. Both native and cross-platform app development technology has their advantages and disadvantages.
Native app development means developing apps that operate on precise devices or platforms such as Android and iOS. For example, Swift is used for building native apps for iOS, Mac, and other Apple products.
Real Also: Native App Development Guide
Cross-platform app development refers to developing one source code for applications that are compatible with different operating systems or devices such as Java and Kotlin are some examples of famous cross-platform development languages.
When it comes to picking the best among them, it’s hard to suggest. After all, every business has its requirements. Even professionals are also divided, some experts suggest “native app development” for improved performance and better user experience. Whereas, others believe cross-platform to be a better choice due to low code development and faster changes.
But the reason behind the peculiarity of cross-platform app development is that it reduces the time required to build an app than native app development. Another big benefit is also that it helps mobile app developers to reuse up to 80% of the code to develop apps.
In case as a business, if you are also looking to hire mobile app developers then you need to have exquisite knowledge of both native vs cross-platform app development to know what to expect and what will be delivered. We believe the below table will help you with that-
|Basis||Native App Development||Cross-platform App Development|
|Tools/Technologies||Uses Specific languages such as Swift or Objective C (IOS), Java, and Kotlin (Android)||Uses cross-platform frameworks such as Xamarin and Flutter.|
|UI/UX||Platform Specific UI that can be customized.||Limited customization and common UI for all apps|
|Code-Reusability||Low-code reusability as every platform needs different code.||High-code reusability as one single codebase can be used for various platforms.|
|Performance||Apps are developed for particular platform resulting in higher performance.||Performance is low compared to native apps but can be fixed with workarounds.|
|Development time||Increased development time needs distinct development for different platforms.||Permits for faster development due to a single codebase.|
|Maintenance||Requires separate maintenance for each platform.||Simplified maintenance as updates can be deployed on each platform by changing the single codebase.|
|Cost||Costly due to separate development process.||Cost-efficient|
Benefits of Cross-Platform App Development
When it comes to targeting an extensive audience “cross-platform app development” can be said to be the best choice. The apps developed by experienced cross-platform app developers can work faultlessly on all platforms instead of just one platform. The benefits are not limited to this, there are also other advantages that you can enjoy if you get your app developed using cross-platform app development frameworks.
- Broader Market Reach
- Single codebase
- Faster prototype
- Reduce Development time
- Uniformity between platforms
1. Broader Market Reach
Multiple users use different devices. By building your business app using top app development tools for cross-platform, you can develop a single app that can be deployed on different platforms including that iOS, Android, and Windows which means you can target an extensive range of devices from smartphones to tablets to Windows that will surely upsurge your potential user-base and revenue for your business.
2. Single Codebase
Having one source code is another benefit of cross-platform where you write code once and reuse it to develop top apps that can run on different operating systems. This helps to eradicate the need to develop separate code for different platforms savings costs, time, and resources in development resulting in faster updates and feature enhancement.
3. Faster Prototype
A prototype is a simple way to make sure what you expected for your digital solution, it is working in the same direction. It wouldn’t be wrong to say with the help of cross-platform app development, it will allow for faster validation of the idea, improving the development process and quickening prototype testing and improvement phase.
For any business getting an app that works on a different operating system on a budget is just like hitting jackpot. For that, you can rely on cross-platform app development. The cost to develop applications on multiple platforms can be higher as more teams have to manage maintenance and updates. But, with cross-platform app development, one team can take care of your application and make amends whenever needed saving you time, money, and effort.
5. Reduce Development Time
Let’s say it’s the most basic and important feature of cross-platform app development is to “reduce development time”. The reason behind this is that developers don’t have to invest themselves in different languages to create an app for different platforms. So, by utilizing a single source code the process can be pushed further for development, deployment, and maintenance.
6. Uniformity Between Platforms
Cross-platform development helps developers to maintain consistency between platforms by permitting them to create uniform UX and similar functionality across different platforms. This helps to make sure the overall look, feel and functionality of the application remains steady and uniform, regardless of the platform.
List of Top Cross-platform App Development Frameworks
Over time, cross-platform app development frameworks became popular due to their ability to create seamless applications that run on multiple platforms. However, with so many cross-platform app development frameworks, it can be quite challenging to pick the right one. So, it is necessary to understand them in detail to make better decisions. In this regard, we have compiled a list of the best cross-platform development framework to assist you in picking the right one according to your needs:
- React Native
- Appcelerator Titanium
- Codename One
- Corona SDK
Xamarin was launched back in 2011 and was acquired by Microsoft in 2016. Xamarin got popularity and become one of the top-cross platform frameworks due to feature-rich tools and libraries that help developers to design uniform user-interface despite any platform. In order to build any cross-platform mobile app with the help of Xamarin, you need to have good knowledge of .NET and #C.
Features of Xamarin –
- Xamarin’s best feature is developers can use more than 75% of the code to build an application for different platforms making the development process faster.
- Xamarin has a direct connection with native APIs to give the user a native-like feel.
- Due to addition with C++ and Java libraries, Xamarin can reuse third-party code bases.
- Time-saving and easy to operate to build cross-platform apps.
- Xamarin has a large community base of around 60,000 contributors gathered along with 3,700 companies.
Applications built with Xamarin –
- Microsoft News
- Alaska Airlines
- Microsoft Azure
- BBC Goodfood
2. React Native
Features of React Native –
- It can be used to develop lightweight and simple cross-platform mobile applications.
- React Native uses write once and run everywhere reducing the work to code separately.
- React Native uses a single codebase reducing the time and cost of app development.
- React Native has a large community constantly working to fix bugs and recover the features.
- React Native put a lot of emphasis on the UI making the work to customize and responsive UI easier than ever.
Applications built with React Native –
- Uber Eats
Back in 2017, When Google introduced Flutter, it immediately became a hot topic in the tech community. It is a cross-platform framework to make high-performance and powerful apps built using C++ and Dart.
Read Also: Why Choose Flutter for App Development
The fact that you can develop apps for Android, Windows, and Linux without writing different codes makes it a quite popular framework in the industry. Below we have shared some features that make Flutter best for Android and iOS app development.
Features of Flutter –
- It has a Hot reload feature that helps developers to view changes made immediately.
- Flutter indicative nature and UI profusion make user interface applications simple.
- The flexibility, and scalability of Flutter make it an ideal choice to build MVP for mobile apps.
- Flutter is constantly being updated to eliminate any bugs or issues by Google app developers.
Applications built with Flutter –
- eBay Motors
- New York Times
- Birch Finance
Features of Ionic –
- The flexibility of Ionic makes it easy to tailor the look and feel of any app with just HTML and CSS adjustments.
- Easy to solve bugs and make changes as it works on one codebase.
- Offers a library of UI components, plugins, common app icons, and more.
- Ionic is also the right pick for quick prototyping and offers the prototyping tool “Ionic Creator” which is constantly maintained by Ionic Team.
Applications built with Ionic –
Features of Cordova –
- The setup to develop and deploy apps in Cordova is so easy and friendly making it easier to craft apps for different platforms.
- Cordova offers plugins that assist developers in encompassing amazing features to any app.
- Cordova is an open-source cross-platform network that recommends that the community timely contribute to its development and improvement.
Applications built with Cordova –
Features of NativeScript –
- NativeScript allows developers to create amazing and accessible UI.
- Allows sharing a noteworthy portion of code among different platforms that help to minimize development time and cost.
- NativeScript has a robust plugin ecosystem, allowing access to many pre-built plugins that can be used to extend the functionality of an application.
Applications Built with NativeScript –
- BitPoints Wallet
- Daily Nanny
Node.js is a cross-platform and open-source framework that is built on the Google V8 engine, the same engine that powers Google Chrome. This framework comes with a built-in package called Node Package Manager that helps in acquiring pre-built modules and libraries that can be easily taken use of in your applications.
Read Also: Why Choose Node.js?
Node.js is extensively used in developing real-time applications and is used by top mobile app development company in USA for the back-end of the app. It’s a great choice to build an application to work on different platforms due to its features like speed, scalability, and ease to handle real-time data.
Features of Node.js –
- Node.js functions on single-threaded, this loop model permits to handle of different client requests.
- Node.js has a huge ecosystem of modules and libraries accessible through the Node Package Manager helps to build complex apps.
- Node.js does not buffer data, due to the call-back function concept the application output the data in blocks that help in the real-time data processing.
- Node.js helps in caching modules permitting applications to load web pages quicker and respond effortlessly to the user. By opting for Node.js development services, you can also leverage the feature.
Applications built with Node.js –
8. Appcelerator Titanium
Features of Appcelerator Titanium –
- Appcelerator includes an Eclipse-based IDE studio that helps in code completion, version control, and many more.
- It provides 20 pre-built cloud services that help in saving time by developing backend services.
- Appcelerator provides an MVC framework that helps developers to develop cross-platform applications more efficiently.
- Appcelerator has a marketplace for developers can search and download plugins and other resources that can assist them in the development process.
9. Codename One
Codename One is an open-source cross-platform development framework that enables developers to work on WORA functionality. With an extensive API library, networking, storage, and built-in security, can be utilized to build robust solutions.
Additionally, Codename One offers a cloud-build service, allowing developers to develop and test their apps on the cloud. Overall, Codename One is effective and efficient for developers looking to create high-quality cross-platform mobile apps rapidly using Java.
Features of Codename One –
- Developers can integrate different technologies into a single packet.
- Supports Java and Kotlin and 100% reuse of code.
- Codename is widget-rich that can help you create beautiful UI.
- Offer many tools and debugging tools.
Applications built with Codename One –
- Chat App
- KITCHEN SINK
- PHEONIX UI
10. Corona SDK
Corona SDK is another popular cross-platform framework to assist in iOS or Android app development and many more using a single codebase. With the help of Lua which is the scripting language of the framework, Corona SDK assists developers in building 2D games and apps that help to enhance the user experience by developing astonishing games and apps within a short time. To throw light on the advantages of using Corona SDK, we have given below some features-
Features of Corona SDK –
- One of the best features is it has no hidden charges making it suitable for a developer to enjoy the functionalities without paying extra.
- The platform provides an extensive library that lets you enjoy features like in-app advertising, media, and more.
- Utilizing features like live updates, debugging, and tech stack for app development using Corona SDKs can help you stand out in the market.
- Prompt the development by ten times.
Application Built with Corona SDK –
- FUN RUN 2
- The lost city
- Zip Zap
Tips to Choose the Best Cross-Platform App Development Framework
Choosing the right cross-platform app development framework is necessary as it will deeply affect your app’s success. Every framework has various advantages which we have shared above. Now it is time to understand all these cross-platform app development frameworks and how to choose the best. We are helping you with some tips to assist you in choosing the best cross-platform app development framework for your project, empowering you to create a successful and appealing mobile application.
- Market Research
- Functions of the platform
- Cost to develop
- Tailoring User-Interface
- Enhancing Efficiency
- Post-launch updates
1. Market Research
This is an important consideration, by doing market research you can gain a better understanding of those frameworks that are popular in the industry and are widely used. This will help to choose the framework that is suitable for your project.
As well, Market research will help to know the drawbacks of frameworks, capability, and sustainability of any framework. By looking at the adoption trends of cross-platform app development frameworks, you can get an idea of those frameworks that will remain popular and well-supported in the future.
2. Functions of the Platform
Here comes another important tip “functions of the platform” to keep in mind while choosing a cross-app development framework. Make sure to check the level of support the framework is providing works well or not with your requirement.
Numerous platforms in the market have their unique features and design guidelines that require a special tool to support the make sure to choose such framework that assists the platform feature you plan to use in your app.
When it’s come to security no one wants to compromise. After all, in the past few years, the cases of cyber-attack have increased. Security is a necessary factor to consider when picking a cross-platform app development framework. Weak security can expose your data for breaches, hacking, and unauthorized access resulting in diminishing your app’s reputation. Make sure your chosen framework has security features like data encryption, and secure authentication mechanisms and is compliant with security standards such as HIPAA, GDRR, and PCI-DSS.
4. Cost to Develop
Development cost is such an important question, before planning for app development you must have thought “How to create an app on budget”. Well, this is why it is one of the top factors to consider before choosing any framework.
The cost of development refers to the expenditure for developing, deploying, and then the maintenance of your app using the framework. Some cross-platform development framework has some fees associated with them using their advanced features.
Whereas, others are open-source and free to use but may require more time and effort for the development process. Therefore, while choosing any cross-platform app development framework consider the resource provided, development costs, and other expenses as well as your developer’s skillset also matters before picking one.
5. Tailoring User-Interface
UI is a crucial factor to consider before choosing any cross-platform framework for your needs. Numerous frameworks provide diverse degrees of flexibility and control when it comes to designing your interface and customizing it. Some frameworks may allow a high degree of customization and some might provide you limited options that may be sufficient for some projects but may not be ideal for you.
So, if UI customization is your priority then you should look for such frameworks that help in flexible customization and if it’s not your priority then you can focus on other viable features such as speed, compatibility, and ease of use.
6. Enhancing Efficiency
While choosing a framework another point to examine is its efficiency. It refers to the ability of any framework to streamline the development process and improve the development team’s productivity.
Additionally, a framework that provides effective and efficient development workflows, better interface, built-in features, and many more can improve efficiency and help developers to create the best quality apps reducing development cost and time.
7. Post-Launch Updates
The work doesn’t end with mobile app testing and deployment of the app but it goes beyond that. Considering the ability of post-deployment, fixing bugs, and new feature releases you need to choose a cross-platform development framework that makes your app up-to-date, improves user experience, and makes sure to increase customer satisfaction.
Among the growing competition, to stay in the market for the long run. You have to make your business more visible in front of the users. For that, cross-platform app development seems to be the perfect approach that will ensure your app is visible for both the Apple app store and Google Play store.
But, the work to do so requires a lot of patience and tools to speed up the development and deployment which is the main focus. These tools will surely take the burden off your list. We have done thorough research to bring the best cross-platform app frameworks to assist you and now it’s your turn to pick according to your requirement.
In case, if you are looking for a trusted partner for your project then SemiDot infotech is for you. The experience and expertise of their developers on these tools make them the best mobile app development company in USA, Asia, and all other regions. To leverage our knowledge and make your app a landmark, you can contact us and kick-start your dream project.
Below are some FAQs that will help you to understand the topic more deeply
- What is a cross-platform framework?
A Cross-platform network which is also known as multi-platform software refers to a network that enables communication and data sharing among various operating devices such as Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. In simple terms, the software is used to create the presence of any app on different platforms using the same source code. Over time, many cross-platform app development frameworks were developed to help developers build high-quality apps.
- Which is the best cross-platform framework?
Well, there are so many best cross-platform frameworks that are feature-rich such as React Native, Flutter, Xamarin, NativeScript, PhoneGap, and many others. But, picking the best depends upon a few factors such as the need of the project and the experience of the developer.
- How do you make a cross-platform mobile app?
To build a mobile app cross-platform, you can use different frameworks such as ReactNative, Xamarin, and others to develop and deploy an app for iOS and Android. The frameworks help developers to write once and deploy on different platforms' functionality. The best way to build a cross-platform mobile app is with the help of popular frameworks that help save time and money as you need only work on one codebase despite any platform.
- Which famous apps are built cross-platform?
With the popularity of cross-platform app development frameworks, many apps are built on them which are still successfully running in the market. Facebook, Instagram, Airbnb, and Skype are built using React native framework, and Google Ad, KlasterMe, and Reflectly are built on Flutter.
- What are the benefits of using cross-platform frameworks for mobile development?
There are so many advantages that we can’t cover them in this brief answer. Some key benefits are it speeds up the development process, helps in easy product maintenance, many tools available for development, Unified look, Lower Development Costs, and more.
- Does All Cross-Platform Frameworks Free?
There are several cost-platform frameworks available in the market. Some are open-source and free such as Flutter, ASP.NET Core, ReactNative, and more. Some cross-platform frameworks are paid such as Xamarin and Telerik platforms to use their advanced features and tools to enhance your app functionality.
- Which factors to check before hiring a cross-platform app development company?
Before hiring a cross-platform app development company, it is necessary to check their experience, portfolio, and expertise with the required framework, customer reviews, and pricing models. Also, make sure the company offers transparency in work, follows industry standards, and provides post-development support.