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Top 5 Cross-Platform Mobile App Development Frameworks in 2021

July 8, 2021

11:25 am

Mobile applications have transformed business. Most companies, including SMEs and startups, are using apps for both internal and external software needs. In such a highly competitive market, developers use new tools and frameworks for cross-platform mobile app development to reduce dev time and costs.

By using cross-platform app development, companies can widen the reach of an app while controlling the budget. As a result, most companies prefer cross-platform app development over native app development. 

Moreover, if you want a simple mobile application without complex functions and animation, cross-platform mobile app development works great.

To select the best cross-platform app framework for your requirement, you should consult an experienced developer. The right technology and framework will fuel the growth of your business.  

Before we talk about the most common cross-platform app development frameworks, let’s learn a little about the basics. 

What is a Cross-Platform Mobile App Development Framework?

A cross-platform mobile app development framework is a set of tools or software to develop native-like apps for multiple platforms such as iOS, Android, Windows, Blackberry, and Web with a single codebase.  Cross-platform app development allows you to reach a larger targeted audience at a lower cost and in less time.

As one of the most popular development methods today, most mobile app development companies use it extensively.

Programming languages used in some open-source, cross-platform app development frameworks include:

Top 5 Cross-Platform Mobile App Development Frameworks in 2021 ImageWhat Are the Benefits of Cross-Platform Mobile App Development Frameworks Over Native Development?

The benefits of cross-platform app frameworks include reduced costs and faster timeframes. Let’s discuss these advantages in more detail.

Reduced Cost

Cross-platform app development frameworks reduce your overall costs because this method requires fewer resources. That helps you balance quality, budget, and development time.

Reusability of Codes

Also called “Write Once Run Anywhere” (WORA), the reusability of code is one of the biggest advantages of cross-platform frameworks. Developers write the code once and then reuse it on multiple platforms—saving time, effort, and operational costs.

 Ease of Deployment and Maintenance

With a single codebase for multiple platforms, an app is easier and faster to deploy, maintain, and update, which results in savings of both time and effort.

Uniform Design

With cross-platform frameworks, you can easily share a unified UI/UX across different platforms while maintaining platform-specific standards. 

Market Reach Expansion

Because you can deploy your app on multiple platforms, you get wider exposure to the targeted audience. 

What are the Cross-Platform App Development Frameworks in 2021?

Ionic

Ionic is an open-source, cross-platform framework created in 2013 by Max Lynch, Ben Sperry, and Adam Bradley of Drifty Co. It allows changes in code structure. Apps developed on this framework are highly interactive and native-like. That makes Ionic perfect for developing progressive web applications (PWA). The latest version is 5.5.4, which was released on February 4, 2021.

Features

  1. It uses front-end technologies such as CSS, HTML, JavaScript, and Angular for app development.
  2. It’s used mostly for developing PWAs and native apps.
  3. It’s suitable for both web and mobile.
  4. It’s built on AngularJS and Apache Cordova.
  5. It can develop mobile apps with any web tech like Angular.JS, React.JS, Vue.JS, or HTML.
  6. It gives a native-like feel to apps, making them a favorite of many developers.
  7. It allows cross-platform apps to perform perfectly on various platforms.

 

Flutter

An open-source mobile app development platform, the Flutter web development framework was introduced by Google in 2017. The object-oriented language contributes to app development for platforms such as Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, and Google Fuchsia from a single codebase. Its latest version is 1.22.6, released on January 26, 2021.

Features

  1. It’s written in C, C++, and Dart.
  2. It’s under the new BSD license.
  3. The main components are the foundation library, Dart platform, Flutter engine, and design-specific widgets.
  4. It’s used to develop applications in Android, iOS, Google Fuchsia, Web platform, Linux, macOS, and Windows.
  5. It’s best suited for MVP.
  6. It has its own graphics engine.

 

React Native

React Native is a popular open-source, cross-platform app development framework for both Android and iOS. Officially released by Facebook in 2015, it’s supported by a large community and undergoing regular improvement. Its latest version is 0.63, and it’s considered by most developers to have the potential to combine the best features of JavaScript and React.JS. 

Features:

  1. React Native is based on React and doesn’t use WebView or HTML technologies.
  2. It has platform components in JSX and CSS–like polyfill. It has no DOM API.
  3. It is best suited for apps required for Android and iOS.
  4. It can work for a mobile app that requires a custom design.
  5. It offers a native-like experience with more stability.
  6. It is used to develop Android, iOS, macOS, tvOS, Android TV, Web, Windows, and UWP.
  7. It uses JavaScript, Objective-C,  Java, C++, and Python programming languages.
  8. It supports Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS, tvOS, and Microsoft Windows platforms.

 

Xamarin

Xamarin is a cross-platform used for developing applications for iOS, Android, and Windows. It uses .NET and C#, and it shares 90% of the code on other platforms for crafting intuitive and engaging mobile apps. It’s based on Microsoft technology stack, and version 5.0 is the latest release.

Features

  1. Xamarin uses C# language and is based on the .NET framework.
  2. It supports Android and Apple wearables.
  3. It shares 90% of the code on other platforms for crafting intuitive and engaging mobile apps.
  4. Developers get the native-level app functionality. 
  5. It can reduce to some extent hardware compatibility problems with the help of plugins and specific APIs. 
  6. It supports a direct inclusion of Objective-C, Java, and C++ libraries. 

 

Native Script

Native Script allows you to develop cross-platform apps using XML, CSS, and JavaScript. It’s suitable for both iOS and Android platforms. You don’t need to install any plugins to access the camera, GPS, etc.

Features

  1. It uses TypeScript and Angular for programming purposes. 
  2. It supports Cocoapods and AndroidArsenal and calls local strategies from libraries.
  3. It gives them the freedom to access native Android and iOS APIs easily.
  4. You can write it all in JavaScript, so you don’t need to know Java or Objective-C.
  5. It renders accessible and platform-native UI without the WebViews.
  6. It provides developers with web resources and comes loaded with plugins (as opposed to React Native).

 

Conclusion

In mobile app development, cross-platform app development frameworks create opportunities for startups, SMEs, and enterprise organizations. If you want to select the best cross-platform solution for your project, consult with experts in the field. InApp has been developing apps for two decades on many cross-platform solutions. If you have any questions, contact us.

 

FAQs

How do you make a mobile app cross-platform?

There’re many cross-platform frameworks available in the market. You can select from a variety of options. Most of these frameworks will ensure the smooth functioning of your app. The best way to get started is to contact experts in mobile app development.

Is cross-platform better than native development?

It’s an ongoing debate in the tech community whether cross-platform is better than native development. Both tools are still evolving. However, because of the lower costs and reduced development time, most companies favor cross-platform.