5 best cross platform app development 2023

Cross-platform app development for your business is the most efficient and pocket-friendly approach to expanding your customer base in today’s quickly evolving technology landscape.

Until recently, the capabilities of cross platform app development were limited to the creation of fundamental mobile applications and games. However, due to new technologies, cross-platform development has become more powerful, versatile, and adaptive.

The cross platform app development framework is the technology that helps with building cross platform apps. However, several are available in the market, so how do you choose the best cross platform framework that meets your need?

Use this article as a guide to look at some of the most popular cross platform frameworks in 2023 and weigh their pros and cons. Let’s begin by understanding the basics.

What is cross platform app development?

What-is-cross-platform-app-development

Cross platform app development is a procedure to make a hybrid application compatible with different operating systems and platforms like iOS, Android, Windows, and more.

Cross platform app development only requires writing code one time and reusing it to make the application run on several platforms. Good cross platform frameworks often support creating applications compatible with all the major operating systems, including iOS and Android, as well as Linux, Windows, Blackberry, and more.

It can dramatically save developers and businesses time and money during app development, significantly benefiting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMBs).

There are several benefits of cross platform development that make them a superior choice for businesses over developing native apps. However, choosing the best cross platform app framework can enhance these benefits. Let’s look at these benefits before we help you compare popular cross platform frameworks and help you select the right one for you!

Benefits of cross platform development

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Increased Reach

The best cross platform app can extend your reach several times since users may use it on several devices. This means you can reach the broadest possible audience by creating just one app, which will work for iOS and Android.

Reusability of Code

In the past, developers invested significant time and energy into writing separate codes unique for app development for a specific platform. However, with many popular cross platform frameworks, developers need to write one code and reuse it several times. This has to be the best cross platform app development advantage as it saves time and money and increases productivity.

Decreased Development Cost and Time

With the reusability of a code, app developers may save more than 50% of their time and create a robust application with interactive features. It utilises the iterative and incremental approach of Agile methodologies for app creation, making it easier to control costs, maintain quality, and meet deadlines.

Since cross platform app development is quicker and easier to build, by choosing the best cross platform framework, developers may reduce their Time-to-Market (TTM) and facilitate rapid distribution. A shorter time to market means that the app may reach the public sooner. This also means your business benefits over time in serving customers better from rolling out updates sooner.

Less Prototyping time

Working with the best cross platform app development services allows for a more rapid iterative process, making prototyping a more efficient and influential part of the overall development cycle. Rapid prototyping is a reliable way to ensure that the development process is moving forward promptly, allowing more time for accurate application development.

Cross Platform Consistency

Consumers can identify user interface (UI) components and anticipate how they will interact with the app. As a result, user experience (UX) design should play a crucial role in creating any program or piece of software.

Developers and designers can collaborate more efficiently using tools that provide the best cross platform UI framework. Users can expect to see the same user interface and interface components regardless of their platform, resulting in the best cross platform app experience.

Cloud integration

Incorporating a wide variety of plugins is a significant strength of cross platform apps. Cloud integration increases scalability and functionality using a single code allowing a unified experience across several devices. With this feature, a user may use your application on one device and can access all their data on another with the cloud sync feature. This contributes to a unified cross platform user experience.

Challenges of cross platform development

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Despite these tremendous benefits of cross platform development, specific challenges are common among developers when creating a hybrid app compatible with several platforms. Here’s a list of some common challenges of cross platform app development:

  • Developers may face problems with performance sometimes due to miscommunication between a device’s native and non-native elements. However, choosing a seasoned developer to make your cross platform application ensures the experience to overcome such once-in-while issues.
  • When the developers you hire to create your application do not know how to combat the above mention issues, it can cause minor performance issues that may lead to poor user interaction and experience.
  • It is challenging for developers to maintain compliance with all devices and operating systems unless you pick the right platform with solid community support and plugins to solve this.

Now that you understand the benefits and challenges of using cross platform development frameworks let’s compare the five most popular cross platform frameworks of 2023.

Five best cross-platform development apps:

Five-best-crossplatform-development-apps

A correct framework must be chosen to develop an app that gives a native-like feeling and run smoothly on all devices and platform. Here’s the market share of some of the most popular cross platform frameworks over the past.

Flutter

The tech giant Google created Flutter in 2018, and users often crown it as the best cross-platform UI framework. It is a free, open-source software development kit (SDK) that developers can use to build top-notch cross platform apps.

On December 4, 2018, Flutter 1.0 was released, and on March 3, 2021, Flutter 2.0. Since its debut, Flutter has been used to power over 400k applications, reaching hundreds of millions of users.

Applications developed using Flutter provide appealing UI and UX design due to a vast range of available widgets integrated into it. The Flutter-made apps function smoothly on both newer and older iterations of operating systems used by a device.

Like many other popular cross platform frameworks, Flutter offers several unique features and benefits that set it apart. Let’s take a look at these features below:

  • Dart, the programming language, is the basis for Flutter, which is very easy to learn. It is simple to learn; hence, Flutter provides one of the easiest cross platform mobile development processes. Even developers with a basic understanding of code may create working prototypes and applications.
  • Flutter provides the hot reload feature, which allows you to update or alter the code in real-time, immediately reflected on your app. With this feature, you may tweak the program on the go and try out various permutations, all while seeing the results instantly.
  • Inconsistencies and bugs in code are immediately apparent throughout the creation of an app with Flutter, allowing quick fixes. As a result, developers need less time to assess the app, which shortens the launch time. The same holds for addressing issues in real-time; this results in far better quality software that runs smoothly on various devices and loads quickly.
  • Flutter also comes with its own benefit of an enormous community to provide support for using several plugins available via pub.dev.
  • Flutter integrates Skia Graphics Library, an innovative open-source library with a robust backend. Since it redraws the UI whenever a view is switched, the software runs quickly and smoothly, winning rave reviews from end users.
  • Flutter lessens the burden on developers by enabling them to create high-quality, sophisticated user interfaces that are unique to each app. Its custom widgets allow the production of high-quality graphics for your app with unrivalled speed and efficiency. In addition, it provides an easy method for implementing platform-specific logic.

Since we’re aiming to help you pick the best framework for cross platform mobile development for your project, it’s essential to look at some common challenges Google’s Flutter faces. Let’s take a look at the cons of Flutter:

  • Apps developed with Flutter do not provide enough tv support.
  • At times, it requires more integrations with various libraries offering functions that are ready to use.
  • Flutter-created apps tend to be large files, with the smallest being 4MB.

Flutter’s features and benefits often outweigh its challenges, making it one of the most used cross platform mobile development frameworks. Some popular apps built with Flutter are Google Ads, Alibaba, Google Pay, Postmuse, and more.

Ionic

Second on our list of best cross platform app frameworks is Ionic, another open-source and free tool. Drift CO. launched Ionic in 2013. Ever since, they released several Ionic framework versions, enabling programmers to create unique and cutting-edge mobile apps.

Ionic is a market leader in corporate application development for smartphones, having 5 million developers using it globally to create mission-critical applications for both internal and external users. Without counting the thousands of applications created in-house by businesses to meet every line-of-business requirement, it enables 15% of the applications available on the app stores.

Let’s look at some unique features and benefits Ionic offers to see if it’s the best cross platform development framework for you.

  • With Ionic, you have access to a wide variety of premade UI elements in the form of a comprehensive library of tools and features. App developers may use this as-is to build a Graphic user interface or modified to suit a specific purpose.
  • Standard web technologies like CSS, HTML, Angular, and JavaScript form the foundation of Ionic. JavaScript is the best language for cross platform apps to work with, as it is an ordinary skill for most developers. That’s why, if you’re already a web developer, you won’t need to acquire any new skills to use Ionic to create an app.
  • There is a plethora of add-ons to enhance your smartphone’s existing capabilities since the ionic framework was developed for mobile OSs and is based on the SAAS UI framework.
  • Ionic utilises WebView to function. As a result, mobile applications can use any available web technology, including Angular.JS, React.JS, Vue.JS, and HTML. The browser’s built-in testing and debugging features make the testing process easier. Developers may save time previewing UI changes without deploying to a smartphone or emulator.
  • Ionic mimics the principles of native app user interface design by integrating device features and native app UI guidelines utilising native software development kits. The open web’s dynamism and adaptability are fully preserved.
  • Several distinct styles of applications are available to users; each optimised for a certain platform.

Now that you know the advantages, let’s also brief over some challenges faced by developers when using the Ionic app development framework:

  • App performance and quality are lower than those built with other frameworks.
  • The complexity of UI router and in-app navigation needs to be tackled with experience, which is usually something seasoned developers can do.
  • Instability with native plugins can cause incompatibilities with one another. However, a developer fluent in the Ionic framework will take precautions to avoid this challenge.

The Ionic Forum is often bustling with activity as members share their experiences and advise one another to overcome these challenges. Ionic powers apps like Instant Pot, Diesel, Southwest Airlines, and Sworkit.

React Native

React Native is a gift from Facebook, now known as Meta, developed using their React library in 2015. Like the other frameworks mentioned above, it is an open-sourced platform that makes it simple to create apps for iOS and Android.

React Native quickly rose to popularity as the best cross platform app development tool, as using it enables savings on development costs while maintaining native performance and user-experience adaptability. React Native is used to creating thousands of applications by around 17,715 businesses, from well-known names on the Fortune 500 to up-and-coming startups.

The likes of Skype, Facebook, Shopify, Discord, and the WordPress website builder are some of the major mobile apps developed utilising React Native, one of the most popular cross platform frameworks. Let’s look at what React Native offers that makes it popular among these brands:

  • React Native offers native control and modules. The framework establishes connections to native components on both mobile platforms and generates codes for native APIs. As consequence of using independent threads for the UI and native APIs, it enhances the app’s performance.
  • Because of its origins at Facebook, it should come as no surprise that React Native has a sizable community of users eager to assist developers who run into problems.
  • React Native offers live reloading and hot reloading features to its users. Live reloading means assembling and viewing the sections as you make the modifications. Seeing your changes as you make them and its real-time application saves a lot of time.
  • Because of its simplified data binding, React Native allows you to create more reliable applications. It’s more stable and trustworthy since you can only update specific parts.
  • React Native’s support for modular programming ensures that developers can write different parts of an app’s code independently but, in the same way, in what are known as modules. This facilitates the usage of other developers’ work when necessary, helps to make the application development process more flexible, and supports teamwork.

Now let’s discuss some significant concerns with React Native to determine if it fits your needs:

  • Certain functionalities still need native components. However, it is usually accessible when developers use external libraries.
  • Although React Native makes development quicker, it lengthens the debugging time, particularly on Android.

Xamarin

Following a framework from tech giants like Facebook and Google, we list yet another cross platform development framework from a tech giant. Microsoft launched Xamarin in May of 2011, with a basis of Microsoft’s technological stack for its architecture.

The best cross platform development framework lets programmers reuse up to 90 per cent of code across robust platforms, and so does Xamarin. Xamarin powers more than 13,000 applications, and 11% of worldwide developers make use of it from cross platform mobile app development. Additionally, given that it has the support of over 60,000 contributors means, community support can quickly fix any problems you may have.

Let’s look at some benefits of cross platform development offered by Xamarin:

  • It offers cloud integration, which allows testing over several devices.
  • Objective-C, Java, and C++ libraries are all built into Xamarin. This makes one of the most comprehensive cross-platform frameworks possible by allowing developers to reuse large codebases written in languages like Java, Objective-C, and C++.
  • The compile-time checking in Xamarin is quite good, allowing developers to get high-quality, cross-platform programs with fewer errors at runtime.
  • We are given a standardised and aesthetically pleasing GUI via Xamarin.forms. With an astounding 95% code exchange option, Xamarin.forms aid Xamarin in competing for the best cross platform UI framework.
  • For anyone interested in learning more about Xamarin, Microsoft’s Microsoft Learn platform is a great resource.

Since Xamarin is open-source, it’s free for individual developers and startups. However, it is relatively expensive compared to corporations as they need a license for Microsoft Visual Studio. Here are some other cons of using Xamarin:

  • While Xamarin provides great GUI, it is not a good choice for applications that rely heavily on visuals since various technologies employ different approaches to screen layout.
  • Developing UI takes longer since the major portion of the user interface creation is not based on smartphones.

 NativeScript

Last but not least on our popular cross platform frameworks list is the NativeScript framework. NativeScript is one of the best cross platform development frameworks popular for front-end, cross-platform development as it allows developers to create genuinely native programs using JavaScript. Progress created this mobile app development platform in 2014, and Gartner dubbed it a “visionary” in their 2015 Magic Quadrant for Mobile App Dev (MADP).

Let’s look at some of the fantastic features offered by NativeScript that make it a popular cross platform frameworks:

  • It takes input in the format of lines of text through the Command Line Interface (CLI). Rather than wasting time clicking through several tabs and dialogs in a graphical user interface, it may be more time-efficient to enter explicit instructions through a CLI.
  • It works with a wide variety of existing native libraries that provide various pre-built features.
  • The ability to construct apps using NativeScript is greatly aided by familiarity with the common programming languages, such as CSS, Java Scrip, and XML.
  • NativeScript is backed by the support of a strong community that helps developers troubleshoot any kind of problems they may face in cross platform application development.
  • Faster app creation is possible with NativeScript because of its direct, unfettered access to the iOS and Android APIs and its abundance of helpful plugins and premade templates.

Despite the amazing features of NativeScript, there are certain limitations that keep it from being on the top of this list. Let’s look at some significant cons of this framework:

  • Unfortunately, neither DOM nor HTML is supported. This discourages programmers from using jQuery and other similar libraries.
  • NativeScript has more challenging debugging than the other frameworks discussed here. A simulator or actual device is required.
  • There are a few commercial UI elements that are not free of charge.

How Anglara can help

Without a doubt, cross platform applications are not only efficient and less complicated to manage but also beneficial in terms of price, time, and effort. Each cross platform framework we’ve listed comes with its own unique features that make it one of the best cross platform frameworks. Anglara understands that choosing the best framework for cross platform mobile development for your needs can be difficult. This is why we’re here to help. Simply schedule a free call with us, and we can help you as we’ve done for several companies.