A Complete Guideline on Cross-Platform App Development

Cross-Platform Mobile App Development Frameworks

Since IOS and Android have become the most preferred mobile platforms, the demand for cross-platform app frameworks has indeed risen to popularity. Supporting both the platforms (Android and IOS) in one framework, it has become a new favorite of both the developers and businesses as well. According to recent studies, Apples’ App Store will cross 5 million apps by 2020, more than doubling its current size. Another research suggests that, in December 2018, the number of apps available in the Google Play Store is 2.8 million.

In such circumstances, businesses won’t risk missing their presence on either platform. When companies choose the native app, the budget is one of the issues which they face. Thus, cross-platform app development has risen as an unrivaled choice of businesses which help them in creating a presence on both Android and IOS platforms at lesser budget. Therefore, it is a cross-platform framework that the center stage of the current situation. Before we jump to find out where this category of frameworks stands in today, let’s discuss some basics about them.

What are Cross-Platform App Frameworks?

The Cross-platform app development frameworks help developers in building mobile applications which are compatible with more than one operating system. It grants them the ability to write the code once, and run it anywhere for other platforms too. When you are dealing with these sort of frameworks, performance issues, and unusual application behavior comes as a gift with it. They have become mainstream as the price of building native apps for the platform is rising day by day.

What are Cross-Platform App Frameworks

Benefits of Cross-Platform App Development according to current Market-Trend

Here are some of the advantages that cross-platform development offers today:

  • Cost-efficiency
  • Code reusability
  • Uniform app experience
  • Faster app development timeline
  • Greater audience reach
  • Easy to update
  • Easy to host
  • Lower technical barriers
  • Easy to maintain

Limitations of Cross-Platform App Development

Let’s see some disadvantages that come as a part of the package:

  • Limited feature support
  • Drowsiness in running the code
  • The UX may not always be optimal
  • Need for updates
  • Available tools may not be enough

Top 7 Trending Cross-Platform App Development Frameworks

Now since we have seen both the upsides and downsides of Cross-Platform App Development, let’s discuss the 7 most preferred cross-platform mobile app development framework which highly demand today.

1. Ionic

Ionic

Ionic also another open-source, cross-platform app development framework licensed under MIT. It uses HTM5, CSS3, and Javascript for translation. The design and structure of this framework are similar to AngularJS. It helps developers to build native-like hybrid apps for Android, IOS, and progressive web apps as well. Ionic app development allows native mobile components to have an attractive design as well as smooth animations. It is featured with rich-features and predefined design elements for which developers love it. If you use the Ionic framework with AngularJS, you will get remarkable results. Below are some of the highlights of the Ionic framework:

  • It is free of cost
  • Supports the latest mobile devices
  • A robust base for the mobile app is preferred
  • Easy to maintain
  • Bundled with AngularJS
  • It is generally client-side framework
  • It can also be used for developing native-apps

Ionic form

It also gives a comprehensive library of tools, components, and gestures. It also contains various native plugins which make the development extremely simple. HealthKit, Bluetooth, and fingerprint authentication, etc. are some of the features which are cherry on the cake for Ionic. In hybrid apps, app performance is an issue; Ionic tries to resolve it. Apps developed in Ionic contains the same look, feel, and performance as the native apps.

2. React Native

React Native

React Native is an attempt made by Facebook in 2015, which also gained a solid reputation in the market for hybrid frameworks. In just a few years of its release in the market, it has become the most popular cross-platform mobile app development framework today. One of the primary reasons to use this framework is that it allows developers to code in Javascript, the favorite language of most of the developers. Reducing the time of learning it, it has won a place for itself. And most importantly, it is free. Below are some of the highlights of the React Native framework:

  • It offers numerous plugins
  • It utilizes less memory
  • The components of React Native can be reusable
  • It is notably faster than other frameworks
  • It also offers ample support to IDEs and other tools
  • Developers can also use React Native for web development

Along with code reusability, it allows you to preview results and also offers ready-to-apply elements, thus, reducing a lot of application development time. Besides, it gives developers access to some great native functionalities such as accelerometer and camera. The result which it provides is a high-quality native-like user interface. Companies like Airbnb, Facebook Ads Manager, Bloomberg, and Uber Eats are using React Native for their mobile apps.

3. Flutter

Flutter

Flutter is yet another open source and free cross-platform mobile app development framework for developing native apps for Android and IOS platforms. Flutter was released recently in 2017 from Google and has received a warm welcome. It supports Dart, an object-oriented programming language that developers are using to achieve a firm grip in the application development field. It gives a faster development time with hot loading. This means developers can now see the preview result of changes in the code within the device or an emulator or a simulator. Here is the list of the features of Flutter framework:

  • It is written in Dart language
  • It is a popular cross-platform app development framework these days
  • You can test your project on Flutter smoothly
  • You don’t need to restart your project if there is any mistake
  • It is perfect for developing hybrid applications
  • It uses 2D rendering engine called Skia to develop the visuals

It also offers terrific web view and a great native-like user interface. Moreover, it gives access to quick, adjustable gadgets inside the framework on its excellent rendering motor. The architecture of Flutter is based on reactive programming, something that is becoming more of preference these days. It takes seconds to write code, thus, developing, adding features, testing, and fixing bugs is done in a shorter time. Google Ads, Hamilton Musical, and Alibaba eCommerce are some of the popular names who have used Flutter as their preferred framework.

4. Xamarin

Xamarin

It was released in 2011 as an independent hybrid app development framework. In 2016, it was acquired by Microsoft, thus, making it more credible than before. It is an open-source framework which was launched to solve the problem of disjointed native technology stacks, which made mobile app development more expensive and challenging affair. For coding, it uses C#, which means it works smoothly on both IOS and Android. Xamarin is also popular for its frequent updates and testing making it the most popular cross-platform mobile app development framework in recent days. Here are some of the remarkable features of Xamarin framework:

  • You can share code with Windows or Mac OS platform
  • It offers its interface development tools
  • Using cloud service, you can test it on hundreds of devices
  • It is one of the most cost-effective frameworks to develop applications
  • It saves a lot of time of developers

Famous brands such as World Bank, Olo, Storyo, etc. have used Xamarin for developing their apps. The primary advantage of this framework is, most of the code written in it can be efficiently used in other platforms. Besides, it renders access to the native APIs apart from faster development with Xamarin plugins and NuGet package.

5. Adobe PhoneGap / Apache Cordova

Adobe PhoneGap / Apache Cordova

Before Adobe owned PhoneGap, it was known as Apache Cordova. It is a simple cross-platform mobile app development framework which supports CSS, Javascript, and HTML. Like other frameworks, PhoneGap allows developers viewing results on a mobile device or an emulator as they make changes in the code. One feature which makes it different from others is that you can share the application with the team to get their feedback. It also gives a cloud solution in case if you want to create an app directly.

Besides, PhoneGap has got some astonishing features like third-party tools, a large community, and a huge number of plugins, make it better than other frameworks. It utilizes an intuitive desktop for mobile development and then serves the developed app on the desktop to mobile devices connected with it. There are no complicated text commands to struggle with.

6. Corona SDK

Corona SDK

Corona SDK is a free and open-source framework demolish each other system to increase the speed and advancement. Applications developed from Corona SDK are quicker or sometimes multiple times faster than other frameworks. One of the essential points which everyone should note is that Lua upholds it. Let us understand some of the highlights of the Corona SDK framework:

  • It is light-weight programming
  • However, it is free and backs Windows and Mac OS as well
  • It is simple, speedy, and adaptable to make applications

7. JQuery Mobile

JQuery Mobile

In order to develop mobile apps and websites, developers can use JQuery Mobile for the same. It also supports all types of operating systems, such as Windows, Mac OS, Firefox, Kindle, Blackberry, etc. Below are some of the features of JQuery Mobile framework:

  • It is an HTML5 based development framework
  • Application development is faster compared to other frameworks
  • It can run across all the devices
  • One time code is needed to run an application

Conclusion

This was all about cross-platform app development along with some 7 best frameworks which help you in developing mobile and web applications for your business. You can choose any of the structures and build a user-friendly and interactive apps for your business. Still confused about cross-platform app development? Do not hesitate to consult the best mobile app development company. They will handle the rest.

Ravi Makhija

Ravi Makhija

An entrepreneur, an IT professional. Tech geek. Founder & CEO at Guru Technolabs - Globally Trusted Web & Mobile App Development Company. Loves writing about new technologies and the latest trends in IT field.

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