How to Choose Top Cross-Platform Frameworks for Mobile App Development in 2021?

September 25, 2020

Reading time about 8 minutes

As we witness the growing popularity of mobile apps, it is becoming crucial for every organization to have a customized app for their business services. Talking about mobile app development, most of us only believe in the native app development approach. These apps are built especially for a single platform i.e. either for Android or iOS, which means it can be quite expensive if you want to target customers using both platforms. That is where the cross-platform development for Android and iOS apps comes into action. Ever since its evolution, cross-platform apps have gained huge attention and the app market of this development approach has even crossed $7.5 billion at the end of 2018. If you are new to the concept of cross-platform apps, you are in the right place! We will guide you in choosing the top cross-platform frameworks for app development in 2021.

One thing that may come to your mind is whether these apps are as good as native apps. Yes! The apps that work for both Android and iOS will be no different if they are built using the right tools and resources. However, picking up the right app development tools is essential, which is why we have conducted thorough research to help you get the top options available for cross-platform tools in 2020-2021. Supporting multiple platforms Android and iOS cross-platform development is an excellent choice for startups and SMEs where budgeting is the main concern for building native apps.

mobile app development cost

List of Frameworks for Cross-Platform App Development

Aligned with the best features and high-performance capabilities, the cross-platform app development market is growing rapidly. With so many frameworks having their own set of pros and cons, it is hard to choose one for your development needs. Here are some of the top-performing frameworks for 2020-2021.

  • React Native

Introduced by Facebook, React Native is not new in the world of mobile app development and it uses Javascript as a programming language to build apps.With the capability to write modules in languages like C, Swift, and Java, React Native is a great platform to use for cross-platform app development. This interprets the source code and converts them to the native elements in lesser time. Renowned brands using React Native is Facebook and Instagram.

  • Xamarin

Built to resolve issues of disjointed native technology stacks, Xamarin is one of the best cross-platform app development tools that is used to build apps for different platforms using a single .net codebase. The apps developed through Xamarin has the look and feel of native mobile apps as it uses native interfaces. Nearly 75% of code is the same irrespective of what platform your app is.

  • Flutter

If you want to build high-performance apps for different platforms using a single codebase, flutter is the one for you! Launched by Google, Flutter uses Dart programming language which is quite easy to understand for those developers having expertise in JavaScript or Java. This framework is considered one of the best for building custom apps supporting iOS and Android platforms. With a wide range of widgets like navigation, scrolling, or icons, Flutter helps in providing apps with a native-like experience.

  • Ionic

Another leading cross-platform development tool is Ionic that enables developers to build native-like mobile apps with the help of advanced technologies like HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Keeping the main focus on the look and UI interaction of an app, the cross-platform framework comes with pre-designed components, typography, interactive paradigms, and several themes. Backed by a huge community of more than 5 million developers across the globe, Ionic not only allows the development of native-like hybrid apps for iOS and Android but also supports progressive web apps.

  • Adobe PhoneGap

Previously known as Apache Cordova, PhoneGap is owned by Adobe and is a quite simple cross-platform development framework that uses HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript. With access to the complete toolset of PhoneGap, this framework can streamline the app development process. One of the great advantages of using this framework is that it offers a cloud solution allowing developers to compile their work without the need of maintaining native SDKs. PhoneGap is easy to use even by the developers with less experience.

  • Appcelerator

Another cross-platform development platform commonly used by developers in top Android and iOS App Development Company is Appcelerator that helps in building apps faster by simplifying the whole process. The best thing about this framework is its quality that makes it easy to build and test apps using automated mobile tests. Whether it’s about measuring the app usage or detecting bugs/crashes, the apps built with Appcelerator is very high in performance.

Native vs. Cross-Platform App Development

If we compare native and cross-platform app development, it will be a never-ending debate among developers where some prefer native apps and others are just happy with cross-platform frameworks. Both app development technologies are evolving rapidly. Let’s go through a quick comparison to see which one is leading the game in the apps market.

The native app development approach is a preferred choice for those companies that want to focus on creating a competent design targeting a single platform at a time i.e. Android or iOS. This removes the complexity associated with building the app that works on multiple platforms in cross-platform app development.

On the other hand, cross-platform app development helps businesses to target many audiences at a time by covering a wide number of end devices. The unified codebase in cross-platform development enables rapid deployment and faster time to market, which is needed to meet the fast-paced business era of today. At the time of its evolution, cross-platform development has several flaws making it only usable for simple mobile apps. With time, emerging technologies are enabling the development of cross-platform apps more powerful as well as flexible.

Listed below are some of the factors that will differentiate cross-platform apps from native apps-

  • Cost

The overall development cost of cross-platform apps is comparatively lesser than that of native apps.

  • Codebase

Single code works on multiple platforms in cross-platform apps while the code works on one platform only in native apps.

  • Device API Access

In native apps, platform SDK provides access to the device’s API but with cross-platform apps, there is no assured access to APIs of all devices.

  • Performance

Though cross-platform apps are still high on performance, they may face lags or compatibility issues. While native apps deliver seamless performance as the app is dedicatedly built for a single platform.

Is Cross-Platform App Development the Future?

As discussed above, the cross-platform tools are enabling companies to create apps easily with the help of even novice app developers. On the other hand, for the development of native apps, we need expert developers with extensive coding experience. Among all the benefits, the ease of development is what makes cross-platform app development a preferred option over native apps. Through the hybrid cross-platform apps has immense advantages using its power of simplicity, they can only be realized effectively when the development is done in the right way.

Here are some of the top advantages of using cross-platform development –

  • Better Exposure to Audience

As we know a single cross-platform app can be deployed on various platforms i.e. both Android and iOS as well as the web, the business can target more audiences, maximizing their reach.

  • Simpler Maintenance & Deployment

It is easy to maintain and deploy code on one app that runs on different platforms with updates synced easily at a time, thereby saving time and effort. Any bug found in the common codebase can be fixed instantly.

  • Code Reusability

Another advantage of cross-platform app development is that a single code is used again and again for every platform eliminating repetition in creating codes and saving resources’ time.

  • Lesser Development Efforts & Cost

Cross-platform apps have the concept of ‘write once, run anywhere’ with reusable codes and an agile app development approach that helps in lowering the efforts of the developers and the cost of development

  • Quicker Time to Market

The cross-platform app development approach enables developers to reduce Time-to-Market (TTM) with a quick deployment as a single codebase is used for all platforms.

  • Easier Customization

One of the best things about using cross-platform apps is that they can be customized easily through minor changes in the code ensuring faster product delivery than competitors.

  • Uniform UX/UI Design  

Customers today have no time for bad user experiences! Cross-platform apps ensure a uniform user experience across all platforms so that users can enjoy it.

Wrapping Up

It is clear that the more your business app is available to customers with different platforms, the more you will be able to target customers. This will not only help your business gain a huge customer base but also save time and money that would take to build separate apps for different platforms. Make sure that you embrace all the benefits offered by cross-platform development tools and check out the suitable cross-platform framework that can help you manage all of your development needs. Having queries? Feel free to reach the experts of the leading iOS and Android App Development Company and get your app development services.