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Cross Platform App Development: Best Frameworks in 2024

Lavesh Katariya
Lavesh Katariya
June 8, 2023
Clock icon7 mins read
Calendar iconLast updated June 8, 2023
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Cross-Platform App Development: An Overview

Statista report shows that over 3.5 million apps are available in the Google Play Store and over 1.6  million in the Apple App Store.

In addition to these two prominent platforms, other well-known operating systems such as Windows and Linux are widely used, along with macOS and various other platforms. Failing to be present on one platform means not being visible to millions of potential customers.

The challenge lies in developing and maintaining two separate codebases, which can be overwhelming. Therefore, many companies refrain from developing applications for multiple platforms. 

However, there exists a solution – cross-platform app development, which strikes a balance between these factors.

But, when the topic of cross-platform development arises, a crucial concern generally appears – the performance of the application. 

It could be possible that performance concerns could be a major factor holding you back from exploring cross-platform development options, right?

Do you know? Google Pay, eBay, Netflix, various small modules in Facebook and Instagram,  Alibaba, ByteDance, Skype, Bloomberg, Shopify, Philips, Baidu, and many others are developed using cross-platform development frameworks.
Ultimately, the performance of an app relies on the chosen tech stack during development. The above-mentioned app demonstrates that cross-platform solutions can perform similarly to native apps. What matters most is the optimization and, furthermore, selecting the appropriate framework.

Now let’s start by defining cross-platform. 

What is Cross Platform App Development?

Cross-platform app development refers to the development of applications that can run on multiple operating systems. Typically, a significant portion of app development is done using a single language, while native development involves the use of operating system-specific tools and languages. 

For instance, Android development commonly employs Java and Kotlin, while iOS development relies on Objective C and Swift. 

In contrast, cross-platform mobile app development aims to create apps that can run identically on both platforms, utilizing primarily one language. This approach enables efficient management of the codebase. 

Nevertheless, one drawback of cross-platform apps is their limited access to native components, which somewhat impacts their performance.

Programming Languages Used in Cross-Platform Development

Languages like JavaScript, C#, Dart, etc., are primarily used for developing cross-platform applications. Let’s briefly understand how does work. 

The Role of Framework in Cross-Platform App Development

Each operating system has distinct sets of rules, application programming interfaces (APIs), and user interface components. Frameworks act as a bridge, taking care of the process of translating and making the developer’s code compatible with the underlying system.

Also, the use of frameworks enables developers to write code without needing in-depth knowledge of the native language of the operating system (OS) they are targeting. Instead, frameworks offer a solution by providing a layer of abstraction that conceals the intricacies of the underlying language and technology. This abstraction allows developers to code using a preferred language. Though you may somehow need to use some native languages as eventually it cannot be eliminated, however. 

The frameworks offer pre-built tools and libraries that assist in achieving maximum with less achieving maximum with less effort. 

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The following section highlights a few best frameworks for cross-platform development in 2023 that are worth knowing.

Best Frameworks For Cross Platform App Development in 2024With the rising trend of cross-platform development, several frameworks exist today. Due to the varying need of the developers, we have listed the popular frameworks that best suit your needs.

1. React Native

It is an open-source, cross-platform app development framework by Meta (formerly Facebook). It was first released in 2015, and since then, it has remained a popular choice for mobile app development. In 2018, React Native ranked 2nd in terms of the highest number of contributors for any repository in GitHub.

React Native allows developers to build applications using React library, which is widely praised for developing dynamic UI components. It enables developers to create native-like applications in terms of performance and feel. 

React Native, backed by Facebook, has consistently grown to a new level of success and benefits from a robust community. 

Language: JavaScript

Popular Apps: Skype, Bloomberg, various components in Facebook and Instagram, etc.

Also Read: Top Popular Apps Built With React Native

Key Features:

  • React Native empowers developers to create high-performance applications using JavaScript.
  • The React Native community is vast and well-supported by Facebook.
  • Apps built with React Native can deliver native-like performance.
  • React Native is renowned for its focus on UI, enabling the easy development of modern and visually appealing user interfaces.
  • The Fast Refresh or hot reload feature allows changes in code to be instantly reflected in the app, ensuring rapid development.
  • Reusable components significantly reduce development time by enabling the reuse of components that are used multiple times throughout the app.

2. Flutter

Flutter is an open-source multi-platform development framework by Google. It allows developers to rapidly build apps by using Dart. Dart is a client-optimized programming language that enables developers to achieve native-like performance. 

Google views it as a potential substitute for JavaScript, and in terms of speed, it is much faster than JavaScript.

With 46% of developers using it, Flutter is the most popular framework for nearly half of the software developer community. 

Language: Dart

Popular Apps: eBay, Alibaba, Google Pay, ByteDance apps

Key Features:

  • It uses Dart programming language, specifically designed for multi-platform app development, which is incredibly fast.
  • Developers can target six platforms from a single codebase developed on Flutter.  
  • Flutter also provides a hot reload feature, enabling developers to instantly see changes in the app by making code modifications.
  • The framework offers a widget library that simplifies the creation of complex widgets, which can be further customized to meet specific requirements.
  • Flutter is an open-source framework that is backed and supported by Google.

3. Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile

Kotlin Multiplatform, developed by JetBrains, is an open-source SDK. It is important to note that Kotlin and Kotlin multiplatform mobile are different. While, Kotlin is a programming language, on the other hand, Kotlin Multiplatform is an application development tool. 

It enables developers to build cross-platform applications using Kotlin, a popular programming language that is considered a successor to Java. An additional benefit is that Kotlin is the native language for Android, further enhancing its utility.

Language: Kotlin

Popular Apps: Philips, Baidu, Netflix, Leroy Merlin

Key Features:

  • Kotlin, being Android’s native language, provides an added advantage when developing Android apps.
  • Kotlin is widely recognized for its concise coding style, allowing developers to leverage the benefits of the language’s simplicity.
  • Kotlin’s features, such as null safety, robust IDE support, and seamless Java interoperability, contribute to its efficiency and speed.
  • With Kotlin, developers can utilize native components for both iOS and Android, which may not be available in other frameworks.

4. .Net MAUI(Xamarin)

.NET MAUI, previously referred to as Xamarin, is an open-source framework that allows for the development of cross-platform applications. It is an ideal framework for writing applications in XAML, C# in visual studio. 

Language: XAML, C#

Popular Apps: TenScent, UPS, Ernst & Young, and Delta

Key Features: 

  • It allows for multi-platform app development that can run on Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows. 
  • Xamarin has a layout engine for creating pages.
  • It features APIs for accessing native device components.
  • It has a hot reload feature for rapid development.

5. Cordova

Cordova is an open-source mobile app development framework allowing developers to create applications using web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. 

It allows developers to blend web-based functionality within an application while maintaining the app’s native look and feel.

Language: C#

Popular Apps: Adobe, JustWatch, Walmart

Key Features: 

  • Cordova allows for the development of cross-platform Mobile apps with HTML, CSS & JS.
  • It has a range of APIs to access native components, allowing native-like application development. 
  • Cordova allows developers to write programs that can run without a network connection. This feature is handy when users don’t have an internet connection. They can still access cached content.

6. Ionic

This framework, built using Angular as its foundation, is highly advantageous for individuals or teams aiming to create cross-platform applications. Its effectiveness is demonstrated in developing applications for prominent entities like T-Mobile, BBC (Children’s & Education apps), and EA Games. Furthermore, it currently empowers a substantial 15%  of apps in the app store.

Language: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript

Popular Apps: T-Mobile, BBC (Children’s & Education apps), EA Games

Key Features: 

  • It has an Ionic capacitor, a package to run web applications as a native app.  
  • The framework offers a comprehensive collection of mobile-optimized UI components, along with mobile routing, navigation, gestures, and animations.
  • Developers can leverage web technologies to create mobile applications.
  • It provides a convenient CLI for application testing.
  • It seamlessly integrates with React, Angular, and Vue.

Conclusion

In summary, developing a native app for different platforms requires using the specific native language of each platform, which can be a significant burden for businesses. While frameworks also help developers sidestep the necessity of learning the nuances of various operating systems and their respective languages.

Moreover, maintaining a single code base is remarkably effortless, whereas managing two separate code bases can be exceedingly challenging. Ultimately, the decision regarding development depends on the factors you deem valuable: a unified maintenance approach with one team or the utilization of native apps.

If you are looking for a React native development company, your search ends here. At Brilworks, we specialize in offering cross-platform app development services. We can help you create a cost-effective cross-platform app that delivers a native-like experience. Our services include a free consultation, comprehensive planning, and efficient app deployment.

Lavesh Katariya

Lavesh Katariya

With more than 8 years of experience in the MERN stack, I have honed my skills as a proficient developer, specializing in building robust and scalable web applications. From crafting efficient RESTful APIs to implementing seamless user interfaces, I deeply understand MongoDB, Express.js, React.js, and Node.js. My passion for clean code and innovative problem-solving allows me to deliver high-quality solutions that exceed client expectations.

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