Top 5 Frameworks for Cross-Platform Mobile App Development

Why would you choose to develop a cross-platform app? Undoubtedly, applications built for iOS or Android, have their own benefits, but they aren’t effective in terms of effort, time, and cost. In today’s competitive digital marketplace, enterprises are looking for apps with better functionalities involving minimal effort and cost.

Apps built on cross-platform framework run efficiently on multiple OS – Android, iOS, Windows, etc. and do not need separate coding.

According to Statista, 98% of mobile apps are either built on Android or iOS. Hence, businesses must aim to build apps that satisfy the needs of both user groups. It is projected that the app market will record a CAGR of 6.58% in the period 2022-2026, thus an increase in market volume of up to USD 542.80bn by 2026.

 

In this blog, I will discuss about the features and benefits of top 5 frameworks that are used for cross-platform mobile app development.

Top 5 Cross-Platform App Development Frameworks

React Native: Factors such as intuitive architecture, development speed, live reloading, seamless performance across platforms, and code reusability make this open-source JavaScript framework the preferred choice for mobile app development. A large community of developers are committed towards its growth by fixing issues and adding new features and enhancements. Using React Native, developers avail the benefits of React.JS and JavaScript. They can perform complex processes such as video processing, image editing, etc. to develop interactive cross platform apps.

Key features include:

a)   One-time code reduces development time by 50% and keeps development costs to a minimum.

b)   Most frameworks are not compatible with third-party plugins to avoid security risks. But, with React Native, developers can add third-party plugins such as Google Maps.

c)   Apps developed on React Native load faster and increase customer satisfaction levels.  

Flutter: Released in 2017, this software development framework is created by Google. This open-source UI framework allows cross-platform apps to run with a uniform and dynamic approach.

Key features include:

a)   A portable GPU allows the framework to run with up-to-the-minute UI interfaces.

b)   Eliminates the need of manual updates to UI content. Developers can just update the necessary variables, which will automatically reflect in the UI.

c)   Development process is quick, easy, and cost-effective thus making it the best choice for developing an MVP (Minimum Viable Product).

d)   The in-built graphics engine helps developers to create different interfaces for Android and iOS.

Node.js: This open-source framework is built on Chrome V8 JavaScript engine. It supports development of efficient, responsive, and scalable server-side networking apps. It can handle various concurrent connections simultaneously. Loaded with a rich library of JavaScript modules, the framework simplifies cross-platform web application development.

Key features include:

a)   All APIs are asynchronous i.e., Node.JS servers don’t have to wait for API data. Automatic notifications allow the server to get a response from the previous API.

b)   Faster execution of the code.

c)   Apps built on Node.js do not buffer, the output

d)   A single-threaded model combined with event looping functionality delivers smooth app performance and improves scalability.

e)   Reduces reaction time for slow requests

f)   Developers can execute all information queries simultaneously.

Xamarin: This framework uses MS Visual Studio .Net code to build cross-platform apps. Apps built on Xamarin have a look and feel like native apps. The apps come with a platform-specific hardware to boost efficiency. Developers can different tools such as UI design tools, code editing, debugging, etc. Several global enterprises like The World Bank, Alaska Airlines, etc. have used Xamarin for their cross-platform app development.

It is worth noting that .NET Multi-platform App UI (.NET MUAI) will be replacing Xamarin soon and presently, it is in the preview stage.

Key features include:

a)  Use of native libraries to build customization and native-level functionalities.

b)  Eliminates issues of hardware compatibility.

c)  Developers can use third-party codebases of Objective-C, Java, and C++.

d)  Faster time-to-market and reduced development costs.

e)  Compile-time checking allows developers to test app functionality and reduce runtime errors.

Ionic: This popular cross-platform app development framework runs on AngularJS. A combination of JavaScript, CSS, HTML5, and a Cordova wrapper helps developers create intuitive UI and smooth UX functionalities.

Key features include:

a)  Open-source front-end framework based on SaaS UI

b)  Works efficiently on mobile OS.

c)  Best choice for developing progressive web applications.

How Businesses Benefit from Cross-Platform Mobile App Development

a)  Easy maintenance and deployment: A developer can organize the changes to code within few minutes. Any bug in the database can be fixed on a single platform and it will be removed from all platforms.

b)  Quicker development: A single codebase reduces development efforts by 50-70%. Now, developers can focus on app design and responsiveness.

c)  Cost-effective: With cross-platform apps, businesses can maximize their reach and increase the target audience across all digital platforms. Businesses can achieve faster results in less time and developers can work on improving the user experience.

d)  Easy to upgrade: Quick updates improves the usability and performance of the app. Automatic updates enables users to use the latest version providing faster user experience.

e)  Cloud integration: The single code is compatible with third-party plugins and extensions, integrated with cloud functionalities to improve the scalability of the application.

Conclusion

The mobile app development market is quite disruptive. No business wants to risk missing an opportunity to create a strong online presence on digital platforms like App Store and Google Play Store. Budget may be an issue sometimes for native app development; hence, cross-platform app development has now become the go-to option for enterprises. With cross-platform apps, enterprises can stay ahead of the curve and address the dynamic needs of digital customers. So, will you jump on the bandwagon and develop an efficient, responsive, intuitive, and scalable cross-platform mobile app to grow your business?