Cross-platform app development has become increasingly popular in recent years as businesses seek to build mobile apps that work seamlessly across multiple platforms. It allows these companies to attract a wider audience, which is critical, especially for early-stage startups.
Among the top cross-platform mobile development tools are React Native, Flutter, Xamarin, Ionic, and Cordova.
It is confirmed by Statista, that in 2021, 42% of developers preferred Flutter, 38% – React Native, 16% – Cordova, Ionic – 16%, and 11% – Xamarin.
These tools have been used to build many successful apps, including some of the most popular ones in the world. Among them are Facebook, Instagram, Airbnb, Google’s AdWords app, Coca-Cola, MarketWatch, TripCase, and others.
Benefits of cross-platform app development
Let’s define how cross-platform app development can benefit your business:
- Budget optimization: Developing separate apps for different platforms (e.g., iOS and Android) can be expensive. Cross-platform development allows businesses to save money by building a single app that works on multiple platforms, reducing development and maintenance costs.
- Wider audience reach: businesses can reach a wider audience by providing their app on the necessary platforms. This can help increase user acquisition and therefore grow potential revenue.
- Faster time-to-market: Cross-platform app development can reduce the time-to-market for an app since developers can build an app on various platforms simultaneously. This can help businesses stay ahead of their competitors and capture market share more quickly.
- Easier maintenance: With cross-platform development, businesses only need to maintain a single codebase rather than separate ones for each platform. You can sync updates across all platforms.
- Consistent user experience: Businesses can use a cross-platform mobile development approach to keep the same design, functionality, and features for the app on all platforms.
Top 5 tools for cross-platform app development
The apps built with different cross-platform tools are not all the same. You should choose the tool based on your project and goals. We have collected the most popular cross-platform development tools, and we will tell you about their advantages and in which cases you should use them.
Flutter is an open-source, cross-platform app development framework for building natively compiled mobile, web, and desktop applications from a single codebase. It was developed by Google. Flutter uses the Dart programming language. It provides a set of ready-made widgets.
- a hot reloading feature allowing developers to see changes in real-time.
- it helps to build visually appealing, custom-designed applications.
- It is also suitable for developing complex applications that require advanced device integration.
Some of the big apps built on Flutter include Google Ads, Alibaba, and Reflectly (a mindfulness and meditation app).
“Learn once, write anywhere” is its main principle. React Native uses native components and APIs to provide a high-performance, responsive, and visually appealing user interface. Just like Flutter, it has a hot reloading feature.
It is particularly well-suited for building simple and medium-complexity applications. You can find a React Native developer for hire to build social networking apps, e-commerce apps, and productivity apps. Some of the outstanding apps built on React Native are Facebook, Instagram, and Skype.
Cordova helps to build simple apps quickly and efficiently. However, it can not be used for complex mobile applications requiring a high-performance level.
There are well-known apps built on Cordova such as: TripCase – a travel app that helps users manage their travel plans, and Untappd – a social networking app for beer enthusiasts.
It is particularly well-suited for building simple to medium-complexity applications.
Some of the big apps built on Ionic include MarketWatch (real-time financial news and market data), JustWatch (movies and TV shows), and Sworkit (customized workout plans and videos).
Xamarin is an open-source platform that allows developers to build cross-platform mobile applications for iOS, Android, and Windows using the .NET framework. It was acquired by Microsoft.
Xamarin provides access to a large number of native device features and helps to speed up the coding process. Almost all the components of this tool are 100% compatible with any platform.
Businesses hire Xamarin developers to build complex, enterprise-level applications such as banking apps, healthcare apps, and social networking apps. Some of the famous apps built on Xamarin include The World Bank, Alaska Airlines, and Olo (an app for restaurants).
In addition to the benefits that we have described above, such as cost-effectiveness and broader audience reach, each tool has its own advantages.
For example, React Native and Flutter have a hot reloading feature allowing developers to see changes in real-time. Almost all Xamarin elements are compatible with any platform. Cordova helps to build simple apps quickly and efficiently, and its apps are often lightweight. All of the Ionic components adapt automatically to each platform, and it speeds up cross-platform app development.
So, you need to define the requirements for your product, choose your preferred tech stack and reach out to a IT staffing agency to hire developers who will help you to implement your idea.
What is cross-platform mobile app development?
Cross-platform mobile app development is the process of building mobile applications that can run on multiple operating systems and devices.
How much does it cost to develop a cross-platform app?
The cost of cross-platform mobile application development varies depending on several factors, such as complexity, number of features, your vendor’s location, etc. On average, the cost can range from $10,000 to $150,000 or more.
What are the most popular tools for cross-platform app development?
Among the most popular tools for cross-platform development are React Native, Flutter, Xamarin, Ionic, and more.