In recent years, cross-platform app development has been booming at a lightning speed. It is reported that the global market size will reach $546.7 billion by 2033. The growth is anticipated to remain high at a staggering CAGR of 16.8% (2023-2033). But what’s the main driving force behind this significant boom?
According to experts, it’s the rising adoption of mobile devices that has been driving the global market. More and more businesses are investing in cross-platform development services to build mobile apps that seamlessly run on iOS and Android.
Before we unveil the most popular framework for cross-platform development, it is important to understand some basics.
What is Cross-Platform App Development?
The cross-platform development or hybrid mobile app development approach focuses on developing mobile applications for multiple devices. This approach makes your product available to a larger segment of mobile users.
Instead of building separate apps for each operating system or using different tools, you can use a single cross-platform framework to develop an app that runs on multiple platforms. This ultimately reduces costs and makes it easier to update and maintain the mobile app.
Why Cross-Platform App Development?
Given the exponential increase in the cost of mobile app development for each operating system, cross-platform development is the best solution for today’s enterprises. Below are some additional benefits of cross-platform development:
- Quicker development times: No need to undergo the hassle of developing different apps for each mobile app platform. Instead, focus on crafting a single codebase
- Larger audience reach: Cross-platform apps can be accessed on any platform and device. This extends their potential user base across multiple platforms.
- Easier maintenance: Since a single app is compatible with running on all operating systems, maintaining and deploying code is easier than native app development.
- Faster time-to-market: Write once, run everywhere. This philosophy of cross-platform development reduces time-to-market and promotes quick deployment.
Best Cross-Platform App Development Frameworks 2023
With a plethora of cross-platform app development frameworks available out there, choosing the right solution can be daunting. To help you navigate through different options, we have compiled a list of 2023’s best cross-platform app development frameworks:
Flutter – Most Widely Used
Flutter is the most popular cross-platform framework for mobile app development, according to a 2022 developer survey. Introduced by Google in 2017, it is a software development kit (SDK) that fastens the app development process. This framework is not only used by Google, but also by e-commerce businesses like eBay and Alibaba Group.
Pros of Flutter:
- Using fast Dart programming language
- An array of UI components and APIs
- Hot reload allowing faster development
- Best for MVP development
Cons of Flutter:
- Complex debugging process
- Creates mobile applications of bigger sizes
- No support provided for Android TV and Apple TV
Designed by Facebook (now Meta), React Native was introduced in 2015. It assists React.js app developers build dynamic and responsive user interfaces. Unlike traditional cross-platform app development frameworks, this framework employs a native rendering engine. This enables apps to have a native look and feel on both iOS and Android devices.
Pros of React Native:
- Easy access to native functionalities
- Provides a highly responsive interface
- Live reload feature to track changes in real-time
- Code reusability for a fast development process
Cons of React Native:
- Lacks consistency when releasing updates
- A limited number of APIs and UI components
- Increased duration of debugging, especially on Android
Xamarin – Enterprises’ Favorite
Introduced in 2011 as an independent cross-app development tool, Xamarin was acquired by Microsoft in 2016. This is an open-source framework that solves the issues of disjointed, native technology stacks. Xamarin allows developers to write a single codebase in C# and share it across different platforms, saving them hours and dollars.
Pros of Xamarin:
- Native-like performance and user interface
- Robust runtime environment for debugging
- A single technology stack for faster development
- Backed by a strong community of developers worldwide
Cons of Xamarin:
- Lack of support for core, niche features
- Requires additional customization for each app platform
- Expensive compared to other cross-platform frameworks
While there are many more frameworks to choose from, these are, so far, 2023’s most popular cross-platform app development platforms. At SoftProdigy, we use all these technologies (and more) to deliver fast, reliable cross-platform development services. If you have an app idea in mind, don’t hesitate to talk!
What factors should I consider when picking a cross-platform framework?
When choosing a framework for your cross-platform app development project, consider the performance, native features, APIs, speed, cost, support, and updates.
What are the limitations of cross-platform development?
While cross-platform app development is fast and cost-effective, it does come with a few limitations, such as performance limitations, limited access to native features, platform-specific issues, and dependency on framework updates
Which database do you use for cross-platform?
As a leading provider of cross-platform development services in India, we rely on three main cross-platform database systems: MongoDB, MySQL, and SQLite