7 Trending Cross Platform App Development Frameworks of 2023

In the fast-paced world of mobile app development, building applications that seamlessly run on multiple platforms has become a necessity.

With the ever-growing demand for both iOS and Android apps, businesses and developers are constantly seeking efficient and cost-effective solutions. This is where cross-platform app development frameworks come into play, offering a streamlined approach to creating robust applications that can reach a broader audience.

However, with a plethora of cross-platform app development frameworks available in the market, choosing the right one can be a daunting task. Each framework comes with its own set of features, capabilities, and trade-offs. To help you navigate through this maze of options, we have compiled a comprehensive guide to the best cross platform app development frameworks.

Key Takeaways

  • Cross-platform app development has gained significant traction in recent years as businesses strive to reach a wider audience with their mobile applications.
  • Leveraging the power of frameworks specifically designed for cross-platform development can save time, effort, and resources.
  • In this blog summary, we will explore some of the best cross-platform app development frameworks available in the market today.
  • When it comes to cross-platform app development, choosing the right framework is crucial. React Native, Flutter, Xamarin, Ionic, and NativeScript are among the best cross-platform app development frameworks available today.
  • Each framework has its strengths and capabilities, catering to different development preferences and project requirements. By leveraging these frameworks, businesses can streamline their app development process, reach a broader audience, and maximize their return on investment.

What is Cross Platform App Development Framework?

A cross-platform app development framework is a software tool or platform that enables developers to create mobile applications that can run on multiple operating systems, such as iOS and Android, with a single codebase.

Instead of building separate applications for each platform using different programming languages and tools, developers can use a cross-platform framework to write the code once and deploy it on multiple platforms.

Cross platform app development frameworks provide a set of libraries, tools, and APIs that abstract the underlying platform differences, allowing developers to create consistent user interfaces and access device-specific features.

These mobile app development frameworks typically use web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to develop mobile apps. The code is then compiled into a native executable that can run on different platforms.

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Benefits of Cross-Platform App Development Frameworks

Cross-platform app development frameworks offer several benefits for developers and businesses.

Benefits of Cross-Platform App Development Frameworks

  • Code Reusability: Cross-platform frameworks enable developers to write code once and deploy it across multiple platforms, such as iOS, Android, and web. This reduces development time and effort as the majority of the codebase can be shared across platforms, leading to faster time-to-market.
  • Cost Efficiency: Developing separate native apps for each platform can be expensive. Cross-platform frameworks significantly reduce costs as developers can leverage a single codebase for multiple platforms. This approach requires fewer mobile app developers, less time, and lowers maintenance expenses.
  • Faster Development: With cross-platform frameworks, developers can simultaneously develop apps for multiple platforms. This streamlines the mobile development process and ensures consistent functionality and user experience across different devices. It also simplifies updates and bug fixes, as changes can be applied universally.
  • Wider Market Reach: By targeting multiple platforms, businesses can reach a larger audience. Cross-platform apps can be deployed to both iOS and Android users, capturing a broader user base. This can be especially beneficial for startups or businesses looking to expand their customer base quickly.
  • Consistent User Experience: Cross-platform frameworks often provide tools and libraries that allow developers to create a unified user experience across platforms. This means that users will have a consistent look and feel, regardless of the device they are using. Maintaining a cohesive brand identity and user experience is crucial for user satisfaction and engagement.
  • Simplified Maintenance: Managing a single codebase is generally easier than maintaining separate codebases for each platform. Cross-platform frameworks simplify the maintenance process, as updates and bug fixes can be applied universally. This leads to faster deployment of improvements and ensures a smoother user experience.
  • Access to Native Features: Cross-platform frameworks typically provide access to native device features through plugins or APIs. Developers can leverage these resources to access device-specific capabilities such as camera, GPS, contacts, and push notifications. This allows them to create feature-rich apps that utilize the functionalities of each platform.
  • Community and Support: Popular cross-platform frameworks have vibrant and active communities. Developers can benefit from a wealth of online resources, forums, and libraries contributed by the community. This support ecosystem helps developers overcome challenges, find solutions, and stay updated with the latest mobile app development trends and best practices.

However, the choice of any particular cross-platform app development framework should be based on the specific requirements and constraints of the project.

7 Best Cross-Platform App Development Frameworks

As per the recent survey by Statista, Flutter is the most popular cross-platform mobile framework used by global developers, according to a 2022 developer survey.

Cross Platform Mobile Frameworks Used by Software Developers Worldwide

Let’s explore some of the best cross-platform app development frameworks that will help you design and build robust mobile apps for your business needs.

  1. Ionic

    Ionic is an open-source framework for building cross-platform mobile applications using web programming languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It provides a set of tools and UI components that allow developers to create mobile apps that can run on multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, and the web, using a single codebase.

    Here are some key aspects of Ionic:

    • Hybrid App Development: Ionic uses a hybrid app development approach, where the core of the application is built using web technologies and then wrapped in a native container. By comparing Native app with Hybrid app, it allows developers to reuse their existing web development skills and code to create mobile apps that can be deployed on various platforms.
    • UI Components: Ionic comes with a rich set of pre-designed UI components that follow the native look and feel of each platform. These components include buttons, lists, forms, navigation menus, modals, tabs, and more. Developers can easily customize the appearance and behavior of these components to match their app’s design requirements.
    • Cordova Integration: Ionic integrates with Apache Cordova, a platform that provides access to native device features using JavaScript APIs. Cordova allows developers to access device capabilities such as the camera, contacts, geolocation, file system, and more. Ionic provides a simplified and unified interface to interact with Cordova plugins, making it easier to add native functionality to your app.
    • Angular Integration: Ionic is built on top of Angular, a popular JavaScript framework for building web applications. Angular provides a powerful and structured way to develop complex web applications, and Ionic leverages its capabilities to create mobile apps with a component-based architecture, data binding, dependency injection, and other Angular features. However, Ionic also supports other frameworks like React and Vue.js.
    • Themability and Styling: Ionic apps can be easily customized and styled to match the desired look and feel. Ionic provides a theming system that allows Ionic app developers to define color schemes, typography, and other visual aspects of their app. Additionally, CSS classes can be used to style individual components, or developers can use their own custom CSS to achieve the desired styling.
    • App Deployment: Ionic apps can be deployed as native apps through app stores like the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. The Ionic CLI (Command Line Interface) provides commands to build, package, and deploy the app to these platforms. Additionally, Ionic apps can also be deployed as web apps, allowing users to access the app through a web browser on any device.
    • Community and Ecosystem: Ionic has a large and active community of developers who contribute to its development, share knowledge, and provide support. The Ionic community has created a wide range of plugins, themes, and starter templates that can be used to enhance and accelerate the app development process.

    Ionic is a powerful framework for building cross-platform mobile applications using web technologies. It allows developers to leverage their existing skills and codebase to create apps that can run on multiple platforms, while providing a rich set of UI components, native device access, theming options, and an active community for support and resources.

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  2. Flutter

    Flutter is an open-source UI (User Interface) software development kit (SDK) developed by Google. It allows developers to create high-quality, native-looking applications for mobile, web, and desktop platforms from a single codebase.

    Flutter was first introduced in 2015 and has gained significant popularity among developers due to its simplicity, performance, and fast development cycle.

    Key Features of Flutter:

    • Single Codebase: Flutter uses a single codebase to develop applications for multiple platforms, including Android, iOS, web, and desktop. This significantly reduces development time and effort, as developers don’t need to write separate code for each platform.
    • Dart Programming Language: Flutter uses the Dart programming language, which is also developed by Google. Dart is an object-oriented language that is easy to learn and offers features like just-in-time (JIT) compilation and ahead-of-time (AOT) compilation. It provides a modern syntax, garbage collection, and a large set of libraries, making it well-suited for building mobile apps.
    • Widget-Based UI: Flutter uses a declarative approach to building user interfaces. It has a rich set of customizable UI components called widgets, which are the building blocks of the user interface. Widgets can be arranged and combined to create complex UI layouts. Flutter provides a wide range of pre-built widgets for common use cases, as well as the ability to create custom widgets.
    • Hot Reload: One of the most powerful features of Flutter app development is its hot reload capability. It allows developers to see the changes they make in the code immediately reflected in the app, without having to restart or rebuild the entire application. This significantly speeds up the development process and enables rapid iteration and experimentation.
    • High Performance: Flutter delivers high-performance applications with native-like speed and smoothness. It achieves this by using its own rendering engine called Skia, which provides a consistent UI experience across platforms. Flutter apps are compiled directly to native machine code, eliminating the need for a JavaScript bridge, resulting in improved performance and reduced startup times.
    • Rich Ecosystem and Community: Flutter has a vibrant and active community of developers, which contributes to its ecosystem of packages and plugins. There is a wide range of third-party libraries and tools available to enhance the capabilities of Flutter applications, making it easier to integrate with other services, handle state management, manage databases, and more.
    • Platform Integration: Flutter provides seamless integration with platform-specific features and APIs. It allows developers to access device features such as camera, geolocation, sensors, and storage through platform channels. Additionally, Flutter offers a set of Material Design and Cupertino (iOS-style) widgets that match the native look and feel of each platform.
    • Testing and Debugging Tools: Flutter provides a comprehensive set of testing and debugging tools. It includes a rich set of unit testing and integration testing frameworks, as well as tools for inspecting and debugging the UI layout, performance profiling, and logging. These tools help developers ensure the quality and reliability of their applications.
    • Versatile Deployment: Flutter supports the deployment of applications to various platforms. It allows developers to package their apps into standalone executables for Android, iOS, web, and desktop platforms. Flutter also supports continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) workflows, enabling developers to automate the building, testing, and deployment of their applications.
    • Growing Popularity: Flutter has gained significant traction in the developer community due to its advantages and ease of use. It is backed by Google, which provides strong support, regular updates, and an active developer community. Many companies and startups have adopted Flutter for their app development, making it a popular choice for building cross-platform applications.

    In summary, Flutter is a powerful SDK that enables developers to create high-performance, cross-platform applications with a single codebase.

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  3. React Native

    React Native is an open-source framework developed by Facebook for building mobile applications. It allows developers to use JavaScript and React, a popular JavaScript library for building user interfaces, to create native-like apps for both iOS and Android platforms.

    The key concept behind React Native is that it enables developers to write code once and then deploy it on multiple platforms, rather than having to write separate code bases for each platform. It achieves this by using a combination of JavaScript and native components.

    Key Features of React Native

    • Cross-platform development: React Native allows developers to build applications for both iOS and Android platforms using a single codebase. This reduces development time and effort, as there is no need to maintain separate codebases for each platform.
    • Native-like performance: React Native uses native components and APIs, which enables apps to achieve high performance and responsiveness. It leverages the device’s GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) for rendering, resulting in smooth animations and a native-like user experience.
    • Hot-reloading: React Native supports hot-reloading, which means developers can see the changes they make in real-time while the app is running. This feature significantly speeds up the development process by eliminating the need for full app recompilation after every code change.
    • Code reusability: With React Native best practices, developers can reuse a significant portion of their code across different platforms. This includes components, business logic, and utility functions, leading to faster development cycles and easier code maintenance.
    • Third-party library ecosystem: React Native has a thriving ecosystem of third-party libraries and packages. These libraries provide additional functionality and help developers address common requirements such as navigation, data storage, authentication, and more. This vast ecosystem allows developers to leverage pre-built solutions and speed up development.
    • Live updates: React Native enables developers to push updates directly to users’ devices without going through the app store update process. This feature is particularly useful for fixing bugs or introducing small changes without requiring users to download a new version of the app.
    • Developer community and support: React Native has a large and active community of developers. This community provides support, shares knowledge, and contributes to the improvement of the framework. The availability of resources, tutorials, and community-driven tools makes it easier for developers to learn and work with React Native.
  4. NativeScript

    NativeScript is an open-source framework that allows developers to build native mobile applications using JavaScript or TypeScript. It enables developers to write code once and deploy it on multiple platforms, including iOS and Android, without sacrificing performance or user experience.

    With NativeScript, developers can create mobile apps using familiar web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, leveraging their existing skills. NativeScript provides a bridge between the JavaScript code and the native APIs of the underlying platform, allowing access to device features and native UI elements.

    Key features of NativeScript include:

    • Native Performance: NativeScript applications are compiled into native code, providing performance similar to that of applications developed using platform-specific languages like Java or Swift. This ensures fast and responsive user experiences.
    • Cross-Platform Development: With NativeScript, developers can write code once and deploy it on multiple platforms, including iOS and Android. This saves time and effort by eliminating the need to develop separate codebases for each platform.
    • Access to Native APIs: NativeScript provides direct access to native APIs, allowing developers to utilize platform-specific features and capabilities. This includes accessing device hardware, sensors, camera, contacts, geolocation, and more.
    • Native UI Components: NativeScript offers a rich set of UI components and layout containers that are mapped directly to their native counterparts. This ensures that the user interface of the application looks and feels native on each platform.
    • Support for JavaScript and TypeScript: NativeScript supports both JavaScript and TypeScript development as programming languages, giving developers flexibility in their choice of language. TypeScript provides static typing and enhanced tooling, making it easier to build scalable applications.
    • Integration with Popular JavaScript Frameworks: NativeScript integrates seamlessly with popular JavaScript frameworks like Angular, Vue.js, and React. This allows developers to leverage the power and ecosystem of these frameworks while building native mobile apps.
    • Hot Module Replacement: NativeScript enables developers to make changes to the code and see the results immediately, without the need to rebuild the entire application. This speeds up the development and testing process.
    • Extensibility and Plugin Ecosystem: NativeScript offers a plugin ecosystem that allows developers to extend the functionality of their applications with ready-made plugins. These plugins cover a wide range of features, including analytics, push notifications, social sharing, and more.
    • Open-Source and Community-Driven: NativeScript is an open-source framework backed by a vibrant community. The community actively contributes to the framework’s development, provides support, and shares code samples and best practices.

    NativeScript simplifies the development process by providing a unified approach to building native mobile apps, reduces code duplication, and allows for a faster development cycle across multiple platforms.

  5. Xamarin

    Xamarin is a platform that allows developers to build cross-platform mobile applications using the C# programming language. It was acquired by Microsoft in 2016 and is now part of the .NET framework.

    With Xamarin, developers can write a single codebase in C# and share it across multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, and Windows. This approach saves time and effort compared to developing separate applications for each platform.

    Xamarin offers two main approaches for building applications. The first is Xamarin.Forms, which provides a UI toolkit that enables developers to create a single user interface that can be shared across platforms. The second approach is Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android, which allow developers to build native user interfaces using the respective platform-specific tools and APIs.

    Some of the key features of Xamarin include:

    • Cross-platform development: Xamarin allows developers to write code in C# and share it across multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, and Windows. This means that a single codebase can be used to build applications for different platforms, saving time and effort.
    • Native-like performance: Xamarin enables developers to access and utilize the full power of the underlying platform by providing bindings to the native APIs. This allows developers to create high-performance applications that have a native look and feel.
    • Native user interfaces: Xamarin provides two approaches for building user interfaces. Xamarin.Forms allows developers to create a single UI codebase that can be shared across platforms, while Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android allow developers to build platform-specific, native user interfaces using the respective tools and APIs.
    • Access to platform-specific APIs: Xamarin provides access to platform-specific APIs, enabling developers to leverage the unique features and capabilities of each platform. This allows for deep integration with device functionality, such as camera, GPS, and sensors.
    • Code sharing and reuse: Xamarin promotes code sharing and reuse through its shared codebase approach. Developers can share business logic, data access, and networking code across platforms, reducing development time and effort.
    • Integration with existing code: Xamarin seamlessly integrates with existing code written in C# and .NET, making it easier to migrate and extend existing applications to mobile platforms. It also supports popular development environments like Visual Studio, enabling a familiar and productive development experience.
    • Robust ecosystem: Xamarin has a rich ecosystem of libraries, plugins, and tools, including NuGet package manager, Xamarin.Forms controls, and Xamarin Component Store. These resources provide additional functionality and help streamline the development process.
    • Xamarin Test Cloud: Xamarin Test Cloud is a cloud-based testing platform that allows developers to test their applications on hundreds of real devices. This helps ensure the quality and performance of the app across different devices and platforms.

    Xamarin provides access to the full functionality of the underlying platforms, allowing developers to create high-performance, native-like applications. It also provides a rich ecosystem of libraries, plugins, and tools, making it easier to integrate with existing code and third-party services.

    Xamarin is a powerful platform for developing cross-platform mobile applications, enabling developers to leverage their existing skills in C# and .NET to build native-like apps for multiple platforms.

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  6. PhoneGap

    PhoneGap, now known as Apache Cordova, is an open-source mobile application development framework. It allows developers to create mobile apps using standard web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

    PhoneGap bridges the gap between web development and native mobile app development by providing a platform for building apps that can run on multiple mobile operating systems, including iOS, Android, and Windows.

    With PhoneGap, developers can write their app’s code using web technologies and then package it as a native app for various platforms.

    PhoneGap uses a WebView component to render the app’s user interface, which enables it to access device features and capabilities using JavaScript APIs. This approach simplifies cross-platform development, as developers can reuse a significant portion of their codebase across different platforms.

    Here are some of the top features of PhoneGap (Apache Cordova):

    • Cross-platform Development: PhoneGap allows developers to write their app’s code using web technologies (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) and deploy it across multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows, and more. This saves time and effort by reducing the need for platform-specific development.
    • Access to Native Features: PhoneGap provides a wide range of plugins that enable access to native device features and capabilities. Developers can utilize these plugins to incorporate functionalities such as camera, contacts, geolocation, file system, accelerometer, and more into their applications.
    • Web Standards: PhoneGap is based on web standards, making it easy for developers familiar with web development technologies to get started. Existing web skills can be leveraged to build mobile apps without the need to learn platform-specific languages.
    • Simplified Development Process: PhoneGap streamlines the mobile app development process by allowing developers to use a single codebase. This codebase can be shared across different platforms, reducing the need to write separate code for each platform.
    • Developer Community and Ecosystem: PhoneGap has a vibrant and active community of developers. This community provides support, resources, and plugins that extend the capabilities of PhoneGap. The availability of a robust ecosystem helps developers overcome challenges and find solutions more efficiently.
    • Debugging and Testing: PhoneGap offers tools and frameworks for debugging and testing mobile applications. Developers can use the integrated debugging tools and simulators/emulators to test their apps during development, ensuring better app performance and stability.
    • Integration with Third-Party Tools: PhoneGap can be easily integrated with various third-party tools, libraries, and frameworks. This allows developers to leverage additional functionalities and extend the capabilities of their apps.
    • Offline Functionality: PhoneGap enables the development of offline-capable applications. By leveraging local data storage capabilities, developers can create apps that can function without an internet connection and sync data when a connection is available.
    • Native-Like User Interface: PhoneGap applications can be designed to offer a native-like user experience. By utilizing CSS frameworks and design techniques, developers can create visually appealing and responsive user interfaces.
    • Continuous Updates and Improvements: PhoneGap is an open-source framework actively maintained by a community of contributors. Regular updates and improvements are made to enhance its capabilities, fix bugs, and support the latest mobile platforms and technologies.

    PhoneGap provides a set of pre-built plugins that allow developers to access native device functionality, such as the camera, contacts, accelerometer, and more. Additionally, developers can create custom plugins to extend the framework’s capabilities and interact with native APIs.

  7. Kotlin

    Kotlin is a statically typed programming language that runs on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and can also be compiled to JavaScript or native code. It was developed by JetBrains and officially released in 2016. Kotlin is designed to be concise, expressive, and interoperable with existing Java code, making it a popular choice for Android app development.

    One of the main goals of Kotlin is to address common pain points of Java and improve developer productivity. It achieves this through features such as null safety, type inference, smart casts, extension functions, coroutines for asynchronous programming, and more. Kotlin also introduces functional programming concepts, including lambda expressions and higher-order functions.

    Top features of Kotlin

    • Concise Syntax: Kotlin’s syntax is designed to be more concise and expressive than Java. It reduces boilerplate code and eliminates many common sources of errors, making code more readable and maintainable.
    • Null Safety: Kotlin’s type system includes built-in null safety. It helps prevent null pointer exceptions by distinguishing nullable and non-nullable types, reducing the risk of null-related bugs.
    • Interoperability: Kotlin is fully interoperable with Java, allowing developers to call Java code from Kotlin and vice versa. This means Kotlin can be gradually introduced into existing Java projects without requiring a full rewrite.
    • Extension Functions: Kotlin allows developers to extend existing classes with new functions without modifying their source code. This feature enables adding functionality to classes from external libraries or APIs.
    • Data Classes: Kotlin provides data classes that automatically generate commonly used methods like equals(), hashCode(), and toString(). These classes are particularly useful for modeling data and reducing boilerplate code.
    • Higher-Order Functions: Kotlin supports higher-order functions, which means functions can be passed as parameters or returned from other functions. This allows developers to write more functional and expressive code.
    • Coroutines: Kotlin introduces coroutines, which are lightweight threads for asynchronous programming. Coroutines simplify asynchronous code and make it easier to write and understand asynchronous tasks, such as network requests or database operations.
    • Smart Casts: Kotlin’s type system includes smart casts that automatically cast objects to more specific types based on certain conditions. This eliminates the need for explicit type checks and type casting in many cases, reducing code verbosity.
    • Ranges and Progressions: Kotlin provides a concise syntax for defining ranges of values and iterating over them. This feature simplifies common tasks like looping and iterating over collections.
    • String Templates: Kotlin supports string templates, allowing variables and expressions to be directly embedded in strings. This feature enhances string manipulation and makes it more readable.

    With Kotlin, developers can write cleaner and more readable code with fewer boilerplate and null pointer exceptions. It offers seamless integration with Java, allowing developers to interoperate between the two languages within the same project. This makes it easy to adopt Kotlin gradually in existing Java codebases.


    In conclusion, when it comes to cross-platform app development frameworks, several options have proven to be reliable, efficient, and developer-friendly.

    After exploring some of the best frameworks available, it’s clear that each one has its strengths and weaknesses, and the choice ultimately depends on the specific requirements and preferences of the project at hand.

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