Cross Platform App Development: Frameworks and Advantages
April 2, 2024

Have you ever found yourself in the midst of a lively debate if cross platform app development is the right approach or not?

Worry not, because that’s what we are going to talk about today.

In today's crowded digital landscape, where over 2.59 million apps beckon in the Google Play Store and 1.96 million in the Apple App Store, the race to capture the attention of millions of potential users is fierce. It has now become a game of platforms - Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, macOS - each with its own vast audience.

So, as you ponder the path to digital domination, remember that the cross-platform journey is not just about code – it's about crafting an experience that works seamlessly across platforms, just like the tech giants who've already paved their way toward successful applications.

All of this would have made you more excited to know about cross platform mobile app development. Right? Let’s begin.

What does cross platform mobile app development mean?

If you’re wondering- how to develop an app for both Android and iOS then cross platform mobile application development is the solution for you!

Cross platform development pertains to creating applications that are compatible with multiple operating systems. It often involves utilizing a single programming language for a significant part of the development process, as opposed to native development which employs platform-specific tools and languages.

For instance, Android app development commonly involves languages like Java and Kotlin, while iOS app development relies on languages such as Objective-C and Swift.

None of these programming languages are inherently tied to specific devices or operating systems. Subsequently, utilizing well-known frameworks designed for mobile app development, the code is encapsulated within native containers. These containers enable seamless interaction with both Android and iOS systems.

To create cross-platform software, developers employ platform-agnostic technologies such as Dart, C#, and JavaScript (for achieving near-native cross-platform functionality), as well as HTML, JavaScript, and CSS (for hybrid development). 

In contrast, cross-platform mobile app development aims to build apps that can function equally well on both platforms, primarily using one programming language. This approach streamlines the management of the underlying code.

Advantages of cross platform apps

Businesses and developers are constantly seeking innovative ways to reach a wider audience while optimizing development time and costs. One solution that has provoked business to go with is cross platform application development. This approach offers a range of benefits that empower businesses to create efficient, feature-rich, and cost-effective mobile applications.

1. Wider Audience Reach

Cross-platform apps are designed to run seamlessly on multiple operating systems, such as iOS and Android. By developing a single codebase that can be deployed across different platforms, businesses can tap into a broader audience without the need for separate app versions. This approach ensures consistent user experiences and allows for rapid expansion into new markets.

2. Cost-Effectiveness

Traditional native app development often requires separate teams for iOS and Android, resulting in higher development costs. Cross platform development streamlines the process by enabling developers to write code once and deploy it across multiple platforms. This approach significantly reduces development time and costs, making it an ideal choice for startups and small to medium-sized businesses with limited budgets.

3. Faster Development Cycle

Time-to-market is crucial in the competitive app landscape. Cross platform development accelerates the development cycle by enabling simultaneous coding for multiple platforms. Developers can leverage frameworks like React Native, Flutter, or Xamarin to build apps more quickly, ensuring timely releases and updates.

4. Ease of Maintenance

Managing updates and bug fixes can be challenging when dealing with multiple codebases for native apps. Cross-platform apps simplify maintenance, as changes can be implemented across all platforms from a single codebase. This streamlined approach ensures consistency and reduces the risk of inconsistencies between different app versions.

benefits of cross platform app development

5. Reusable Codebase

One of the primary advantages of multi platform app development is the ability to reuse a significant portion of the code across different platforms. This not only saves time but also promotes consistency in features, design, and functionality. Developers can focus on creating a rich user experience rather than duplicating efforts.

6. Access to Native Features

Cross platform frameworks provide access to native device features and APIs, allowing developers to create apps that deliver native-like performance and functionality. This ensures that users can enjoy a seamless experience while benefiting from device-specific capabilities.

7. Uniform User Experience

Consistency in user experience is crucial for the success of any mobile app. Cross platform development ensures that users across different platforms have access to the same set of features, design elements, and interactions, fostering brand loyalty and user satisfaction.

8. Rapid Prototyping and Iteration

Cross platform frameworks offer tools for rapid prototyping and iteration. Developers can quickly test and refine app ideas, gather user feedback, and make necessary adjustments before a full-scale launch. This agile approach enhances the overall quality of the app and reduces the risk of costly revisions post-launch.

Are there any frameworks for cross platform application development?

Each operating system follows distinct rules, utilizes specific application programming interfaces (APIs), and incorporates unique user interface components. Frameworks serve as intermediaries, handling the translation and compatibility of a developer's code with the underlying system.

Moreover, frameworks empower developers to write code without an exhaustive understanding of the native language of the target operating system. Instead, they provide an abstract layer that hides the complexities of the underlying technology and language. This abstraction empowers developers to code using their preferred language, although some familiarity with native languages might still be necessary at times.

Frameworks come with pre-built tools and libraries that streamline the development process, enabling significant achievements with reduced effort.

The following segment highlights several noteworthy cross platform development frameworks in 2023 that are valuable to be aware of.

6 best cross platform app development frameworks

The increasing trend of cross platform mobile development has given rise to several frameworks catering to diverse developer needs. Here's a rundown of popular cross-platform app development tools tailored to specific requirements.

1. React Native

React Native, a remarkable open-source cross platform mobile development framework conceived by Meta (previously known as Facebook), comes to the scene with its ingenious approach. It empowers developers to conjure dynamic UI components, utilizing the ever-potent React library. This architectural marvel doesn't stop there, it weaves its magic to deliver an app experience that's akin to the smoothness of a native environment.

Adding to its allure is the compatibility of a bustling and enthusiastic Facebook community. This community, as robust as a well-brewed espresso, stands ready to assist and share in the journey of creating exceptional apps.

Among the array of React Native's achievements, we find shining stars like Skype, Bloomberg, and the intricately woven components within the digital tapestry of Facebook and Instagram. These applications showcase the prowess and versatility that React Native brings to the world of cross-platform development.

2. Flutter

Flutter, a brainchild of Google, stands out as an open-source framework meticulously crafted to accelerate the app development journey through the prowess of the Dart programming language. This choice of language lays the foundation of swiftness in performance, enabling apps to function with responsiveness.

What truly sets Flutter in motion is its functionality across multiple platforms. With a unified codebase that elegantly traverses the ecosystem, Flutter app development caters to a world where your creations can seamlessly waltz onto different stages, be it Android, iOS, or beyond. 

A nod to its acclaim – a resounding 46% of developers have embraced Flutter with open arms. Some of the brands using Flutter are eBay, Alibaba, Google Pay, and the enchanting world of ByteDance apps. These creations exemplify Flutter's prowess in transforming code into experiences that captivate and engage.

cross platform frameworks

3. Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile

Crafted with expertise by JetBrains, Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile emerges as a dynamic open-source Software Development Kit (SDK), empowering the realm of cross-platform app development through the ingenious application of the Kotlin programming language. 

This innovative toolkit harnesses the innate efficiency of Kotlin while seamlessly integrating with the Android-native ecosystem, thereby orchestrating a symphony of flawless android app development.

Noteworthy industry pioneers, including but not limited to Philips, Baidu, Netflix, and Leroy Merlin, have all joined the chorus of success stories woven by Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile. These applications stand as a testament to the versatility of this framework, illustrating its ability to transcend platforms and transform ideas into tangible, user-centric experiences.

4. .Net MAUI (Xamarin)

Xamarin framework now known as .Net MAUI emerges as an open-source tool, leveraging the power of XAML and C# to orchestrate the functions to build cross-platform mobile apps. Its versatile reach extends gracefully to Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows, offering a harmonious blend of universality and specialization.

Within its toolkit, .Net MAUI's secret ability lies in its dedicated focus on native components. This distinctive capability ensures that applications breathe the air of authenticity on every platform they are on.

TenScent, UPS, Ernst & Young, and Delta stand as monuments to its ingenuity, bearing witness to the remarkable capabilities that flow from this multifaceted framework.

5. Cordova

Cordova emerges as an open-source framework that empowers developers to embark on the journey of multiplatform mobile app development by skillfully leveraging the potency of web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. 

The fusion of these languages weaves a tapestry of functionality that resonates with the online world, while simultaneously upholding the sophisticated visual and interactive elements intrinsic to native aesthetics.

Noteworthy is Cordova's adeptness at preserving the nuanced familiarity of native user experiences, even as it entwines them with the dynamic capabilities drawn from the web landscape. This seamless blend creates an ecosystem where users are greeted by the comfort of familiarity while navigating applications that showcase modernity and relevance. Notable applications include Adobe, JustWatch, and Walmart.

6. Ionic

Utilizing the power of Angular, Ionic emerges as a formidable framework tailored for the art of sculpting cross platform applications. Within it lies a diverse array of mobile-optimized UI components, poised to elevate the visual and functionality of your creations. Its innate ability to seamlessly fuse with prevalent web technologies imparts a touch of magic, simplifying the amalgamation of web and app domains.

This isn't just another framework, it's a portal to innovation. The Ionic ecosystem resonates with the footprints of success, as witnessed in the likes of T-Mobile, where it enriches user experiences, or within the realm of BBC's Children’s & Education apps, where imagination knows no bounds. 

Therefore, these frameworks cater to a spectrum of developer preferences, enabling efficient cross-platform app development with varying features and language choices.

Native vs Cross Platform Development

When it comes to developing mobile or desktop applications, two major approaches stand out: native app development and cross platform app development. Both methods have their unique characteristics and benefits, catering to different development needs and objectives. So, let’s delve into the key differences between native and cross-platform development, helping you make informed decisions for your app development projects.

Key Differences Native App Development Cross-Platform App Development
Definition Built for a specific platform (For ex, Android or iOS) using platform-specific languages. Utilizes device features for optimal performance. Runs on multiple platforms with a single codebase, often using frameworks like React Native or Flutter.
Performance Offers superior performance and responsiveness due to direct hardware and OS interaction. Slightly lower performance as it relies on an abstraction layer, but modern frameworks narrow the gap.
Time & Cost Requires separate development for each platform, potentially increasing time and cost. Minimizes development time and cost with a shared codebase across platforms.
UI & UX Adheres to platform-specific design guidelines, delivering a seamless user experience. Adheres to platform-specific design guidelines, delivering a seamless user experience.
Device Features Offers unfettered access to device-specific features, such as camera, GPS, and sensors, by maximizing app capabilities. Presents access to a subset of device features through plugins or native modules, potentially limiting app functionality.

The choice between native and cross platform development hinges on your project's imperatives. Native stands tall with its superior performance and platform-specific UX, while cross-platform shines in its streamlined development process and cost-efficiency. Therefore, by utilizing the strengths of each approach and aligning them with your project goals, you can build exceptional apps that resonate seamlessly across platforms and cater to your target audience's preferences.

How multiplatform mobile app development can become a seamless process with Antino?

In the contemporary landscape, establishing mobile iterations of apps has become essential for companies striving to maintain their competitive edge. Among the array of options, cross-platform development emerges as the optimal choice, enabling businesses to efficiently craft dependable applications compatible with various customer devices.

Antino stands at the forefront of cross-platform app development services, offering a comprehensive suite that encompasses consultancy, coding, seamless re-platforming, constant support, and sustained maintenance. Our approach revolves around tailoring mobile solutions in alignment with each client's distinct prerequisites, ensuring the delivery of an optimal product that perfectly suits their needs.

For further insights, don't hesitate to engage with our experts. They are primed to fill you in with comprehensive details and facilitate the initiation of your cross platform mobile app development initiative.

Some of the cross platform apps developed by Antino

1. Fitbasix

To help revolutionize the fitness journey of users, Antino helped Fitbasix develop a Web Admin Panel while also revamping its website and cross-platform applications.

Technologies We Used

Flutter | Node js | Server AWS

Challenges that the Client was Facing

  • Managing recurring payments like EMIs
  • Resolving the time gap between payment notifications
  • Generating customizable invoices
  • Preventing random allocation of trainers

Solutions We Provided

  • Our developers created a custom function for all the necessary calculations and processes to handle recurring payments in the system
  • To resolve the time gap, our experienced developers removed the payment dependency on the webhook
  • Enriched the app with a PDF kit to generate invoices in a desired format that can be easily customized using HTML and CSS
  • Integrated the ‘trainer assign’ feature in the admin panel to ensure the allocation of appropriate trainers for the users

2. India Legal

Pioneered the development of India's inaugural all-encompassing Legal Application from scratch while also facilitating seamless connections between individuals and accomplished legal experts nationwide.

Technologies We Used

Flutter | Node.js | React

Challenges that the Client was Facing

  • Building India’s first-ever legal app from scratch
  • Bifurcating a single app into 2 different segments- Users and Lawyers
  • Integrating ‘Suraksha Kavach’
  • Building Admin panel to monitor activities seamlessly

Solutions We Provided

  • Conducted thorough research to successfully launch India’s first-ever Legal App
  • Built distinct dashboards for users and lawyers to offer a seamless experience
  • Integrated two-factor authentication and other security features into Amazon s3 bucket so that data can accessed only through Amazon servers
  • Developed a dashboard that provides real-time updates on user and lawyer activities along with customization features

Key Takeaways

  • Cross platform appdevelopment allows for the creation of applications compatible with multiple operating systems, reducing the need for separate codebases for each platform.
  • It offers a range of benefits, including wider audience reach, cost-effectiveness, faster development cycles, ease of maintenance, and reusable code.
  • Popular cross-platform frameworks in 2023 include React Native, Flutter, Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile, .Net MAUI (Xamarin), Cordova, and Ionic.
  • Native app development is built specifically for one platform (e.g., Android or iOS) using platform-specific languages, offering superior performance. 
  • Cross-platform development runs on multiple platforms with a single codebase, using frameworks like React Native or Flutter, and offers slightly lower performance but minimizes development time and cost.
  • The choice between native and cross-platform development should be based on project imperatives, with native excelling in performance and platform-specific UX, while cross-platform shines in streamlined development and cost-efficiency.

All in all, cross-platform development is a powerful approach to reaching a broader audience efficiently and cost-effectively. It offers a range of benefits and is supported by a variety of frameworks designed to meet different developer needs.


How cost-effective is it to choose a cross-platform application over a native application?

Choosing a cross-platform application over a native one can be significantly more cost-effective, as it allows for code reuse across different platforms, hence, reducing development time and expenses.

What factors should you consider in deciding whether to build a cross-platform application or not?

Factors to consider in deciding between cross-platform and native development include budget constraints, target audience, performance requirements, and the need for platform-specific features.

Which sort of applications is recommended for cross-platform development?

Cross-platform is recommended for applications that prioritize efficiency, quick deployment, and cost savings, particularly for business, productivity, and content-based apps. 

Can you opt for cross-platform gaming as well?

Yes, cross-platform development is suitable for gaming applications as well. Frameworks like Unity, Unreal Engine, and Xamarin can be used to develop games that run smoothly on various platforms, including Android and iOS.

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Vartika Mangal
(AVP- Technology, Antino)
With over 5 years of expertise in Flutter App Development, Vartika has been instrumental in leading a team of over twenty professionals. Her proficiency encompasses Dart, Flutter, Firebase, Android native, JavaScript, Node.js, and SQL servers