As of 2019, Statista reported there are 2.5 million apps in Google Play and 1.8 million in the App Store. That’s a lot of apps, and if you’re looking to launch one of your own, it’s now more important than ever to have a strong presence on both platforms.
Cross-platform development plays a major role in getting your app in both marketplaces cost-effectively. If you’re not familiar with the practice, it’s simply the term for developing mobile apps that can be used on multiple platforms, like iOS and Android, by using a single codebase. It’s a faster, cheaper, and more efficient way of getting your app onto multiple devices.
Among all the cross-platform frameworks available to choose from when deciding to build cross-platform apps, React Native, Flutter, and Xamarin are the three major contenders.
Let’s explore some key features of each, so you can make the best choice for your app development project.
3 Cross-Platform Frameworks to Consider When Building a Mobile App
- React Native
1. React Native
Here are some examples of React Native apps that you’re probably familiar with:
- Uber Eats
And there’s more where that came from, too! Clearly, React Native is a trusted framework, and it’s only getting better. In fact, React Native’s upcoming improvements, with features like live reloading, hot reloading, and fast refresh make it a promising business solution for 2020.
For an app developer looking to use React Native as their framework, you can expect benefits like third-party app compatibility, a straightforward approach to development, and a framework that emphasizes smooth UI.
Flutter is an app SDK, or software development kit, that aims to build high-performance and high-fidelity mobile apps for a range of platforms, including iOS, Android, and web. The framework, like React Native, does so by allowing developers to use a single codebase.
It’s written using C, C++, Skia Graphic, and Dart, which allows for rapid compilation. Specifically, Dart compiles a program using Ahead of Time (AOT) compilation into native code, so there’s no need for extra tools. That fast development plays a key role in changing workflow.
The framework has a number of advantages. Flutter:
- Is highly productive
- Allows for easy prototyping, iterations, and experimentation
- Is perfect for those looking to debug and fix crashes
- Creates beautiful and highly customizable UIs
- The use of widgets creates a unified, consistent object model
Flutter’s fast compilation, use of widgets, and other advantages make it a great choice for any developer looking to leverage a cross-platform framework to reduce costs and increase efficiency.
Xamarin offers a single .NET codebase framework, designed to create native apps for a range of platforms. These include Android, iOS, macOS, Tizen, GTK#, and Windows.
The framework is becoming a more and more popular choice for cross-platform development for a number of reasons. With Xamarin, the app development process is simple, convenient, and fast.
It also lends itself to easy app upgrades, offline availability, and general flexibility, which make it a convenient framework no matter the project.
Choosing The Right Framework for Your App
Framework is an important driving tool in the realm of the mobile app. Therefore, choosing the right one for your project can help you escalate your business growth. While each of these frameworks are some of the most well-respected in their industry, they’re not without drawbacks.
For instance, while React Native offers a large selection of reusable code, it also risks a great deal of bugs and glitches. Flutter’s widgets are a huge advantage, but leaves a gap in code reusability. Further, Xamarin boasts the highest amount of reusable code among the three, but a similarly high number of bugs and glitches.
No framework is perfect, but the benefits of these three are capable of outweighing the costs. And since every app development project is different, it’s up to you to decide which combination of advantages and drawbacks best suits your needs.
But one thing is certain: when it comes to cross-platform frameworks, React Native, Flutter, and Xamarin all come out on top.