The Most Popular Cross-platform Mobile Development Frameworks of 2022

Krunal Shah

Mar 08, 2021

10 min readLast Updated Sep 19, 2022

Popular Cross-platform Mobile Development Frameworks of 2022

We need no rocket science to understand that to get more revenue, you need to have a larger user base. Moreover, in today’s rapidly advancing technology realm, you need to have a strong cross platform app. The reason behind it is simple; developing a cross platform app lets your product reach a larger audience in a cost-effective manner.

The present day competitive digital sphere has been a little harsh on the developers. It has compelled them to look for new app development tools that will give them best results with minimal efforts.

The demand for cross platform app development framework has reached a new height. The prime reason behind this increased demand is that cross-platform apps have wider reach as compared to native apps because of which they allow businesses to reach a wide number of people making it a ‘one-of-a-kind technology’.

cross platform framework trend
Source: statista

With an increased demand, there is a substantial proliferation in cross-platform app development technology as well. There are a myriad of good cross platform frameworks that enable developers to create state-of-the-art applications.

Thus, to help you find your best fit, we have curated a list of the best cross platform mobile app development frameworks which would help you to expand your business in 2022.

1. Flutter

Flutter cross-platform app development framework

Despite being the youngest, Flutter cross-platform app development framework is making its own distinct image in the present day market. It is an open-source cross platform framework which was first released by Google in May 2017.

flutter cross platform
Source

A distinct feature that makes Flutter different is that it uses Dart programming language instead of JavaScript. Because of the hot-reload feature, the developers can see modifications in code in real-time in Flutter.

Also read: Why Flutter Is the Best Platform to Make Hybrid Apps?

Flutter cross-platform app framework develops apps that can run effectively on multiple platforms. Some of the main advantages of this open-source cross platform app framework are:

Advantages of Flutter:

  • Flutter has an inbuilt graphic engine. Therefore, the developers don’t have  to create separate interfaces for both iOS and Android.
  • Mobile applications built on the Flutter cross-platform app development framework show noticeable gains on performance and are very efficient. Apart from being fast, their performance is better than the apps built on other development frameworks.
  • With Dart, the developers can write more structured programming codes. Thus, it is easy to maintain synchronized hierarchical structures even while writing complex applications.
  • Flutter cross-platform app framework uses GPU which provides UI power. Thus, it becomes easier for the developers to work on the latest interfaces.
  • The developers can easily rebuild a widget tree automatically and understand the code modifications.

Developer's tools

  • Emacs
  • Android Studio
  • VS Code

2. React Native Is a Star in Itself

React Native cross-platform app development frameworks

When discussing the most popular cross-platform mobile development frameworks, it is hard to not include React Native in that list. React Native is extensively used for both iOS and Android as it is a well-known cross-platform development entity. Created by Facebook in 2015, it's no shock that its developer’s community is growing by leaps and bounds.

This cross platform framework is built on JavaScript and it does well to give a native-like feel for both iOS and Android platforms. As it is built on JavaScript, it becomes easier for the developers to build intuitive UI interfaces using React Native.

Despite being based on JavaScript; React Native does not use HTML technology or WebView or CSS. Instead of them, components of the platform consist of CSS-like polyfills and JSX. In addition to this, there is no DOM API in React Native.

The biggest USP on this cross-platform app is that it combines the best features of ReactJS and JavaScript. Moreover, the developers have the luxury of creating some parts using Java, Swift or Objective-C.

Advantages of React Native:

  • As React Native focusses on UI, it enables the developers to create a highly responsive UI interface.
  • Being an open-source cross-platform app, React Native has a huge community because of which developers can get adequate support when coursing through their mobile app development project.
  • As one of the most popular cross-platform mobile development frameworks, developers are required to code only once in React Native. The one-time coding is enough for apps to run on diverse mobile OS platforms including both iOS and Android.
  • You can create mobile apps for different iOS and Android platforms such as Android TV, MacOS, tvOS, etc. In addition, React Native can be instrumental in creating immaculate applications for UWP and Windows as well.
  • React Native is compatible with all the leading third-party plugins like Google Maps

Developer's tools

  • Emulator, SDK, Android Studio
  • JS Editor
  • Xcode and it also needs $100/year developer’s account for the development and publishing of apps
Also read: React Native Cross-Platform App Development: When and When Not to Use it?

3. Ionic is ‘Iconic’ in Every Sense

Ionic framework the most popular cross-platform mobile development

Ionic framework is by far the most popular cross-platform mobile development framework which is based on AngularJS. It is an open-source cross-platform app development framework which was made first in 2013 by Adam Bradley, Max Lynch and Ben Sperry. The main components of Ionic’s main version were Apache Cordova and AngularJS.

Due to the Apache Cordova principles, the mobile applications that are created with Ionic framework are hybrid HTML apps. The USP of these apps is that it runs in a special shell on your smartphone devices. For example, the applications run on WebView for Android and UIWebView for iOS.

With the Ionic framework, developers can not only add user-centric features but also build creative user interfaces. The user interfaces are so pleasing to the eye that users remain immersed in the app for longer durations. Mobile app development projects built through Ionic are so native-like that this cross-platform app development framework is used in PWA development as well.

Advantages of Ionic:

  • There are a myriad of ready-to-use UI components available in the Ionic framework.
  • The developers need to be aware of CSS, HTML, Angular and JavaScript to develop applications using Ionic.
  • There are a plethora of plugins available to use the native features on the smartphone.
  • Ionic framework is specifically designed for mobile OS as it is based on SAAS UI framework.
  • Being an open-source front-end framework, the developers can change the code structure according to the requirement

Developer’s Tools

  • Visual studio code
  • Ionic appflow
  • Firebase

Read More: React Native Vs Ionic: The Battle of Two Cross-Platform App Development

4. Node.JS Is Incredible and Delightful

Nodejs cross-platform app development frameworks

Node.JS is a V8 based cross-platform app.  What makes it the most popular cross-platform mobile development framework is it’s USP to transform JavaScript into a general-purpose language from a highly specialized language. It renders an open-source environment that helps in the development of scalable and server-side network applications.

As V8 engine compiles JavaScript to machine code instead of executing it as bytecode, the speed of Nod.JS becomes fast. The framework has a rich library of different JavaScript modules and can handle many concurrent connections together. The mobile app development projects gone through this cross-platform app development framework are highly responsive.

Advantages of Nodejs:

  • It has a large developer’s community.
  • The V8 engine in Node.JS is one of the fastest dynamic language interpreters. Thus it is constantly pushing the boundaries.
  • Node.JS apps reduce response time for slow requests because of which developers can execute all the database queries simultaneously.
  • With a view to deliver smooth and even-functioning apps, Node.JS implements a single-threaded model

Developer’s Tools

  • Express.JS
  • Socket.io
  • PM2
  • Babel
  • Meteor
Read More: Best Node.js Frameworks For Efficient Web Development

5. Xamarin Is Distinct Yet Useful

Xamarin cross-platform app development framework

Xamarin was developed in 2011 as an independent platform before being acquired by Microsoft. It is an open-source cross-platform app framework but has characteristics that make it different from other platforms.

Xamarin is based on the implementation of the .NET platform-Mono. In addition, the implementation process includes its own .NET libraries, C# compiler, and runtime. Xamarin allows the developers to use 90% of the code to build apps for different platforms.

Advantages of Xamarin:

  • Xamarin is very easy to use because the developers just need to know .NET and C# in order to use it.
  • Through Xamarin the developers can easily reuse different third-party codebases. This is because it has direct inclusion of C++,Java and Objective-C libraries.
  • The developers witness fewer run-time errors while working with Xamarin as it offers compile-time checking
  • It has a large community of app developers and other contributors as well

Also read: Does Your Web Application Need A Front-End Framework?

Developer’s Tools

  • Visual code studio
  • Xamarin Studio

6. NativeScript Is Rising Through the Ranks

NativeScript cross-platform mobile development framework

NativeScript is based on Java and is an open-source cross-platform app development framework. The mobile app development done through NativeScript is not restricted to JavaScript only. NativeScript supports Vue.js and AngularJ along with JavaScript; the apps are built using TypeScript as well.

NativeScript scores its place amongst the most popular cross-platform mobile development frameworks  because of the convenience it provides developers who don’t need to install extra plugins for various other functions. Moreover, the platform is aptly suited to work on Write Once, Run Anytime (WORA) functionality, NativeScript is best fit for you. In addition, the developers can use the existing plugins as NativeScript has all native APIs.

Advantages of NativeScript:

  • The developers can write platform-based APIs in JavaScript only.
  • NativeScript supports components like Cocoapods and AndroidArsenal and calls native methods from libraries.
  • NativeScript comes loaded with all kinds of plugins thus eliminates the need of third-party plugins,
  • It has a beautiful platform-native UI which is accessible without the WebViews.

Developer’s Tools

  • CLI NativeScript

7. PhoneGap Leads in Cross-platform App Framework’s Market Share

Phone gap cross-platform app frameworks

PhoneGap was first developed in 2005 by Nitobi Software.After six years in 2011, Adobe purchased PhoneGap from Nitobi and brought it under its banner. PhoneGap is also known as Cordova has the highest market share of all the cross-platform app development frameworks available in the market. Moreover, it is rated highly for mobile app development as it uses HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

One of the high points about PhoneGap is that it has a powerful back-end system which plays a pivotal role in increasing its speed. Thus, if you are looking to develop simple applications without any native features, PhoneGap is the perfect choice. Besides developing impressive apps, it supports all in-built device features.

Advantages of PhoneGap:

  • The users can use embedded payment systems like Google Play Store and App Store via PhoneGap cross-platform app development framework.
  • Apps developed through PhoneGap run consistently on all the leading mobile OS platforms showing minimal differences.
  • PhoneGap provides the luxury to use JavaScript or other libraries like MooTools, Sencha Touch, etc to manage interaction in the app.
  • Since its architecture is plugin-able in nature, the APIs can be extended in a modular manner
Also read: Native vs. Cross-Platform: How and What to Choose?

8. Corona SDK Is a Programmer Favorite

Corona SDK cross-platform app frameworks

If you are looking for an immaculate mobile app development for all the leading platforms, Corona SDK is the perfect choice for you. It is an open-source cross-platform app development framework that renders 10X faster mobile game and application development services.

Corona SDK is based on a multi-faceted and lightweight programming language Lua. Using Corona SDK, you can create games for different platforms like iPads, desktop, connected TVs, etc.

Advantages of Corona SDK:

  • It has a lot of plugins for media, analytics, in-app advertising and many other things.
  • As mentioned earlier, Corona SDK is based on Lua programming language which makes the framework fast and powerful.
  • The developers can see the code changes in real-time as the cross-platform app framework responds to changes instantly.

Developer’s Tools

  • Android studio project
  • Xcode

9. Appcelerator Titanium for Easier Mobile App Development

appcelerator Titanium cross-platform app development

Appcelerator Titanium is an open-source cross-platform app development framework, first released in 2008. Its core features include device functionality, cross-platform API for accessing native UI and MVC-based framework alloy.

The developers can deploy data models easily through Appcelerator Titanium as it offers a schema-less database ArrowDB. It majorly focusses on streamlining the mobile app development process with the assistance of the native components.

Advantages of Appcelerator Titanium:

  • The cross-platform app framework has a pre-built connector for MS SQL, MS Azure, Salesforce and Box.
  • It has various tools to facilitate faster mobile app development processes.
  • The integration of the existing continuous delivery systems is done easily.

Developer’s Tools

  • AMPLIFY
  • Appcelerator CLI

10. Sencha Touch Is a Boon to Develop Large Business Apps

Sencha cross-platform app frameworks

The basic application of Sencha Touch is to accelerate hardware techniques. Moreover, if you are looking for inbuilt Cordova integration, Sencha Touch cross-platform app development framework is your best bet.

The most remarkable thing about Sencha Touch is that it makes the development process of large business apps easier. Moreover, it is very popular among the app developers as it helps in creating interactive native looking themes.

Advantages of Sencha Touch:

  • It has more than 50 in-built and customizable UI widgets apart from having a rich UI collection.
  • Sencha Touch has a very impressive backend data package.
  • As it supports Cordova integration, it becomes easier to access the native APIs along with the packaging/

Developer’s Tools

Conclusion

We hope the above-mentioned list of the most popular cross-platform mobile development frameworks was insightful and will play a pivotal role in redefining your mobile app development process. After reading about their descriptions and their salient features, it would make it easier for you to choose the best platform for your product.

Choosing the right cross-platform app framework is important as it would be vital in increasing the user base of your product. Thus, look for an experienced cross-platform application development company to assist you in developing your next project.

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