Best 10 Cross-Platform App Frameworks to Consider in 2021

Krunal Shah

Mar 08, 2021 | 10 min read

Cross-platform app frameworks

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 frameworks’ game. The reason behind it is simple; building a cross platform app lets your product reach a larger number of audience in a cost-effective manner.

The present day competitive digital sphere has been a litter 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 frameworks has reached a new height, especially after the horrid time last year. The prime reason behind this increased demand is that cross-platform apps have wider reach as compared to native apps. With its wider reach, cross platforms apps allow businesses to reach more number of people making it a ‘one-of-a-kind technology’.

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

Thus, to help you find your best fit, we have curated a list of the top 10 cross-platform app frameworks who would help you to expand your business in 2021.

Table of content

Flutter making its mark in the market

Flutter cross-platform app frameworks

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

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. Along with Android and iOS, the developers can create ground-breaking applications for the Furchisa OS with Flutter.

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


  • Flutter has an inbuilt graphic engine. Therefore, the developers don’t have the headache of making separate interface for Android and iOS
  • Mobile applications built on Flutter cross-platform app framework show noticeable gains on performance and are very efficient. Apart from being fast, their performance is better than the apps built on other cross-platform app 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

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React Native is a star in itself

React Native cross-platform app frameworks

When we are talking about the leading cross-platform app frameworks, it is hard to not include React Native in that list. React Native is extensively used for iOS and Android as it is a well-known entity cross-platform development. It was created by Facebook in 2015 and since then, its developer’s community is growing by leaps and bounds.

The framework is built on JavaScript and it does well to give a native-like feel for Android and iOS 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 comprise 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 framework is that it combines the best features of React.JS and JavaScript. Moreover, the developers have the luxury of creating some parts using Java, Swift or Objective-C.


  • As React Native focusses on UI, it enables the developers to create a highly responsive UI interface
  • Being an open-source cross-platform app framework, React Native has a large developer’s community. Thus, the developers can get adequate support in times of distress during their app development project
  • As it is a leading cross-platform app development framework, 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 like iOS and Android.
  • You can create mobile apps of 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

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Ionic is ‘Iconic’ in every sense

Ionic Cross-platform app frameworks

Ionic framework is by far the most remarkable cross-platform app development framework which is based on AngularJS. It is an open-source cross-platform app 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 Ionic framework, the 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. Applications built through Ionic are so native-like that this cross-platform app framework is used in PWA development as well.


  • There are many ready-to-use UI components available in 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

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Node.JS is incredible and delightful

nodejs cross-platform app frameworks

Node.JS is a V8 based cross-platform app frameworks. It’s USP is that it transforms 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 byte code, 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 apps built through this cross-platform app framework are highly responsive.


  • 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 and all the 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
  • PM2
  • Babel
  • Meteor

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Xamarin is distinct yet useful

xamarin cross-platform app frameworks

Xamarin was developed in 2011 as an independent platform before being acquired by Microsoft. It is an open-source cross-platform app frameworks 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.


  • 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

Developer’s tools

  • Visual code studio
  • Xamarin Studio

Native Script is rising through the ranks

native script cross-platform app frameworks

NativeScript is based on Java and is an open-source cross-platform app frameworks. The development of applications through NativeScript is not restricted to JavaScript only. NativeScript supports Vue.js and AngularJS and along with JavaScript the apps are built using TypeScript as well.

The biggest USP of opting NativeScript is that the developers 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.


  • The developers can write platform-based APIs in JavaScript only.
  • NativeScript supports components like Cocoapods and AndroidArsenal and calling 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

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 frameworks available in the market. Moreover, it is rated highly for mobile application development as it uses HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

One of the high point 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.


  • The users can use embedded payment systems like Google Play Store and App Store via PhoneGap cross-platform app frameworks
  • Apps developed through PhoneGap run consistently on all the leading mobile OS platform showing minimal differences
  • PhoneGap provides 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

Corona SDK is a programmer’s favorite

Corona SDK cross-platform app frameworks

If you are looking to develop immaculate two-dimensional mobile applications for all the leading platforms, Corona SDK is for you. It is an open-source cross-platform app frameworks and 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.


  • 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’ tool

  • Android studio project
  • Xcode

Appcelerator Titanium for easier mobile app development

appcelerator Titanium cross-platform app development

Appcelerator Titanium is an open-source cross-platform native 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 application development process with the assistance of the native components.


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

Developer’s tools

  • Appcelerator CLI

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 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.


  • 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’ tools

  • App inspector for Sencha

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The above-mentioned list of the top cross-platform app frameworks will play a pivotal role in redefining your 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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