Top Cross Platform App Development Tools and Frameworks in 2021

cross platform app development

Having an amazing app idea is a huge achievement. But wait, don’t celebrate too early. Have you figured out on which platform do you want to launch? Relax! You do not necessarily have to figure out the best mobile app development platform. Just use any of the following cross platform app development tools and launch your app on multiple platforms.

The guidelines for iOS and Android app designs are distinct and require different development methods. In this scenario, if you choose to launch on both platforms, you have to develop the same app for both separately. It takes too much time, effort, and money. Thus to find the middle ground, we have listed these cross-platform app development tools in this blog.

What is a Cross-platform App Development?

Cross-platform mobile app development gives the flexibility of developing using a universal programming language like JavaScript that can be extended to platforms like Android and iOS. It eliminates the need of programming the same app differently for different platforms. In a nutshell, it is a ‘one-code fits all’ approach to mobile app building. Let’s have a quick look at the top platforms of 2021.

Top Cross-platform Development Tools

Sr. No.Logo WebsiteTool NameOverall RatingKey Features
React Native
React Native4.3
  • Supports C++, Java, Swift, Objective, and Python
  • Up to 80% of sharable codebase
  • OTA updates
  • Plug-n-play custom templates
  • Expressive and Flexible UI
  • Native Performance
  • Rich motion APIs,
  • Free and open source
  • Library of mobile-optimized UI components
  • Touch-optimized gestures
  • AOT compiling
  • Vanilla JavaScript
  • Free courses, tutorials, videos
  • Forms UI with XAML
  • Xamarin.Essentials & SkiaSharp for native APIs
Apache Cordova
Apache Cordova4.4
  • Runs on Node.js
  • Access native device APIs
  • Hundreds of plugins
  • Platform-centered workflow
  • Free trial version
  • C++ programming language
  • Visual 2D/3D UI Editor
  • Easy-to-use APIs
  • Ready-made UI components
  • Bolt Visual Studio
  • Launch on 17 Platforms
  • Incredible Graphics Quality
  • C# Job System
  • 2D animation
  • 140+ UI components
  • Ease of HTML5
  • Access to design tools
  • Custom drag and drop
  • Free online/on-site training courses
  • Uses JavaScript, Swift, Objective C
  • Up to 90% code reusability
  • Live app preview
  • Incorporate 3rd party libraries
  • Direct access to APIs

With the help of Capterra and G2 (top reviewing websites), we have created this comparison table, covering ratings and top features of these frameworks. We have selected these frameworks on the basis of their ratings and advanced features.

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Top Cross-platform App Development Frameworks

  1. React Native

    React Native is one of the best tools for mobile apps. This development platform supports various languages for programming, such as C++, Swift, Java, Objective, and Python.

    This tool uses up to 80% of a single sharable code base. Therefore, you have to develop only once for iOS and Android. This is one of the highest sharing percentages any framework will offer you.

    Other than that, it has OTA (Over the Air) updates. This means you can share the updated versions of the app with firewalls and improvements over the air. Ask an expert, you will hear nothing but the benefits of React Native mobile app development framework.

    Apps developed using React Native: Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram

    Apps developed using React Native

  2. Flutter

    Flutter is flattering. This is a cross platform app development tool that will never ask you to code again. You can design the same UI for multiple platforms whether it is for iOS, Android, or Windows operating systems.

    It allows developers to use its expressive and flexible UI toolkit. Despite sharing a code-base, it can develop apps with a native performance for iOS and Android platforms as well. Not just the UI but it has rich motion APIs. APIs let your app use data from other apps in the devices. This makes it a better user experience for customers.

    Thus, you do not have to worry about Android and iOS users at all.

    Apps developed using Flutter: Google Ads, Alibaba, Hamilton Music

    Apps developed using Flutter

  3. Ionic

    Ionic being open-source, it is amongst the free-to-use cross-platform mobile app development tools. Don’t judge it on being free, it has a comprehensive library of mobile-optimized components of UI. With this, you can give a better Ui than the native apps for all the app stores.

    To make it further easy, it uses JavaScript as the programming language making it a perfect tool for developing iOS, Android, and web apps.

    Other than that, this framework comes with top-notch touch-optimized gestures and AOT compiling. Such advanced web technologies let the browser render the code without the need to compile an app first making your web apps smooth and seamless.

    Apps developed using Ionic: MarketWatch, JustWatch, McDonald’s Türkiye

    Apps developed using Ionic

  4. Xamarin

    Xamarin is one of the most popular tools. This multiple platform app development tool is from one of the biggest tech giants— Microsoft. It is one of the most comprehensive open-source tools to develop apps.

    Xamarin uses the vibrant .NET ecosystem to share over 75% of your code across various platforms. This allows you to “write once, run anywhere”. The open-source .Net framework has a community of more than 60,000 contributors from over 3700 companies.

    This free mobile user interface framework lets you develop apps for Android, iOS, tvOS, watchOS, macOS, and Windows from a single shared code-base. It helps you to develop apps for various platforms with consistency in the user interface.

    If you want to develop apps for mobile, cloud, and server using the same language, code, and tools, you can easily do it with the Xamaian. It supports the front-end to add storage, intelligent service, or a database in your mobile app.

    Apps developed using Xamarin: The World Bank, Alaska Airlines, American Cancer Society

    Apps developed using Xamarin

  5. Apache Cordova

    Apache Cordova is a free-to-use open-source cross-platform mobile application development tool. This cross-platform runs on Node.js and accesses various native device APIs, such as camera, compass, accelerometer, geolocation, messages, to name just a few.

    This multiple platform app development tool allows developers to develop applications without any constraints. It has bagged hundreds of plugins for various functionalities. Apache Cordova has the best platform-specific workflow. It helps developers deal with various platforms, such as Android, iOS, Windows, and web apps easily.

    Some of the highly successful mobile applications that use it, such as JustWatch, Pacifica, and Gudog show how reliable this tool is.

    Apps developed using Cordova: Pacifica, Gudog, FanReact

    Apps developed using Cordova

  6. Qt

    Qt is one of the best cross platform app development tools. Although this is a premium tool, developers can test a free trial version before buying the membership.

    It lets the developer code in the basic C++ language, and it converts the code seamlessly into various languages as per the guidelines of the native apps. And once the code is exported, the intuitive QT interface lets you monitor on various platforms with respective devices.

    Relax! You do not have to own those devices, it has an in-built stimulator for all the devices like smartphones and tablets using various operating systems. And if a function is not functioning as your vision, you can easily modify it through the QT interface only.

    Apps developed using QT: Adobe Photoshop Album, Bitcoin Core, DaVinci Resolve

    Apps developed using QT

  7. Unity

    If you want to develop a game, this is the best development tool for you. This is one of the best cross platform game development tools. It gives the premium graphics quality to make your game more than just a smartphone app.

    Additionally, you can develop your game with the advanced Bolt Visual Studio. It lets you develop games without looking at a single line of code. And to communicate with experts, you can join the community and help each other in building the best applications.

    When you are done with developing, comes the best part. To make sure that your game reaches maximum success and popularity, it can be deployed to over 17 different platforms, including Windows, PlayStation, Linux, Xbox, Wii, Web, and of course iOS and Android. And this is the reason, most of the developers choose Unity to develop their 2D/3D games.

    Apps developed using Unity: Shapes, KavTek (Home Design), Grib

    Apps developed using Unity

  8. Sencha

    What else do developers need to fasten up the mobile application development process? Ready-to-use components right? Well, this cross-platform development tool comes with more than 140 components of UI and widgets. You can simply drag and drop these components to build a top-notch product.

    Moreover, developers can use HTML5 (CSS and JavaScript) which is considered one of the simplest programming languages. This tool not only lets developers develop the app quickly but also gives access to the mobile app design tools.

    mobile app designing tools

    Once the coding is done, it is converted to be launched as native apps to both the platforms, but before that, you get the most accurate test results with the help of explicitly designed test features using Ext JS.

    Apps developed using: Samsung, Nvidea, NetApp

    Apps developed using

  9. Appcelerator

    Are you in a hurry? Then, you should consider using one of the quickest tools for mobile applications. Don’t you want that before starting the project, half of the coding is already done for you? This is the reason developers around the globe are using Appcelerator.

    The Appcelerator uses JavaScript as a programming language and also allows developers to use codes from Objective C and Swift.

    Appcelerator quickens the job by incorporating 3rd party libraries to the code and allowing direct access to APIs. This way, it cuts your efforts in half.

    Moreover, it lets you use from 60% to 90% of your code for various apps.

    Apps developed using Appcelerator: The Alaska State Legislature’s app

    Apps developed using Appcelerator

    Facing a catch 22 situation?

    To pick out the perfect cross-platform mobile development framework, you need to compare them. Therefore, let’s compare the above-mentioned software development tools.

Not Sure Which Framework to Choose?

Let us guide and help you.

Cross-platform Mobile Development Comparison

On the basis of the G2 ratings and reviews, we have prepared a quick compassion table to simplify the selection of software development tools.

FeaturesSuggested Cross-platform Tools
No code neededReact Native and Flutter
Most PopularXamarin and Ionic
Perfect For Gaming AppsUnity 3D
Highest Source Code Reusability %Appcelerator and React Native

So, as per your most required features and needs, you can choose the mentioned cross-platform framework and start developing your own mobile app step by step that runs smoothly on various platforms.

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If you are thinking about the benefits of cross-platform development, then continue reading our next section.

Benefits of Cross-platform Mobile App Development

Benefits of Cross-platform Mobile App Development

  1. Fewer App Development Efforts

    The app development process is no joke, and it needs a lot of effort, and cross-platform development allows developers to go through that only once. By using a single code base, it saves a huge amount of effort which you can put in further enhancement of the app.

  2. Less App Development Cost

    Multi-platform app development cuts down the app development cost by a significant factor. Since you have to develop it only once, it cuts down the development hours and hence the cost. Check all the factors that impact the app development cost.


  3. Easy to Implement on Multiple Platforms

    Cross-platform development not only makes it easy to develop but also to maintain them. The various tools that we discussed above, can be proven a blessing when updating apps. The tools let you modify it with simple languages and convert them to different platform-specific languages. This way, developers can update the app, not only on the single platform but all the platforms at once.

  4. Cross Platform Uniformity

    Providing users with the best user experience is on the checklist of all mobile apps, and the cross-platform development of apps checks exactly that. As it uses the same code base for all the platforms, apps achieve a uniform user experience across all the platforms. The mobile app will be intuitive to the user on any other platform as well.

  5. Greater Reach

    Why restrict the user base to a particular single platform when you can launch your mobile application on all the different platforms and solve the problems of as many people as you can. You can target a broader issue and hence allow your business to grow wider.

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Which are the best cross-platform apps?

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Skype
  • Pinterest
  • eBay

Which is the best cross-platform mobile app development language?

Any universal coding language can be perfect for this job. However, to name a few, we find the following development languages.

  • JavaScript
  • C++

How many ways a cross-platform mobile app help business?

  • Generate more revenue by selling
  • Brand loyalty
  • Target wide audience
  • Provide unique benefits to customers

Want to Create Your Own Cross Platform Mobile App?

Cross-platform mobile app development is the new way to build apps quickly and effortlessly, and with time the technology is nothing but evolving. We can see cross-platform development dominating the market. Thus, this is the right time for you to explore the cross-platform tools to develop your app.

Having said that, if you want your app development to be handled by professionals to get promising results in a short time, we are here to serve you. We are an app development company with hands-on experience in developing over 3500 apps, maintaining a 98% success score on Upwork. Find why you must choose Space-O Technologies for the development.

why Space-O Technologies for app development

In case, if you have any queries, get in touch with us.

This page was last edited on December 4th, 2020, at 13:30.

Author Bio

Jigar Mistry

Jigar Mistry

Designation: Vice President (Technologies)

Jigar Mistry is Vice President (Technologies) at Space-O Technologies. He has 14+ years of experience in the web and mobile app development industry. He has expertise in different mobile app categories like health and fitness, eCommerce, and on-demand.


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