What is cross platform app development?

What is cross platform app development?

We use various apps, more particularly mobile apps every day. But did you know most of us use cross platform apps?

What are cross platform apps? And what is cross platform app development?

We actually use cross platform apps every day without realizing it. A cross platform app is like having a universal translator which is in charge of getting across a message to people speaking languages.

So, the universal translator finds a way to explain the message and make everyone understand regardless of the language they speak.  This is the same way that apps operate. If you build an app you need to make it compatible across all platforms and operating systems like Android and iOS.

You might’ve noticed how some features or interfaces look different on Android and iOS. Before the advancement of cross platform apps, every platform needed development separately. Rather than having one codeset for all the platforms, it was necessary to have separate codesets for every platform and this was a lot of work for developers.

Those kinds of apps are called native apps meaning that they are developed for one particular operating system. 


Cross platform apps are making the single-code line feature (codebase for every OS) more and more popular. According to statistics, by the year 2033, the overall revenue of cross platform app development companies around the world will cross $546.7 billion.

This is a showcase that cross platform app development is going to get even more widespread in the future and it might maintain or even make its presence even more known in the future. In the following paragraphs, we will talk about the best frameworks for cross platform app development, the pros and cons of it, and how to choose a cross platform app development company. 


The Best Frameworks for Developing Cross Platform Mobile Apps


Which is the best and the most apt framework for developing cross platform mobile apps? And which frameworks are popular with cross platform app development companies?

Before getting introduced to these frameworks it is important to know that they are based on JavaScript



One of the most prominent cross platform app development frameworks is Ionic which is based on AngularJS. AngularJs extends HTML with ng-directives. This framework permits coders to combine HTML5, JavaScript, CSS, and Cordova wrapper to access native platform controllers. Ionic helps developers pair creative user interfaces with user-friendly features in an app making them quite interactive.

This fact makes the Ionic framework perfect for progressive web apps (PWA) which is software delivered through web development with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and WebAssembly and accessed on any platform, mobile or desktop. 

One of the features of the Ionic framework is its open-source front-end aspect. 

This allows us to make changes in the code structure serving the developers’ needs and also saving time. Ionic is based on SaaS user interface frameworks built particularly for mobile OSs. As mentioned before Ionic is based on AngularJS which makes it more accessible to offer extensions to HTML syntax and incorporates both useful and appealing features into the app. Since Ionic implements Cordova plugins this grants access to the built-in features of the device, like Camera, GPS, and Audio Recorder. This aspect makes Ionic competitive in the list of frameworks. Last but not least, Ionic makes the users feel like they’re using a native app which makes its apps even more appealing. 

React Native


When one mentions cross platform app development frameworks, React Native is one of the first ones that comes to mind and is the one cross platform app development companies usually go for. Just like Ionic, it is also based on JavaScript and it writes real code making the cross platform app feel like a native app on Android and iOS OSs. React Native is the favorite framework of businesses apart from developers because they consider it “the right one” or “the chosen one” as Harry Potter fans call it.

At Esterox we opt for React Native and we’ll explain why it’s a perfect choice for cross platform app development. 

React Native allows developers to write modules in Objective-C, Swift (not Taylor), or Java languages. Besides, if developers implement native modules and libraries, they are able to complete complex operations such as image editing, video processing, and so on. Since React Native is pretty popular amongst the frameworks, there are several code editors for it which will allow it to alter the apps in the future. 


Similar to Ionic, React Native is an open-source cross platform app framework. This fact helps the framework to obtain a large community support which assists it in fixing bugs, improvising, and creating novel features. 

Cross platform app development requires one-time coding (WORA) and since React Native implements this, it keeps the app development cost at its lowest. React Native is also compatible with third-party plugins such as Google Maps. The framework shows great interest in the UI which results in creating a responsive interface. This means that there is a low risk of the app lagging and it guarantees quick loading and smoothness. 




Flutter is one of the most prominent frameworks now and one of the youngest, mind you! It was introduced in 2017 by Google. It is a software development kit built to help make the Android and iOS app development swift. Flutter also has a crucial role in the development of Google Fuchsia apps. Flutter creates apps that run dynamically on various platforms. 


What makes Flutter unique is that it promotes a portable graphics processing unit (GPU) that provides UI power permitting developers to create trendy interfaces. You do not have to update UI content manually with Flutter since it has a reactive framework. The only action required to do in this case is to update the variables and the UI alterations are good to go.

Flutter is a suitable pick for developing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) since it allows a quick development process and does not cost a lot. With Flutter it is possible to remake a widget tree automatically and understand the code adjustments.

The framework also has a built-in graphic engine which lets developers make a singular interface for both Android and iOS. Some of the most popular Flutter apps are Alibaba, Reflectly, Google Ads, and Birch Finance.




Xamarin is a huge competition for Reactive Native because similar to this framework it also builds native-like apps with the same aesthetics. This is possible due to wonderful APIs. Apps developed through the Xamarin framework are created using C# along with the support of Objective-C and Java.

Since Xamarin implements plugins and specific APIs, it gives the app a native-like feel and decreases hardware compatibility. The framework also connects to native libraries which allows customization and personalization. This is the reason why Xamarin is one of the top Android app development frameworks. 

Xamarin integrates Objective-C, Java, and C++ libraries which allows developers to reuse third-part codesets in those languages. The framework is time and cost-efficient since it implements one-time coding or Write Once, Run Anywhere (WORA). Xamarin recommends robust compile-time checking, hence it makes apps function with fewer run-time errors. 




NativeScript is a free cross platform app development framework based on JavaScript. Developers usually opt for this framework because of its WORA functionality. The framework recommends all native APIs which means developers can reuse existing plugins from NPM into the projects. 


NativeScript provides an aesthetically pleasing and platform-native UI without WebViews. Developers only need to write the code once and NativeScript will adapt to run everywhere.

With this framework, UI can even be personalized to specific screens and devices. Compared to ReactNative, NativeScript possesses all kinds of plugins for various solutions which eliminates the necessity of third-party solutions. 


NativeScript gives developers smooth access to Android and iOS APIs which developers do not have to obtain extra knowledge of native development languages. The framework uses Angular and TypeScript.

Apache Cordova


Apache Cordova/PhoneGap  is an older cross platform app development framework which uses  CSS3, HTML5, and JavaScript. It renders it within a native WebView. The framework can be used for developing simple applications since higher and more complicated performances can cause the app to lag. 

Considerations: It's generally used for simpler applications as performance can be an issue for more intensive apps. The difference between Apache Cordova and PhoneGap is that Cordova is the open source version of the framework while PhoneGap is the Adobe branded version. Otherwise there are not many differences. 


Pros and Cons of Cross Platform Mobile App Development 


So, why are cross platform app development companies growing, why is this app type so popular, and what are its pros and cons? The first advantage is code reusability. With cross platform app development, developers do not have to write different codes for different platforms. Instead, they create a single codebase for multiple platforms.

This signifies saving time and less maintenance and resources. The second reason is that the development is faster. Since a single codebase is used for the development, the process is a lot faster.

Due to this feature, developers can reuse the already written code instead of duplicating work for each platform. This aspect reduces costs for app development and lessens the time frame of development.


As mentioned before, cross-platform development is cost-efficient since it reduces development and maintenance costs. If bugs are detected or updates need to be carried out a single codebase comes into play and the changes are made to it rather than multiple codebases. Another advantage of cross platform app development is access to native features and functionalities, such as the Camera or GPS. This improves user experience and supplies specific features to each platform. 


Cross platform app development is perfect for rapid prototyping. It is the best option for building prototypes and testing app ideas on various platforms. This can save time, resources, and money since it helps find the most practical app concept before getting into the development process.

Last but not least it’s future-proof meaning that businesses that have a mobile app are guaranteed against future app development changes since cross-platform apps run on multiple OSs and platforms. 

Amongst all these pros, there are also several cons with cross platform app development. Because the cross platform app development company reduces costs with this option of app development, it can result in lower performance. In comparison with a native app, the cross platform app can be a bit slower. However, this is not something which will cause trouble since it is easily soluble by the developers in a very short period of time. 

Another con is the harder code design. Since developers are designing the app not only for different devices but also platforms, this will require a lot more meticulous work.

 However, nothing is impossible with a professional developer and it’s clear that hard work will always pay off. 


Cost Considerations in Cross Platform Development


So, how much does the cross platform app development company charge for developing it? Before getting introduced to the costs, it is important to look at the development stages and the required time period for them.


cross platform app development company


For the realization of the project you can also hire freelancers and their rate depends on location. You can see the rates based on regions below.

cross-platform app development company


A cross platform app development which will last 3-6 months can cost $30,000 to $200,000. To update a cross platform app will cost $5,000 to $25,000 or more which is less compared to a native app. 

What to Consider When Choosing a Cross Platform App Development Company


So, how do you choose the right company for cross platform app development? Here are some factors to consider when making the choice:


  • Experience: Always opt for a company that has experience in building cross platform apps and this will guarantee a high quality.

  • Portfolio: It’s wise to look at the company’s working style and the final product to determine what kind of result will turn out 

  • Pricing: Always keep your budget in mind. However, also do not try excessive saving so that you won’t face any consequences later on. 

  • Communication: Always go for a company that provides good communication and will keep you on track about the development process. 

  • Customer Reviews: What else gives the best recommendation than the customer review? Always consider customer reviews since they’ve had experience with the company before. 



Key Takeaways 


The key takeaways of the article are the following. Some of the best frameworks are Ionic, React Native, Flutter, Xamarin, NativeScript, and Nodejs. 

Those frameworks stand out with their native-like functionality, access to libraries, implementation of plugins, and more.

 Cross platform app development is cost and time-efficient since it uses a single codebase and will not require extra work during updates and fixing bugs. It is also perfect for prototyping and testing for this very reason. Last but not least, when choosing a cross platform app development company always consider its experience, portfolio, pricing, communication, and of course, customer review. 

Cross platform app development has reserved its spot in the future. With the rise of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and wearable technology, the services of cross platform app development companies will be demanded more and more since they create apps that work smoothly across a wide range of devices and platforms.

Businesses will always go for these apps since they are innovative, user-friendly, and adaptable to emerging technologies. We can surely state that cross platform app development is the future.