Choosing the Best Cross Platform Mobile App Development Framework

Choosing the Best Cross Platform Mobile App Development Framework

Ever wondered, what if mobile applications like WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram, Pubg, Amazon, Netflix, etc. only supported Android OS and not Apple OS or vice-versa?

Well, then everyone would start buying mobile phones according to the application they use – not for the features they offer. And the war between the Andriod and Apple (Mac OS) would have been more severe than it is now.

Have a look at these statistics:

45.04% of the world’s population owns a smartphone – which sums to 3.50 Billion users.

Android users have been able to choose between 2.56 million applications as of the first quarter of 2020, making Google Play the app store with the highest number of available mobile applications.

While Apple’s App Store was the second-largest with about 1.85 million iOS apps available.

Considering the above facts, many large enterprises have already changed or are in the process of changing their developmental processes by switching to the latest mobile app development frameworks.

No one wants to miss their presence on either platform, Android and IOS. This is where the need for cross-platform mobile app development arose.

As per Gartner’s report companies that have developed and deployed at least three different types of applications (other than web apps), among them 91% were mobile apps.

In this article, we’ll closely understand and compare the best cross-platform app development framework to look over in 2020.

Before we move on to this topic, let’s discover some basics about them.

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Basics for Cross-Platform Mobile App Development Frameworks

Native Apps

As and when the cross-platform app development frameworks are debated, native apps automatically make its way to the topic.

Native apps are built exclusively for one platform (either Android or IOS). They can take full advantage of all the functionality in the system —the camera, GPS, accelerometer, compass, contact list, etc.

Native mobile app development is expensive because it is tied to only one type of operating system and coded in a specific programming language, such as Objective C or Swift for iOS and Java for Android.

Also, if you want to build the native app that works on both the platform – then you have to write the code twice – which eventually is time-consuming.

Cross-Platform Apps

Using the cross-platform app development frameworks, mobile app development companies can create opportunities for apps that can be compliant with any operating system.

It primarily encompasses compatibility for both Android and iOS. The cross-platform framework enables the components to write the code once and run it on any of the platforms when you hire dedicated developers.

The software development communities are working hard to build new technologies and resources that not only compete with native apps but also have the potential to win the game. Examples of these tools are Xamarin, React Native, Ionic, and Flutter.

We’ll compare these tools to determine their intent, the qualities that make them different from each other, and figure out the best mobile app development framework you should choose.

Lets rock and roll!

Ionic

ionic

Ionic framework is an open-source UI toolkit that is released under MIT license – developing high-quality, high-performance mobile and desktop applications. Which leverages web technologies such as — HTML, CSS, and JavaScript — with integrations for common frameworks such as Angular and React.

Features

  • It is built on standard web technologies, such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, using modern web APIs (like Custom Elements and Shadow DOM).
  • Stable API, which offers API required to use JavaScript code for the native device functions.
  • Lazy loading feature improves efficiency and reduces the load time for the application by breaking it into several bundles and loading the app on demand.
  • The new version of Ionic, i.e. v4, has been re-engineered to function as a standalone web component library, with the latest JavaScript frameworks integrated.

Pros

  • Helps you cut cost and save time in hiring a platform expert, or educate your staff on new technologies.
  • It can be easily maintained via built-in browser instruments and debugging tools.
  • Availability to turn your Ionic Application into a mobile app or PWA.

Cons

  • You may have to deal with security issues that exist in both web and native apps.
  • Not suitable for developing gaming apps.
  • Every time the developers want to apply new changes, they have to restart their application.

React-Native

React-Native

React Native is a JavaScript framework developed by Facebook to write real natively rendering –mobile apps for Android and iOS. React Native applications are written using a JavaScript and XML-Esque markup combination, called JSX, close to web-based React.

The React Native “bridge” then invokes the Objective-C (for iOS) or Java (for Android) Native rendering APIs under the hood.

Read More : What Should You Choose from Flutter vs. React Native in 2020?

Features

  • React Native focuses solely on UI architecture. It is highly responsive and has excellent rendering abilities.
  • Upgrade Helper tool has been developed to convert an older written React Native script into a newer one
  • The netinfo and webview contains separate repositories. That has been done to make it much easier– to develop the Lean Core projects.
  • It has enriched codesharing.

Pros

  • It has ‘ready to apply components’ so instead of writing code from scratch, you may use ready-made components – eventually saving time.
  • React Native allows JavaScript developers to build apps that target multiple Applications, needing only a minimal amount of native code.
  • React Native has a fantastic “hot reloading” feature it enables the code changes to take place immediately on iOS and Android app.

Cons

  • JavaScript is also known for its fragility. So you need to keep a close eye on malicious code snippets that could very easily damage the core functionality of your app.
  • React-Native app have efficiency and speed issues, and float computations are not done in the best efficient way possible in terms of memory use and management.
  • If a new feature or a break improvement is released from Apple or Google, the React-Native framework will always take some time for the third-party dependency to add support for it.

According to Dzone’s article – as of 2019, worldwide mobile app sales amounted to US$ 461 billion, and by 2023, paid downloads and in-app advertising are projected to produce over US$ 935 billion.

Xamarin

xamarin

Xamarin was launched as an independent cross-platform for mobile app development in 2011– but was later acquired by Microsoft in 2016, giving it greater legitimacy than ever before.

It’s an open-source platform that uses C# and .NET. Xamarin was launched to solve the disjointed native technology stacks issue, rendering the creation of mobile apps a costly and challenging affair.

Features

  • The interface is friendly and offers a platform-native feeling, allowing technology firms to respond to any request from their industry-specific customers.
  • Xamarin is a one-size-fits-all software where the HTML resources used by both the developer and the end-user are easy to get around.
  • The seamless integration with Visual Studio makes it easy for developers to build Android apps from the comfort of their desktop and make sure they are mobile responsive.
  • Xamarin.Mac allows the use of C# and .NET to develop fully native Mac apps. It integrates with the same libraries used to build Xcode in Objective-C.

Pros

  • Xamarin has a large group of more than 60,000 contributors from over 3,700 enterprises.
  • You can reuse up to 96% of the source code which speeds up the engineering cycle
  • It eliminates all compatibility issues with hardware, using plugins and specific APIs to work with conventional devices across platforms.

Cons

  • While Xamarin is a free, open-source platform for individual developers, however, it might cost a good amount for enterprise needs – which includes purchasing a Visual Studio license.
  • According to the 2018 Stack Overflow study, just 7.4% used the Xamarin system, compared to 28.3% of React and 8.3% of Cordova.
  • Typically, Xamarin apps are larger than native ones (the latter could be half the size of a Xamarin app)

xamarian

source: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/xamarin/android/deploy-test/app-package-size

As per report just 7.4% used the Xamarin system, compared to 28.3% of React and 8.3% of Cordova. Click To Tweet

Flutter

Flutter

Developed by Google and released in May 2017, Flutter is a free and open-source mobile UI framework. Dart is the programming language for developing an application using Flutter.

It consists of two primary parts:

  • SDK (Software Development KIT): A collection of tools that will help you to develop your applications. This includes tools for compiling the code into native machine code – iOS and Android code.
  • Framework (UI Library based on widgets): A set of reusable UI elements (buttons, text inputs, sliders, etc.) that can be personalized to match your own needs.

As per the Developer Survey Results 2019 Flutter is among the top 3 most loved frameworks

most loved framework charts

Features

  • Flutter provides enhanced flexibility, integration and scalability capabilities
  • Like React-Native, even Flutter has the feature of hot-reloading, which allows developers to render a change in sub-seconds.
  • Flutter has a ready-to-use massive inventory of widget collection, which allows developers to build applications smoother.
  • The automated testing feature of Flutter ensures the app performs correctly before you publish it while retaining your functionality and bug-fix velocity.

Read More : 5 Features that makes Flutter the Best Framework for Mobile Application Development

Pros

  • It’s a perfect platform for creating MVPs. Instead of wasting extra money and time on two different applications, you can easily create a Flutter mobile app that looks native to Android and iOS alike.
  • Since widgets are part of the application and not the platform, compatibility problems on various versions of the OS are likely to be less or not at all that translated into– less research time.
  • There is no additional cost for supporting older devices. Flutter runs on Android Jelly Bean or newer and iOS 8 or the latest. The look and feel of your app will be the same even for older version of iOS and Andriod devices

Cons

  • Flutter is still new hence and not every feature you need can be found in its libraries. But the Flutter team is actively involved in assisting users of Flutter by solving and answering the requested questions regularly.
  • If you’re wondering if apps developed using this framework will run on Android TV or Apple TV, then the answer is no more than yes.
  • It is a ‘Mobile-only’ cross-platform app development framework and doesn’t support web browsers and the minimum app size is 4MB.

Wish to build your mobile apps with Flutter? Get in touch with our Flutter app development experts.

Here some well-knows brands that are using Flutter.

showcase

source: https://flutter.dev/showcase

Other Comparisons of Cross Platform App Development Frameworks

Comparison of crossplatforms

Wrapping up

You must first consider your target audience before choosing any of the frameworks or mobile app development services, and then your project resemblance with them. So first, make up your mind, whether to go with a hybrid application system or a cross-platform app development.

In our opinion, Flutter offers the best business and mobile app development features that other cross-platform app development frameworks lack.

It’s a great opportunity to create beautiful, high-performance, and outstanding mobile apps with trusted software development and flutter app development company – Radixweb.

Flutter app development is worth considering, especially if you want a smooth and stunning app for both iOS and Android.

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Jaydeep Patadiya is a senior business development manager at Radixweb and always has the answer to- what's on the mind of the customers? In an industry that is fundamentally changing, he helps customers make the right decisions by connecting the right dots and adopt new technologies. Beyond work, he prepares for upcoming marathon races.