Cross platform mobile app development frameworks
June 22, 2023 by Klaus

Popular Cross-Platform App Development Frameworks:
Streamlining Multi-Platform App Development

In the fast-paced world of mobile app development, catering to multiple platforms can be a daunting task. With various operating systems and devices in the market, developers face the challenge of creating applications that work seamlessly across different platforms. Cross-platform app development frameworks have revolutionized the way apps are built. These frameworks offer a unified approach to development, enabling developers to write code once and deploy it across multiple platforms. In this article, we will delve into the world of cross platform development frameworks and explore their benefits, their downsides, and popular options available today.

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What is a Cross-Platform App Development Framework?

Cross-platform app development frameworks are software tools allowing developers to create mobile applications that run on multiple platforms with a single codebase. Instead of building separate apps for each platform (such as iOS, Android, Windows), developers can use these frameworks to write code once and deploy it across various platforms. This approach saves time, effort, and resources, as it eliminates the need for duplicating development efforts and therefore, is considered a popular method of app development.

Benefits of Cross-Platform App Development Frameworks

  • Code Reusability: One of the significant advantages of cross-platform app development frameworks is code reusability. Developers can write code once and reuse it across multiple platforms, significantly reducing development time and effort. This approach ensures consistent functionality and design across different operating systems.

  • Faster Time to Market: By leveraging cross-platform frameworks, developers can streamline the app development process. With a single codebase, they can simultaneously target multiple platforms, resulting in faster time to market. This advantage is crucial in today's competitive app development landscape, where speed plays a vital role.

  • Cost Efficiency: Developing separate apps for different platforms can be expensive. Cross-platform app development frameworks help minimize costs by allowing developers to share resources and optimize development efforts. This approach eliminates the need for hiring separate development teams or investing in platform-specific tools.

  • Easy Maintenance: Managing and updating multiple codebases can be a hassle. Cross-platform frameworks simplify maintenance by enabling developers to make changes in a single codebase that reflects across all supported platforms. This streamlined maintenance process ensures consistency and reduces the risk of introducing bugs or inconsistencies during updates.

Disadvantages of Cross-Platform App Development Frameworks

Cross-platform app development frameworks offer many advantages, but they also come with a few disadvantages that developers should consider:

  • Performance Limitations: Cross-platform frameworks often rely on an abstraction layer or runtime environment to achieve code portability, which can result in reduced performance compared to native apps. The overhead introduced by this layer may affect app responsiveness, especially for resource-intensive tasks or graphics-intensive applications.

  • Limited access to native features: While cross-platform frameworks provide access to a wide range of device features through plugins or modules, there may still be limitations in accessing certain advanced or platform-specific functionalities. Developers may face challenges or delays in implementing cutting-edge features or accessing specific hardware capabilities.

  • Platform-specific Limitations: Cross-platform frameworks aim to provide consistency across multiple platforms, but there may still be differences in how certain features or UI elements behave on different platforms. These variations can impact the user experience and require additional effort to ensure consistent behavior and appearance across all devices.

  • Framework dependencies: Cross-platform development often involves relying on third-party frameworks and tools. If a framework becomes deprecated or lacks sufficient support, it can lead to compatibility issues or difficulties in maintaining and updating the app. Developers need to consider the long-term viability and community support of the chosen framework.

  • Learning curve and customization limitations: Each cross-platform framework has its own learning curve and may require developers to learn specific languages, libraries, or development paradigms. Additionally, the frameworks may have limitations in terms of customization options or flexibility compared to native development, potentially impacting the ability to implement highly specialized or unique features.

It is important to note that the disadvantages mentioned above are not universal and can vary depending on the specific framework chosen and the requirements of the project. Developers should carefully evaluate these limitations against the project's needs and consider trade-offs between development efficiency, performance, and access to native features when deciding on a cross-platform approach.

What are Popular Cross-Platform App Development Frameworks?

In the following, we will present you an excerpt of popular cross platform development frameworks. Please note that this overview is not complete, but only an excerpt of well-known frameworks. This can be helpful when deciding which framework is best for app development.

The following chart from Statista shows the global use of the most important frameworks in the years 2019 to 2022:

Plattformübergreifende Frameworks weltweite Nutzung

We support the most important cross-platform frameworks with our Docutain SDK. As the environment is developing dynamically, we monitor this development closely and integrate new frameworks as they become relevant.

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Integrate high quality document scanning, text recognition and data extraction into your apps. If you like to learn more about the Docutain SDK, have a look at our Developer Documentation or contact us anytime via

React Native icon
React Native: React native app development by Facebook is a widely adopted framework for building cross-platform mobile applications. It uses JavaScript and allows developers to write code once and deploy it on both iOS and Android platforms. React Native offers a rich set of pre-built components, excellent performance, and a large community of developers, making it a popular choice for many.

Flutter icon
Flutter: Developed by Google and published in 2017, Flutter is an open-source UI framework that enables the creation of native mobile applications for iOS and Android platforms using a single codebase. Flutter uses the Dart programming language and offers a robust set of widgets and tools, allowing developers to build visually appealing and performant apps.
Learn how to Create a Flutter Plugin from Scratch and integrate it into your App

.NET MAUI icon
.NET MAUI: .NET MAUI is the new cross-platform development framework from Microsoft and replaces Xarmarin. It introduces a new application model that provides better separation between user interface and business logic, improved performance and enhanced support for modern user interface paradigms. .NET MAUI leverages the latest features and enhancements of .NET and provides a more coherent and unified approach to cross-platform application development.
Find more details on Xamarin and .NET MAUI in our blog

Ionic icon
Ionic: Based on Angular, Ionic is an open-source framework that enables the development of hybrid mobile applications using web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It offers a library of UI components, extensive plugins, and tools for building cross-platform apps. With its focus on simplicity and ease of use, Ionic is a popular choice for developers looking to leverage their web development skills for mobile app development.

PhoneGap icon
PhoneGap (Apache Cordova): PhoneGap, powered by Apache Cordova, is a widely adopted framework that allows developers to build mobile applications using web technologies. It provides a bridge between web technologies (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) and native device capabilities, enabling developers to access device features such as camera, accelerometer, and geolocation. PhoneGap offers a simplified development process, extensive plugin ecosystem, and compatibility with multiple platforms.
Learn how to Create a Cordova Plugin from Scratch and integrate it into your App

NativeScript icon
NativeScript: NativeScript is an open-source framework that enables the development of native mobile apps using JavaScript or TypeScript. It provides direct access to native APIs, allowing developers to build high-performance, platform-specific applications. NativeScript supports Angular and Vue.js frameworks, offers a wide range of plugins and UI components, and allows code sharing between iOS and Android platforms, making it a powerful choice for cross-platform development.


Cross-platform app development frameworks have revolutionized the way mobile applications are built. They provide developers with a unified approach to create apps that run seamlessly across multiple platforms, saving time, effort, and resources. With benefits such as code reusability, faster time to market, cost efficiency, and easy maintenance, these frameworks have become the go-to choice for many developers. React Native, Flutter, and Xamarin are among the popular options available today, each offering unique features and capabilities.

By leveraging cross-platform frameworks, developers can unlock new possibilities and reach a broader audience with their mobile applications.

Framework Language Supported Platforms UI Components
React Native JavaScript iOS, Android Native Components
Flutter Dart iOS, Android, Web Custom Widgets
Xamarin C# iOS, Android, Windows Native Components
.NET MAUI C# iOS, Android, Windows Native Components
Ionic HTML, CSS, JavaScript iOS, Android, Web Web Components
PhoneGap HTML, CSS, JavaScript iOS, Android, Web Web Components
NativeScript JavaScript, Typescript iOS, Android Native Components

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