Top 7 Cross-Platform Frameworks for 2020: Mobile App Development Made Easy

July 3, 2020
Salil Attri

Surviving in the Darwinian Digital Age is directly correlated with satiating the perpetual and ever-changing needs of the customers. 

And to register these ever-changing needs of the consumers, your business needs to be present, and active on the device ubiquitous to modern-day society-Smartphones

Mobile app downloads are soaring through the roofs, with Statista suggesting the estimated downloads to top 204 Billion in 2019.

statistics-for-mobile-app-downloads-for-2019-Signity-solutions

You can create a native mobile app for the two prominent platforms- Google Play Store and App Store, but that could bring up issues in budgeting. 

The better alternative? 

Leverage a cross-platform app development framework to create hybrid apps compatible with not one but all the major OS’ used by your customers. 

Offering innumerable benefits, cross-platform app development frameworks is pervasive across businesses operating in the Digital sphere. 

But before we barge right into the best cross-platform frameworks for 2020, let’s establish a clear understanding of some fundamentals regarding mobile app development

Why are businesses investing in Mobile Apps?

Let’s try to understand the increasing demand for mobile apps by highlighting some real numbers. 
demand-for-mobile-apps-in-2020-signity-solutions

As of April 2020, there are 4.2 unique mobile Internet users in the world. Just let that number sink in. 

Why? 

For 4.2 Billion accounts for almost 58 percent of the global population. 

This particular statistic offers a logical explanation as to why mobile applications and cross-platform app frameworks are all the rage these days. 

What is a Cross-Platform App Framework?

Cross-Platform App Framework is the epitome of mobile app development. 

In other words, it’s a framework employed by mobile app developers to create mobile applications that can seamlessly run and operate on different platforms but with the same code-base. 

cross-platform-mobility-solution-providers-signity-solutions

Mobility solution providers are harnessing cross-platform app framework for it offers businesses a myriad of benefits, including low costs, code reusability, easy cloud integration, and more. 

Albeit the great benefits, there are certain restrictions such as navigation and control elements that often tag along. 

Rest assured, we’d be outlining both the pros and the cons of the top 5 cross-platform frameworks for mobile app development in 2020. 

But first, let’s highlight the key benefits of the Cross-platform mobile app framework for your business. 

What are the Benefits of Cross-Platform Mobile App Frameworks?

Emerging technologies and engaging hybrid mobile apps are changing the way businesses operate today! Mobility is becoming integral to our everyday routines, making it essential for enterprises to consider the mobile-first approach.

cross-platform-app-framework-infographic-signity

Outlined below are the upsides of cross-platform app development frameworks for businesses:

1. Code Re-usability

Cross-platform mobile app development promotes code reusability. That is, developers can code just once, and reuse the same codebase to run the apps on other platforms. This eliminates repetitive tasks, and in turn, saves operational costs. 

2. Quicker Development Time

Creating a single codebase for multiple platforms helps to cut down development efforts by 60 to 80%. This enables your business to create rich and intuitive mobile applications- for less costs, and in less time. 

3. Reduced Costs

It’s simple math: Less time, resources, and efforts spent in mobile app development is directly proportional to lower costs. 

As developers need to develop just a single source code, not only it quickens the development timeline, but also promotes testing, deployment, and ongoing support. 

4. Easy Cloud Integration

The added benefit of utilizing a cross-platform app development framework is easy cloud integrations with the hosting services. Developing a cross-platform hybrid app means that your business’ mobile app can readily benefit from all the cloud hosting services. 

5. Easy Maintenance

Since mobile app developers need to develop just a single source code, maintaining, passing update packages, and making changes is relatively easy. 

Updates and changes once made, can be synched over all the platforms and devices in an instant- saving time, money, and efforts. 

Now, to the main bit. 

Cross-Platform App Development Frameworks to Consider in 2020

There are a plethora of cross-platform app development frameworks available in the market, with each having its own pros and cons. 

Closely scrutinizing the trend, the advantages, and the tagged disadvantages, we’ve handpicked the best cross-platform app development frameworks for your business in 2020. 

1. Flutter

Flutter is Google’s contribution to the open-source mobile app development platforms. 

Although released in 2018, this SDK stands tall amongst the best cross-platform app development frameworks for mobile app development. 

Google defines Flutter as a ‘UI toolkit for building beautiful, natively compiled applications for mobile, web, and desktop from a single codebase’.

flutter-cross-platform-source-code-signity

Flutter, an object-oriented language, essentially works on Dart coding language; whilst extending support for multiple languages including C, Swift, Java, and more. 

Flutter Pros

  • Intuitive Widgets on Google’s Material Design,
  • Quick and Easy Development, 
  • Positive Developer Feedback,
  • Reduced testing Efforts. 

Flutter Cons

  • Missing Support for Ready-to-Implement Libraries,
  • Questions on Usability,
  • Bigger App Size.

Hire flutter developers - signity solutions

2. React Native

React Native is Facebook’s contribution to the open-source mobile app development platforms. 

React Native, as the name suggests, offers an intuitive native development platform fundamentally based on Reacta JavaScript library leveraged by mobile app developers to build intuitive UI Interfaces. 

There are many upsides to JavaScript framework, including but not limited to, easy integration with existing and on-going projects, quick testing, and an enormous built-in library. 

react-native-cross-platform-source-code-signity-solutions

Be aware though, React Native isn’t for novices. Your startup, or enterprise for that matter, needs a team of professionals to create decent apps and generate great rewards using this cross-platform app framework. 

React Pros

  • Easy Integration, 
  • Used for developing powerful mobile apps,
  • Built-in Library of components,
  • Community-driven. 

React Cons

  • Not suitable for beginners,
  • Slight errors might render a project unstable,
  • Involves a steep learning curve. 

Related Read: Flutter vs React in 2020: We Help You Decide What’s Best!

3. Ionic Framework

Ionic framework, an incredible open-source cross-platform app framework, is licensed by MIT.

Inheriting certain elements from both the Android and iOS, Ionic is ideally the first choice for Mobile App Development. Another reason for its popularity pertains to the benefits.

Ionic-source-code-signity

Here’s a data-point for your reference: 

A study suggests that apps built on the Ionic framework have recorded a rise of 53.3% since 2019. 

Ionic Framework shares similarities with AngularJS, and uses languages like HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript for translations. 

Another benefit? The platform has quite recently added support for React

Ionic Pros

  • Uses a single code base, 
  • A huge library of tools and the latest components, 
  • Preferred by expert developers,
  • And support for a huge community. 

Ionic Cons

  • Can lead to complexity, 
  • Fundamentally built on Cordova
  • Free-version poses certain limitations. 

4. Xamarin

Xamarin is an open-source platform, owned and maintained by Microsoft.

This cross-platform app framework is essentially different from the ones we’ve discussed so far- for Xamarin is based on WORA (Write once run any model). 

What is WORA? 

According to Whatls.com‘Write once, run anywhere (WORA) is a term that refers to a particular program’s supposed ability to run on all common OSs (operating systems)’.

The term, however, was first coined by Sun Microsystems in reference to Java

xamarin-source-code-signity

An open-source cross-platform mobile app development platform, Xamarin was launched to resolve the problems associated with native technology stacks. 

What problems, you ask?

To help mobile app developers with the technical difficulty and huge expenses associated with mobile app development. 

Our team of expert full-stack developers can help you create a responsive and scalable mobile app using the latest tools, technologies, and APIs. Contact Us.

Based on .NET language, this particular framework enables the developers to share 75% of the code across different platforms. 

Xamarin pros

  • Support for the latest APIs, libraries, and programming languages,
  • Mobile UI framework that delivers consistent look across different OS,
  • Access to native APIs and NuGet packages. 

Xamarin Cons

  • Although free, the full license might get expensive for Startups,
  • Not recommended for apps with heavy graphics, 
  • Time-consuming for UI interface not created for mobile devices.

5. Adobe Phonegap

Phonegap is an open-source, cross-platform app framework created by Adobe. 

Web developers acutely familiar with languages including HTML, CSS, and JavaScript can code intuitive mobile apps in Adobe Phonegap

phoneGap-source-code-signity

Adobe Phonegap (earlier referred to as Adobe Cordova) is widely acclaimed for radically improving the mobile app development, thanks to the robust Phonegap toolset, and a strong community. 

The best bit?

Adobe Phonegap enables mobile app developers to code, and play with different languages without any hardware restrictions. 

Phonegap’s Pros

  • Independence over convoluted text commands,
  • Offers cloud solution enabling mobile app developers to create apps directly in the platform,
  • Compatible with numerous third-party tools and APIs.
  • Easy Debugging with the major web inspector tools.

Phonegap’s Cons

  • Not recommended for high-intensive, and performance-based GUI applications,
  • Apps built with Phonegap lags a little when compared to Native apps,
  • Dependent on iOS SDKs. 

Well, those were some honorable cross-platform app framework mentions for 2020. But there’s still more. Wonder what?

6. Node.Js

Node.Js is an extremely powerful open-source, capable of handling multiple concurrent processes at a time.

The Node.Js runtime is a cross-platform app framework that’s built on Chrome’s v8 Javascript engine.

Node.JS-Source-Code-signity

For an added context, v8 Javascript is a Google’s open-source web assembly engine written in C++. 

Every popular cross-platform app framework generally supports an in-built library, but the one that comes equipped with Node.Js is impressive ion terms of features, speed, functionalities, and execution. 

Node.Js Pros

  • Huge in-built library,
  • All Node.Js APIs are asynchronous, meaning they don’t need to wait for data from APIs,
  • Speedy execution,
  • Impressive and reliable performance. 

Node.Js Cons

  • Callback concerns,
  • Laggy performance when developing heavy GUI app and web interfaces. 

     

7. Sencha Touch

Sencha Touch is best-used for apps that employ hardware acceleration techniques. 

Introduced a decade ago, Sencha Touch is popular amongst mobile app developers for creating native-looking themes, with options for easy testing, integration for UI components, and huge libraries. 

sencha-source-code-signity

The upside of working with Sencha Touch?

It’s amongst the rare cross-platform app development frameworks that enable the developers to code and maintain large business applications quite effectively. Sencha Touch is also popular for inbuilt Cordova integration. 

Sencha Touch Pros

  • Fast and Reliable,
  • Easy Integration with APIs and plugins, 
  • Agnostic backend data package, 
  • 50+ inbuilt UI widgets. 

Sencha Touch Cons

  • Heavy Document Object Model (DOM) elements

Web framework Analysis for 2019

When outlining the best cross-platform mobile app frameworks for 2020, it’s imperative to mention the most loved, dreaded, and wanted web frameworks for 2019. 

Why though?

The simple answer would be for better context, comparison, and understandability. 

Here are the results from Stack Overflow’s Developer Survey 2019.

The Most Loved App Development Frameworks for 2019

most-loved-app-development-frameworks-2019

Dreaded Web Frameworks for 2019

most-dreaded-web-frameworks-for-2019

Most Wanted Web Frameworks for 2019

most-wanted-frameworks-of-2020

Though, it goes without saying that these statistics are subjective, and what works for you might not work for other mobile app developers. 

At Signity, our expert mobile app developers strive to deliver the right mobile app solutions, that’s scalable, and relevant to your business niche. 

Having delivered hundreds of mobile app solutions, rest assured that your concepts are in the hands of the best mobility solution providers in India

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