Most Popular Cross-Platform App Development Frameworks

Min Read • Jul 9, 2024

Author Image


Author Image

If you’re a developer, you’re probably already familiar with the fact that reaching a broad audience often requires creating apps for both iOS and Android.

Traditionally, this meant developing two separate apps — one for each platform. However, cross-platform app development frameworks have emerged as more than just a useful solution. They have allowed developers to build a single codebase that can be deployed not only on iOS and Android platforms, but on other platforms as well.

What is cross-platform app development?

Just as different branches of science have their own methodologies, so too does the world of programming. Cross-platform app development is a method of creating mobile applications that can run on multiple operating systems using a single codebase. That’s quite a convenient option for many developers all over the world who don’t want to commit to only creating in one environment.

Let’s take a quick look at the advantages of using this method.

  • The development process is streamlined.
  • It reduces costs.
  • Developers can reach a much wider audience with a single codebase.

Common components of cross-platform frameworks include UI libraries, development tools, and APIs that allow developers to access native device features.

Benefits of cross-platform mobile app development frameworks

Let’s say that you’re a junior developer. A junior developer who has yet to decide which platform to specialize in. It’s quite hard to make a long-term commitment that might not pay off in the future. Some of the benefits why you should opt for cross platform app development in that case are:

  • Developing a single codebase is generally faster and cheaper than building separate apps for each platform — This all leads to reduced development costs.
  • With a single codebase to manage, you can get your app to market quicker — Faster time to market.
  • Reach both Android and iOS users with a single app — Wider market reach.
  • Bug fixes and updates only need to be made once for both platforms — Easier maintenance.

Disadvantages of cross-platform mobile app development frameworks

Of course, not a single programming environment is perfect. There are some disadvantages that every developer should keep in mind before committing to, for example, a most popular cross platform mobile framework. 

Some of those disadvantages are:

  • Cross-platform apps may not perform as well as native apps built specifically for each platform — Potentially lower performance.
  • Some native device features might be difficult or impossible to access with cross-platform frameworks — Limited access to native features.
  • The look and feel of the app may be less customizable compared to native development — Less customizable user interface.

Native vs. cross-platform application development

Let’s take a look at a quick comparison of native and cross-platform app development:

FeatureNative DevelopmentCross-Platform Development
Development TimeLonger (develop separate apps)Faster (single codebase)
Development CostHigher (two separate apps)Lower (single codebase)
PerformanceGenerally betterPotentially lower
User Interface CustomizationHighly customizableLess customizable
Platform ReachLimited to chosen platform (Android or iOS)Wider reach (Android and iOS)


Which are the most popular cross-platform mobile app development frameworks in 2024?

If you’re ready to choose the most popular cross platform mobile framework, we’ve made a list down below. While there are many different options available all over the web, these are the top five that we decided to go with. We encourage everyone, especially those who are just starting, to explore all the different options out there.

Many would argue that cross platform app development is not an easy task. But, luckily, these platforms will hopefully make everything slightly easier for you:

React Native

Think of React Native as a construction kit. A construction kit that utilizes pre-made components resembling native building blocks. Just like doors or windows — and both from Android and iOS platforms. These components can be snapped together using JavaScript. This could be considered as some sort of blueprint. They create a visually appealing structure, or in this case, the app. And that’s why this newly created app feels natural on each platform. 

For this exact reason, React Native is a great choice for projects where a polished and familiar user experience is a priority, especially if your development team has a strong web development background.


  • Leverages JavaScript — a familiar language for web developers. It makes it easy to learn and transition to mobile app development.
  • Large and active community with plenty of resources and support available.
  • Strong focus on UI which allows for the creation of a polished and familiar user experience.


  • Might require more native development work to achieve a truly native feel on each platform.
  • Debugging issues can sometimes be trickier due to the separation between JavaScript code and native UI components.
  • Reliant on third-party libraries for some functionalities — which may require additional maintenance.


Another example of one of the most popular cross platform mobile development alternatives is Ionic.

Unlike the other frameworks, Ionic utilizes familiar web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build so-called hybrid apps

It uses familiar building materials, or in this case, code. But, it optimizes them for the mobile environment. Ionic does so as they are focused on smaller screens and touch interactions. While Ionic apps might not offer the same level of customization as building a house from scratch, like in native development, they can be assembled quickly and efficiently. This makes them a good option for simpler apps or projects with tighter deadlines.


  • Leverages familiar web technologies (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) — makes it easy for web developers to build mobile apps.
  • Faster development cycles due to the use of pre-built web components.
  • Smaller app size compared to some other frameworks.


  • Limited access to native functionalities compared to truly native development.
  • Apps might not have the same level of performance or feel as native apps.
  • Reliant on web technologies — which might not be ideal for complex mobile applications.

Kotlin Multiplatform

Kotlin Multi Platform offers a unique approach to cross-platform development. Instead of a single construction kit, this time imagine having separate toolboxes for each location — like Android, iOS, or web. 

However, many core tools, like the Kotlin code, are universal and can be used across all locations. This allows for maximum code reuse— which ultimately reduces development time. If we use the construction analogy again, we can define Kotlin as a platform that uses pre-fabricated walls and pre-written plumbing code. Or, in this case, the shared Kotlin code. Kotlin also has access to location-specific materials, like platform-specific code when needed for a truly optimized build. 

This makes Kotlin Multiplatform a good choice for complex projects that require a balance between code sharing and native functionality and it also makes it one of the most popular cross platform mobile framework alternatives.


  • Enables maximum code reuse between Android, iOS, and even web development which reduces development time and costs.
  • Offers the ability to write platform-specific code when needed for optimal performance or native features.
  • It’s a modern and expressive language which makes development more enjoyable.


  • Relatively new framework compared to some others, so the community and resources might be smaller.
  • Requires developers to be familiar with Kotlin, which might add an extra learning curve.
  • Might require more planning and effort to manage the different codebases for each platform.


Owned by Microsoft, Xamarin offers a wide range of solutions for cross-platform development using C#. Similarly to the platforms we mentioned above, think of Xamarin as a high-quality kit specifically designed for building on Microsoft terrain, like in Windows or Azure cloud. 

Xamarin integrates quite well with other Microsoft development tools. This is what makes it a perfect fit for teams already invested in the Microsoft ecosystem. While Xamarin can also be used to build Android and iOS apps, it might be the most efficient choice if your project heavily relies on Microsoft technologies and requires a high degree of native functionality.


  • Uses C#, a popular language for .NET development. That way it offers a smooth transition for developers already in that ecosystem.
  • Tight integration with other Microsoft development tools, which allows streamlining the development process for Microsoft-focused teams.
  • Provides access to a large pool of native functionalities for a completely native user experience.


  • Can be more complex to set up and learn compared to some other frameworks.
  • Larger app size due to the need for platform-specific code.
  • May not be the most suitable choice for projects not heavily invested in the Microsoft ecosystem.


Developed by Google in 2017, Flutter has become a popular choice for cross-platform app development. Imagine a versatile kit that comes with pre-built and customizable widgets like, if we’re sticking with the construction analogy, walls, floors, and windows that work seamlessly on any foundation — in this case, Android or iOS. 

Flutter uses its own rendering engine to assemble these widgets and paint them according to your design. This approach allows for rapid development cycles and a high degree of design flexibility, making Flutter ideal for projects that require a rich and visually appealing user interface. That’s only one of the reasons why Flutter is one of the most popular cross platform mobile development choices.


  • Fast development cycles with hot reload for quick iteration which means that you can see changes instantly.
  • Rich UI capabilities with customizable widgets for a visually appealing app.
  • Single codebase for both Android and iOS, reducing development time and costs.


  • A relatively new framework, so the community and resources might be smaller compared to some others.
  • Learning Dart, the programming language used by Flutter might add an extra hurdle for developers not familiar with it.
  • Potentially larger app size due to the inclusion of the Flutter engine.

Choosing the Right Framework for Your Next Mobile App

Now that you’re a bit more familiar with the most popular cross platform mobile development options, we’re going to try to focus on a couple of different factors that are quite crucial when choosing the right framework. Some of those include:

  • Consider several different aspects of the final product, such as the need for native features, and your target audience.
  • Make sure to choose a framework that aligns with your team's existing skill set for faster development. You don’t want to push a certain framework to your team just because some other people in your network are using it. Make sure that your team, or one developer depending on the scenario, is familiar with the environment they’re working in.
  • If a truly native feel is crucial, a framework like Xamarin might be ideal, as it is one of the most popular cross platform mobile app development options right now.

Develop Your Next Cross-Platform App with Tapptitude

Ready to bring your mobile app idea to life? Tapptitude can help. We're a development partner that specializes in crafting high-quality cross-platform apps using the frameworks we mentioned above. Frameworks like Flutter, React Native, and many more. Our skilled team will work closely with you to understand your vision. That way we can choose the best approach for your project, and ultimately deliver a stunning, user-friendly app that reaches audiences on both Android and iOS.

We hope that this most popular cross platform mobile framework list has helped you, whether you're starting your journey as a developer or confirming your decisions as an established one.


Which cross-platform frameworks are most commonly used? 

A more complex answer would be that different developers use different tools in their work. Some industries might focus on certain platforms, while others might use some more, with a lack of a better term, basic options. With that being said, Flutter, React Native, and Xamarin are among the leaders here.

Is cross-platform better than native? 

It really depends on your project's needs. 

  • Cross-platform offers faster development and wider reach.
  • Native offers potentially better performance and more customization.

Is Ionic better than Flutter? 

There's no single better choice when it comes to cross platform app development. For example, Ionic is good for simpler apps, while Flutter offers more power and flexibility. Again, it really depends on the developer’s needs and even capabilities.



Tapptitude is a mobile app development company specialized in providing high-quality mobile app development services, and a top-rated app company on Clutch.