Cross-platform Mobile Development Tools


In today’s tech-hungry world, it is nearly impossible for a company to survive without creating an app; whether on your own or with help from an app development company. With the number of mobile apps doubling last year and expected to double again this year, companies have been forced to develop their own app or hire a third-party developer in order to maintain a competitive edge. However, developing for multiple platforms can be expensive and time-consuming – so why not use cross-platform development tools?

Cross-platform development tools allow developers to create one codebase that will work across iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8.1, and other operating systems.

In this way, they can save significant time and money by only having one version of the application created instead of four different ones. Not only does this save time and money, but it gives the developers more time to concentrate on building a better app.

In this article, we will discuss what cross-platform apps are, the benefits of cross-platform app development, factors to consider while selecting the best cross-platform mobile development tools, and the best tools for building a cross-platform mobile app.


What are cross-platform apps?

Cross-platform apps are mobile applications preferred by businesses that work on multiple operating systems. They are great for businesses who want to expand their customer base, as they don’t have to worry about the demographic of one platform over any others. The applications can run on both Android and iOS, which increases the number of people the business can market its products to.

For example, if a business designs an application exclusively for iOS devices, the application only works with Apple mobile products and cannot be accessed by Android users.

Cross-platform app development helps to avoid this and allows developers to build applications that run on multiple platforms. This increased compatibility increases how many people can access and use the product.

Cross-platform apps are different because they only need to be developed once and can then be used in all compatible operating systems without having to retake the application apart for each one.

Benefits of cross-platform app development

Cross-platform mobile development has been increasingly popular due to its several benefits. The benefits of cross-platform mobile app development include:

Cost reduction

Cost reduction is the biggest benefit of cross-platform mobile app development. By building one application that works in multiple operating systems, a company can save money and time and prevent inefficiency in its processes.

Code reusability

One codebase is the main benefit of cross-platform app development as developers can reuse their code as much as possible. By using a single code base, developers only have to build an application once and it will work on various systems.

Faster application development and time to market

Time taken for developing and releasing an application is reduced by using cross-platform app development.

The time spent on designing and building applications can be decreased when using these tools as they allow developers to create one product that works with multiple operating systems.

Also Read: 5 Ways Amazon Web Services (AWS) Can Help Your Business

Wider market reach/targets

Having one platform that works across all operating systems means that companies can reach more customers.

This also helps increase profits as businesses will be able to sell their product or service to more people, meaning more money made.

Brand consistency

Since it is built on a single codebase, there will not be any inconsistencies throughout the application. This ensures that a company’s brand identity and message are clear and focused.

Also read: 8 Mistakes People Make When Starting a Business

Factors to consider while selecting the best cross-platform mobile development tools

Make sure to consider these factors before settling on a particular development tool!


The most important factor to consider is how easy or difficult it is for developers to work with the cross-platform mobile development tool. It’s important for the company to find a tool that doesn’t require too much training and can be used by different departments with minimal difficulty.


Another key factor is whether the tool has high scalability without affecting usability.

When companies reach higher levels of development, they might encounter problems with scaling due to pre-existing infrastructure.

It is important to choose a tool with good scalability to prevent efficiency loss when the company begins to grow and scale up.


The company should consider the security of its data when choosing a cross-platform mobile development tool. There are two factors to take into consideration: if the company’s sensitive information is stored in a centralized location and how difficult it can be for hackers to gain access to this information. The safer the storage, the better.

Functionality and UI

Some mobile operating systems offer different functionalities and user interfaces. Operating systems like Android and Windows come with consistent GUI, but iOS is known for its unique UI. Some cross-platform mobile development tools have been known to struggle with some of these UI differences.

Platform compatibility

If the company plans on releasing its mobile app on different platforms, it will need to consider if it’s compatible with each operating system. Some cross-platform tools offer compatibility with multiple operating systems and have the same functionality, while others have different functionalities for each OS.

Development workload

It’s also important to consider whether or not the cross-platform tool is compatible with the existing development patterns and processes of the company. Some tools don’t work well with the current workflow, which may force companies to alter their existing processes in order to accommodate it.

Best tools for building cross-platform mobile apps

There are many cross-platform mobile development tools available to assist developers in creating high-quality applications for different operating systems at once.

Some of the best cross-platform mobile development tools available on the market today are:


Xamarin is a cross-platform mobile development tool that has been used in the creation of apps by companies like Microsoft and American Express. It can be used to create iOS, Android, and Windows apps using C# code. Xamarin offers over 2000 APIs for different processes and characteristics across all operating systems and provides high scalability without degrading the usability.

Xamarin, interest over time chart.


  • Developers can share code across platforms and languages, saving time and resources
  • Code is automatically translated into the desired language or platform
  • The tool can be used for both native and hybrid apps: it’s compatible with iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Universal Windows Platform (UWP), and also has good integration with Java.


  • It’s not open-source; this means developers cannot modify the original code.
  • It lacks transparency

Rating by developers

It has 59 reviews and 4.4 stars.

Development tools

  • NuGet
  • Xamarin Inspector
  • Prism
  • MFractor
  • Resharper


React Native

React Native is a Javascript library that enables developers to use the same language across all mobile operating systems, making it easy to quickly develop new apps.

 Apps created with React-Native are said to have a similar look and feel to native apps. 

React Native
React Native, interest over time chart.



  • Code is easily maintained and improved because the same code can be used across multiple platforms.
  • Apps created with React Native have a similar look and feel to native apps.
  • Developers don’t need to create new tags for each platform because React Native incorporates the original platform’s styling.


  • Not all apps are supported by React-Native; developers can’t build responsive apps with it
  • It has inconsistent support across platforms

Rating by developers

It has 52 reviews and 4.3 stars.

Development tools

  • Redux
  • React Native Debugger
  • React Navigation



Flutter is a new cross-platform mobile development tool from Google that uses the Dart programming language. Flutter has been praised for its performance as well as its easy-to-use, modern UI.

Development with Flutter provides instant results in the form of hot reload. It also has a feature called stateful Hot Reload, which only updates the part of the code that has been changed rather than rebuilding the entire app.

Flutter is completely free and open-source, meaning developers can freely make changes to the source code if they want.

Flutter, interest over time chart.


  • Flutter offers high performance, which is good for apps that require intense animation or complicated graphics.
  • Flutter compiles directly to native ARM code for fast rendering and lower memory usage.
  • Developers don’t need to learn a new language because Flutter uses Dart, which is based on Javascript.


  • Flutter can be difficult to use for developers who are not familiar with Dart.
  • Since there aren’t many apps developed with Flutter yet, the community is still small, and support isn’t as widespread as other options.

Rating by developers

It has 29 reviews and 4.5 stars.

Development tools

  • Panache
  • Supernova
  • Codemagic
  • Sylph
  • Amplitude


Apache Cordova

Cordova is a cross-platform mobile development tool that allows developers to use HTML, CSS, and Javascript to create their apps.

The advantage of this tool is that it lets developers reuse most of the code across different platforms.

There is also no need to build a UI from the ground up, as most of the necessary components are supported in Cordova.

Apache Cordova
Apache Cordova, interest over time chart.


  • The app’s look and feel will be consistent since they are built with web technologies like HTML, CSS, and Javascript.
  • Code can be reused across different platforms, which means that less coding is required for each platform
  • A large library of plugins that provide additional functionality for Cordova apps
  • Reduced development time


  • Internet connection is required for some apps, which can be a problem when developing apps abroad or in remote areas.
  • The performance of the app will depend on the capabilities of the device it’s running on
  • Javascript is not as advanced as Objective-C or Swift, which means developers need to learn something new when building their apps.

Rating by developers

It has 49 reviews and 4.3 stars.

Development tools

  • Ionic
  • Monaca
  • Onsen UI
  • Framework7



Ionic is a mobile app development framework that uses web technologies like HTML and CSS across iOS and Android.

Ionic also has a built-in CLI tool that provides project scaffolding, helps with live reloading, and provides easy access to plugins. It can be used together with Angular and Typescript and is well suited for complex apps that require a lot of power and functionality.

Ionic, interest over time chart.


  • Ionic is one of the only cross-platform mobile development tools that use web technologies for building apps.
  • This means developers can use their already existing frontend skills to build apps instead of learning a new language.
  • Highly customizable – it’s easy to make changes to the source code to suit your needs.


  • Ionic development tools are not free to use.
  • Developers will need to purchase an individual license or sign up for a paid plan.
  • The framework’s performance can be slower than native alternatives.

Rating by developers

It has 109 reviews and 4.4 stars.

Development tools

  • Ionic Appflow
  • Dribble
  • Firebase


Appcelerator Titanium

Titanium is an open-source framework that allows developers to build apps in JavaScript.

This tool has been used by companies like CNN, PayPal, Instagram, Twitter, and Walmart for their mobile apps. It’s also the only cross-platform development tool on this list that works with Windows Universal Platform.

Appcelerator Titanium
Appcelerator Titanium, interest over time chart.


  • Titanium is one of the only cross-platform mobile development tools that work on the Windows Universal Platform.
  • It is very well suited for building more complicated apps like games or apps with more advanced graphics because it uses JavaScript, which is easier to learn than Objective-C or Swift.


  • It is not used by many companies in the app development industry, which can make it harder to find developers with experience using this tool.

Rating by developers

  • It has 98 reviews and 4.7 stars.

Development tools

  • Aptana
  • Alloy


Corona SDK

Corona is a cross-platform mobile app development tool that uses Lua, a lightweight programming language. It’s one of the few options available for C++ programmers and allows the use of plugins to build native functionality into apps.

Corona SDK
Corona SDK, interest over time chart.


  • A large number of plugins allow for native-level functionality and integrations with platforms like Facebook
  • It’s possible to build games using Corona SDK, as it’s designed for fast performance and easy graphics integration.
  • Corona also has a free and paid plan, so developers interested in building apps for non-commercial use can do so without having to pay anything.


  • Some developers have experienced issues using plugins with their applications.
  • Apps built with Corona SDK will not perform as well as those developed using native languages.

Rating by developers

It has 10 reviews and 4.6 stars

Development tools

  • Xcode
  • Corona Native


Qt Creator

Qt is a cross-platform mobile app development tool with a range of device and operating system support.

It uses C++ as its programming language, which allows it to support iOS, Android, and BlackBerry devices. It’s also possible for QT apps to run on Windows 10 Mobile phones through Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform (UWP) system.

Qt Creator is a set of tools that provides a graphical interface for users to build user interfaces, add networking code and implement other features in the app’s backend.

Qt Creator
Qt Creator, interest over time chart.


  • It has a large community, with many tutorials and guides available online to help developers learn how to use it.
  • QT is one of the only cross-platform mobile development tools that includes a set of design features.


  • Large projects can be difficult to manage using just Qt since it doesn’t have the same level of integration as other platforms like Cordova or Ionic.
  • Qt does not provide an easy way to preview projects in real-time.

Rating by developers

It has 44 reviews and 4.3 stars.

Development tools

  • QT creator
  • Codelite



Sencha is a cross-platform mobile development tool that uses JavaScript to build apps for iOS, Android, and other platforms.

It’s based on HTML5 technology, effectively replacing traditional web technologies like Cordova or Ionic.

Through the use of Ext JS, developers can take advantage of pre-built components that are easy to customize and use in apps.

Sencha, interest over time chart.


  • The Sencha site is full of tutorials and guides to help developers learn more about its features
  • It’s fairly easy to use for users who are already familiar with HTML5 tools.


  • It can be difficult for developers who are new to mobile app development since the learning curve is quite steep.
  • Sencha uses a custom version of JavaScript, which can make it difficult to debug apps using traditional methods.

Rating by developers

It has 109 reviews and 4.1 stars.

Development tools

  • Sencha GXT
  • Sencha Test
  • WebTestIt
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