The popularity of mobile apps has exploded in recent years and shows no signs of slowing down. The number of mobile devices on the market has increased at an exponential rate, and there are now more than three billion people who regularly use smartphones around the world. At the same time, several industry reports have predicted that the total number of mobile app downloads could reach 100 billion by 2020, making it clear that all types of organizations need to develop apps if they want to stay competitive. To help you navigate this increasingly complex app landscape, we’ve compiled this list of the best cross-platform app development frameworks for 2022.
Why Cross-Platform App Development
The majority of companies that create mobile apps choose to build native apps, but there are some advantages to cross-platform app development. Some Mobile App Development developers may want to target multiple platforms from a single codebase, rather than have separate codebases for each platform, which could make it easier to manage and develop an app.
Native vs. Hybrid
There are two basic types of app development—native and hybrid. Native apps are coded in a mobile platform’s native language (e.g., Objective C for iOS). In contrast, hybrid apps rely on a combination of web technologies to run on multiple devices. Hybrid apps offer more code reuse but have historically had access to fewer device features, while native apps tend to offer better performance but need to be rewritten each time a new platform comes out.
The Best Cross-Platform App Development Frameworks
a comparison. The aim of developing cross-platform applications is to reach a greater audience by producing mobile apps that will run on multiple devices and OS’s. A user’s choice of which operating system to use should not be an issue if your application is available across all platforms. That’s why many app developers prefer to develop their apps using cross-platform frameworks, allowing them to make use of code once and deploy it on various platforms.
A cross-platform solution, Xamarin is an excellent choice to develop native apps with a shared C# codebase. The company has been around since 2011 and has two distinct offerings: Xamarin Studio, which uses its own IDE, and Visual Studio for Mac. The framework supports not only Android but also iOS and Windows. While it does support other platforms such as Linux, that comes at a cost—in terms of price or features—when compared to alternative solutions on those platforms.
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Xcode / Swift
One of Apple’s proprietary technologies, Xcode is a must if you’re developing apps for iOS devices like iPhones and iPads. Swift is an iOS programming language that’s easy to learn, but powerful enough to develop complex apps. It has become a popular alternative to Objective C among new app developers, and has become essential if you want your apps in Apple’s App Store.
If you’re planning to develop a complex game, and/or if you want a more powerful solution than PhoneGap or other similar development tools, Unity3D is your best bet. It is extremely powerful (and hence very difficult to master), but it has so many options that it’s easy to create great graphics, smooth animations, realistic physics and more. The downside? You have to learn C# and shader programming—but once you do, there are few limits on what you can do with Unity3D.
No matter which framework you choose, building a mobile app is difficult. Some frameworks are more developer friendly than others, but none of them make it easy to create an awesome user experience. If you’re looking to build an app quickly and with a small budget, look into third-party options (like UI toolkits) before committing to a specific framework. And if you need help with your new app, contact us—we can help with your project!
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