What Are Cross-Platform Apps? Benefits And Drawbacks of Cross-Platform Mobile App Development

Relia Software

Relia Software

Duc Le

Relia Software


Cross-platform app development is the process of creating and developing software apps that work across various mobile operating systems (OSes) or platforms.


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Mobile apps are now vital for many companies in a wide range of industries, and it's critical that they function perfectly on iOS and Android. You may quickly and cheaply construct such applications by utilizing the cross-platform mobile development methodology.

Consequently, cross-platform mobile development methodologies have become one of the most well-liked trends in software development. What then are cross-platform apps? What are its benefits and challenges? Let's explore further details about cross-platform mobile app development via this article!

>> Read more:

What Is Cross-Platform App Development?

A cross-platform app is a sort of software that can function on different operating systems, such as Android, iOS, Windows, Blackberry, etc. The apps created and developed using this framework don't need to be coded separately for each platform.

Instead, just one piece of coding will lay the groundwork for the app to function well across all platforms. Today, it is one of the most widely used techniques in the app development industry, and practically all of the leading service providers of mobile app development swear by it. 

Cross-platform mobile app development is the process of creating and developing software apps that work across various mobile operating systems (OSes) or platforms. These apps have a single codebase that allows them to run on any platform, regardless of the operating system powering the mobile device (such as Android and iOS).

What Is Cross-Platform App Development
A cross-platform app is a sort of software that can function on different operating systems (Source: Internet)

Benefits of Cross-Platform App Development

Maximum Exposure To The Intended Market

A business can create and distribute an app across many platforms, including the web, by utilizing a cross-platform mobile app development method. That one app can be created to run on both iOS and Android devices can extend their reach.

Less Expensive Development

The idea of "write once, run everywhere" is the foundation for cross-platform software development. The use of Agile app development technologies and reusable coding helps lower development expenses. Cross-platform apps are currently the only way to effectively improve a business across various platforms.

Easier Deployment And Maintenance

A single, universal app can be created for cross-platform use and run on all systems. As changes are made, this makes it simpler to maintain and deploy code. All platforms and devices can quickly sync updates, saving time and money. In addition, a bug that is discovered in the shared codebase only needs to be patched once. Developers may save a ton of time and money in this way.

More Rapid Development

Another win-win situation for creating cross-platform apps is the rapid software development cycle. Using a single source of code across many platforms can cut development time by 50 to 80%. The procedure makes it possible to create feature-rich business software faster. The cross-platform app development team can complete projects by the deadlines set.

Reusable Code

The fact that the code on this platform may be reused repeatedly is another plus. A single code can be utilized by developers rather than creating separate codes for each platform. Because it minimizes repetition in the process of producing codes, this saves resources and time.

Easy Cloud Integration 

Mobile apps that work across platforms are able to employ a variety of plug-ins that are integrated with cloud settings. In other words, the functionality and scalability of the program are improved by coordinating the single source code with a variety of plug-ins and extensions.

Faster Time-To-Market And Customization

“Write once, run everywhere” is the mantra used while developing cross-platform apps, as was already mentioned. Quick deployment makes it possible for app developers to shorten their Time-to-Market (TTM). Additionally, it is simple for the developers to make minor adjustments in a single code if the app needs to be modified or altered. By increasing client interaction, this helps deliver items faster than the competition.

Uniform Design

Users can identify User Interface (UI) components and anticipate how they will interact across various platforms. User Experience (UX) is crucial to take into account while developing any product or app.

While developing various apps, it can be challenging to sync the many development projects. With the use of cross-platform mobile development tools, designers and developers can create a unified UX for app users.

Challenges of Cross-Platform App Development

Compatibility Problems Across Various Operating Systems and Devices

Compatibility might be difficult when discussing cross-platform mobile app development. When the apps using the devices aren't made to support them, such problems may occur. As a result, performance problems may appear.

Restricted Access To Device Hardware Features 

On various devices, cross-platform frameworks behave differently. Utilizing each device's functionality might be challenging. This is mostly caused by the tools' lack of direct access to the devices' hardware.

All native-only features and capabilities of mobile devices, such as sophisticated graphics and animation or 3D effects, cannot be supported by cross-platform programs (particularly hybrid apps). Limited functionality and a worsening app design are the results of this.

>> You may be interested in: Top 9 Best React Animation Libraries for Web Developers

Difficulties With Performance Compared To The Native App

Inconsistent communication between native and non-native components of devices causes performance problems.

Difficulty Keeping Up With Operating System And Device Updates

Cross-platform app developers struggle to keep their programs compatible with different hardware and operating systems.

Native solutions can begin utilizing new capabilities as soon as Google and Apple update the Android and iOS operating systems. Hybrid apps, however, must wait until these upgrades have been modified to work with the selected cross-platform framework. Consequently, there will always be a delay in updating.

Native Vs Hybrid Vs Cross-Platform App Development

Relia Software will provide you with comparison among Native, Hybrid and Cross-Platform App Development via 3 factors: benefits, drawbacks and examples. 

>> Read more: The Real Difference Between Native and Hybrid App Development 






- Utmost performance

- Improved user experience

- Minimized scope of bugs

- Higher reliability

- Enhanced security

- Rapid time to market

- Easy Maintenance

- Minimized Cost Backed & Ease of Development

- Improved UI/UX

- Lower costs 

- Shorter time to market

- Wider audience reaches

- Easier maintenance 

- Consistent user experience

- Access to a large community


- No code reusability

- Development cost

- Longer time to market - Complex and time-consuming maintenance

- Limited reach to potential audience and market reach

- Needs more skills and talent

- No Offline Support

- OS Inconsistencies

- Development complexity

- Vulnerable Security

- Complicated Development Lifecycle

- Difficult Integrations


- Google Maps 

- Instagram 

- WhatsApp 

- Camera+ 

- Gmail

- Instagram

- Uber

- Twitter

- Evernote

- Insightly

- Bloomberg

- Reflectly

- Skype

- Slack

Your choice of app type will rely on a variety of elements if you're looking to have a mobile app for your company produced. You should think about the following suggested elements:


Native development may be the ideal choice if performance is crucial to your project, as it is for graphics-intensive or real-time applications. However, hybrid or cross-platform development can provide a more economical approach if performance is not a primary concern.

User Experience

Native development may be the greatest option if providing the finest user experience is a top priority. It will give you the most control over the UI and UX of the program. However, hybrid and cross-platform applications can also offer a fantastic user experience, particularly if they are created with the aid of contemporary development frameworks.

Development Timeline

Since hybrid and cross-platform development offer quicker development schedules than native development, they may be the best option if you need to launch your product rapidly.


If you have a tight budget, cross-platform or hybrid development may be your best option because they demand less effort to produce and can use a single codebase.

Read more: How Much Does It Cost to Design an App?

Target Market

Native development is required if your software must run on a certain platform, such as iOS or Android. However, hybrid or cross-platform development may be the ideal choice if your target audience uses a variety of platforms or devices.

The Best Cross-Platform App Development Frameworks 

>> Read more: Top 8 Python Frameworks for Website Development


Ionic, the open-source UI toolkit Ionic was introduced in 2013. With connectors for the Angular, React, and Vue frameworks, it aids developers in creating hybrid mobile and desktop applications by combining native and web technologies including HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Programming language: JavaScript. 

Mobile apps: T-Mobile, BBC (Children's & Education apps), EA Games.

Key features: 

  • The code can be changed because it is an open-source front-end framework, making it versatile for all developers and time-saving.  

  • A SAAS UI framework created exclusively for mobile operating systems serves as the foundation for Ionic. It provides a selection of UI elements for creating robust applications.

  • Its foundation in AngularJS, which makes it simple to offer extensions to HTML's syntax and fundamental functions to incorporate practical yet appealing features and components into the project.

  • The ability to use built-in device functions like the camera, GPS, and audio recorder thanks to this framework's use of Cordova plugins.

  • Since it delivers apps a native-like experience, Ionic is a favorite among developers. It enables the creation of cross-platform programs and ensures their flawless performance across numerous platforms.

Ionic Framework (Source: Internet)


In 2017, Google unveiled the remarkable Flutter cross-platform app framework. The software development kit was developed to speed up the creation of Android and iOS apps. Flutter provides apps that operate quickly, efficiently, uniformly, and dynamically across a variety of platforms. 

Programming language: Dart.

Mobile apps: Alibaba, eBay, ByteDance apps, Google Pay.

Key features: 

  • Flutter supports portable GPU, which renders UI power and allows it to work on the newest interfaces.

  • Because of the reactive nature of Flutter, altering the UI elements doesn't need human labor.

  • The cross-platform software framework Flutter is ideal for creating Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) because it starts a quick development process and is reasonably priced.

  • The programmers can effectively recreate a widget tree automatically by comprehending the changes to the code.

  • There is a built-in graphics engine in Flutter. As a result, the bother of developing unique interfaces for Android and iOS wouldn't be necessary for the developers.

Flutter Framework (Soure: Internet)


In 2011, Xamarin was introduced, and Microsoft now owns it. It is a cross-platform open-source app development framework that makes use of C# and .Net framework to create apps for Windows, iOS, and Android. 

Programming language: С#. 

Mobile apps: Alaska Airlines, UPS, Academy Members (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences). 

Key features:

  • Developers may access native-level app features with Xamarin. With the aid of plugins and particular APIs that integrate with common device functions, it greatly eliminates hardware compatibility issues. It also promotes linking with native libraries to enable customization and native-level capabilities.  

  • Direct integration of Objective-C, Java, and C++ libraries is supported by Xamarin. This makes it one of the significantly finest cross-platform frameworks because it enables developers to utilize various third-party codebases written in Java, Objective-C, or C++.

  • The development of mobile apps takes less time and money with Xamarin because it supports WORA (Write Once, Run Anywhere) and includes a sizable class library.

  • Robust compile-time checking is provided by Xamarin. Because of this feature, developers experience fewer run-time problems and get well-functioning apps.

  • The amazing native user interface and features provided by Xamarin help and enable developers to create native-like apps.

Xamarin Framework (Source: Internet)

React Native 

An open-source UI software framework, React Native was developed in 2015 by Meta Platforms, formerly Facebook. It is based on the JavaScript package React from Facebook and enables developers to create cross-platform mobile apps that are natively rendered.

Programming language: JavaScript. 

Mobile apps: Bloomberg, Skype, Shopify, and many little Facebook and Instagram modules.

Key features:

  • A sizable community is working to support and advance React Native by bringing new features, addressing problems, and making improvements.

  • One-time coding reduces the cost of developing a React Native app and decreases the development time in half.

  • Google Maps and other third-party plugins work quite well with React Native.

  • User experience is given top priority in React Native, which results in a tremendously responsive UI. It means that the React Native ecosystem eliminates loading time and gives applications a fluid user experience.

Read more: Flutter or React Native: What to choose?

React Native Framework (Source: Internet)


This open-source framework for creating mobile applications was first made available in 2014. Using JavaScript, languages that transpile to JavaScript, such as TypeScript, and frameworks like Angular and Vue.js, NativeScript enables you to create mobile apps for Android and iOS.

Programming language: TypeScript, JavaScript.

Mobile apps: Daily Nanny, Breethe, Strudel.

Key features:

  • Developers can access native Android and iOS APIs with ease thanks to NativeScript.

  • Platform-native UIs are rendered by the framework. NativeScript-built apps run directly on a native device without the need for WebViews, an Android OS system component that enables Android applications to display content from the web inside of an app.

  • NativeScript does away with the need for additional solutions by offering a wide range of plugins and ready-made app templates.

NativeScript Framework (Source: Internet)

How to Pick the Best Cross-Platform App Development Framework for Your Project?

How can you choose the best solution for your upcoming project given the myriad possibilities available? Understanding the specifications and objectives of your project and developing a clear vision for the final product are the first steps. In order to choose the option that is best for your company, you should next consider the following crucial factors.

Your team's skill set

Different programming languages serve as the foundation for several cross-platform mobile development frameworks. Make sure your team of mobile developers has the necessary training and experience to use the framework before implementing it.

For instance, it can make sense to choose JavaScript-based frameworks like React Native if your team consists of highly talented JavaScript engineers and you lack the resources to implement new technologies.

>> You may consider:

Reliability and assistance of vendors

It's crucial to confirm that the framework's maintainer will stick behind it in the long run. Examine the mobile apps that have been created using the frameworks you're considering, and find out more about the firms that created and supported those frameworks.

UI customization

You may need to know how simple it is to alter the user interface using a specific framework depending on how important the user interface is for your future project. 

For instance, Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile enables you to leverage the most up-to-date UI frameworks, including SwiftUI and Jetpack Compose, and gives you complete control over the user interface (UI).

Framework development

Find out how often a potential framework's public API and tooling are updated. For instance, some modifications to native operating system elements affect internal cross-platform functionality. It's best to be prepared for any difficulties you can encounter when using the framework for developing mobile apps. 

Framework features

Each framework has unique strengths and weaknesses. To choose the ideal solution for you, it is essential to understand the features and tools that a framework offers. Does it have frameworks for unit testing and code analyzers? How fast and simple will it be for you to develop, test, and troubleshoot your app?

Uniformity across various platforms

Given how greatly platforms like Android and iOS differ, especially in terms of the development experience, it might be difficult to provide consistency across numerous platforms. There may be significant changes in the business logic since, for instance, tools and libraries differ between various operating systems. You may build and share the business logic of the app between the Android and iOS platforms thanks to several technologies, such as Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile.


When developing a vital mobile app for business, such as banking and e-commerce apps with a payment system, security and privacy are extremely crucial. Insecure data storage, weak authentication, and weak authorisation are three of the most serious security vulnerabilities for mobile applications, according to the OWASP Mobile Top 10.

The multiplatform mobile development framework of your choice must offer the necessary level of security, so be sure it does. If the framework has a publicly accessible issue tracker, one approach to achieve this is to browse the security tickets there.

Resources for learning

You can also determine how easy working with a framework will be by looking at how many and what kind of learning resources are accessible about it. It's a good indication that you'll be able to discover all the crucial information you need about a product when you need it if there is extensive official documentation, online and offline conferences, and educational courses.

The Best Cross-Platform App Development Frameworks
How to pick the best cross-platform app development framework for your project?
(Source: Internet)

Guidelines and Best Practices for Cross-Platform App Development

  • You must maintain visual coherence across all platforms. Make sure you're thinking about a UI library or a standardized design framework. A seamless user experience will be made possible by the pre-built components.

  • Performance of the application may be hampered by the abstraction layer. Make sure your code is performance-optimized to address that.

  • Cache frequently and reduce network queries.

  • Create tidy code. Ensure that it is understandable, readable, and maintained.

  • Test on many platforms and devices.

  • Make sure you're always keeping an eye on customer feedback and observing how platform differences affect user experience.

Future of Cross-Platform App Development

Cross-platform app development is expected to advance and change as technology develops quickly. We will discuss certain trends and cutting-edge technology influencing cross-platform app development in the future. 

  • Artificial intelligence (AI): AI development tools are effective for creating cross-platform applications. Testing, personalisation, and app testing can all benefit from it.

  • Internet of Things (IoT): Combining cross-platform with IoT can create a seamless user experience. It can assist in app creation and connectivity across numerous devices.

  • Platforms that need little or no coding, or "low-code," enable developers to create apps more quickly and easily.

  • Cloud technologies: Cross-platform apps developed in the cloud are more scalable, secure, and maintainable. It enables programmers to focus on app functionality and other features.

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In conclusion, it can be challenging to select the cross-platform mobile development framework that would best suit your individual requirements. Examine the needs for your prospective applications more thoroughly and contrast them with the capabilities of other frameworks. You can create top-notch apps by locating the right cross-platform solution. Follow and contact Relia Software for more information!

  • Mobile App Development