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8 best cross-platform frameworks to accelerate app development in 2021

杜尼卜
中文

According to the goals of future mobile applications, you can choose one of two development strategies, that is, creating two or more local applications or developing a cross-platform application that is suitable for multiple platforms at the same time.

When you have great potential but only limited time and money, a cross-platform application is the ideal solution for your smallest viable product. Another reason to create a cross-platform mobile application is if your business requires a simple mobile application without complicated visual effects or operations.

Developers all over the world have created special frameworks to make the process of developing cross-platform applications easier. The cross-platform application framework enables developers to build mobile applications through one-time coding and run on multiple platforms with minimal changes.

Today there are many good cross-platform frameworks for mobile application development, allowing you to create high-quality applications. Each of them is helpful for solving specific problems.

In this article, I will tell you the 8 best cross-platform application development frameworks in 2021. I believe it will be helpful to you when you read them one by one.

1. Ionic

https://ionicframework.com/

Ionic is another open source cross-platform framework. Ionic was founded in 2013 by Max Lynch, Adam Bradley and Ben Sperry of Drifty Co. The first version was developed in 2013 and it was built on top of Cordova and AngularJS.

The Ionic Framework mobile application is a hybrid HTML application that follows the principles of Apache Cordova. These applications run in a special shell on the phone, allowing users to view HTML and implement JavaScript.

advantage:

  • There are many easy-to-use ready-made UI components.
  • There are many plug-ins available to take advantage of local phone functions.
  • To start developing, you only need to be familiar with Angular, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Developer tools:

  • Ionic appflow
  • Firebase
  • Visual studio code

2. Flutter

https://flutter.dev/

Flutter is one of the latest cross-platform application frameworks, developed by Google and released in 2017. Flutter is a free and open source cross-platform framework that allows you to create a mobile application with a set of codes. Its uniqueness is that it uses the Dart programming language. Unlike other cross-platform application frameworks, Flutter does not use JavaScript at all.

You can change your code and see the results in real time, and you can upgrade the application in just a few moments. You can use Flutter to create cross-platform mobile apps for iOS, Android, and other less popular mobile platforms. In all fairness, for now, this is the only way to develop applications for Fuchsia OS.

advantage:

  • Flutter comes with its own graphics engine, which means there is no need to make separate interfaces for iOS and Android.
  • Dart enables you to write additional structured program code, allowing you to create more hierarchical structures and complex functions.
  • Flutter-based mobile applications are fast and efficient. Compared with other cross-platform application frameworks, Flutter provides more significant performance improvements.

development tools:

  • Emacs
  • VS Code
  • Android Studio

3. Xamarin

https://visualstudio.microsoft.com/xamarin/

Xamarin is a free and open source cross-platform application framework, similar to React Native. It was created as a standalone platform in 2011, but was acquired by Microsoft five years later.

Xamarin is different from most cross-platform frameworks, it is based on Mono, which is an open source implementation of the .NET platform. This implementation comes with its own C# compiler, runtime, and .NET core library. The goal of the project is to enable C# programs to run on operating systems other than Windows, such as Unix and Mac OS.

advantage:

  • Unlike other cross-platform application development frameworks, Xamarin is relatively simple to use, because all it requires is working knowledge of C# and .NET environments.
  • There is a large community of companies and contributors.
  • Free and open source framework.

development tools:

  • Xamarin Studio
  • Visual Studio Code

4. React Native

https://reactnative.dev/

React Native is another popular cross-platform application development framework. It is compatible with iOS and Android. React Native was developed by Facebook in early 2015 and is continuously improved by its own community. It is built with React and does not use WebView or HTML technology. It is not HTML, but a platform component in JSX, not CSS. It has a polyfill similar to CSS. In addition, there is no DOM API. React Native is composed of a combination of JavaScript and React.JS. In addition, it allows developers to develop certain parts using Swift, Java, or Objective-C.

advantage:

  • React Native focuses on the user interface, enabling application developers to build highly reliable interfaces.
  • Allows the creation of applications for various platforms, such as iOS, macOS, tvOS, Web, Windows, Android, Android TV, and UWP.

development tools

  • JS editor
  • SDK, Android Studio, Emulator

5. NativeScript

It is an open source cross-platform framework that allows you to develop cross-platform applications using XML, CSS, and JavaScript. NativeScript applications can be built in any language that can be converted to JavaScript, such as TypeScript. It also supports AngularJS and Vue.js. NativeScript compatible with iOS and Android platforms. Unlike other cross-platform frameworks, NativeScript does not need to install any plug-ins to access the camera, GPS, etc.

advantage:

  • NativeScript pre-installed a large number of plug-ins, no third-party plug-ins are required.
  • It has a lovely platform native UI that can be accessed without using WebView.
  • NativeScript supports AndroidArsenal and Cocoapods components, and calls native methods from library resources.

development tools:

  • CLI NativeScript

6. PhoneGap

https://cordova.apache.org/

PhoneGap is an excellent cross-platform application development framework. Nitobi Software created it in 2005, and Adobe acquired it in 2011. PhoneGap is built on JavaScript, CSS3 and Html5, making it very friendly to web and application developers. It also supports a wide range of platforms, from iOS and Android to Windows, Blackberry and Bada.

It has a powerful back-end system that can greatly accelerate development, and it is more suitable for creating simple mobile applications that do not rely heavily on native phone functions.

advantage:

  • The framework supports the use of embedded payment systems in applications through Google Play for Android and App Store for iOS.
  • To manage interactions, mobile application developers can use old versions of JavaScript or other libraries, such as Prototype, jQuery, MooTools, Sencha Touch, etc.
  • Applications created with PhoneGap differ only slightly between different platforms.
  • PhoneGap is operated by the most common and widely used web technologies, including JavaScript, CSS3, and HTML5.

7. Node.js

Node.js is a cross-platform framework built on V8, which can convert JavaScript from a highly specialized language to a common language. Node is a server-side runtime that can compile and run JavaScript in real time. Node.js is very fast because the V8 engine compiles JavaScript into machine code instead of interpreting or executing it as bytecode.

advantage:

  • You can use Node.js to execute all database queries at once to speed up the response time to slow requests.
  • The V8 engine is one of the fastest dynamic language interpreters in the world.
  • It has a large developer community

development tools

  • Babel
  • Express.JS
  • Socket.io

8. Appcelerator Titanium

https://www.appcelerator.com/

It is an open source cross-platform development framework, first released in 2008. Its main features include device functions, MVC-based framework and cross-platform API for accessing local UI. Developers can use Appcelerator Titanium to easily execute the data model because it contains a schemaless database called ArrowDB. It mainly focuses on simplifying the mobile application development process with the help of native modules.

advantage:

  • The cross-platform application framework includes pre-built connectors for Salesforce, Box Microsoft SQL, and Microsoft Azure.
  • Integrating an existing continuous delivery system is simple.
  • It includes various tools for speeding up the application development process.

development tools:

  • Appcelerator CLI
  • AMPLIFY

So, which one are you using and why? Please let me know in the comments below.

Hope you like this article.

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