A Complete Guide to Cross-Platform App Development

Cross-Platform App

Statista sources from 2022 show that Andriod and iOS combined cover almost 99% of the global mobile OS market with 3.5 million apps in the Play Store and about 2.22 million mobile apps in the App Store.

In today’s highly competitive and evolving digital ecosystem, enterprises do not confine their presence to a single platform. Since going for native application development for each platform is quite expensive, cross-platform app development is gained popularity.

A prediction by Forrester shows that over 60% of organizations are already using or involved with cross-platform app development.

What is a Cross-Platform Application Development Framework?

A cross-platform application framework is a tool that simultaneously operates on multiple platforms and operating systems like Android, iOS, and web applications. It follows the one-size-fits-all code and does not require separate coding for the different platforms or OS.

Cross-platform application development builds a software product or service development compatible with several platforms and OS. This process is achieved either by creating separate versions of the app or opting for a cross-platform app development framework.

Cross-platform Mobile Apps use a bridge similar to hybrid apps that allows the programming language to run on any device without the need to rewrite the program for different platforms.

Most enterprises develop a cross-platform application through their in-house development team or outsource the project to reduce expenses and time.

What are the Major Platforms and Operating Systems?

Major Platforms and Operating Systems

Here are a few key platforms and operating systems:

  • Android

It is an open-source mobile OS owned by Google and mainly designed for touchscreen devices like smartphones, smart tech, smart TVs, and smartwatches. It is the most popular mobile operating system.

  • iOS

It is the second-most popular mobile operating system powered by Apple. It is a closed OS with open-source components. It is mainly associated with Apple’s products like iPhone, Macbook, iPad, and so on.

  • Web Application

A Web app is a third-party software or application program in a remote server that you can access over the network through a browser on your device.

Which Programming Languages are cross-platform?

Java is the most popular and robust language among the developer community and is a universal cross-platform language. Other cross-platform programming languages include JavaScript, Dart, Kotlin, Objective-C, C#, and Swift.

Difference Between Native and cross-platform App Development

Both Native and cross-platform development are emerging technologies that are continually and rapidly advancing. Although cross-platform is the latest buzzword, native application development is also quite popular because of the benefits it offers.

Native app development targets creating complex sustainable software with seamless performance and high UI consistency on a particular platform. In contrast, the cross-platform approach aims to cover multiple end devices at a relatively lower cost.

  • Performance
  • Cost
  • Deployment Time
  • Device Access
  • Security
  • User Interface Consistency
Native App Development
  • Seamless performance since all features and functions are built to suit a particular OS
  • Higher development cost
  • Higher time to market since code needs to be written from scratch for multiple platforms
  • The Platform Software Development Kit assures access to API of the device without barriers
  • Comes with several in-built security features
  • A highly consistent user interface
Cross-Platform App Development
  • High performance, but compatibility issues and lagging may occur, sometimes
  • Relatively lower development cost
  • Code reusability significantly lowers the time to market
  • No guaranteed access to APIs of the device
  • Comparatively less secure
  • Relatively lower UI consistency

Examples of cross-platform Application Development Framework Based on Programming Languages

Here are a few examples of common cross-platform app development frameworks and the language they are based on.

Cross-platform App Development Framework
  • React Native, NativeScript, Cordova, Appcelerator
  • Flutter
  • RubyMotion
  • Xamarin
  • BeeWare, Kivy
  • Codename One
Programming Language
  • JavaScript
  • Dart
  • Ruby
  • C#
  • Python
  • Java

What are the Benefits of Cross-Platform App Development?

Benefits of Cross-Platform App Development

Provides Wider Market Research

Compared to the native app development approach, which faces the problem of limited reach and short market research, cross-platform app development wins this battle with wide market research and user reach.

In native app development, your app is developed specifically for Android and iOS, limiting user access. In contrast, cross-platform app development enables developers to launch the same app on multiple platforms. Market research enhances when you are not limited to any specific device or platform.

Reduced Workload

cross-platform app development has a quicker turnaround because developers don’t create multiple apps for different platforms but only one app for all platforms. That means cross-platform app development reduces the development time and workload.

Reduced Development Cost

Using cross-platform app development technology reduces the number of development hours and also the overall project budget. With a reduced development budget, the costs for all related services like deployment, quality testing, and ongoing support get automatically reduced.

Choosing cross-platform mobile app development over native app development technique organizations can cut overall costs by almost 30-40%.

Uniform Design

Smooth performance and a smart look (UI) and feel (UX) attract users. Cross-platform app development requires only one common development team with a single codebase to give a uniform look and feel across different platforms. This means the cross-platform app development technology offers the same user interface and UX on all platforms.

Further, cross-platform development ensures that the app UI/UX will remain uniform for every update and easy to sync.

Easier Maintenance & Deployment

cross-platform app development, with the help of development frameworks like Flutter, streamlines the app development, maintenance, and deployment process. Maintenance is crucial after successfully deploying your high-quality apps across Android and iOS users, and with one codebase, it becomes easy too.

The development cycle may look pretty simple and straight, but there are many inevitable bug fixes and improvements even during the running phase. Imagine doing maintenance and deployment for multiple applications of one business for development platforms. Yes, it does not sound feasible, and that’s why you need cross-platform development technology as a one-point solution for all.

Quicker Development Process

Compared to the native apps, which are developed specifically for one platform, like Android or iOS, but not both. That means building a native app for Android and iOS is developing two apps, two codebase support, and two sets of teams that increase the development time.

However, the cross-platform approach needs only one codebase for all platforms eliminating the rewriting of code from scratch every time and quicker the development process.

Faster Time-to-Market and Customization

A single codebase cross-development approach reduces the development, deployment, and customization time, as testing is required on one single codebase. Also, when any customization or bug is fixed, it’s done in the same code for all platforms saving time and effort.

Reusable Code

Reusability of code is one of the most significant benefits of cross-platform mobile app development, due to which business owners and organizations adopt this approach. Developers don’t have to write the same code separately for different platforms like Android and iOS Android, but they can reuse the same code.

Furthermore, cross-platform app development frameworks like Flutter have pre-written code for other functionalities, which developers can use to save time and effort.

Easy Cloud Integration

Cloud Integration is easy with cross-platform development solutions based on cloud technologies. Also, organizations can integrate with various frameworks with cross-platform applications to implement several ready-to-use plugins for improving pp functionality, aesthetics, validity, and so on.

Challenges in the Cross-Platform App Development Process

Cross-Platform App Development Process

Cross-platform app development process offers several benefits, but it is not without some challenges. These drawbacks are not a deal-breaker, but it is essential to note them.

Inferior UX And UI Compared to Native Apps

Interior UI and UX are significant disadvantages of cross-platforms. This framework builds applications for all platforms using the same code, unlike native apps specifically built for iOS or Android platforms focusing on specific UX and UI design.


The biggest misconception is that cross-platform development is easy because developers have to work only on one codebase. However, novice developers face several difficulties during the development phase as they have to use cross-compliance during the development process.

Cross-compliance, when not used correctly, can result in sluggish code, which ultimately slows the application.

Possible Lower Performance

Performance built up with new features and updates is slow to possess in cross-platform apps compared to native apps because the framework you use for pushing a recent update or feature may or may not be packed with all the latest features and versions of releases for a particular OS.


cross-platform apps are less secure than native apps as they use APIs and native frameworks. Furthermore, cross-platform mobile apps have a high chance of security issues and breaches.

Best cross-platform App Development Frameworks

Best cross-platform App Development Frameworks

The rising popularity of cross-platform app development has given rise to numerous cross-platform frameworks. We have listed the best five cross-platform application development frameworks in the market pool of multiple tools.

React Native

React Native is one of the most popular cross-platform app development frameworks created by Facebook in 2015.

Basic overview of React Native


Flutter is an open-source, free cross-platform application development framework created by Google in 2018. Although Flutter has not been in the market for very long, its features and capabilities has made it one of the most loved frameworks by developers according to the Developer Survey Results by StackOverflow.

Most Loved Frameworks


Xamarin is an independent, open-source, cross-platform app development framework acquired by Microsoft in 2016. It is the oldest framework, founded in 2011, and has a large developer community.

Basic overview of Xamarin Architecture

Phone Gap

Phone Gap is an open-source mobile application framework. It is one of the best frameworks for cross-platform application development developed by Adobe Systems. Phone Gap uses the best existing languages for development, like HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript.

Cross-Platform Market Share


Ionic is an open-source SDK and is one of the most popular cross-platform app development frameworks that enables developers to create a fantastic UI with user-friendly interfaces and features. It also supports the development of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs).

Ionic Usage Statistics

Cross-Platform Table

How to Select a cross-platform App Development Framework for Your Enterprise

When you have decided to go for cross-platform app development instead of going native, the problem of determining the best platform suited to your business needs arises. The choice of the most suited framework depends on several factors, the most significant ones being the organizational size, required solution, and developer skills.

Here are a few parameters that can drive you to make the best decision.

  • Security: If your project has sensitive data involved, you should choose a framework that offers maximum security benefits.
  • Workload of the development: If you have a large project that involves several functions and processes, you should opt for a cross-platform app tool that can support heavy workloads.
  • Scalability: If seamless performance is your primary goal, you can choose a platform that offers the best app performance.
  • Compatibility: If you’re a brand with a target to cover as many end devices and platforms as possible, you can choose the most compatible framework.

Opting for cross-platform App Development? Partner with OnGraph

Going for cross-platform app development and choosing a framework is not enough. Several other processes are involved, from hiring the developers, planning, and development to testing, updates, bug fixes, and rolling out the software.

Here you have two choices: seek help hiring the best cross-platform app developers, or outsource the entire project. We at OnGraph provide staffing services and custom cross-platform app development on frameworks like React Native, Flutter, and Ionic.

Ongraph Technologies has been empowering enterprises and startups around the globe for the last 14 years with smart solutions and delivering sustainable technology. We believe in building long-term relationships with our customers by providing them with affordable, timely, and effective solutions.

How Leveraging Flutter App Development can Scale Your Business

What is Flutter

With Android exceeding the 100 thousand per month mark, scaling the business is getting more challenging. And it’s not just Android; around 30,000+ apps are on the list for iOS devices. Flutter is a one-in-all solution to all your business challenges and has also swiftly gained popularity in the last few years. Choosing Flutter app development helps you in multiple areas:  

  • In creating cross-platform mobile applications.
  • Building simple or feature-rich programs. 
  • Building programs for multiple OS while preserving integrity and speed.

cross platforms mobile apps used by software developers


Statista research shows Flutter is the second most sought-after cross-platform mobile application development framework, with React Native holding the first spot. 

Let’s dive deeper and uncover why Flutter heeds the list.

What is Flutter?

In May 2017, Google developed an advanced framework with a single codebase to create high-quality, high-performance mobile applications for Android and iOS with flexible UI designs and named it Flutter.

Being a free and open-source platform, Flutter gained a massive user base and helped millions of developers all across the globe. Flutter is not just free but a simple, powerful, efficient, and easy-way-to-understand SDK that allows mobile application building in Google’s own language, Dart. 

Technically, Flutter is not completely a framework but a comprehensive SDK that allows cross-platform app creation for various Operating Systems and offers different functionalities like rendering engine, testing and integration APIs, ready-made widgets, and command-line tools.

Flutter is divided into two segments:

  • Software Development Kit (SDK): SDK is required to create fully functioning applications, as it contains a collection of tools, APIs, frameworks, and libraries.
  • Framework: Like any other framework, Flutter also contains a collection of reusable UI elements that you can use and personalize for your development needs.

The Three Architectural Layers of Flutter

Architectural Layers of Flutter

The three architectural layers or the three-tier architecture (N-tier) is one of the most popular architectures for developing applications and programs. These three layers of Flutter are- 


Also known as the interaction layer, most developers associate with Flutter’s platform through this layer. The framework layer is also among the most modern frameworks available.

Building block services and core classes with pictorial explanations, animation, and gestures make Flutter application development easy. 

Components of Framework layer: Widgets, Material, Rendering, and Cupertino


It is the second layer in the architecture where the flutter code is added to an existing or new app as a module or as the entire application’s content. The Embedder application framework can gain required services like accessibility, input, and rendering surfaces.

Moreover, embedder is created in a platform-specific language for iOS, Android, and macOS. For Android, it’s Java, and for macOS and iOS, it’s C++, Objective-C/Objective-C++. 


It is the final layer in the architecture that manages network requests, output, and input. Flutter has Skia as its rendering engine, which reaches Flutter’s framework through Dart. Dart encapsulates the C++ code to Dart classes. Flutter Engine also handles rendering translation challenges in C/C++.

About Dart: Flutter’s Programming Language

In 2011, Google developed Dart as an open-source, object-oriented programming language with C-style syntax, which developers can use as a general-purpose programming language. Application developers can use Dart programming to create front-end user interfaces for mobile and web applications.

Features of Dart

Dart is under active development and is compiled into native machine code for building mobile apps and programs using modern tools. It is inspired by other popular programming languages like Java, JavaScript, and C#. You cannot execute code directly in Dart as it is a compiled language. The compiler parses it and transfers it into machine code for executing the code.

What is Flutter used for?

Fortunately, many answers to this question vary from user to user. 

For users, the Flutter development framework gives life to amazing applications.

For developers, Flutter helps lower the entry bar for creating apps. It also helps reduce complications and fares and increases the speed of application production across different platforms.


For designers, Flutter is a tool that provides amazing UI/UX. Flutter can turn concepts into production code without any compromises typical frameworks impose. After the recent update, CodePen support is added to share your ideas with fellow developers, making it a prolific tool

For tech support teams, engineering managers, and enterprises, Flutter enables the integration of application developers into one desktop, web, and mobile application team. This unification helps build branded apps for multiple platforms out of a single codebase. Also, development gets faster with Flutter synchronizing the releasing timetables through the user base.

Why Opt For Flutter App Development?

The most prominent reason why to opt for Flutter. The primary languages used are Kotlin, Objective C/Swift, and Java. Also, using these languages makes the overall development less expensive and fast, allowing code repetition. 

In the past few years, Flutter has become famous among organizations and cross-platform tools like React Native, PhoneGap, and Xamarin.

With Flutter, you can facilitate responsiveness for mobile applications without JavaScript bridges, reducing most hectic development procedures. Also, it aligns perfectly with various iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, MAC, and Google Fuchsia.

Flutter Details

Flutter’s recent stats say: 

Total Number of Apps: Over 25 Thousand

Total Downloads: Over 12 Billion

Here’s a list of reasons why one should choose Flutter over other application development frameworks: 

Enhanced Performance

Flutter uses Dart language that gets compiled directly into machine code and enhances performance. It also eradicates errors caused by interpreting mistakes which increase competitiveness and performance.

Faster, More Productive, and Steady

At Flutter, you get readymade gadgets and syntax with fewer code lines. Shorter code makes bug fixing and updating more simple. Application takes less time to develop than other native languages and less time to roll out to the marketplace, which ultimately increases overall efficiency and development speed. 


Due to its effective and cost-efficient flow, it gives a tough fight to other cross-platform application development frameworks. Flutter takes less time to establish a mobile app than other development frameworks.

Supports Cross-Platform Application Development

Flutter is an open-source app development framework that offers cross-platform app development. Both Android and iOS device applications can be built using Flutter. 

Enhanced User Experience

The Flutter app development framework helps create the best presentation layer/ UI interface that enhances user experience.

Flutter App Development is Cost-effective

Reusing the code reduces cost and complexity, ultimately making development faster.

Support for Older Devices

Taking modern devices as the primary user platform is essential to compete in the current business race. But, Flutter builds applications that work seamlessly on both new and old devices.

Google guaranteed

Brand trust from Google is enough to ensure quality and modern functionalities. 

Availability of Widgets: Simplifying App Development

Flutter highlights widgets as a constitutional unit to simplify application development. Widgets are simple building blocks of Flutter’s UI, where each widget is a fixed manifesto of the UI.

Based on composition, Widgets outline into different levels where every widget nests in the center of its parent and get context from the parent. This structure carries up to the root widget (the container hosting Flutter, like CupertinoApp or MaterialApp)

Basic widgets


It helps to build a run of designed text in the program or your app.

Column, Row

These widgets enable the development of adaptable layouts in the vertical (Column) and horizontal (Row) directions. 


This widget lets you place other widgets above the other in the paint order rather than following a linear orientation.


This is the most creative widget that allows you to build a rectangular perceptible element.

What Kind of Apps Can You Develop in Flutter?

Flutter is an open-source, cross-stage mobile application development framework for building local interfaces on Android and iOS. Presented by Google in 2017, Flutter works by wrapping a web view in a local application.

Besides its ability to fabricate applications with a native look and feel, this application development structure by Google is generally welcomed by engineers and ISVs for improvement.

Since Flutter works with developers to build cross-platform native apps with very little compromise, Flutter has been dependent on new companies and set-up brands. Here’s a recent usage statistics of the Flutter app development framework – 

Flutter App Development Stats

Benefits of Flutter App Development

Some benefits of Flutter app development are:

Advantages of Flutter App Development

Reusable Code: Single Codebase for Android and iOS

A reusable codebase makes Android and iOS app development easy and quick. It also reduces development time. 

Ready-to-use widgets offer countless possibilities

Widgets are the most useful and innovative features that let you create interfaces through various building components. It offers different fonts, padding, and buttons. It also helps create different layouts and customization from basic to complex.

Flutter App Development has a Low Learning Curve

The accessibility of easy-to-understand documentation makes Flutter learning easy for beginners and gains admiration from developers. The other best part about Flutter learning is that it uses Dart, one of the simplest languages for app development.

Popularity of Flutter App Development

Flutter framework allows mobile app developers with only fundamental programming experience to develop applications and prototypes.

Availability of the Skia Libraries

Skia is a swift and dynamic open-source library with a strong backend. It redrafts the user interface, enabling the rapid load of the application at sixty frames per second. This makes the users like the seamlessness of the application more than any other frameworks available.

Fast testing with hot reload

This feature got the most attention and praise from Flutter engineers worldwide. Yes, almost negligible reloading when making changes. Also, Flutter offers faster updates, testing, the introduction of newer features, and bug fixes.

Cons of Flutter App Development

Drawbacks are not like a deal-breaker, but they allow you to understand if it may not be the best choice for a project. Here are some drawbacks you may come across using Flutter. 

Lack of Support for iOS Features

As Flutter is a Google product, the iOS application support quality suffers. If most Software Development Kit features and functions work perfectly on Android (primary devices), then there are a few problems with iOS. 

Large file size because of the widgets

Adding widgets increases functionalities and file sizes, becoming a substantial concern. Sometimes this storage issue causes a developer or a flutter mobile app development company to select a different tool for development.

Limited tools and libraries

Flutter does not allow third-party libraries (majorly paid) for application development, so developers can only access certain functionality. 

Moreover, searching for free libraries and packages with pre-tested functions is quite difficult.

Tiny Flutter App Development Community

Dart still lacks a wide community since a handful of developers use it for app development. This is why Dart programming language has a relatively smaller application development community than JavaScript.

Examples of Popular Apps Developed on Flutter

Apps like Google Ads, Hamilton, and Alibaba’s Xianyu have distinctive and rich SDKs and are developed on Flutter. One of those prominent reasons why organizations use Flutter is because it helps apps expand faster.

Google Ads

Regarding marketing and monetizing, there’s no one close to Google Ads. It is a mobile application that helps in managing Google Advertisement campaigns. Earlier, managing Google Ads was only possible on a desktop. 

Google Ads is smartly designed to show campaign statistics, budget updates, real-time bids, keyword tweaking, and live notifications. In its recent update, there’s an additional feature to reach a professional for any queries and suggestions. The attractive UI encourages users and also makes it easy to use. 

Other examples of apps developed on Flutter are:

App Examples through Flutter App Development

  • BMW App
  • Google Pay
  • Alibaba
  • Reflect
  • Cryptograph
  • Dream 11
  • Tencent
  • Philips Hue 
  • MGM Resorts
  • Nubank

Have an App Idea? Start Flutter App Development Now with OnGraph

Flutter app development enables organizations and developers to seamlessly create native-like apps without worrying about the strict budget plan. Flutter also stretches the user base by publishing the apps on Android and iOS stores. 

Organizations mastering Objective C/Swift, Java, and Kotlin can directly move to Flutter as these are their primary languages. Further, it offers cross-platform toolkits like React Native, PhoneGap, and Xamarin for application development.

At OnGraph Technologies, we have about 250+ hand-picked top developers with expertise in various technologies and tech stacks. We provide the best resources for Flutter App Development and have created multiple Flutter applications despite the brief existence of this emerging technology.

You can schedule a consultation with us if you’d wish to realize an App idea and discuss Flutter’s benefits and cross-platform app development.