Top 10 Cross-Platform App Dev Tools: 2018-19 Reviews, Pros, and Cons

The main reason why cross-platform application development tools have gained so much attention in 2018-19 is mere that, they save a lot of time by building apps for main platforms like Android and iOS.

Frameworks such as Ionic, React and Flutter continues to gain popularity also in 2019.

This article provides a complete overview of the top 10 cross-platform application development tools from 2018-19.

1. Ionic Framework

The ionic framework is associated with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It is used for building hybrid mobile applications and is supported by a large community of designers because of its extensive features. Ionic is getting better with time but still, it relies on PhoneGap and incorporates all the plugins of Apache Cordova.

Pros:

1. It incorporates Angular which is familiar among the web developers and eases the whole transitionary process from the web to mobile development.

2. It also supports hybrid desktop and web applications that run in Chrome.

Cons:

1. The development builds are limited in Ionic’s free Kickstarter plan as the developers have to upgrade their subscription to issue applications.

2. React Native

It comes with a JavaScript and Reacts framework. It is super easy to use as it has its own native components for iOS and Android both. The interactive UI enables the developers to understand and develop applications in a short time frame. Both Facebook’s and Instagram are built using React Native.

Pros:

1. It increases the efficiency and productivity of the applications by providing an open source library.

2. The hot reloading allows the developers to run the application while implementing changes.

Cons:

1.  It involves comprehensive guidelines related to the native components which require a lot of effort and exertion.

3. Flutter

Flutter instantly gained attention after its release in 2018 by Google. It is designed to build mobile applications like Android, iOS and Google Fuchsia. It is based on Dart programming language. It also comes with a hot reload option like React Native which enables the developers to review the changes in the app right away and to fix any issues.

Pros

1. It offers thousands of widgets and extensive features

2. Dart language speeds up the process and could help in developing the same applications like Google, Gmail etc.

Cons

1. It includes a limited library with limited TV support.

2. Most developers aren’t familiar with the Dart language.

4. Xamarin

It is owned by Microsoft and used by more than thousands of companies. It is one of the best tools that contain native and cross-platform libraries. It saves the overall time of development and provides user-friendly features.

Pros

1. Xamarin creates applications by using a single language C#.

2. It provides a complete UI toolkit to build interactive interfaces.

3. It applies the changes made directly to the apps without the need to update the source code.

Cons

1. Xamarin doesn’t support third-party libraries for Android and iOS without any specific wrapper.

2. Comparatively has a larger application size.

5. Unity 3D

This tool supports high graphics and 3D games developed on various platforms. It works easily on Web, Linux, play station, Xbox platforms including iOS, Android and Windows. It is the best tool to develop gaming applications easily.

Pros

1. It offers good quality as compared to other apps.

2. It is easy to use and highly affordable.

Cons

1. The engine is not suitable to build AAA games as it will crash if it runs out of memory.

2.  Compute or Geometry Shader isn’t available for OSX or Linux.

6. PhoneGap

It was initially formed for Cordova but now it is an individual product. It is associated with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It offers rich features to create robust apps which work efficiently across various platforms. It is now known as Apache Cordova (See No. 7)

Pros:

1. It simplifies the process by enabling a GUI build system.

2. It has the support of Adobe and many developers.

Cons:

1. It has some issues regarding specific applications and their performance.

7. Apache Cordova

It was formerly known as PhoneGap. It incorporates HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and also uses the hybrid approach that provides a Write-Once-Run-Anywhere solution (WORA).

Pros

1. It provides access to the latest updates and enhancements to the developers from Apache’s team.

Cons

1. Cordova leaves all the designing decisions to its developer which might be an issue for the beginners.  

8. Corona

It supports all major platforms including Android, iOS, Windows. It is specially designed for 2D games and educational application. It has a limited free edition.

Pros

1. It is supported by a large community of developers and players.

2. It is quite easy to use

3. It has built-in commands to easily develop transitionary scenes.

Cons

1. Putting up the main guts of code is a priority otherwise it user might all the details.

2. The free version has limited builds.

9.  Appcelerator

This tool is created by Apache and saves a significant amount of developer’s time. It supports JavaScript language and MVC framework. It is the most powerful cross-platform development tool. It is free and easy to use. Appcelerator’s Titanium allows creating native applications using JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. 

Pros

1. It accelerates the overall application development in a flexible way,

2. The application has a great impact on the users for simplifying the development process.

3. Appcelerator is supported by a community of 200,000+ developers

Cons

1. The tool kit is unstable as the project restarts once any changes are made.

2. The users experience strange bugs and limitations.

10. Kony

It is the tool for developing business apps from a single codebase. It also provides testing tools embedded in Kony. It is used in organizations mostly as it caters to certain business needs.

Pros

1. It offers useful tools  as they decrease the costs and increase the speed

2. The Visualizer helps to create quick and easy apps.

Cons

1. Needs maturity in terms of service integration

2. The provided analytical tools are not very useful for business decisions

Wrapping up

These top 10 cross-application platforms are slowly increasing the users’ attention in 2019 with better frameworks and enhanced features. However, the pros and cons equally exist in providing in terms of performance and structure.

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