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Most Popular Cross-Platform Application Development Tools

Almost half the world’s population (3.5 billion people) owns smartphones. On average users spend 3 hours and 15 minutes daily on mobile devices, 80% of which is spent on applications. According to the recently updated data, in the 3rd quarter of 2020 the number of Apple App Store and Google Play app downloads worldwide reached in total 36.5 billion. Therefore, it is no wonder that mobile application development is so popular.

Consequently, due to high competition in the market, a developer needs to produce such an app that will be interesting, appealing, useful and easy to use for a wide range of consumers. As a result, a lot of cross-platform application development instruments were made that significantly benefit companies in creating their software products with better quality and with decreased consumed time, because of an ability to run a mobile app in several platforms simultaneously.

This article is going to give you a list of the most popular cross-platform application development tools that you need to consider to launch your own perfect software.

React Native

In an interview at TechCrunch Disrupt in 2012, Mark Zuckerberg said, “The biggest mistake we made as a company was betting too much on HTML5 as opposed to native”. Three years later an open-source mobile application framework based on React.js called React Native was released. It is used to develop apps for Android, iOS and other mobile platforms.

It is the most favored software in its category because it interprets and converts your source code to the native elements much faster. Therefore, it is updated and debugged constantly to ensure that it works properly. React Native is flexible among developers due to the fact that they are able to write modules in Java, Swift and Objective-C. Moreover, the framework enables you to edit images, to process videos and to reuse the codebase.

React Native is utilized in thousands of apps like Facebook App, Discord, Instagram, Tesla, Bloomberg, Pinterest, Shopify, UberEats etc.

Flutter

In comparison with 2019, when 30% of software developers have used Flutter, this year the number of users of this cross-platform development tool has increased by 9%. It is the second most popular open-source user interface software development kit, which was released by Google in 2017. Besides Android and iOS applications, developers can make eye-catching and natively compiled apps for desktop (Windows, Linux and Mac) and the web platforms, reusing the codebase.

If you are new with Flutter, there is great documentation, which is constantly improving, so you are able to get used to the framework in an instant. The main feature of the framework is that it has a vast set of widgets that helps developers to construct a native application in the blink of an eye. In addition, it is easy to program on this SDK because the framework utilizes object-oriented programming Dart, which is a quite understandable language for Java and JavaScript developers. 
 
Among organizations that are working with Flutter, there are eBay, Google, BMW, Alibaba Group, EMAAR, and others.

Apache Cordova

Formerly PhoneGap is also an open-source mobile app development framework, owned by Adobe and released in 2009. Although it is not as widely used (around a fifth of developers) as React Native and Flutter, Apache Cordova has its own pros that makes life easier for developers, who have tons of other things that are needed to keep in mind while building an application.

The framework is quality and proven experience technology. You can save many labor and hence financial resources, because Cordova supports the same application user interface for each operating system. In addition, it is possible to mix hybrid and native code snippets. Moreover, you won’t need to learn any additional programming language, if you have already been familiar enough with web development (CSS, HTML and JavaScript).

Root Inc., Willis Towers Watson, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. and others successfully use Apache Cordova.

Ionic

In 2013, Drifty Co. released an open-source mobile UI toolkit, built on top of Apache Cordova and AngularJS.At the moment, 18% of developers use the software. It supports four platforms – Android, iOS, Universal Windows Platform and BlackBerry.

Ionic offers many beneficial features such as using plugins to have an access to host devices’ attributes like Camera, GPS, and others. If you are lacking Ionic build-in tools, you can always integrate more technologies. A documentation is available on the official website, thus developers have the opportunity to check information about any tools they need.

Should also be noted that Ionic applications work via web-view, hence you can test the product even without having a testing device. Furthermore, it is possible to quickly create a prototype of an app, which is an important part of developing. The framework has an extensive set of user interface elements, which enables developers to customize amazing products.

Over 32 thousand apps are built using Ionic, which include Pacifica, MarketWatch, ChefSteps, Sworkit, Cryptochange, etc..

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