Choosing the most popular cross platform mobile framework is crucial for developing apps that work on both iOS and Android, using a single codebase. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of the top frameworks available, focusing on key criteria like performance, development experience, community support, UI/UX capabilities, cost, and licensing. Here's a quick rundown to help you decide:

  • Flutter: Known for excellent performance and a wide range of UI flexibility.
  • React Native: Utilizes JavaScript, great for shared codebase between web and mobile.
  • Ionic: Good for web developers, uses web technologies.
  • NativeScript: Leverages web skills for mobile development, with a focus on performance.
  • .NET MAUI: Ideal for .NET developers, integrates well with Microsoft's ecosystem.

Quick Comparison

Framework Ideal For Learning Curve Performance UI Flexibility
Flutter Unique UI designs Moderate (Dart) High High
React Native JavaScript developers Low High Moderate
Ionic Web developers Low Moderate Moderate
NativeScript Web developers seeking native performance Moderate High Moderate
.NET MAUI .NET developers Moderate High Moderate

This guide aims to simplify the selection process by comparing these frameworks based on their strengths and weaknesses, helping you pick the right tool for your mobile app development project.

Criteria for Choosing a Cross-Platform Framework

When picking a tool for making apps that work on both iPhones and Androids, there are a few important things to think about to make sure you choose the right one:


How well the tool works is key. You want your app to look good, load quickly, and be easy to use. Here’s what to check:

  • How fast it shows things on the screen
  • How quickly the app starts
  • How smooth animations are
  • How well it scrolls
  • How much memory it uses

Tools like Flutter and React Native are usually really good at these things.

Community Support

Having a lot of people who use the tool can be super helpful. They can help you solve problems and give advice. Big groups of users can be found for Flutter, React Native, and Xamarin.

Development Speed

The tool you pick can change how fast you can make and update your app. Look for features like hot reload, ready-to-use components, and easy-to-understand guides to speed things up. Flutter is known for letting developers build apps quickly.

UI/UX Capabilities

Think about how well the tool lets you make nice-looking apps. Important features include being able to change layouts easily, use the phone’s own UI elements, have a lot of widgets to choose from, and use animation. Flutter is great for giving developers lots of options for designing the app’s look.

Code Reuse

Being able to use the same code for iOS, Android, and web apps can save a lot of time. Kotlin Multiplatform and React Native are good for this.

By considering these points based on what you need and what you have to work with, you can find the best tool for making your app.

Overview of Leading Cross-Platform Mobile Development Frameworks

1. Flutter



Flutter works really well because it uses Dart to turn into native code, which means apps run smoothly and look good. It can handle fast animations and makes everything on the screen move smoothly. Apps start up quickly, too.

Development Experience

Flutter lets developers see changes almost instantly with its super quick hot reload feature. It's all about using widgets, which are like building blocks, to make coding easier and faster. Flutter has a lot of these widgets ready to go, but learning Dart might take some time.

Community and Support

Flutter is made by Google and is free for everyone to use. It has a big group of users and lots of resources, like over 150,000 Flutter packages, to help solve problems. There's also a lot of help and guides available online.

UI/UX Capabilities

With Flutter, you can make your app look exactly how you want. It has lots of design options, including Material Design and Cupertino styles, to keep things consistent on Android and iOS. Making custom animations is also pretty straightforward.

Cost and Licensing

Flutter doesn't cost anything to use. It's open-source, which means there are no fees or rules about how you use it. The only time you might have to share earnings is if you're using Google Play's payment system.

2. React Native

React Native


React Native makes apps run smoothly most of the time. It uses parts from the actual phone to draw on the screen, which helps animations and screen changes look nice. Apps open up quickly and respond well when you touch them. But, if the app is really complicated or has a lot going on visually, it might not be as quick as apps made just for one type of phone.

Development Experience

React Native is great if you already know how to use JavaScript and React because you can use what you know to make mobile apps. This means you can make apps for both iPhones and Android phones without having to start from scratch. It has a cool feature that lets you see changes you make right away, without having to wait. But, fixing problems can be tough, especially on Android. There are lots of extra tools and bits of code out there to help speed things up.

Community and Support

React Native is supported by a big group of people who use and improve it. It's a project started by Meta (the Facebook company) and has a lot of followers online. This means there are lots of extra pieces of code and tools you can use to do more with your app. Plus, there's plenty of help and how-tos available on the internet.

UI/UX Capabilities

With React Native, you can make your app look and feel like it belongs on both iPhones and Android phones. You can change how things look and move around, but if you want something really unique, it might take more work. Sometimes, making everything look the same on both types of phones can be a bit of a challenge.

Cost and Licensing

React Native is free. You won't have to pay to use it, and you get to keep what you make with it. If you put your app in app stores, you'll follow the usual rules about giving them a cut of your sales. The main costs come from making and keeping the app up to date, which depends on what you need for your project.

3. Ionic



Ionic makes apps that usually run smoothly. It uses web stuff like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to make apps feel like they're made for your phone. This means things like moving between pages or animations usually work well without much delay. But, if an app is really big or complicated, it might slow down a bit.

Development Experience

If you know Angular, Ionic is a breeze because it builds on it. This means everything fits together nicely if you're already familiar with Angular. For newbies, there might be a bit more to learn at first. Ionic also has hot reloading, which lets you see changes right away without restarting everything.

Community and Support

Ionic is open-source, meaning lots of people help make it better by adding plugins or helping others figure things out. There's a ton of help available, from detailed guides to community forums. For bigger teams or more help, there are also paid support options.

UI/UX Capabilities

Ionic comes with a bunch of ready-to-use design pieces that look good on both iPhones and Android phones. You can make pretty detailed and native-feeling designs. If you want to tweak the designs more, you can do that too by changing some settings.

Cost and Licensing

Using Ionic won't cost you anything; it's free under the MIT license. There are paid plans starting at $99 a month that offer more features like better components and tools for keeping your app updated. You only share revenue if you use Ionic's services to distribute your app.

4. NativeScript


NativeScript makes apps run smoothly by using smart ways to turn code into a language your phone understands, both while you're building the app and when it's finished. This means your app will work quickly, with nice animations and without taking forever to load.

It lets you use all the phone's features without slowing your app down, so you can create apps that do a lot but still feel quick and easy to use.

In short, NativeScript helps you make apps that work well and fast on any device.

Development Experience

With NativeScript, you can use languages like JavaScript or TypeScript and even CSS to make apps that work on both Android and iOS. If you've made websites before, you'll find it pretty familiar. Plus, it works well with Angular and Vue, which are tools for making websites and apps.

Here's what's cool about developing with NativeScript:

  • It has a hot reload feature, so you can see changes right away without restarting everything.
  • It comes with a bunch of tools to help you build and send out your app.
  • There's a big selection of plugins for adding extra features to your app.
  • You can check how your app looks on real devices with the Sidekick app.

Starting to make apps with NativeScript is fairly easy, especially if you've worked on web projects before.

Community and Support

NativeScript is free and has a bunch of people helping to make it better. You can find:

  • Guides and help online
  • Forums for asking questions
  • A place to find plugins
  • Events and meetups around the world

For businesses, there are also paid plans that offer more help and resources.

The community makes it easier to get started and find help when you need it.

UI/UX Capabilities

NativeScript lets you make apps that look and feel like they were made just for Android or iOS, or you can make one app that works well on both. You can use CSS or JSON to design your app, and there are lots of built-in designs to start with.

You can:

  • Make your app look native to each platform
  • Use common designs across both Android and iOS
  • Work with native controls and components
  • Use web design tools

This means you can create apps that look great and offer a good experience to everyone.

Cost and Licensing

NativeScript doesn't cost anything to use. It's open-source, so you can use it for free and even change it if you need to.

For businesses, there are paid support plans starting at $1,490 a year for a small team. This can be helpful if you need extra help or faster support.

Overall, NativeScript is a cost-effective way to make apps, with options for extra support if you need it.

5. NET MAUI (Xamarin)



.NET MAUI uses the same setup as Xamarin to turn C# code into something the phone can understand directly. This makes apps run smoothly, with animations that look good and don't lag. Even though it's a newer tool, it doesn't waste much phone memory and starts up fast, just like apps made specifically for one type of phone.

Development Experience

If you're already good with .NET, using .NET MAUI to make apps that work on different phones using C# and XAML will feel comfortable. It has features like hot reload, which lets you see changes quickly without restarting everything. But, if you're not used to .NET, there might be a bit to learn. The number of ready-to-use parts and add-ons is growing.

Community and Support

.NET MAUI comes from Xamarin Forms, so it has a strong support group thanks to Microsoft. There are places like Microsoft Q&A and Stack Overflow where people help each other out. The basic how-tos are well-covered, but finding help for more tricky stuff might take some time. There are also paid plans for help if you need it.

UI/UX Capabilities

.NET MAUI is more about making apps that work the same across all phones than making them look unique. It has standard controls that aim to keep things consistent rather than looking different on iOS or Android. If you want a custom look, you'll need to work a bit harder and maybe use some special coding tricks.

Cost and Licensing

Using .NET MAUI doesn't cost anything; it's free. When you put your app in app stores, the usual fees apply. For big companies, there are plans you can pay for to get help faster. Overall, because you can use the same code for different phones, it's cheaper than making separate apps for each one.

Detailed Comparison

When picking a tool to make apps for both Android and iOS, it's smart to look at a few key areas: how well it performs, what it's like to use, if there's a lot of help available, how good the app can look, and how much it might cost. Here's a quick rundown:


  • Flutter - Really quick and smooth. Makes apps that feel fast and look great.
  • React Native - Mostly fast, but can get slow if the app is really complicated.
  • Ionic - Works well for simple apps but might struggle with bigger ones.
  • NativeScript - Turns code into the phone's language for speedy apps.
  • .NET MAUI - Also turns code into the phone's own language, making apps run well.

Development Experience

  • Flutter - Changes show up fast with hot reload. Uses widgets to build the app, but learning Dart is a bit tough.
  • React Native - Good if you already know JavaScript. Debugging can be tricky.
  • Ionic - If you're into web development, you'll find Ionic familiar. Angular knowledge is a plus.
  • NativeScript - Friendly for web developers, thanks to common web languages. Has hot reload.
  • .NET MAUI - If you're used to .NET, you'll like using C# and XAML here. Hot reload is handy.

Community and Support

  • Flutter - Big community. Lots of guides and tools.
  • React Native - Backed by a big community. Many resources available.
  • Ionic - Strong open-source support. Paid help if you need it.
  • NativeScript - Free help from the community. Business plans for more support.
  • .NET MAUI - Support is growing, coming from Xamarin. Paid help available.

UI/UX Capabilities

  • Flutter - Lets you control how the app looks. Great for animations.
  • React Native - Can look like a native app, but unique designs need extra work.
  • Ionic - Has lots of ready-made components. You can tweak designs too.
  • NativeScript - You can go for a native look or keep it the same across platforms.
  • .NET MAUI - Focuses on consistency rather than unique looks for each platform.

Cost and Licensing

  • All frameworks are free to use.
  • Some offer paid plans for extra help.
  • Usual fees for app stores apply.

Pros and Cons

When picking the best tool for making apps that work on both iPhones and Androids, it's smart to look at what's good and what's not so good about each option. Here's a simple breakdown:

Framework Pros Cons
Flutter - Super quick
- Lets you see changes as you make them (hot reload)
- You can make the app look just how you want
- A lot of people use and support it
- You need to learn Dart, a different programming language
- Not as many extra tools or libraries yet
React Native - Use one set of code for both iOS and Android
- Good if you already know React
- Lots of people use it
- Might run slow with really complex apps
- Can be tough to fix problems
Ionic - Good for people who make websites
- Lots of ready-made parts to use
- You can pay for extra help
- Might not work as well on big, complicated apps
- Doesn't do everything a phone app does natively
NativeScript - Works almost as well as apps made just for one type of phone
- Supports Angular and Vue.js
- Free for everyone
- Not as many people to help out compared to other options
- Fewer ways to make your app look unique
.NET MAUI - Runs really well, almost like native apps
- Good for people who use .NET
- Has Microsoft's support
- It's pretty new, so not a lot of support yet
- Focuses more on making apps work the same on all devices rather than looking unique

Some things to think about:

  • Flutter is great all around but you'll need to learn something new.
  • React Native is perfect if you're already into JavaScript and want to make apps easily.
  • Ionic is awesome for web developers but might not be the best for very complex apps.
  • NativeScript gives you great performance but doesn't have as many design options.
  • .NET MAUI is ideal for .NET folks but is still growing its support network.

Think about what your team is good at, what you need the app to do, how you want it to look, and how much help you can get. Each option has its own set of trade-offs.


Case Studies or Success Stories

Cross-platform mobile frameworks have made it easier for businesses to create apps that work on both iPhones and Android phones. Here are some examples of apps that have done really well using these tools:


Flutter has been used by both small companies and big names to create apps that look good and work smoothly:

  • Alibaba - They made their Xianyu app with Flutter. It lets over 300 million people buy and sell used items easily on both Android and iOS.
  • Google Ads - The Google Ads app for iOS and Android was made better with Flutter. This helped improve how the app works and made it easier to update.
  • Reflectly - A small team used Flutter to quickly make their journaling app. They focused on cool animations and a simple design, which helped them get over 500,000 downloads fast.

React Native

React Native has been great for both big brands and startups in making mobile apps:

  • Facebook - They used React Native for their Community Help app. This app helps people get support across Facebook's apps on both major mobile platforms.
  • Uber Eats - This food delivery app remade their iOS app with React Native. This cut down on development time and made the app better.
  • Gyroscope - A startup focusing on health tracking used React Native to make their app. It lets iPhone and Android users see their health data in a sleek, easy-to-use app.


Ionic has helped make user-friendly apps across different areas:

  • Dow Jones - They used Ionic to bring their news apps together into one codebase that works well on iOS and Android.
  • Pacific Life - This insurance company made a sales app with Ionic. It works smoothly on different platforms and is engaging for their mobile workforce.
  • Untappd - A social app for beer ratings used Ionic to grow their mobile presence. They've had over 8 million installs while keeping the app running smoothly.


NativeScript has been good for making more complex apps for businesses:

  • Raiffeisen Bank - A leading retail bank in Europe made their mobile banking app with NativeScript. It has an easy-to-use interface, biometric login, and works offline on both major mobile OSs.

  • Progress - This app development company used NativeScript for their mobile testing app. It has advanced features for QA teams to check mobile apps efficiently.

  • GrocerKey - A provider of mobile apps for grocery stores used NativeScript. They made apps for big chains like Food Lion and Harris Teeter that work well and have lots of features.

.NET MAUI (Xamarin)

.NET MAUI, which comes from Xamarin, has been used to make advanced mobile apps using .NET skills:

  • ** Alaska Airlines** - They used Xamarin for their mobile app. It links with their website and makes it easy for flyers to book flights, check in, and get flight info on both platforms.
  • Insider - A mobile growth platform used Xamarin. Their iOS and Android apps can offer personalized experiences by working well with their advanced .NET backend.
  • Clear Measure - A software provider for construction used Xamarin. They made their Oasis app suite to help field crews digitize tasks like time tracking and reporting incidents, ensuring reliable sync across devices.

These examples show how businesses can rely on cross-platform frameworks like Flutter, React Native, Ionic, NativeScript, or .NET MAUI to make high-quality mobile apps. They can reuse code and save on development costs.

How to Pick the Right Framework for Your App

When you're deciding which cross-platform mobile development framework to use, think about a few key things:

Your Team's Skills

  • What programming languages do your developers know already?
  • Choosing a framework that fits what they already know will make things go faster.

For example:

  • React Native - Great if your team knows JavaScript.
  • Flutter - They'll have to learn Dart.
  • Ionic - If they're good with web stuff like HTML/CSS, this is a plus.
  • .NET MAUI - Knowing C# and .NET is helpful here.

Performance Needs

  • Does your app need to handle a lot of fancy visuals or data?
  • Some options are better at dealing with heavy stuff than others.

For instance:

  • Flutter and .NET MAUI are really smooth.
  • React Native might get slow if your app is very detailed.
  • Ionic is best for simpler apps.

Timeline and Budget

  • Getting your app built faster can save money.
  • Think about how complex your app is and how much you can reuse code.


  • Flutter lets you use the same code for different parts, which speeds things up.
  • React Native helps web developers make apps quicker.
  • Ionic has things ready to go that make building faster.

How Custom Your App Will Look

  • Do you need your app to have a unique design?
  • Or do you want it to look the same on all devices?
  • Flutter gives you a lot of freedom to design.
  • .NET MAUI keeps things more uniform across different devices.

Support Available

  • Different frameworks have different levels of help and resources available.
  • You can also pay for extra support if you need it.

For instance:

  • Flutter and React Native have lots of free help.
  • NativeScript has options to pay for more support.
  • .NET MAUI is still building up its support network.

By looking at what you need and what each framework offers, you can figure out the best one for your app. Think about what your team is good at and what your app needs to do.


Picking the right tool for making apps that work on both iPhones and Androids is super important. Here are some things to think about when choosing:

Team Skills and Existing Code

  • If you want to use Flutter, you'll need to learn Dart. React Native is good if you know JavaScript.
  • .NET MAUI is for those who are familiar with C# and .NET.
  • Ionic is great if you're into web stuff like HTML/CSS.

Performance Needs

  • Flutter and .NET MAUI are the best choices for apps that need to look good and work fast.
  • React Native might get a bit slow if your app is really fancy.
  • Ionic is perfect for simpler apps.

Development Speed

  • Flutter has lots of ready-made parts that make building apps fast. React Native and Ionic also help you speed up because they use languages and components you might already know.
  • The hot reload feature in Flutter, React Native, NativeScript, and .NET MAUI lets you see changes quickly without restarting everything.

UI/UX Customization

  • Flutter lets you make your app look exactly how you want.
  • .NET MAUI is more about making sure your app works the same way on all devices.

Support Resources

  • Flutter and React Native have a lot of free help and guides.
  • NativeScript and .NET MAUI offer special paid plans for businesses.


For most projects, Flutter and React Native are your best bets. They offer a good mix of speed, the ability to make the app look how you want, and lots of help.

Flutter is really fast and lets you control the design completely, but you'll have to learn Dart. React Native uses JavaScript, which is handy, but very complex apps might need some extra work to run smoothly.

Ionic is a good choice for simpler apps using web languages. NativeScript and .NET MAUI are also good but don't have as much support. Think about what your team is good at, what your app needs to do, how quickly you need to build it, and your budget.

Making apps for both iPhones and Androids is a smart move. By choosing the best tool for the job, you can make great apps for both platforms without wasting time or money.

What is the most used cross-platform mobile framework?

A 2022 survey by Statista found that Flutter is the top choice for developers making apps that work on both iPhones and Androids, with 46% using it. Other popular ones include React Native, Cordova, Ionic, Xamarin, and NativeScript. Flutter is especially popular for building apps that can run on different devices with just one set of code.

What are the best cross-platform frameworks for 2024?

Looking ahead to 2024, the frameworks you might want to consider are:

  • Flutter: Known for quick and smooth apps, lets you make the app look just how you want, and has a lot of people supporting it.
  • React Native: Good if you're already familiar with React, and has a large community.
  • Kotlin Multiplatform: Lets you share code between iOS, Android, and web apps. Works well with native app features.
  • Xamarin/.NET MAUI: Offers smooth app performance and is a good choice for those who know .NET.
  • Ionic: Uses web skills like HTML/CSS and is suited for simpler apps.
  • NativeScript: Good for using web development skills for mobile apps, and offers paid support for businesses.

What is a cross-platform framework?

A cross-platform framework is a tool that lets developers create apps for more than one operating system, like iOS and Android, using the same code. Instead of making a separate app for each system, these frameworks help save time and reach more users. Some examples include Flutter, React Native, Xamarin, Ionic, and NativeScript.

Is Maui better than Flutter?

Flutter is the most popular with developers, used by 46%. But, .NET MAUI has its advantages, like making Linux desktop apps. Flutter is great for making apps that look unique and work fast, and it has lots of support from developers. .NET MAUI is good for those who prefer using C#. Depending on what your team is comfortable with and what you need the app to do, Flutter generally offers more, but .NET MAUI is a solid choice for C# developers.

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