Best Cross Platform Mobile App Development Tools

Choosing which platform to host your app is a top question for any app developer. There are three major platforms to choose from:

  • Apple IOS
  • Android
  • Windows

It’s up to you to decide which platform(s) is best for your app, and you should research your audience before you choose. You may find your target customers are Apple enthusiasts, or they may use various platforms.

In that case, you’ll need cross-platform development tools to create an app that works any way your audience accesses it.

We asked two dev team members to share their favorite mobile development tools. Plus, we’ll review what famous brands use these tools.

Nick Perkins, Development Manager

Mohamad Khan, Senior React Native Engineer

best-cross-platform-mobile-app-development-tools

1. Bitrise

Bitrise is an excellent tool for continuous integration. It allows us to build and test outside of Google and Apple ecosystems, reducing project time. No more waiting for approval to test!

Vocab Check: What’s Continuous Integration?

Continuous integration is the process of continually merging copies of dev code (as they’re coded) into the mainframe. The purpose is to ensure the mainframe is always updated with the latest version of code.

Companies That Use Bitrise

  • Mozilla
  • Buffer
  • Sixt

Related: Understand the 5 risks of mobile app development to avoid before getting started

2. REACT NATIVE

React Native is a unique cross-platform tool that hits two birds with one stone. App developers only need to write code once in JavaScript. That code can be translated and shared across different platforms.

react-native

This mobile development tool is a time-saver for dev teams with a tight schedule.

Companies That Use React Native

  • Facebook
  • Shopify
  • Tesla

3. Unreal Engine

Most known for its incredible work in video game production, Unreal Engine is a 

powerhouse for cross-platform development. It allows developers to code across multiple platforms, including Android, IOS, Windows, and game consoles (Xbox, Nintendo, Playstation). 

But it’s not just for gamers. Unreal Engine is an incredible asset to the architecture and automotive industries for its simulation capabilities.

Companies That Use Unreal Engine

  • Playstation
  • Universal Pictures
  • The NFL

4. Flutter

Flutter by Google is a lightweight, easy-to-use tool for cross-platform development. Like React Native, Flutter allows developers to code for IOS, Android, and Windows from the same source. What’s unique about Flutter is its own rendering engine. This feature means the user interface (UI) is seamless across mobile app platforms. 

Vocab Check: What’s a User Interface (UI)?

The UI of a platform is the visual look of it. It encompasses everything a person sees — from pages to icons to buttons. UI design is critical to help people navigate platforms and find what they need.

Companies That Use Flutter

  • BMW
  • Ebay
  • Google Pay

Related: The 5 Top Challenges to Enterprise App Development

5. Postman

Postman is an API builder that developers use for cross-platform apps. With Postman APIs, devs can work between different computer programs to create the same end product. The benefit is fewer coders write the same code for different platforms. Now, one API solves it all.

Vocab Check: What’s an API?

An application programming interface (API) connects two apps and allows them to communicate with each other. 

Companies That Use Postman

  • Intuit
  • AMC
  • Intuit

The 4 Must-Haves in Cross-Platform App Development

With dozens of cross-platform dev tools on the market, it’s hard to choose the right one for your product. Asking your dev team what tool(s) they suggest is the easiest way. But if you want to explore your options, keep these must-haves in mind.

Popularity

Certain tools are popular for a reason. They usually have the best support network, most documentation, and largest learning hubs. But don’t discredit new, unknown tools immediately. It may give you the chance to try leading-edge technology if you’re okay with learning curves. 

Community

Community support and documentation make dev lives easier. Cross-platform tools need to have a community knowledge bank for devs to access. These knowledge banks have shortcuts, solutions, and suggestions discovered by other devs.

When your dev team needs help, documentation and community pages are the easy way to find answers. 

Reusability

Code reusability is the practice of writing code to be used for current and future projects. It’s a huge time-saver for devs who can copy/modify existing code instead of writing new code every time. It is especially helpful to avoid redundant work when devs work with cross-platform apps.

Simplicity

As mentioned earlier, it’s important to ask your dev team how comfortable they are with certain apps. Are they familiar with the functionality? Do they know the language? 

This is where simplicity comes in. If your dev team doesn’t know a cross-platform tool, how easy is it to learn? Look for tools that have an educational center (training, webinars, etc.) to accelerate your team’s learning time. Remember, the longer it takes to learn something, the longer your product will be in development.

Related: How to Increase Mobile App Installs Once You’re Live

Benefits of Cross-Platform Development

There are several benefits to using cross-platform development tools. Really, it comes down to the allocation of resources. How much time, money, and workforce do you have for this project? If in doubt, our dev team is happy to work through it with you.

Take a look at the difference between native tools and cross-platform tools:

native-vs-cross-platform-tools

Cross-platform tools can save time and money by reducing the amount of work needed in development. With reusable code, devs don’t have to write the same line multiple times for different platforms.

Unlike native tools, your product can launch simultaneously on IOS, Android, and Windows. No more confusion for customers who want your product, but use different platforms. And you can reach a wider audience with your MVP, which means more feedback!

Let’s Talk About Your Dev Needs

If you’ve got an idea, our team is behind you. Take the first step by answering this app questionnaire. It’s okay if you don’t have all the answers yet! Once you submit, we’ll be in touch soon. 
By the way, we offer a host of services from marketing to IT staffing to grow your app even further. So let’s get started together.