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5 Best Cross-Platform Mobile App Development Tools

5 Best Cross-Platform Mobile App Development Tools

by Amelia Scott — 4 months ago in Mobile Apps 8 min. read

Developing mobile apps is a time and effort-intensive affair. According to Formotus, over 8 out of 10 enterprise apps take over three months to build. Depending on functionality, some apps take over six months.

And as you can guess, the development cost spikes when the build time extends. One study has found the average enterprise app development cost to exceed $140,000!

What is cross-platform mobile app development?

Cross-platform mobile app development is the building of mobile apps that can run on multiple platforms; mainly Android and iOS. This development method is preferred because the app code for Android cannot be repurposed for iOS and vice versa.

That is the Best Cross-Platform Mobile App Development Tools for 2020!

Cross-platform mobile app development tools are thus highly preferable given such constraints of long development time and astronomical cost.

But wait….!!!

When business company think about building a mobile app, their minds go straight to cross-platform app development. Let us then talk about five cross-platform mobile app development tools that have with stood the test of time.

1. Appcelerator

Appcelerator - 5 Best Cross-Platform Mobile App Development Tools

If you want your business app developed fast, then Appcelerator is what you should go for. With a client base spanning twelve industries, Appcelerator is a reliable choice for a wide range of businesses.


  • Apps are JavaScript based; thus they are easy to debug and test.
  • Comes with Hyperloop, a world-class cross-platform API.
  • Apps built with these run on Windows mobile devices as well.
  • Apps built with this are multi-lingual.

Pricing plans

  • Indie (FREE)
  • Pro ($199/month/seat; paid annually)
  • Enterprise (customisable)

What real-users think about Appcelerator

When asked about Appcelerator, this is what Chandan, a software engineer at E-learning said:

What do you like best?

Appcelerator Titanium is a cross-platform based hybrid app development API. It allows developers to write their apps in JavaScript, which is then compiled for each supported platform. Using APIs that interface directly with each platform’s native APIs, it provides a native look-and-feel plus native performance.

What I like the most are:

  • Easy and quick development for a web developer (as it is written using JavaScript, TSS – which very much similar to CSS).
  • Extensive support with stable API.
  • Supports Android and iOS (which is very useful).
  • Re-usability of code, while converting it from one platform to other with small UI tweaks.

What do you dislike?

Although it is easy to develop, things which worry me are:

  • Memory leakage issue (there is a huge memory issue, you have to handle it manually).
  • Rich and advance UI elements support (it doesn’t provide more advanced UI elements) Review collected by and hosted on G2.com.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

It is excellent to start with to build cross-platform development. Although there is some limitation from my experience, I would say that it gets better after every release while addressing users’ requirements. And compared to other cross-platform API like PhoneGap; I found Appcelerator Titanium to be a lot more competent.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realised?

Whichever platform you choose as an individual or organisation depends on your requirements for app performance, look-and-feel, and how comfortable your current development staff is with a particular language or IDE. You should also take into account testability and the level of code reuse you wish to obtain.

(Collected Review)

Overall Rating: 3.9/5.0 (based on 39 reviews)
Also read: Top Mobile App Development Tools 2020

2. Xamarin app development tool

Xamarin - 5 Best Cross-Platform Mobile App Development Tools

For a native app-like performance, Xamarin is another popular choice. Owned by Microsoft, it is built on the .Net framework and has a substantial development community. This tool is especially suitable for SMEs with a tighter budget.


  • Apps built with these have access to Microsoft could service.
  • It uses C# to build apps which enable them to be natively compiled.
  • App maintenance is simple.
  • It provides full hardware support.

Pricing plans:

  • Enterprise ($1,899 annually)
  • Business ($99 annually)

What real-users think about Xamarin

This is what Nicolas, Technical Director at a marketing farm had to say about Xamarin:

What do you like best?

One of the best multiplatform programs, Xamarin allows its users to register errors and track the use in Xamarin Insight, which is very useful to track the performance and usability of this application. The configuration of the resource is straightforward, only a PC with a standard configuration is required.

Because it is integrated with Visual Studio, code sharing is easy with Xamarin. By using the modal view modal function, Xamarin can be made free to hang up or freeze the screen, which can increase performance when using calls.

What do you dislike?

Xamarin is sure to be the best for the development of multiplatform mobile applications. Still, I consider that the use of the form developer needs to write specific platform codes to be able to access the native functionality, such as making calls, sending SMS, accessing GPS, etc. Surely they are improving this.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Xamarin is the recommended application to write multiplatform applications without having to code twice. Ideal for developers who work with the app and dominate .NET which will work very well. Quick build time is an advantage where anyone with less duration can choose this. And as for cost, being free, I recommend it.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realised?

We use this platform for the development of mobile applications and web design. It has been ideal for creating cross-platform applications for any organisation that needs it. The applications built with Xamarin have allowed us to solve many business problems when coding applications using C # programming while taking advantage of the Visual Studio debugging tools. We are delighted with Xamarin so far.

(Collected Review)

Overall Rating: 4.4/5.0 (based on 55 reviews)

3. Corona app development tool

Corona - 5 Best Cross-Platform Mobile App Development Tools

If you have a 2D game in mind, then Corona is what you need! This tool provides a fantastic fusion of performance and graphics for apps. It comes with a complete ecosystem of community, market place, support and open-source code accessibility.


  • With Corona, desktop apps can be built as well.
  • Community support is fantastic.
  • Apps built with Corona run on Apple TV as well.
  • Provides secure testing capability.

Pricing plans:

  • Free

What real-users think about Corona

Judah, a game developer at a small business, has given a detailed review about Corona:

What do you like best?

The fact that you program in Lua is terrific for both beginners and experts alike. It’s straightforward for a beginner to understand and learn from, but has all the same functionality as any other SDK. The documentation is excellent and easy to understand, and there are plenty of tutorials to learn from.

What do you dislike?

I wish there were a visual editor so users could layout their projects visually, rather than programmatically messing with values to get the desired positioning. Also, despite their excellent documentation, there are minimal video tutorials online that are up to date for the many visual learners out there.

Recommendations to others considering the provider:

Be sure to look into all other options before committing to using Corona SDK. What problems are you solving with the provider? What benefits have you realised?

It allows my company to rapidly prototype both our game projects and mobile apps.

(Collected Review)

Overall Rating: 4.5/5.0 (based on 1 review)
Also read: Internet of Things Expanding the World of Healthcare

4. React Native app development tool

React Native - 5 Best Cross-Platform Mobile App Development Tools

Like Appcelerator, React Native is JavaScript based. Whether you want a brand-new app or want to enhance your existing Android or iOS app, React Native is a great choice.


  • Supports Java, Swift and C language.
  • It provides the fast refreshing capability. So any change in your app design is seen fast.
  • Has a massive support base online.
  • Its UI is much simpler compared to other app development tools.

Pricing plans:

  • Free

What real-users think about React Native

Alex, a front-end consultant at a small business, has used to React Native for JavaScript-based apps. This is what he has to say about it:

What do you like best?

React native is such a fantastic JavaScript framework that has helped me finish projects in time compared to the other methods. It allows me to build native apps without needing to learn a different IDE or language. Hence it reduces the amount of time I spend building an application. Code-sharing is an import area of focus, especially when you are thinking about across platform application and React Native makes this process smooth.

What do you dislike?

Even though React is a beautiful framework, it’s not easy to get into for the first time. Especially if one is not good at object-oriented-programming.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Based on my experience, I am happy that something like React Native has been made. Building the front-end and back-end using one programming language is very relaxing not to mention enjoyable.

I cannot wait to see other products that are being developed using this framework. What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realised? We used it for reducing time wasted during the implementation phase.

(Collected Review)

Overall Rating: 4.2/5.0 (based on 43 reviews)

5. Qt app development tool

Qt - 5 Best Cross-Platform Mobile App Development Tools

Qt is a C++ based tool. It is a popular platform for building apps fast. Thus your app would be market-ready relatively quicker.


  • It is open-source.
  • Best for creating UIs that deliver a quality user experience.
  • Linking multiple projects is more comfortable.
  • Because of its efficient debugger, your app would have fewer issues after going live.

Pricing plans:

  • It is open-source

What real-users think about Qt

Kilian, an internship software engineer at a medium-size company, covered many aspects of Qt in her Review:

What do you like best?

The Qmake system is reliable; I used it for many projects, even complex ones, and it’s effortless to link multiple projects, to create test versions, especially with Qt Test. Moreover, it’s compatible with almost everything.

What do you dislike?

I feel it weird that the search engine (to search a word in files or to find a file) is not easy to locate. It is not easy to find in the interface; in visual studio, it’s very intuitive, reliable and fast. The interface personalisation is quite weak, and it is not especially easy to configure all the settings. Moreover, it’s not easy to share your settings with others or simple with another desktop.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Qt is suited for every type of project. For tiny ones (like exercises for school) or for big ones (a complete project with multiple dependencies). It is free for personal or student use, so it stays convenient. It is particularly suited for Graphical User Interfaces (GUI) and of course, for Qt development. Do not overlook Qt Creator for Android development as it has brand-new support in that matter.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realised?

We needed to create a user interface, and Qt is the framework to look for. It has fabulous customer support and a professional graphical design interface.

(Collected Review)

Overall Rating: 4.3/5.0 (based on 44 reviews)

Wrapping up

No matter which of the above you use for your business app, do keep one thing in mind. That is, delivering a fantastic user experience is paramount. Otherwise, your customers would uninstall your app and go for one of your rivals. So we strongly recommend that you regularly test your app. There is no other way to improve the service your app is designed to deliver.

Amelia Scott

Amelia is a content manager of The Next Tech. She also includes the characteristics of her log in a fun way so readers will know what to expect from her work.

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