Seven Peaks Insights

A Comprehensive Guide to Cross-Platform Applications


In recent years, cross-platform application development has emerged as a dominant force in the app industry. This is primarily driven by the versatility of cross-platform applications, enabling seamless deployment across iOS, Android, and web platforms. Developers can leverage a single codebase to create apps for multiple platforms, offering a significant advantage in terms of development time and cost efficiency.

Today's app development landscape comprises two primary approaches: native and cross-platform. This article delves into the advantages and disadvantages of each method, highlighting why cross-platform development is a trend that all developers should be actively involved in.


A Quick Walkthrough

Cross-platform applications are software programs designed to operate seamlessly across multiple operating systems or platforms. This encompasses various desktop operating systems like Windows, macOS, and Linux, as well as mobile operating systems such as iOS and Android. 

Cross-platform applications are meticulously crafted to be compatible with a diverse range of devices and operating systems, eliminating the need for additional modifications or the development of separate applications for each platform.

Developers often use cross-platform frameworks or tools to construct these applications. This approach empowers them to write code once and have it function effectively across multiple platforms. A streamlined process offers significant time and resource savings for digital product developers compared to developing native applications for each platform. Consequently, cross-platform applications emerge as a cost-effective and efficient solution for reaching a broader audience.


Cross-Platform App Development Tools

A diverse array of tools and frameworks exist today for crafting cross-platform applications, each catering to different programming languages and development goals. Here's a glimpse into some of the most widely used cross-platform development tools and frameworks among developers:

1. React Native

React Native stands as a prominent open-source JavaScript framework, enabling developers to craft cross-platform mobile applications for both iOS and Android devices. The brainchild of Facebook, this framework emerged into the app development landscape in 2015. Developers familiar with JavaScript and React can pick up React Native relatively quickly.

2. Flutter

In 2015, Google introduced Flutter, an open-source software development framework that transformed the landscape of mobile UI creation. The groundbreaking framework empowers developers to effortlessly construct cross-platform applications using a unified codebase, enabling seamless deployment across mobile apps, websites, and desktop software. 

Flutter's widespread adoption stems from its unparalleled ability to generate visually captivating and high-performance applications that provide a uniform user experience across diverse platforms. Flutter's own Dart programming language and UI framework (Flutter) offer exceptional UI customization and animation capabilities, leading to visually stunning apps.


.NET Multi-platform App UI (MAUI) stands as a pivotal framework for developing native cross-platform applications by harnessing the robust capabilities of the .NET ecosystem. This innovative framework marks a substantial advancement over the Xamarin.Forms framework and serves as a key component of the expansive .NET 6 platform. 

MAUI empowers developers to create applications that seamlessly function across an array of platforms, including Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, and more, employing a single codebase. If your team is already using .NET and C#, developing with .NET MAUI feels natural, leveraging existing knowledge and tools.

4. Kotlin Multiplatform

Kotlin Multiplatform, also known as Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile (KMM), emerged as a definitive technology developed by JetBrains, the visionary creators of the Kotlin programming language. This cutting-edge technology empowers developers to create code that seamlessly flows across a multitude of platforms, including Android, iOS, websites, and even server-side applications, all while utilizing comprehensive features like Compose Multiplatform, Arrow etc.


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Why Switch Over to Cross-Platform App Development

Cross-platform application development provides businesses with a powerful tool to accelerate DevOps delivery velocity by enabling developers to craft and deploy applications seamlessly across multiple platforms simultaneously. 

This revolutionary approach is anticipated to maintain its surge in popularity beyond 2023 as an increasing number of businesses embrace cross-platform development to enhance their application development processes. Here are some of the compelling advantages of cross-platform digital product development:

  • Cost Savings: Cross-platform app development emerges as a cost-effective solution for businesses seeking to expand their platform’s reach. By leveraging a single codebase, developers can effortlessly craft applications that seamlessly function across multiple platforms. This approach streamlines the development process, reduces resource requirements, and significantly lowers development costs, eliminating the need to maintain separate codebases for each platform.

A survey conducted by Statista in 2021 found that 64% of respondents cited "cost savings" as the main reason for their decision to develop cross-platform applications.

  • Accelerated Development: Cross-platform development revolutionizes the development cycle, enabling developers to build applications for multiple platforms concurrently, significantly reducing development time and accelerating time to market.

  • Reusable Code: Cross-platform app development stands out for its code reusability, allowing developers to seamlessly incorporate a significant portion of the code across multiple platforms. Moreover, maintaining a single codebase simplifies the debugging process, minimizing the likelihood of defects and ensuring a consistent user experience across all platforms.

  • Expanded Audience Reach: Cross-platform applications empower businesses to cast a wider net and connect with a broader audience by eliminating the constraints of any single operating system.

Research conducted by App Annie corroborates this advantage, revealing that cross-platform apps often boast larger user bases due to their cross-platform compatibility. This improved reach translates directly into increased user engagement and thriving digital communities.

  • Easier Maintenance: Cross-platform applications simplify the maintenance process by employing a unified codebase for multiple platforms. This streamlined approach eliminates the complexities associated with maintaining separate codebases for each platform, significantly reducing the time and resources required for updates and bug fixes.

  • Native Feature Access: Cross-platform frameworks provide developers with the ability to tap into native features and APIs, enabling them to construct applications that offer a native-like experience. This integration ensures that applications seamlessly blend into the native environment of each platform, providing a consistent and intuitive user experience across various devices.

  • Accelerated Prototyping: Cross-platform development empowers businesses to swiftly create and test prototypes for their digital products. This approach leverages a unified codebase that seamlessly deploys across multiple platforms, eliminating the need for individual prototypes for each platform.

Leveraging Existing Resources: Cross-platform frameworks empower businesses and developers with existing web development or specific programming language skills to transition more easily into cross-platform app development by leveraging their expertise and minimizing the need for additional learning.

Develop a Cross-Platform App for Your Business

The surge in global demand for digital products has fueled the rise of cross-platform application development. This trend, also prevalent in Thailand, caters to businesses aspiring to create apps seamlessly accessible on Android, iOS, and the web simultaneously, without compromising on performance. If you wish to turn your innovative ideas into reality, consult with an expert at Seven Peaks to start your journey today.