Mobile app development: going beyond cross-platform frameworks to reduce cost and time to value

Cross platform mobile app

In today’s business landscape, creating mobile applications for your customers and employees is essential for success. However, providing apps that function seamlessly across various devices and operating systems can be daunting. Companies must attract, recruit and retain three teams of developers, one for each technology: iOS, Android and web. This approach to mobile app development is not only complicated, slow, and expensive – it can also result in an inconsistent and poor user experience. 

Thankfully, there are options. Although cross-platform mobile app development frameworks may seem like the obvious choice, ultimately they may not be the best way to go. Let’s find out why.

What are cross-platform mobile app development frameworks?

Cross-platform frameworks enable developers to craft apps capable of running across multiple platforms, including iOS and Android. Unlike native development, which tailors individual apps for specific operating systems, cross-platform development frameworks streamline the process by allowing developers to write code once and deploy it across various platforms. This approach saves significant time and effort, making it a favoured method in today’s app development landscape.

What are the common cross-platform frameworks?

The most common cross-platform mobile development frameworks are distinguished by their underlying technology.

  • Hybrid App Development Frameworks utilise web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. These frameworks wrap the web app in a native shell to access device features, providing a native-like experience. e.g. Xamarin
  • JavaScript-Based App Development Frameworks enable developers to build apps in JavaScript that run across multiple platforms. These frameworks seek to strike a balance between native performance and code reusability. e.g. React Native
  • Compiled App Development Frameworks deliver high-performance apps with a native look and feel. These frameworks compile a shared codebase into native code specific to each platform, ensuring optimised performance and user experience. e.g. Flutter


What are the key challenges facing these frameworks?

While these common framework approaches have a lot going for them and have proven extremely popular, they nevertheless bring certain challenges. These include:

Going beyond cross-platform frameworks with low-code

Fortunately, there exists a solution that can overcome these issues. OutSystems, the world’s leading high-performance low-code platform, can achieve cross-platform mobile app development while removing the complexity of these frameworks. With built-in visual tools and automation for CI/CD, they enhance mobile development productivity by a factor of 3, making mobile app development even faster and more efficient. The OutSystems platform provides a unified way to create not only native mobile apps, but PWA apps and web apps.

By using OutSystems for mobile app development, customers can dramatically improve:

  • Time to value: By developing high-performance low-code apps on average in 8-12 weeks, delivering impactful results sooner.
  • Total cost of ownership: By requiring only a single development team to deliver PWA, iOS, Android and web, instead of 2-3 development teams in other approaches.
  • Time to competence: By enabling developers to hit the ground running sooner, due to the platform’s ease of use. 
  • Quality: By providing automation and acceleration at every step of the Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) process, and generating always up-to-date and optimised code for each platform.
  • User experience: By accessing an extensive built-in library of visual components that fast-track the development of beautiful and consistent user interfaces across devices.
  • Performance: By building apps that can load fast and cope with tens of thousands of users, as well as offline capabilities.
  • Security, DevOps and Integration: By sharing data from the business’s internal systems, meeting high-security standards, making transactions across various APIs and sharing components. 
  • Adoption of cutting-edge technology: By enabling AI, touch ID, facial recognition and other cutting-edge technologies to be incorporated into your apps.  


Read these case studies to learn more:

UK Post Office App

Spotify-like Music Sharing App

Translation Services App


Find out more about how the OutSystems platform can enhance your cross-platform mobile app development. Talk to us.