In-depth Comparison of Developer Experience for Cross-Platform Frameworks

Cross-platform mobile app development frameworks enable new-age developers to create applications compatible with multiple mobile platforms like Android Windows and IOS. It eliminates the need to create various versions of the same application using dedicated tools and native language for the targeted platform. Developers can now write the code once and use it to deploy across multiple platforms.

Developer Experience

Developer experience, popularly known as DX, refers to developers’ experience when accessing client libraries, open-source code, tools, API, technology, frameworks, and other related services. Developer experience on an application development framework is quite similar to the user experience of the final design.

Cross-platform app development frameworks allow developers to deploy applications using a single terminal command across multiple platforms that greatly ease their task. It is an effective alternative to lengthy app development procedures. Developer experience is a critical factor that convinces them to use cross-platform development tools.

This article talks in detail about the DX of some of the commonly used cross-platform frameworks.

Here the platforms are compared based on

  • Documentation
  • Set up
  • Debugging
  • Hot loading


Everyone will admit that they start to like a specific tool platform based on its simplicity and effectiveness. Developers prefer application development tools that are relatively less complex.

  • React Native

Developers prefer to use an advanced library of app development resources. React Native offers an extensive range starting from mid-level to advanced level based on the requirement. The core API can help to perform tasks like navigation, animations, management, and much more.

  • Flutter

The documentation mechanism of Flutter is the most preferred of all the available frameworks. It comprises a wide range of information that can be easily understood by anyone. The presentation is also appreciated, and developers love the readily available widget class reference APIs.

  • Xamarin

Xamarin offers the most comprehensive documentation of all the available frameworks, and one can quickly get references and insights on any topic from the framework. It is suitable for beginners and advanced developers, and the navigation features provide an engaging experience along with open-source tutorials and links.

  • Ionic

The creators of Ionic have included a lot of data and information in the docs section. The user interface and navigation are also engaging. Developers find Ionic as an easy-to-use platform with simple component integration.

  • Native script

The Native script is also an engaging and informative application development environment that uses a primary interface. Developers need to understand the guide in detail to harness the true potential of the framework. The dogs available with native script lacks clear examples and sometimes become confusing.

Hot reload

A hot reload is an essential element of a cross-platform app development framework. It determines the time and efficiency of an application development project.

  • React Native

Hot reloading was one of the noticeable weaknesses of React-Native that turned down developers. Recent updates and faster refresh make it a lot more usable. The quick refresh feature is compatible with the latest React Native components that effectively manage the errors.

  • Flutter

The hot reload feature on Flutter is the easiest to work. It offers three different app reloading and working options like full restart, hot restart, and hot reloads. The hot reload feature is the most significant selling point of Flutter, enabling it to explain and manage the errors comprehensively.

  • Xamarin

Xamarin hot reload feature enables developers to save an access file and refresh simultaneously. It is compatible with multiple platforms and makes use of resilient reloading. However, this platform has some issues, including even handlebars, page codes, not compatible with c code, and additional classes.

  • Ionic

The hot reload feature in ionic can be developed and used in two different ways. Developers can choose to use the browser to code and run the application or use their phones for computers to do the same. It comes with a complete hot reload feature to facilitate the efficient development of applications.

  • Native script

The native script comes with a hot reload function termed as a Hot Module Replacement Feature. It allows smoother JavaScript edits, Vscode debugging, file editing, and more file editing and more.

The Live Sync feature allows developers to make changes to the application and view them in real-time across all emulators and devices.

Debugging tools

Application developers find that debugging is much more challenging than writing the actual code. Cross-platform application development is quite a tricky task because the components and tools are hybrid and natively compatible.

  • React Native

Native is always known for its sketchy debugging features, as it is not compatible with any of the tools. Recently Flipper was included in the framework that serves as a debugging tool.

  • Flutter

Flutters integrated debugging tool is quite powerful and offers many features. It is appropriate for almost all types of the council of tools and visual widget analysis—the debugging tool for performance inspection across five different frameworks.

  • Xamarin

Xamarin makes use of different methodologies for developing applications for IOS and Android. It treats both applications differently, and hence the debugging process becomes quite lengthy.

  • Ionic

Ionic offers several debugging facilities integrated into the framework for developing JavaScript and HTML applications.

  • Native script

The Native script provides easy debugging of applications with its integrated Live Sync feature. The debugging process’s output is printed on the console and the changes that synchronize with the application.

Set up

Among all the frameworks mentioned above, Flutter offers the best performance and comes with a host of integrated plug-ins and tools.

The installation and setup process is also relatively more straightforward. The Flutter comes with complete giving support, syntax highlighting, scaffolding snippets, and court competitions. React Native, on the other hand, is supported by tools developed by Microsoft to facilitate quick and easy debugging and running of newly developed applications.

The latest iterations of Xamarin have also improved significantly, and developers prefer to use this framework for its simplicity and performance. It offers all the necessary components and tools under a single dashboard.

Native script and ionic are suitable for meeting web applications. The most preferred font in CSS, HTML, JS, angular, reacts for its excellent support and editors.


All five cross-platform app development frameworks enjoy many users and have emerged as useful cross-platform development tools. Leading organizations worldwide extensively use these, and each comes with its unique set of tools and components that offer a more regular workflow and tailored functionalities. Developers need to understand each framework’s limitations and strengths and choose the most suitable platform according to their needs.

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