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The most popular cross-platform frameworks

Last week there was information that the number of releases of applications written using React Native has decreased significantly. But an interesting question remains – is React Native falling due to the fact that another framework takes over? Because of Flutter?

Here are the 5 most popular cross-platform frameworks for use in iOS and Android apps:

Contrary to popular belief, AppFigures writes , React Native is not the most popular non-native framework for mobile apps… React, while a powerful framework, has a very steep learning curve. Maybe this will improve over time, but for now it faces stiff competition from other platforms, as well as directly from Apple and Google, who are constantly making native development easier.

At the moment, the most popular non-native framework is Unity.

According to AppFigures, around 270,000 published apps and games (mostly games, of course) have been built with Unity. There are roughly 755,000 games on the App Store and Google Play , which means that Unity powers about a third of all mobile games.

Cordova comes in second with just over 260k apps and games (mostly apps). Cordova is very different from Unity, so there is no overlap or competition.

React Native is in third place and far behind, followed by Flutter, which is quite close.

Designed primarily for apps, Ionic ranks last on the list with just over 130,000 apps and games. This is about half of its closest “competitor”, but in general, even this figure looks impressive.

Now that we know where we are now, we can turn to the question “how did we get here?”.

Let’s count the number of applications released by years from each of these platforms. These numbers include all apps released during the year, including those that may have been removed for any reason, so the numbers may not exactly match the numbers shown above.

Looking at this diagram, you can understand that the “less non-native” Flutter won. However, for all five frameworks, fewer applications were released in 2022 than in 2021.

When comparing growth rates or, in this case, decline rates, React Native again did not appear at the top of the list. Topping the list of exits are Ionic and Cordova, which experienced the biggest drop in 2022. Given that Ionic runs on top of Cordova, this is logically related.

At the other end of the list is Flutter, which has fallen the least of the five in 2022, down just 19% year-on-year. It seems that Flutter has become mainstream in 2021 and it is unlikely that anything will stop its growth. So the answer to the very first question is probably this – yes, part of the fall of React Native is due to Flutter, but most of it is due to the general situation in the market.

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