Cross Platform

Definition of Cross Platform

Cross-platform refers to the ability of software or applications to run on different operating systems or devices without needing significant modifications. It enables developers to create a single codebase that works seamlessly across multiple platforms, such as Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. This approach saves time and resources while providing a consistent user experience across all supported platforms.


The phonetic spelling of “Cross Platform” using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is: /krɔs ˈplætfɔrm/

Key Takeaways

  1. Cross-platform development allows for a single codebase to run on multiple platforms, making it a cost-effective and time-saving approach.
  2. It provides a more consistent user experience across different platforms, improving overall user satisfaction.
  3. Some performance and platform-specific features may be limited due to the abstraction layer needed for cross-platform compatibility, meaning that you might need to make trade-offs in some cases.

Importance of Cross Platform

Cross-platform is an important technology term because it represents the capability of software, applications, or systems to function efficiently on different platforms or operating systems without modification.

This crucial aspect ensures that developers can save time and resources by creating a single application for multiple platforms, promoting seamless integration and wider accessibility for end users.

As a result, cross-platform solutions enhance user experience, increase market reach, and reduce development and maintenance costs, ultimately contributing to the overall growth and success of a product or service.


Cross-platform technology serves the crucial purpose of enabling software applications to operate seamlessly on multiple platforms or operating systems, thus reducing the need for developers to recreate them for each individual system. The primary advantage of this technology is its ability to significantly save time and resources, particularly when developing apps or games that need to run on a variety of devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and computers.

In today’s fast-paced digital world, consumers and businesses alike expect software and applications to be compatible with various operating systems and devices, and cross-platform development streamlines this process, ensuring a consistent user experience across different platforms. Moreover, cross-platform technology helps to maintain code reusability and facilitates the smooth deployment of updates or new features, as developers only need to modify the codebase once rather than create separate updates for each platform.

This aspect not only simplifies the maintenance process but also ensures users on different operating systems can access new features simultaneously. By embracing cross-platform development, businesses can cater to a broader audience and increase their software’s reach, while developers can reduce potential redundancies and achieve a quicker time-to-market for their products.

Overall, the primary purpose of cross-platform technology is to create efficiency in the software development process and deliver high-quality, globally accessible applications with ease.

Examples of Cross Platform

Xamarin: Xamarin is a popular cross-platform development tool owned by Microsoft that enables developers to create native applications for multiple operating systems, including Windows, Android, and iOS, using a single codebase. Xamarin uses the C# programming language and provides a consistent environment across all platforms with a rich set of libraries and tools for building high-quality applications. With Xamarin, developers can write platform-specific user interfaces, access device features, and optimize performance, all while sharing a majority of code across platforms.

React Native: Developed by Facebook, React Native is an open-source cross-platform development framework that enables developers to create high-performance applications for both Android and iOS using JavaScript and React. React Native uses native components for rendering the user interface, ensuring that the app has a look and feel similar to native applications. The ability to write most of the code for both platforms using a single language and framework has made React Native an increasingly popular choice for cross-platform app development.

Flutter: Flutter, developed by Google, is an open-source SDK for building visually-appealing, natively compiled applications for Android, iOS, the web, macOS, Windows, and Linux from a single codebase. It uses the Dart programming language and provides an extensive library of pre-built custom widgets, allowing developers to create beautiful user interfaces that adapt to different screen sizes and orientations. Additionally, the “hot reload” feature in Flutter speeds up the development process by allowing developers to see changes in code in real-time without losing the app state.

FAQ – Cross Platform

What is cross platform?

Cross platform refers to the ability of a software application, game, or system to function and operate on different platforms or operating systems, without requiring any modifications. This provides greater convenience to users, as they can use the same application across various devices and environments.

What are some common cross platform languages and frameworks?

Popular cross platform languages and frameworks include HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for web applications; Java, Python, and C++ for desktop applications; and Xamarin, React Native, and Flutter for mobile app development.

What are the benefits of cross platform development?

Developing cross platform applications offer several benefits, such as cost-effectiveness, faster development time, and reaching a wider audience, as a single application can target multiple platforms simultaneously. It also allows developers to maintain a consistent user experience and functionality across various platforms and devices.

Are there any drawbacks to cross platform development?

While cross platform development offers numerous advantages, it does have its limitations. These include potential performance issues, as running code on multiple platforms may be less efficient than executing native code. Additionally, cross platform applications might not offer the same level of platform-specific UI elements or take full advantage of the platform’s features.

How do I choose the right cross platform development tool for my project?

When selecting a cross platform development tool, consider factors such as the target platforms, the required level of customization, the desired UI/UX, and the programming languages your team is already familiar with. Research different frameworks and platforms to determine which tool best aligns with your project’s goals and requirements.

Related Technology Terms

  • Multi-platform compatibility
  • Platform-independent software
  • Unified development environment
  • Application programming interface (API)
  • Hybrid mobile app development

Sources for More Information


About The Authors

The DevX Technology Glossary is reviewed by technology experts and writers from our community. Terms and definitions continue to go under updates to stay relevant and up-to-date. These experts help us maintain the almost 10,000+ technology terms on DevX. Our reviewers have a strong technical background in software development, engineering, and startup businesses. They are experts with real-world experience working in the tech industry and academia.

See our full expert review panel.

These experts include:


About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

More Technology Terms

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents