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Cross-Platform Development: Which Languages and Platforms are Best?

Kelly Lee
Digital Content Specialist

All through computing historical past, your system dictated your software program improvement course of. Within the private computing eras of the late 70s and early 80s, in the event you had a Tandy, you wrote packages for Tandys, Apple II/III for Apple, and so forth. There was some crossover, nevertheless it took numerous work to port your software program between techniques. 

Over the previous a number of years, issues have improved, with many corporations and builders trying to create the right instruments for cross-platform improvement. Due to these efforts, it’s a lot simpler to make use of the identical code on completely different platforms—Flutter and to a lesser extent C# might be mentioned to be extensively cross-platform, as are Java, C++ and Haxe. Let’s take a look at these and see what they will do, and price how straightforward it’s to jot down cross-platform code on:

  • Desktop (Home windows, Mac OS and Linux)
  • Web sites
  • Net Apps
  • Cellular
  • Embedded gadgets (IoT, vehicles, and many others.)

Ranking Cross-Platform Ease of Growth

I made a decision to calculate a rating out of 100: 10 factors for every platform supported with three platforms for desktop, 20 for cellular, and 20 for IoT and vehicles. Plus, a closing 10 factors for ease of motion between platforms.  


Flutter ticks all of the packing containers for the above platforms aside from web sites. Flutter for Home windows solely got here out just a few months again, and Mac OS/Linux Flutter desktops are nonetheless in beta; it’s nonetheless early days for IoT and vehicles, however BMW now has a 300 Flutter/Dart group and Toyota has been utilizing it for growing infotainment techniques. Flutter performs properly with CarPlay (iOS) since iOS 14, no less than in concept.  

Rating: 20 for desktop (5 every for Linux and Mac OS), 0 for web sites, 10 for net apps, 20 for cellular and one other 20 for IoT/Car. I price it 9 out of 10 for ease of cross-platform improvement. Complete: 79/100.


With C# cross-platform, improvement feels much less coherent; it’s extra like a bunch of applied sciences thrown collectively. Desktop and web sites/net apps are the steady choices, whereas cellular seems like a piece in progress. I wrote some apps within the early Xamarin days earlier than Microsoft purchased it and it produced strong and quick code. Utilizing XAML in WPF desktop and Xamarin Varieties/Maui seems like a mistake to me; I’m not a fan. it has a steepish, overly difficult studying curve. 

Rating: 30 for desktop, 10 for cellular (5 for every platform), 20 for internet sites and apps, 10 for IoT, and 1 out of 10 for cross-platform. Complete: 71.


As soon as very talked-about for desktop and net; however in response to w3techs, solely 4 % of all web sites are actually powered by Java. Desktop use has declined for years, and cellular is restricted to Android the place it’s been beneath strain from Kotlin.  

Rating: 15 for desktop, 5 for cellular, 5 for internet sites and apps, 10 for IoT, and 10 for cross-platform. Complete: 45. 


C and C++ have been the primary cross-platform languages, however didn’t make it into the online and cellular world. Surprisingly Microsoft consists of cellular improvement in C++ in Visible Studio however I’ve by no means heard of anybody growing with it. 

Additionally, writing C++ for desktop improvement is an train in masochism. It went into decline across the millennium, though there are just a few older functions like MS Workplace, Adobe’s Inventive Suite and numerous browsers written with it. C++’s strengths are in growing software program like working techniques, compilers, database engines and sport engines and servers. 

Rating: 30 for desktop, 1 for cellular, 1 for internet sites and apps, 10 for IoT, and 1 out of 10 for cross-platform. Complete: 43. 


Haxe has been round since 2005 however isn’t that extensively recognized. It isn’t listed within the TIOBE Index prime 50. Haxe is open-source and code written in it may be compiled into JavaScript, C++, Java, JVM, PHP, C#, Python, Lua and Node.js. It initially supported Flash and nonetheless does so for the OpenFl platform. 

There’s a checklist of corporations that use Haxe, and that is in all probability due to its Flash capabilities.  

Rating: 30 for desktop, 10 for cellular, 20 for internet sites and apps, 0 for IoT, and 10 out of 10 for cross-platform. Complete: 70.


There is no such thing as a good programming language that helps all platforms however Flutter, C# and Haxe are among the many greatest. 

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