Most app developers prefer their apps to be available on both iOS and Android devices. Logic dictates that they consider cross-platform app development for the rapid construction of mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows. React Native and Xamarin are now trendy and dominating solutions in the market.
With the mobile app market reaching $189 billion in 2020, a choice like Xamarin vs. React Native can have a significant effect on companies that produce mobile apps. But which one has the upper hand: Xamarin or React Native? Which platform should you use to build your game-changing app? Continue reading to find out!
Understanding Cross-Platform App Development
The practice of curating mobile programs that can function on many operating systems, such as iOS, Android, and Windows, using a single technological stack is known as cross-platform mobile app development.
What exactly does this imply? It’s that easy! Instead of building numerous versions of your software, each developed in the platform’s native language, you may write your code once and distribute it across multiple platforms at the same time. The procedure saves money and time during development. It’s no surprise that cross-app development is becoming more popular. If entrepreneurs want to offer a product fast and on a tight budget, these technologies are the way to go.
Pros of Cross-Platform Development
If you are still hesitant about the value of cross-platform development here are some major advantages that this solution can deliver for your app.
- Code once, deploy everywhere: Once you’ve written something, you can use it anywhere: The most significant benefit of cross-platform programming is the ability to translate a single codebase to various operating systems.
- Consistency across apps: Using a single codebase through all platforms allows to keep the same style, experience, and performance. All upgrades and fixes are also applied across the board.
- Saved resources: Rather than having numerous teams with diverse expertise sets working on distinct native versions of your app, you simply need one team to work on a shared codebase. This enables you to save time and money by using smaller teams and shorter development times.
- Audience reach: Having your software published on numerous platforms helps you to expand your market reach without putting in any extra effort, resulting in more downloads and users.
If you want to reach your target audience more easily, you can also think about developing a hybrid app, which offers your app on various operating systems like Android, Windows, and iOS.
Now, let’s get back to the heart of the matter: should you use Xamarin or React Native? One must consider the big picture, including use cases, functionality, and advantages, before making a decision. Let’s get started by learning about Xamarin.
Xamarin for Mobile App Development
It’s a mobile app development framework that is open-source and cross-platform. The platform, which was created in 2011, makes it easier to create strong and highly functional Android, iOS, and Windows apps using the .NET architecture. Xamarin is an abstraction layer that aids in the management of a shared code interface with the underlying platform code.
Within the Microsoft ecosystem, it is now a top-rated cross-platform tool for designing mobile apps. Furthermore, it is built on Microsoft’s technology stack and boasts a rapidly increasing developer community of over 1.4 million people.
Xamarin has been used to create the following apps:
- Skulls of the Shogun
- Just Giving
- Thermo Fisher Scientific
- SuperGiant Games
- The World Bank
Should I Use Xamarin? Xamarin Advantages and Disadvantages
Some of the advantages of Xamarin cross-platform mobile app development are listed below.
- Performance: Xamarin apps are noted for having performance levels that are practically identical to native apps.
- Development ecosystem as a whole: To develop mobile apps with Xamarin, you only need C#, .NET, and Microsoft Visual Studio with Xamarin, making it one of the most comprehensive cross-platform mobile app development frameworks available.
- Smooth user experience: Xamarin.Forms provide a library of themes that you may use to reuse your code across platforms, allowing you to take benefit of standard interface features. You can also use Xamarin. iOS and Xamarin.Android. If necessary, use Android for manual customization.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the disadvantages of this cross-platform development solution.
- Delays in updates: There is normally a wait before new platform capabilities or updates are displayed in the Xamarin tools, which can cause problems with your app.
- App size: Xamarin apps are larger than native apps since they can add roughly 5 megabytes for launches and 20 megabytes for debug editions. This is due to the frameworks that are used to convert C# calls to native ones.
- Heavy graphics: Xamarin is ideal for apps with a basic user interface. Building complicated applications or mobile games with Xamarin, on the other hand, might not be the greatest idea because you’ll have to spend more time developing platform-specific code, defeating the purpose of adopting it.
- Platform-specific code: Some sections of your app’s UI may need to be rewritten in native code. That implies you’ll need some experience with native programming languages for Android, such as Kotlin or Java, and Swift or Objective-C for iOS.
Tools for Xamarin Development
A practical selection of tools and libraries aimed to improve the Xamarin developer experience is provided below.
- Xamarin development language
- Xamarin IDEs:
- Xamarin tools:
- Xamarin testing tools:
Visual Studio Unit Testing Framework
What is React Native?
Expo, Callstack, Infinite Red, Software Mansion, and Microsoft have all contributed to the React Native community, which is growing because of contributions from individuals and enterprises all across the world.
React Native has been used in a number of high-profile apps, including:
- Facebook Analytic
- Facebook Ads Manager
- SoundCloud Pulse
- Uber Eats
Pros of Using React Native
- User Experience: Uses native UI elements to create programs that look and feel like native apps, resulting in a high-quality user interface.
- Ready-to-use elements: Provides a large collection of UI components, reducing development time.
Access to native features such as the camera and accelerometer.
- Platform-specific code: Using native code, you can improve the performance of your different native apps.
React Native Drawbacks
Despite its many advantages, there are a few disadvantages to consider before writing your next mobile app in React Native.
- React Native navigation is not smooth and does not compare to native navigation.
- React Native has a hard time creating complicated animations and transitions.
Development tools for React Native
- React Native development language
- React Native IDEs:
- React Native tools:
- React Native UI components:
- React Native testing tools:
Xamarin vs React Native: Which One is Better
Cost & Accessibility
React Native is a fairly versatile framework that lets developers use whichever IDE they like. React Native is also the clear victor in terms of accessibility, as it is completely free! Developers can utilize the technology and all of its libraries for free using React Native!
Xamarin also has a free version, although this has a far less functionality set and fewer resources than React Native. Furthermore, while the platform itself is free, using the Visual Studio comes at a cost.
Xamarin has amassed a sizable user base over the years, with over 1.6 million developers spread across 120 countries. This is primarily owing to the fact that it is one of the oldest frameworks available.
React Native has slowly but steadily risen in importance since its release, eventually exceeding Xamarin in 2017.
React Native is more “liked” than Xamarin, according to Stack Overflow’s “2020 Developer Survey,” with 57.9% of programmers indicating the intention of continuing to build with React Native versus 45.4 percent for Xamarin.
React Native allows users to create code once and deploy it across several platforms, but it also takes into account platform variations. This indicates that you’ll have to figure out which system you’re on from time to time and load a new component or group of components based on which platform you’re on. Even so, a sizable portion of the codebase can be reused.
By using the language, Xamarin claims that developers may reuse up to 96 percent of their C# code. Xamarin also includes form elements, making it more code reuse friendly than React Native and Flutter, which share 60–90% of their code.
Community and Support
There is a lot of support for React Native out there. You can readily discover a wealth of learning resources as well as programmers on forums or QA sites such as Stack Overflow to seek assistance anytime you need it.
Support for Xamarin is fairly limited. Microsoft, on the other hand, offers several free Xamarin seminars and courses and methods to improve to get you started.
While determining which framework is ideal for you is challenging, the React Native and Xamarin frameworks, like any other architectures, have their own set of downsides and benefits.
If you are unsure on which one to choose Xamarin vs Native, make sure to contact one of our experts for further assistance.