Xamarin vs. React Native: Which One Is Better?

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The app development market is quite unstable as far as technological advancements are concerned. This shows the fact that the industry is open to change, with regards to creating powerful and robust applications, which are economical as well.

While native apps are very performance oriented and engaging, they make an imperative call to platform dedicated developers and high investments. Therefore, an alternative to this option is cross-platform mobile app development. Xamarin and React Native are tools that are used for creating apps that run on both platforms and provide performance close to native while not being purely native. This, in turn, saves development time as well as the cost.

These tools not only improved the development cycle but proved to be cost effective for organizations. While both of them serve a similar purpose, a couple of differences make them better more than each other. In the coming section, we will talk about them to make a final decision on which platform you should choose for mobile app development.

Let’s get familiar first:

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What Is Xamarin?

Xamarin was discovered in May 2011 and was later acquired by Microsoft. It’s an open source framework and is free to use.

As per Forbes, it is utilized by over 20% of the established 500 companies including Samsung, Bosch, SAP and deployed in around 120 countries to develop their mobile applications. The framework utilizes C# for writing codebase for numerous platforms (iOS, Android and Windows). In the year 2017, more than 1.4 million developers were reported to utilize Xamarin.

At present, this cross-platform application development framework is trusted by a number of famous brands and their mobile applications built utilizing Xamarin is a proof. It not just offers an edge in developing native application interfaces but additionally empowers to overpower the disadvantages of hybrid apps.

What Is React Native?

React Native was introduced by Facebook in the year 2015. What made this cross-platform mobile application development framework a game-changer in the industry is its capabilities to create a native mobile application utilizing Javascript.

According to an annual survey of 64,000+ developers conducted by Stack Overflow, Javascript is one of the most adopted and popular frameworks. One reason why React Native could be the developers most loved is that they can begin with mobile application development using React Native easily as it is simple to learn and adapt.

The Comparison: Xamarin vs. React Native

React Native and Xamarin, both the frameworks for cross-platform application development has an edge over one another. But, with regards to selecting one from the available alternatives, it is imperative to see how they really work. Let’s do a comparative study for getting an idea on which one to choose.

Development Environment

Powerful: Xamarin

Among the numerous advantages of Xamarin for cross-platform development, flexibility is the one. It provides a highly flexible development environment. For example, using it you can code for iPhone application on Windows and later compile it on Mac. The whole procedure is more powerful as compared to React Native.

However, React Native does not perform development in a similar way. You can make this possible by means of Expo; however, it isn’t as powerful as Xamarin (as Expo does not support each and everything that is supported by React Native).

Framework

Powerful: Xamarin

Xamarin works in the MVVM style i.e. Model View ViewModel. If you are a .Net developer or other MV* developer you would love this framework. However, React Native utilizes one-way data flow with React which could be more beneficial but just in a marginal way. If you are JS web developers, you would love this framework.

Documentation

Powerful: React Native

In Xamarin, You can locate components split among segment store and NuGet and its documentation part needs change. However, documentation in React Native is amazing, and you can discover every one of the components right in place. Also, ready-made components are accessible in the more organized way in React Native.

Community Assistance

Powerful: Both are Equal

Both the frameworks have a clear benefit of a long-term presence in the industry. You can find help promptly because of Stack Overflow, community support forums, and blogs.

Testing and Recompiling

Powerful: A Tie

When it comes to testing capabilities of these tools, both frameworks are similarly great. You can promptly debug Xamarin-based iOS applications in Xcode Simulator, though, React Native applications can be debugged utilizing Visual Studio Code.

Availability

Powerful – React Native

React Native is a free tool, and using it you can develop apps for both iOS and Android platforms. Xamarin is also free, but you have to pay for an enterprise level commercial app.

Top users

Powerful: A Tie

Instagram, Facebook, Walmart, Airbnb, Skype and Tesla are top users of React Native while Siemens, Slack and Honeywell are top users of Xamarin.

Added Advantages of React Native

Existing Skills Utilization

React Native is nothing but Javascript. Therefore, it provides relaxation from redeveloping the whole app just to reflect the changes. Then the saved time can be utilized in development logics and productive processes.

In case you have experienced web developers in your team, opting for React Native is a great move. Because React Native is a JavaScript framework, web developers can use their current expertise of Javascript for building mobile applications.

So, What to Choose?

React Native by Facebook and Xamarin by Microsoft, both have a great reputation in the market. Both these platforms provide amazing results and robust applications. However, every project demands something different. So, it is difficult to choose one for all ventures. Depending on the available skill set, development environment, cost and project requirements etc., a relevant decision can be made.

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