An average of 6,140 mobile apps is released through the Google Play Store every day, but the decision to select the right development approach is becoming increasingly difficult as there is no clear demarcation between native vs. hybrid approaches, as both these approaches commingle cost-effectiveness and performance. While mobile apps are not only required to reduce costs and device a new form of conversions, these are as well important in increasing user engagement.
Mobile applications are already contributing a lot to global revenue via app stores and in-advertising with the emergence of small and large businesses. This market is going to reach $188.9 billion USD by the year 2020 according to statista.com. (Enclosed Graph)
Image source: statista.com
Every framework has its own set of pros and cons, therefore, the developers must decide which tools to choose. The cross-platform mobile development follows a classic native approach – One written in Swift or Objective-C for iOS and Java for Android. As the same code has to be written two times for both the platforms, therefore this approach is slightly time-consuming and also turns out to be expensive. With highest code consistency, Xamarin allows engineers to write the code once and apply some parts of it across all platforms. Although this practice might be cost-effective most of the times this happens on the cost of application performance and behavior. Xamarin Developer India has been applying new approaches and tools to mitigate these disadvantages. Although, Xamarin is a widely used cross-platform development solution for mobile, tablet and desktop applications, but React Native outperforms these disadvantages.
Cross-platform mobile development is adorned with the following attributes and cons:
These are not only effective on cost, saves time and can also give developers the flexibility to mix and match best things of various technologies and develop robust applications.
As the discussion lengthens, it must be noted that one should not select a development approach because of the technology but must choose it because of its functionality. What if the application is not able to consume all the device features? Then you will have to waste a lot of time and money by adding these features manually. Consider this differentiation:
|Portability||iOS, Android, Windows, MAC OS||iOS, Android|
|UI Engineering||Code sharing for the cost of the native experience||Customization with built-in UI components|
|Code Reusability||Xamarin – iOS/Android – Business Logic, Data Access, Network Communication
Xamarin.forms – Up to 96 percent of the code
|Stars on GITHUB||5K||69.3K|
|UI Rendering||Native UI Controllers||Native UI Controllers|
|Development Environment||Xamarin is more powerful, because, it allows writing code for iPhone app on Windows and compile it for Mac. But a different platform is required for the build.||It allows the developers to choose an IDE in which they are comfortable. It comes with hot loading feature which does not require a full application reload after code modification.|
|Tools||Documentation part can further be improved but the components are split between NuGet and component store.||All the components are in place with excellent documentation.|
|Community and Assistance||Large||Growing|
|Price||Open Source/Visual Studio for commercial use $539-2,999||Open-source|
|Benefits||Xamarin binds native open-source libraries that are available for iOS and Android along with many .NET libraries. Xamarin allows a lot of open sources and in-house source code projects that can be reused in Xamarin iOS and Xamarin Android projects with the help of C# and .NET framework.||React Native allows writing modules in Objective C, Swift – for iOS and Java for Android.
React Native apps make use of native modules and libraries that enable handling of computationally heavy operations like image editing, video processing or any unconventional operations that are not included in framework API’s.
|Graphical User Interface (GUI)||Xamarin allows creating the user interface in two ways: using Xamarin.Android/iOS or Xamarin.Forms.||React Native modules interact with native iOS and Android UI controllers, which enables user experience close to native apps. It also uses the ReactJS library with extensive UI components, which can streamline the UI development. As a result, React Native has many UI components out-of-the-box like buttons, modules, and sliders that make developer work faster.|
|Coding, building and debugging||Xamarin requires Visual Studio to develop, build and debug apps.||React Native can make use of Visual Studio, WebStorm, Atom or ALM to debug and deploy apps to the app store.|
|Latest Version||Android 4.1+, iOS 8+||Android 4.0.3+, iOS 8+, Windows 10+|
|Availability||Enterprise level application is paid, rest are freely available.||This is free for both Android and iOS.|
Reduced cost, reusable code, faster time-to-market, and native app-like performance are some of the preliminary reasons behind acceptance of cross-platform app development.
The fundamental difference between React Native and Xamarin is for the type of applications that they are used to build. Xamarin makes use of C# and native libraries wrapped in the .NET layer as it is a Microsoft-supported framework for cross-platform mobile app development. Xamarin is efficient enough to be deployed to create multiple mobile apps making use of single code i.e. C#. It helps developers create a comprehensive environment with its powerful IDE where Xamarin Studio and Microsoft Visual Studio can be integrated. Its high compiled code, test suite, options to make use of native UI across various platforms make this platform extensively preferable.
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Neeti got her master's degree in software engineering in 2009 and has been working since for software companies of all sizes as a technical writer. What started as a high school passion has now been converted into a serious profession. She has a special knack of learning from all verticals and imbibing the extracts into her writing. She enjoys learning technical aspects of writing from her tasks where her experience and understanding are most impactful.