Xamarin vs React Native : Best Mobile App Development Framework


In the present world, with the continuous increase in the number of smartphone users Mobile app development brings the opportunity to earn a lot of customers. But along with that, there are also a large number of platforms used by customers to access the application. A platform is a combination of devices, browsers, operating systems. 

Mobile app developers need to develop an application that is compatible to work on as many platforms as possible to engage the user and offer a good user experience. Xamarin and React Native are two of the most well-known frameworks used for Cross-Platform Mobile app development. Both of them have some pros and cons and in this article, we will discuss Xamarin vs React Native to help you choose the best framework for you.

On one hand, where Xamarin uses C# programming language to write native program codes, on the other hand, React Native uses Javascript to do the same. Xamarin uses Visual Studio Code, XCode as IDE, while React Native uses Atom, Nuclide and Visual Studio Code as IDE. Both of them can be accessed free of cost to develop a native app for the Android and iOS operating system. Let’s discuss both of them individually, and find who wins in Xamarin vs React Native.

Xamarin

Xamarin vs React Native
Image Source: Internetdevels

Xamarin is a free, cross-platform and open-source platform building Android and iOS application using .NET and C#. It acts as a layer to enable the shared code to communicate with the underlying platform code. The developers are required to write business logic in one language or can also use the existing application’s code.

Xamarin will take the responsibility to give native to the application on each platform. It also provides the convenience of memory allocation and garbage collection. Xamarin claims that the application developed on its framework runs the same on different platforms up to an average of 90%. Xamarin is for the developers, who want to share the code and test the business logic across platforms written in C# on Visual Studio.

Features of Xamarin

1. There are complete bindings available for the entire underlying platform SDKs in both Android and iOS. Because of these bindings, it is easy to navigate, and use. They also provide compile-time type checking and during development.

2. Developers can directly invoke Objective-C, Java, C and C++ libraries, which allows the use of existing iOS and Android libraries writing in these languages.

3. There are many advantages of using C# as it provides dynamic language features, functional constructs such as lambdas, LINQ, parallel programming, generics and more.

4. Applications developed using Xamarin uses .NET Base Class Library. BCL has a large number of classes that provide powerful XML, Database, Serialisation, IO, String and Network Support.

5. Visual Studio, Xamarin’s IDE provides features like code auto-completion, a sophisticated project and solution management system, a project template library, integrated source control.

6. Cross-platform support is provided to the applications developed for iOS, Android and Windows. Xamarin.Essentials allow developers to access common resources across all three platforms.

React Native

React Native or Xamarin
Image Source: Inovex Gmbh

React Native is another framework for developing native Android and iOS mobile applications. It provides the best in class JavaScript library for building quality UI. Along with developing new applications the customers can use React Native to improve their existing Android or iOS app.

React Native allows the creation of component versions specific to a platform so that the same shared code can be efficiently executed on each of them. A development team can manage the two platforms at the same place and share a common technology. To ensure a good user experience on different platforms, it provides a core set of platform-agnostic native components like View, Text and Image, compatible to fit in the platform’s native UI building blocks.

React Native wraps the shared code with the existing native code to allow it to interact with the native APIs through React’s declarative UI paradigm and JavaScript. With the aid of JavaScript, any changes made in the application are instantly visible on the application as soon as they are saved, so no time is wasted on waiting for the build to get finished.

React Native is supported by Facebook since 2015 and in 2018, it was the 2nd highest contributed repository in GitHub.

Xamarin vs React Native

XamarinReact Native
Applications on Xamarin can be developed using the languages known as .NET, C#.Applications on React Native can be developed using the languages known as Java, JavaScript, Kotlin, Objective-C, OBJ-C, Swift.
In recent time, Xamarin is observed to have less market popularity than React Native.After the re-architecture announced by Facebook, React Native’s market popularity has increased in recent times.
A developer needs to learn only two programming language named .NET and C# to work on Xamarin.Since there are different programming languages used in React Native and the development is more dependent on third-party libraries, a developer needs to spend more time learning these languages.
Development with Xamarin requires the use of Microsoft Visual Studio or the Visual Studio community edition as IDE.Development on React Native can be done using any IDE available.
Xamarin is self-empowered with the bindings needed for different platforms, hence requires less dependency on third-party API and libraries for Cross-Platform Mobile app development.React Native is highly dependent on third party libraries to provide the functionality to the application under development.
With the increase in the app size, the compilation time also increases, hence increasing the development time.Because of this, the time and efforts required to debug the application are also large.Applications developed on React Native do not require compilation due to the hot reloading feature, hence reduces the development and debugging time.
Xamarin is based on Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android for providing a seamless user experience.React Native is based on React.JS for ensuring a quality user experience.
Xamarin has less testing capabilities as compared to React Native.It is easy to set up testing tools in this framework to deliver higher API behaviour.
React Native
Image Source: Bacancy Technology

Conclusion

Both Xamarin and React Native allow Mobile application developers to build products compatible to provide a quality user experience on different platforms. It depends on various factors like programming language and IDE preferences for a developer to choose Xamarin or React Native.