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React Native vs Xamarin: Which One Is The Most Powerful?

May, 2018

React native vs Xamarin

Businesses are smitten by mobile apps that work swimmingly across both iOS and Android devices. This is why cross-platform frameworks and solutions are attracting great attention. Apps built to work on multiple platforms ensure fast release and consolidated resources. Choosing the right cross-platform technology among many can help build finest, high-performance apps that ultimately accomplish business goals targeting wider audience.

React Native and Xamarin are two major cross-platform development tools considered by modern developers as they help create high-performance and engaging mobile apps, simplify coding and are cost-effective. But, the question often occurs as to which one is the most powerful when compared. We have tried to dig deeper to try to find answer to this.

Transparent Comparison between the two frameworks

Both React Native and Xamarin have pros and cons and in many ways they outweigh each other. Here is the honest, unbiased comparison between the two:

React Native

React Native The developer community of React Native is growing in leaps and bounds. So far over 1.6K commits have been contributed to framework’s codebase with nearly 266 new pull requests per month. Google Trends also claims the increased number of queries about React Native last year. With new releases every two weeks, React Native developers implement latest features quickly.

Brands using React Native cross-platform include Airbnb, Walmart, Skype, Tesla, Facebook, Instagram.

Xamarin

From 2011, Xamarin has been one of the oldest cross-platform frameworks with community strength now grown to nearly 1.4M developers. The number of Xamarin developers is increasing. The project was was acquired by Microsoft in 2016 and then became part of its Visual Studio IDE.

Predominantly enterprise-friendly, Xamarin is utilized by over 15,000 companies across industries like energy, healthcare, transport, etc. Major brands like Slack, Siemens, Pinterest and Honeywell leverage Xamarin tools.

Deployment Time

Xamarin forces the need for compilation to produce an executable file which can be tested on emulator or device, which consumes a lot of time depending on the project complexity. React Native developers can use “hot module replacement” to save the code and view results instantly.

Accessibility of features

Being an open source framework, Native can be used generously to build smart apps on tablet, iOS and Android. However, Xamarin’s free version offers limited features. It requires you to spend more for enterprise app development projects.
Performance

Performance of cross-platform frameworks is often measured based on code execution speed, UI development, and 64 bit support. Xamarin enables fastest code execution, full support for 64-bit mode and rapid UI development with direct access to native tools. React Native is lacklustre in this as it lacks 64-bit support on Android. On iOS, its performance goes even more sluggish.

Familiarity: Getting started

Developers familiar with JavaScript can easily get started with building native apps using React Native while Xamarin will require developers to be versed in modern C#. If you are aware of C#, you can opt for Xamarin for building iOS and Android apps.

Sophisticated capabilities

React Native is more preferable when it comes to advanced development capabilities since it uses JavaScript as programming language that unleashes more features for developers. Xamarin is classic legacy tool that contains limited amount of advanced features in Android studio compared to JavaScript.

Testing

When it comes to testing UI, Xamarin offers greater ease to developers for unit testing in Xunit and debugging in Xcode Simulator for iOS. React Native developers have to go hard way debugging in the Android Emulator which is more challenging.

So, what to choose?

One may not be able to conclude about which framework stands superior to other. The ultimate choice depends on developer’s level of familiarity and comfort with specific cross-platform technology. Both have their own share of community and users. Hence, the final decision is subject to factors like ease of development, process cycle, testing capabilities, native UI performance, usability and quality of end product.

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