The debate over cross-platform vs. native apps is long dead. With their low cost, quick development, and easy maintenance, cross-platform apps have captured the fascination of startups and enterprises alike. But that has led to the rise of a new debate- which platform is best suited to build such apps? With React Native, Xamarin, and Ionic leading the race let’s find out which one is the best:
A product of Microsoft, Xamarin is one of the oldest hybrid mobile app development frameworks and still commands a wide user base. It uses C# as the development language and offers a host of native libraries for most of the common features.
Now before we take our discussion any further, it’s worth pointing out that Ionic isn’t really in the same league as React Native or Xamarin. While both of these frameworks offer end-to-end solutions, Ionic builds only the user interface.
Ease of development
Inversely, Xamarin offers a unified development environment where both Android and iOS apps can be built in the same .NET framework. That is, while React Native makes it easier for amateurs, seasoned developers still prefer Xamarin.
Among the two, React Native definitely has an upper hand when it comes to building native-like experience. Yes, Xamarin offers an extensive set of UI components and Xamarin Forms that can be customized for the platform-specific experience; it still lags behind React Native
Both React Native and Xamarin offer native functionality through native APIs but React Native again has a slight advantage. Given its open source tag, its native libraries are updated more frequently and quickly after every major OS release. So if you want to include a recently launched platform-specific feature in your hybrid app, you are more likely to favor React Native.
Read also: React Native vs. Ionic: The Bulls Are On A Roll!
If you have carefully gone through the above discussion, you must have noticed a common undertone. None of these frameworks are in absolute terms, better than the other. They just serve different purposes. While Ionic is best suited for quickly building native UI/UX, top React Native app development companies market themselves for building consumer apps. Xamarin, on the other hand, delivers its best for enterprise mobile solutions. Do depending on where your interests align; you can pick any of the three.