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React Native vs Xamarin vs Ionic: Best Hybrid App Development Frameworks for 2019

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:

React Native

Launched in 2014, React Native is an open-source framework built and largely maintained by Facebook. It uses the popular JavaScript as the development language and works on the philosophy of learning once, write anywhere. This means, applications for both Android and iOS can be built using the same set of tools. It also features a host of native libraries that can be easily integrated into the applications through a JS bridge.


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.


Ionic is basically a UI development framework for cross-platform mobile apps and uses common web-based technologies like JavaScript and HTML to achieve its purpose. It works on the philosophy of write once, run anywhere and thus enables developers to use a common codebase for building both Android and iOS platforms. It also comes with numerous ready-to-use components to speed up the development cycle.

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

One of the key reasons React Native has garnered such immense popularity is that it makes building cross-platform mobile apps fairly easy. Its use of JavaScript- a popular web-based language ensures a quick learning curve compared to C# of the Xamarin.

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

Native features

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!

Closing remarks

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.

About Vipin Jain

(CEO / Founder of Konstant Infosolutions Pvt. Ltd.) Mobile App Provider (A Division of Konstant Infosolutions Pvt. Ltd.) has an exceptional team of highly experienced & dedicated mobile application and mobile website developers, business analysts and service personnels, effectively translating your business goals into a technical specification and online strategy. Read More