Flutter vs Xamarin

You must be working or investing in the IT industry to be interested in the Flutter vs Xamarin comparison. A person like you would want to be on par with the latest development technologies. If you are a mobile developer, you should pay extra attention to this article. 

The two common development techniques are native and cross-platform development. While native development requires building Android and iOS apps separately, cross-platform development can deploy the same code on both platforms, expediting development tasks and reducing maintenance costs. 

Cross-platform development depends on SDKs and frameworks to build apps. Flutter and Xamarin are two popular frameworks used in cross-platform development assignments. 

This discourse shall be evaluating the two frameworks, focusing on the features and benefits of each one. At the end of this article, a developer can determine the most suitable framework for various app development scenarios. 

Quick Facts

  • Xamarin is a Microsoft-owned open-source app development platform.
  • Flutter is a Google-owned open-source framework for developing cross-platform apps. 
  • The main differences between Flutter and Xamarin are the programming language used, the popularity of the platform, and level of code reusability,
  • The fact that both platforms are open source and available for free and are main similarities. 

Introducing Flutter

The Flutter platform belongs to Google, it is a UI kit for building and compiling apps native to Desktop, Mobile, and Web platforms. Flutter offers an SDK for developing high-performance apps with a functional and attractive user interface. The framework minimizes the work and time required to build a native app.

Flutter developers can select between Cupertino and Material Design widgets for building iOS and Android apps respectively. Besides enhancing the productivity of developers, Flutter apps have a sleek native-like appearance with attractive fonts, native motivational and scrolling patterns, and many more. 

The Features of Flutter

Hot Reloading: This feature allows the developer to view changes made to an app code in real-time, thereby expediting development and making bug fixing easier. These features also make R&D and continuous improvements a breeze. 

Cross-Platform Development: The ability to deploy the same code for building apps on multiple platforms helps save the labor, time, and development budget. 

Access Native Features: Flutter offer s host of third-party plugins that allows the developer to add several native features to their apps.  This is why Flutter apps show a native-like appearance and functions. 

Lesser Code: you can write lesser code in Flutter to achieve the same results with other languages that use lengthy code.

Widgets: The flutter widget is a powerful feature that allows you to develop advanced and customized UI features. The developer has an option to select from Cupertino or Material Design UI packs. 

The Benefits of Flutter

Reusable Code: Flutter code can be deployed for creating apps on Android and iOS platforms. This helps you save time and money on app development projects.

Enhanced Performance: Since Flutter uses the high-performance Dart programming language that compiles native codes for iOS and Android, you can expect native-like performance from Flutter apps. 

Highly Efficient: With the Flutter widget, there is no need for extensive communication between a mobile app and its hosted platform.  Therefore, apps run faster. 

Superior Rendering Engine: The advanced Skia rendering engine empowers developers to leverage the built-in UI on any platform. In essence, you do not have to adjust your UI to start working on a different platform, making the development process faster. 

Platform-Specific Functions: Developers can take advantage of several platform-specific functions, like ready-to-use plugins for using GPS, managing permissions, connecting Bluetooth, and many more.  Flutter also makes communication between the native code and Dart programming language seamless.  Allowing you to integrate native functions into your app without hassles. 

The Advanced UI Features: The UI capabilities of Flutter make it stand out among other development frameworks. It allows you to work with an on-screen UI, irrespective of its complexity. Flutter is versatile and allows the development procedure to be flexible and straightforward. 

Documentation: Flutter provides detailed documentation for developers.

Introducing Xamarin

Xamarin is unique among mobile development platforms due to the use of only one programming language as well as a single runtime that works on Android, iOS, and Windows Mobile platforms. 

Any developer that loves building mobile apps with JavaScript libraries would love Xamarin. Xamarin deploys a container for building apps, but it gives the user the native feel. Since the app can be deployed on multiple platforms, it takes away the cost and stress of building a separate app for each mobile platform. 

The Xamarin Cloud service that supports app testing on many devices is among the excellent features that attract developers to this platform. Moreover, it has functions for implementing various mobile platform-specific features. Since Xamarin is integrated with the well-established visual studio, you can expect top-notch functions such as APIs that offer the best possible experience. 

Features of Xamarin

  • The Xamarin Forms feature supports sharing code to other mobile platforms.
  • The user interface of Xamarin apps has the native look and feel.
  • Xamarin component store allows the addition of native components right for the development interface. 
  • Supports native features, including the ones unique to mobile platforms. 
  • Offers several features such as the billing feature of Google Play, conversion of text to speech, battery information, and several others. 

The Benefits of Xamarin

Faster App Development: The reusable code feature of Xamarin which uses .Net and C# libraries makes development assignments faster. The development circle becomes exceedingly faster as the same code is deployed on other app platforms. 

Native Features: Xamarin adds native features to apps. Native apps give the best value in functions and aesthetics. With the Xamarin Studio, developers can implement device-specific features and add native features to apps without hassle. 

Shared App Logic: The feature for sharing app logic makes Xamarin outstanding as one of the most beloved development tools today.  The codes that power features such as web services, database tasks, backend integrations, validations, and many more can be deployed to other mobile app platforms. 

API: The APIs and UI controls are combined with the platform’s unique language. While the platform uses Visual Studio to create Windows-based apps, the code is shareable to other mobile architecture using the Portable Class Library.  Xamarin also has an excellent binding technology that makes the latest features available to developers automatically. So, accessing support is not a problem with Xamarin.

The Component Store: Xamarin offers an excellent feature that enhances collaboration and component sharing. The store offers a wide array of free and premium components for building apps with minimal coding.  This feature is integrated into Xamarin Visual Studio and its extensions. 

C# benefits: The use of C# for app development offers a unique benefit of its own. It’s object-oriented and offers modern features that enhance safe-typing and security. The straightforward syntaxes, pointers and headers are a few features that make C# excellent for cross-platform app development. 

Flutter vs Xamarin

The table below shows the basic differences between Flutter and Xamarin.

 XamarinFlutter
DescriptionMicrosoft-owned opensource cross-platform app development platformGoogle’s owned opensource and cross-platform app development framework.
Programming LanguageC#Dart
Technical ArchitectureMonoSkia
InstallationVisual Studio Downloadable from Github
Learning CurveSteep learning curveCan learn it faster
UI ComponentsSuperiorInferior
Developer CommunityVastVast
App Package SizeSmallerLarger
CostFreeFree
PerformanceInferiorSuperior
PopularityLesser knownWell known
Code Reusability90% code is reusablePlatform-specific code is not required.

Conclusion

The app development features of Xamarin and Flutter are reliable for developing modern mobile apps. Each of the platforms has its unique strengths and weaknesses worth considering before selecting it for your app development project. 

FAQ

What is Flutter?

Google’s open-source cross-platform development framework.

What is Xamarin?

Microsoft’s open-source cross-platform development framework.

What are the differences and similarities?

– The main differences between Flutter and Xamarin are the programming language used, the popularity of the platform, and level of code reusability.
– The fact that both platforms are open source and available for free are the main similarities. 


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