Xamarin vs Flutter

Why does the Xamarin and Flutter comparison matter to you? 

You are likely an IT leader or an entrepreneur undertaking a mobile application development project and weighing between different development technologies and approaches. And if you are doing that, you have two options to choose from. 

You either take the native development route that will require you to develop separate applications for different platforms, involving entirely different codebases, skills, and maintenance efforts.

On the other hand, you can follow a cross-platform development route to use a single technology to create apps that run on various platforms. The second option expedites the development process and minimizes maintenance costs.

The second option looks more productive, naturally, and to opt for this route, you will have to evaluate SDKs and frameworks in order to develop apps. Xamarin and Flutter are the two prominent frameworks you are confused between.

Read through this guide to get rid of your confusion. Starting with brief introductions of both frameworks, this guide will take you through the features and advantages of Xamarin and Flutter, making it easier for you to conclude.

Flutter vs Xamarin

Here is the overview about the differences between Xamarin and Flutter.

XamarinFlutter
DescriptionXamarin is an open source cross platform app development tool from MicrosoftGoogle’s open-source cross platform to build iOS/Android apps.
Programming LanguageC#Dart
Technical ArchitectureMonoSkia
InstallationVisual Studio IDEDownload from Github
Learning CurveMore time to learnEasier to learn
UI ComponentsBetterWorse
CommunityLargeLarge
App SizeSmallerLarger
PriceFreeFree
PerformanceWorseBetter
PopularityLess popularMore popular
Code ReuseMore than 90% of code is reusedNeed to write more platform specific code.

Want to know more about each platform? Keep reading.

What is Xamarin?

Xamarin is a streamlined framework to create cross-platform applications using the C#.

Xamarin differs from other app development frameworks because it deploys a single language and runtime, which effectively works on three mobile platforms, namely Windows, iOS, and Android.

Developers prefer using Xamarin as they can build mobile and web apps using JavaScript libraries. Also, this framework is packed in a container that gives the feel of a native app. 

The convenience of not having to code for each app platform separately has made Xamarin significantly famous among designers and developers.

Xamarin allows developers to test applications on several devices through its Xamarin Cloud Service. It majorly benefits from its mobile specialization features that particularly target mobile users and their requirements. Moreover, Xamarin facilitates integration of apps with Visual Studio and several other programs. 

With Xamarin, expect nothing but production-grade application programming interfaces (APIs) that deliver unprecedented app experience and responds to every customer request. It has all essential features and organizational capabilities to respond to professional users as well. 

Xamarin Core Features

Xamarin makes some of the prominent features available to its users, which include:

  • Xamarin.Forms interfaces let developers share codes across all platforms
  • Native user interfaces
  • Add components to applications directly from your integrated development environment through Xamarin Component Store
  • Native application programming interface access including platform-specific capabilities
  • Availability of popular platform-specific (Google Play billing support) as well as cross-platform plugins (battery status and Text-to-speech)

Advantages of Xamarin

  • Faster application development cycle

Xamarin contains reusable code and developers can recycle ninety percent of it for developing new applications. The coding is essentially based on .Net libraries and C# language.

The simplified code reusing and sharing process across various operating systems with Xamarin shortens the product development cycle and enhances productivity.

  • Native applications

Native design is the solution when developing any application, be it simple or complex. This solution becomes even more productive when Xamarin’s unique approach comes into existence.

Xamarin Studio offers access to device features, native performance, and Native UI. When developers gain access to these features, code sharing across various OS becomes an incredibly effortless task, which reduces the product development time frame. 

  • Shared application logic

Xamarin enables developers to share app logic, making it the most used development tool. App logic underlying the user interface like web service calls, backend enterprise integrations, input validation, and database integrations are coded in C# once and for all. Developers can share these codes across different OS. 

  • API integration

Xamarin merges the same UI controls and APIs used to create apps with their respective platform-specific language. For the development of Windows applications, Xamarin uses Microsoft Visual Studio. Code is shared among various platforms using the required application architecture and Portable Class Library. 

With Xamarin, developers need not worry while developing any application as support is always there. Xamarin’s unique binding technology allows the support team to render developers with additional features as soon as they come into the operating system of the device. 

  • Xamarin component store

Xamarin believes in component sharing and collaboration. The app developer has to choose from the host component (either free or paid) and build applications with just a few lines of code. The component store is pre-built in Xamarin’s Visual Studio and Xamarin Studio extensions.

  • Advantages of C#

C# is a modern, object-oriented, type-safe programming language. Its type-safety prevents developers from typing errors and its simplified syntax allows them to use headers and pointers.

Reference operator and name-space are replaced by a period. In a nutshell, it is an amazing language for developing cross-platform apps. 

What is Flutter?

Flutter software development kit is a UI toolkit of Google for designing lucrative, natively compiled apps for desktop, mobile, and web from a particular code base. 

With Flutter SDK, developers can focus on building a high-fidelity, high-performance app with smoothly interacting user interfaces that makes more and more customers use the app, while minimizing the amount of effort required to synchronize and update the application’ view. 

Flutter offers a simple, yet a feature-rich set of Cupertino and Material Design behavior and widgets. Developers will feel productive with the functional-reactive feature of Flutter and users will love the natural feel and look of the apps with Flutter’s easy and platform-specific scrolling, amazing fonts, navigational patterns, and more. 

Flutter Core Features

Quick Flutter features:

  • Hot reload– Hot Reload is a super-handy feature that makes any changes made by developers visible to everyone across the team. This makes bug fixing a hassle-free process and anyone in the system can do it in no time. Also, the entire team can experiment with features and improvise them continuously.
  • Cross-platform development– As you know that cross-platform development incredibly saves time, money, and energy. With Flutter, you need not code separately for a different platform. All you require to do is code for once, maintain that, and use that for two applications.
  • Accessible native features and SDKs– You experience a delightful and easy app development process with Flutter’s platform application programming interfaces, intuitive third-party integrations, and native codes. This makes accessing SDKs and native features convenient on iOS and Android platforms.
  • Minimal code- With Flutter, you need to write a few codes and get your apps scaling in the market. 
  • Widgets– Widgets get an upper hand in Flutter. Flutter can develop complex and customizable widgets. Most notably, Flutter comprises widgets from Cupertino and Material Design pack that helps to offer a glitch-free experience to developers while developing apps.

Advantages of Flutter

  • Cross-platform development

Flutter’s cross-platform development framework allows a developer to develop and launch apps on both the popular operating systems, Android and iOS with a particular code base only. And with one development team, you save a significant amount of effort and time.

  • Performance

Flutter offers dynamic performance since it uses Dart, an industry-grade and performant programming language. Dart, effectively compiles into a native platform code for Android and iOS.

Flutter’s widgets minimize the requirement for collaboration between the mobile platform and the mobile application. These two factors’ combined effect results in a faster application startup.

  • Flutter’s rendering engine

Flutter deploys an engine, namely Skia, for supporting its framework onto a platform-specific canvas. Because of this engine, developers can conveniently launch built-in user interfaces on virtually every platform. Simply put, you need not adjust your user interface in order to transform it to a different platform, simplifying the development process hugely.

  • Intuitive platform-specific implementation

Flutter facilitates a range of OS-level, ready-to-use plugins rendered by Google including permission handling, GP coordinates, gathering sensor data, Bluetooth communication, working with credentials, etc.

Moreover, Flutter offers easy establishment of communication between Dart programming language and platform-native code through platform channels. This means you can integrate anything that a native app has with the Flutter app and enjoy the features.

  • Availability of complex, customized UI

Flutter’s biggest advantage is its ability to customize anything on the screen regardless of its complexity. Flutter makes the entire app development process versatile and flexible without adding to the workload. Manipulations, a transition of shared elements, transformations, clippings- Flutter lets developers perform these actions effortlessly. 

  • Documentation

Good documentation is offered by Flutter.

Conclusion

Both Xamarin and Flutter offer robust cross-platform application development features. They have many advantages as well. Consider your project requirements before selecting a development framework. 

FAQ

What is Xamarin?

Xamarin is an open source cross platform app development tool from Microsoft

What is Flutter?

Google’s open-source cross platform to build iOS/Android apps.

What are the differences between Xamarin and Flutter?

– C# is the programming language from Xamarin
– Dart is the programming language from Flutter
– Flutter is more popular than Xamarin
– Xamarin reuses more code than Flutter
– Both platforms are free to use


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