Xamarin vs Ionic – Which is better?

Mobile app development has been flourishing at a phenomenal rate. Developing an application has now become the most essential thing for every company.

This advancement in app development has led to a tremendous opportunity for app developers to enhance their skill sets. But before indulging in the development process, every developer needs to know which app development solution is reliable and helps to create an app that works on various platforms. 

Given below are two of the most amazing app development frameworks, Angular and Ionic. Read through the features and advantages of both the industry-leading frameworks and then choose the one that suits your requirement. 

Key Takeaways

  • Xamarin and Ionic are open-source app development platforms
  • Xamarin uses C# codebase to build iOS/Android applications
  • Ionic apps are built on HTML, CSS, and JavaScript

What is Xamarin?

Xamarin is an open-source, Microsoft-owned app development platform comprising libraries, toolset, and programming languages used to create different applications. Apps built with Xamarin serve a variety of vital purposes that are delivered by native applications. Xamarin features Xamarin Studio that enables code compilation in C# while developing a native app. 

Moreover, Xamarin provides additional advantages including device-specific features. Top application developers employ Xamarin.Forms to convert components of application user interface in platform-specific interface elements while developing apps for Windows, iOS, and Android. 

Xamarin helps developers to build applications across Mac and Windows with A-class developers tools for the complete application life cycle. Also, this app development framework helps them integrate with native APIs, backend services, components, and more.

Organizations worldwide use Xamarin to create performant native mobile applications. And in case you face issues while learning this language, take help from tutorials, documentation, and free video courses.

Xamarin Core Features

  • API and UI integrations

This is probably the best way in which developers find Xamarin a useful app-building framework. Xamarin helps developers to integrate with the same UI and API controls to develop cross-platform applications. With this solution, developers can build additional features after introducing them on the respective device’s OS.

For developing an app in Windows, a programmer can use Windows 8 and Windows Phone offered through Microsoft Visual Studio. Also, programmers can share code between various platforms by using Portable Class Libraries and app architectures. 

  • Enjoy the advantages of C#

C# is an object-oriented and simple-to-use programming language. C# comes with a type safety feature, enabling developers to overcome typing errors while coding for the applications. C# offers intuitive syntax and eliminates the use of headers and pointers.

Moreover, developers can use periods in their codes instead of using reference operators and namespace. Xamarin enables code compilation in C#, which means developers can enjoy all the features offered by the C# programming language

  • Allow testing on various devices

Xamarin developers get the advantage of testing the built applications on various devices. Detecting and removing bugs will be a convenient task while operating with Xamarin.

Xamarin has performance monitoring capabilities that help developers to detect all kinds of performance issues. With Xamarin, apps will be easier to code with lesser bugs and typing errors. 

Advantages of Xamarin

  • Xamarin Test Cloud

With Xamarin’s Test Cloud feature, you can test all applications quickly and take them to unseen levels. Also, this feature lets you test applications on various devices.

Developers can deploy the incredible reporting system of Xamarin, pinpoint bottlenecks with it, and fix them in the shortest possible time. Xamarin Test Cloud is your answer if you are looking for flexibility while building native mobile applications. 

  • Visual Studio enabled Framework

Xamarin is equipped with Visual Studio, which means developers can build modern and powerful IDEs with this framework. This feature gives them the .Net/C# solution with which they can build incredibly performing, native binary code output to build high-performing applications.

Xamarin Visual Studio framework allows developers to manipulate other features like project template library, sophisticated projects, and code auto-completion to release new cross-platform apps within a week that looks and feels like native apps. 

  • Shared app logic

This is another notable advantage of using Xamarin. This feature allows developers to write code once and reuse it the number of times they want. This becomes possible because various components like app logic, data access, and business objects layers are shared across multiple platforms. Since you do not have to code from scratch, all you need to do is check the written codes are unique, and the rest will be shared.

  • An amazing component store

Xamarin is an incredible framework that offers an amazing collection of themes, graphs, UI controls, charts, and cloud services. This host of modern and powerful features allows developers to improve their app functionalities. This, in turn, contributes to the speed required to build an app. 

  • Go live within weeks

Since Xamarin works with a single code base, developers need not write codes differently for various platforms. They can code for once and use it to build apps that run seamlessly on various platforms.

Also, the developer only needs to have C# language skills. With all these features coupled with no learning curve, developers could build apps and go live within weeks. 

What is Ionic?

Ionic is an open-source user interface toolkit for creating high-performance cross-platform web and native app experiences.

It is a frontend HTML solution built on top of Cordova and Angular JS. With Ionic, developers can move faster while building an application with a particular codebase running on multiple platforms with the Web and JavaScript.

The pre-built UI components, a base theme, and typography of Ionic adapt on various platforms and look great on all of them. Ionic helps developers to share code, which solely means they need to write code once and can run them everywhere. Also, the developer-friendly toolkit helps you build, test, and deploy applications with the Ionic CLI. 

When it comes to developing mobile applications, the bar has been set high. Organizations expect lightning-fast, seamless, and secure applications that are fine-tuned to their expectations.

Delivering an application of that kind can really help their business grow. Developers who wish to deliver an app with these qualities can deploy Ionic. Ionic’s powerful services and tools help developers build stunning and lucrative mobile applications within minutes.

Ionic is developed to run fast on all devices. It allows developers to build blazing-fast applications with built-in best practices and a small footprint. 

Ionic Core Features

Following are the vital features of Ionic:

  • Angular JS– Ionic deploys a special architecture, known as Angular JS MVC to build single-page apps optimized for mobile devices.
  • JavaScript components– Ionic components extend CSS functionalities with JavaScript components to cover every element that cannot be done only with CSS and HTML.
  • CSS components– With the native feel and look, Ionic’s CSS components offer every element required to build a mobile app. Developers can conveniently accommodate their own designs with the component’s default styling and create user-friendly and lucrative applications. 
  • Cordova plugins– Ionic Cordova Plugins offer application programming interfaces required for utilizing native device operations with JavaScript code.
  • License– Developers of Ionic have released this framework under MIT license.

Advantages of Ionic

  • Developer-friendly

Developers can leverage the intuitive framework of Ionic and build customized web applications. It is less time-consuming and easier to use various components and design features of Ionic to build an app than initiating each app-building project from scratch.

Ionic’s developer-friendly community makes it a better working environment for programmers to build apps with shorter timelines. Moreover, Ionic uses a single codebase, working with which saves resources and time for developers.

  • Equipped with native compatibility

The hard-working developer community of Ionic is constantly working to build amazing Ionic APIs that work on various platforms. Ionic offers a rich library of plugins and components including UI components, frontend building blocks, and common applications icons. With these plugins, developers can connect to the APIs of a user’s phone like GPS, camera, Bluetooth without requiring to create custom integrations. 

  • Frontend agnostic

Ionic restricted the use of React and forced them to use Angular until recently. However, after thinking about the convenience of programmers, Ionic’s developer community made a massive change with Ionic 4 enabling developers to use any JavaScript framework. This has opened several opportunities for developers with all types of experiences to create apps with Ionic.

  • Fueled by develop-centric community

Developers of Ionic have made the framework freely available on various platforms. This makes Ionic an open-source platform. And since it is open-source, the developer’s community has embraced assisting each other, sharing ideas, and solving challenges. 

Xamarin vs Ionic Comparison

XamarinIonic
DescriptionOpen-source and free mobile app platform for creating native and high-performance iOS/Android applications.A frontend framework for building Android and IOS apps from a single code.
DeveloperMicrosoftIonic
Programming LanguageC#HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
Open-SourceYesYes
Date First Release20132013
PerformancePerformance is great on MobilePerformance is adequate on Mobile and best on Web apps.
PopularityAccording to Google Trends, Ionic is a slightly more popular search term.According to Google Trends Ionic, is a slightly more popular search term.
Popular AppsUPS
Alaska Airlines
BBVA
GE
Home Depot
Southwest Airlines

Conclusion

Now that you know about the features and advantages of two industry-leading app development frameworks, Angular and Ionic, you know which framework will work the best for you.

But before making a final decision, discuss with your team and go through the project requirements. Make sure the framework you choose fulfills your criteria for developing a market-ruling application.

FAQ

What is Xamarin?

Open-source and free mobile app platform for creating native and high-performance iOS/Android applications.

What is Ionic?

A frontend framework for building Android and IOS apps from a single code.

What are the differences between Xamarin and Ionic?

– Xamarin and Ionic are open-source app development platforms
– Xamarin uses C# codebase to build iOS/Android applications
– Ionic apps are built on HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
– According to Google Trends, Ionic is a slightly more popular search term


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