React Native Vs Xamarin. What to choose for cross-platform app development?

This is what you’re here for. Right? So let’s get right into the comparison between React Native vs Xamarin. By the time you finish reading this, you’d have a clear idea which reaches among these would be perfect for your cross-platform mobile app!

React Native vs Xamarin: Availability

React Native: React Native is undoubtedly the winner here since it’s an open-source JavaScript-based framework and available for both iOS and Android platforms.

Xamarin: Xamarin too, like React native is open-source, but it wasn’t always so. Additionally, React native’s developer community is much larger compared to the former, so it gets outmatched here.

Winner- React Native

React Native vs Xamarin: Technology used

React Native is a JavaScript-based framework, so it leverages one of the most popular, the most commonly used languages in web development. This also means that developers with hands-on experience in JavaScript can easily get into mobile app development with React Native. For business, most importantly- it means a huge amount of developer applications to choose from, and no shortage of skilled coders.

The Xamarin platform uses C# programming language along with the .NET framework. Having support from Microsoft also means that it can be used within the Visual Studio environment. That offers developers some nifty tools such as a rich editor, native platform integration and a decent set of debugging tools.

Winner- Let’s call a draw on this one

React Native vs Xamarin: Popularity

Since we are in the digital world, the best metric for measuring popularity would be online search trends. Here’s what I found when I analyzed Google search trends for React Native and Xamarin.

These search trends let us know what developers are looking to learn, or wanting to know about. They clearly tell me that people seem more interested in React Native as compared to Xamarin.

Winner- React Native

React Native vs Xamarin: Market Support

React Native: In a survey of over 90,000 developers by StackOverflow, React Native came to be the 6th most popular framework claiming 10.5% of the votes. It was also voted as 8th most loved cross-platform application development frameworks with a share of 62.5% of votes. Additionally, React Native was also voted as the 3rd most wanted framework with 13.1% of votes, and surprisingly also chosen as 11th most dreaded framework by 37.5% of developers.

Xamarin: Xamarin fares much terribly as compared to React Native in the above-mentioned Stack OverFlow survey. It was the 10th most popular cross-platform application development framework with 6.5% of votes, 4 ranks behind React Native. Xamarin was voted to be the 15th most loved framework with 48.3% of votes, once again 9 ranks behind its competitor here. With 4.9% votes, Xamarin secured the 11th position for the most wanted framework, yet again 8 positions behind React Native.

Most surprisingly though, Xamarin was considered the 5th most dreaded programming language by 51.7% developers. This time, it was 6 positions higher than React Native, but not exactly for a metric where one would want to rank at the top.

Winner- Without a Doubt, React Native

React Native: React native uses JIT (Just-in-time) compilation for Android app development. But for iOS apps, it has to directly interpret the JS code as Apple restricts execution of dynamically generated codes on its devices.

Xamarin: Things are a bit different in the case of Xamarin. The C# codebase of the framework makes use of JIT for android apps and has an even better alternative for iOS app development in the form of the AOT (Ahead-of-time) compiler for compiling managed codes. Since the AOT compiler is significantly better than JIT, Xamarin is the preferred choice for both iOS app developers as well as android developers as far as code compilation is concerned.

Winner- Xamarin

React Native vs Xamarin: Available Components

React Native: It offers a diverse range of available components with adequate documentation to help developers utilize them. These tools include those useful for testing, user interface, type checking, networking, forms among other needs.

Xamarin: Xamarin, too has a broad range of components available at the Xamarin component store. The store, in my view, is better than what React Native offers, albeit with scope for improvement in documentation.

Winner- A Draw

React Native vs Xamarin: Development Environment

React Native: It is highly flexible in this regard and allows developers to use the text editor & IDE of their choice. The best feature by far is the Live Reload feature which lets developers see the effects of changes made to the code in real-time.

Xamarin: Xamarin has the friendlier development environment as it lets developers write code on Windows and even on an iPhone app. Eventually, the code can be compiled on a Mac as Apple doesn’t let developers do so any other way. Xamarin also leverages Microsoft’s Visual Studio and Apple’s XCode for application development.

Winner- Xamarin

React Native vs Xamarin: Cost

React Native: Since React Native is an open-source project, developers and businesses can use the framework and its libraries at absolutely no cost.

Xamarin: Through the Xamarin platform itself is open-source and available for free, but using the Visual Studio comes at a cost for enterprise users.

Winner- React Native