With the growing popularity of mobile apps, small and large business owners are building applications to engage the audience. iOS and Android are the most popular mobile app development platforms. Developers target both of these platforms to reach more users. Cross platform mobile applications are the need of the hour. Developers need to write a single codebase and apply it across multiple platforms. Sharing the code helps to save a lot of time and money.
There are several tools in cross platform solutions marketplace. Some of the common ones are Xamarin, Kotlin Native, React Native, Unity, Ionic 2, and Cordova/PhoneGap/Titanium.
We’ll discuss Xamarin – the most popular and competitive player in the field of cross platform app development and Flutter- Google’s new player.
Xamarin and Flutter Frameworks Overview
There’s no doubt that Xamarin is the top open source cross platform development technology. Being run by Xamarin, it uses C# language to build applications for iOS, Android, and Windows. It has been a favorite choice of most developers and users across the globe. The developers should possess some knowledge about iOS, Android and Windows along with C# to develop feature-rich cross platform apps using Xamarin.
Flutter is a popular open source and free cross platform tool by Google that is used to build high-performance native mobile apps. This framework uses Google’s Dart programming language along with the light C++ engine. Flutter offers APIs and SDKs for simulation, 2D rendering, gestures, and painting also.
Flutter and Xamarin Comparison
Google unveiled Flutter in 2015, and a beta version was launched in 2018. Since then, it is being used by the developers and organizations all over the world. Flutter has its own UI components and an engine to build amazing applications. As it uses DART, an ahead-of-time (AOT) language, it allows the apps to communicate with the native platform. Developers can build complex applications without affecting the startup times and performances. It has unique widgets. Flutter implements Skia – an open source 2D graphics library. Although it is young, it competed with Microsoft cross platform mobile framework Xamarin.
Xamarin is one of the oldest players in the market that is used in enterprise environments. As it has been around since a long time, it has a large community of supporters. If you are skilled in C# and .Net, Xamarin development can be the perfect solution for building apps. Xamarin is suitable for only logic code sharing but not a good fit for User Interface code reusing. Using native modules is not advisable with heavy graphics or animation.
Xamarin or Flutter – Which one to choose?
Developers who are new to cross platform mobile development can choose Flutter as it is likely to become a hot trend in the coming few years. Startups trying to establish their presence in the market can opt for Flutter to release mobile apps for multiple platforms. As startups have to deal with limited time and budget, Flutter can be helpful. Xamarin is more mature in several ways. Complex and long-term projects usually use Xamarin.
Cross platform app development is no child’s play. No matter what framework you choose, one needs to be very careful while developing the mobile app for various platforms. Check the limitations of each framework and make the right decision.