Although Google’s Flutter is a newcomer, it is already creating a buzz in the IT industry. Being an easy to use open source framework, Flutter is used for building cross platform mobile applications. Many developers as well as users thought that Xamarin is the king of cross platform industry, but Flutter is expected to change the whole scenario. Comparison between Xamarin and Flutter began back in 2015 when Flutter was introduced by Google, but as the beta version was released recently, developers all over the world are weighing the pros and cons of both the frameworks.
In this blog post, we shall discuss some of the major factors to compare both the platforms Xamarin and Flutter:
1. Development productivity
Developer productivity is the major key to build apps faster. It is important to focus on app development without facing any hassles or distractions.
Xamarin comes with a lot of modules and great development API. It depends on Visual Studio IDE. As Xamarin makes use of AOT compilation for iOS and JIT/AOT for Android, UI changes may take some time. Developers can make use of the online resources to resolve such common issues.
Flutter has the hot reload feature that makes it easier for the developers to build demo app. With the growing complexity of apps all over the world, developers need to learn and adopt new Flutter concepts to build future-ready solutions. Dart isn’t a common programming language and there would be a lack of support for several IDEs and text editors that you may have to learn.
2. Community Support
Most of the mobile app developers look for community support while developing cross platform apps for the users. As soon as a new technology or framework is out, developers build a community to share knowledge and help each other if they are stuck anywhere with the development process.
Xamarin has a large community of developers spread all over the world. This cross platform has community forums where developers can discuss the issues and problems with each other. Xamarin also has a Twitter handle for all the Xamarin related events. A few conferences are held such as Xamarin Developer Summit to discuss and talk about the latest techniques in this platform.
Flutter has been around a while, but it has gained a lot of popularity since its inception. Google promoted this platform back in the Google I/O Conference in 2017 and since then, it is growing rapidly at a lightning speed. Flutter organizes a lot of conferences and meetups online to provide developers with the relevant information and solve common issues.
3. Testing Support
Writing tests is a great way to get quick feedback on the code. There is always a testing framework associated with every mature technology to allow developers to create unit, integration and UI tests for their apps.
Xamarin supports all the different types of testing in Visual Studio itself (Example: Unit tests and UI tests). It also has its own cloud test environment to run tests. It supports third party testing also.
Flutter offers a rich set of testing features to test the apps at widget, unit, and integration level. It has great documentation for testing apps. Flutter comes with a cool widget testing feature to test the UI and run them at the speed of unit tests.
4. Price/Open source
Although Xamarin offers a lot of cool features that enticed the users since the last many years, it comes with a few limitations. Xamarin does not offer some native features such as 3-D Touch, Force Touch, and more. On the other hand, Flutter is an open source and offers great control to the developers over the code for building apps.
|Programming Language||C# (.NET)||Dart|
|Installation||Visual Studio (Xamarin SDK)||Binary download from source|
|UI components & development API||Mature components||Rich in components|
Who wins the race?
Though Flutter is a new comer in the industry, the future looks bright and shiny. With great flexibility, IDE features, and widget availability, this framework definitely has a bright future. We can’t predict the future as of now. Let’s wait to see which platform: Xamarin or Flutter wins the race for cross platform app development. It’s no secret that Flutter has entered the market very strongly and it’s all set to make revolutionary changes to the cross platform mobile app development industry.