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Flutter vs React Native vs Xamarin for Cross Platform Development

Nataly Palienko
12th Dec 2018
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Cross platform app development frameworks allow you to run the same code on different operating systems. In this article, we examine why you might choose developing cross platform mobile apps over native development, technologies for cross-platform development, and how these technologies compare to each other.

Namely, we compare Flutter vs React Native vs Xamarin — three of the most popular mobile app cross platform frameworks. We want to consider their structure, tooling, and the kind of applications you can develop with them.


Why choose cross-platform development?

Cross-platform development tends to get a bad rap for a number of reasons. Until very recently, there weren’t any adequate technologies for cross-platform development, and the ones that were available simply weren’t good. They limited developers’ abilities and took a serious toll on application performance — sometimes so much so that the hassles of cross-platform development could no longer be justified.

But despite the drawbacks, people continued choosing cross-platform development over native development because it can offer a number of benefits:

  • Shortened development cycle. With cross-platform development, it’s possible to share up to 96% of code across several platforms. Naturally, this results in a much shorter development cycle: instead of developing two separate apps you only develop one, then share that code among operating systems, making platform-specific adjustments as necessary.


  • Cost efficiency. Cross-platform development is undoubtedly cheaper: you pay fewer developers for fewer hours of work, and for many startups that seals the deal.


  • Smaller team. Cross-platform development requires fewer developers because you don’t need to hire separate teams with iOS and Android-specific knowledge.
  • Simplified testing process. A smaller code base needs fewer tests and allows QA engineers to spend more time on each element of the application, resulting in higher quality test coverage.


Cross platform mobile development comparison

As you can see, it’s not difficult to explain the need for cross-platform development. Now let’s review the capabilities of Flutter, React Native, and Xamarin.


Xamarin


SOURCE: PUBLIC DOMAIN


Xamarin is a cross-platform framework with C# and native platform libraries wrapped in a .NET layer. The technology consists of three main components: Xamarin Platform, Xamarin Cloud, and Xamarin Insights.

Xamarin Platform is considered the most important element of Xamarin, offering APIs, controls, runtime engines, encryption, authentication, virtual machines, and much more. Xamarin Cloud provides an automated testing platform for assuring your product’s quality on a variety of devices. Xamarin Insights is a monitoring tool that helps developers track application crashes and exceptions.




React Native


SOURCE: PUBLIC DOMAIN


React Native is an open source mobile development framework for cross-platform mobile development. It allows you to develop iOS and Android applications with JavaScript and a handful of native component APIs.






Flutter


SOURCE: PUBLIC DOMAIN


Flutter is considered the best tool for cross platform mobile development. It’s developed and supported by Google. Flutter uses Dart and a collection of native widgets to create stunning cross platform apps.



Mobile application development platforms comparison





Now that you’re equipped with all the information you need, you can determine the best way to develop cross platform mobile apps in your case. You can choose either Flutter, Xamarin, React Native, or a native mobile app development framework.


Develop a cross-platform application with SteelKiwi

If you want to know how to develop cross platform mobile apps that perform well, you’ve come to the right place. We can give you more insights on Xamarin vs React Native vs Flutter. We’re already developing a number of mobile applications with Flutter and are proud to share our expertise with Flutter mobile development.

Contact us today to start discussing your application idea.

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