Cross-platform development is the hottest topic in technology. Many companies are choosing hybrid frameworks over the native framework. With its increasing popularity, the cross-platform domain has seen a massive surge in the number of frameworks in the market. Determining which option is appropriate for a given cross-platform development project becomes challenging.
However, in cross-platform development, Flutter and Xamarin are the popular frameworks. Xamarin has been around for sometime and has an air of maturity, but, Flutter is a relatively new platform that Google backs.
This blog will dive deep into each framework and compare Flutter vs Xamarin. Thus, it helps the business choose the best mobile app development.
What is Flutter?
Flutter is UI (user interface) toolkit with an open–source framework for developing cross-platform and mobile applications. Google develops the framework to deliver high-performance and quality services for android, iOS, Windows, Mac operating systems, and Linux. It was launched in 2017 and offered robust, efficient, easy, and simple SDK to write a mobile application in Dart – Google language.
However, since its release, it has been in high demand. Its in-built widgets are an added benefit in Flutter, and it is a built-in UI toolkit and does not require from third – party. Flutter framework also includes a hot reload feature that allows the developers to see the changes without restarting the app. Flutter is extremely fast in rebuilding the entire structure, providing engine rendering in every alteration.
What is Xamarin?
Xamarin is a software company that offers software development tools to the user for building applications using C #and .NET frameworks for iOS, Android, and Windows. However, the application built on the .NET framework is run smoothly across multiple platforms. Since Microsoft owns Xamarin, tech organizations can’t immediately upgrade the features of upcoming Android and iOS updates.
Although the Xamarin app looks similar to the native, and the UI look can’t be designed to look like native forms, a portal-specific code can be added to achieve native UI. There are two ways to build a user – interface using original native methods to build UI and including Xamarin forms. These forms are used to build UI for multiple platforms at once and almost have 100% code sharing if these are selected over Native UI technology.
Features of Flutter Framework
1. Application Execution Speed
The application execution speed is affected while creating different versions of different applications, and it affects the performance. However, the outcome derived from the such tool is below expectations. But with the Flutter framework, which uses its components, the load and execution time is reduced, leading to the most native quality obtained for published apps.
2. Simplified and Agile Development
The ideology of Flutter is its agility provided to the developer. With the help of widgets, it is easier to create appealing elements while creating the software. Thus, the outcome will be high quality compared to Android and iOS versions. With the “hot reload” option in Flutter, it becomes easy to view the changes made to code, and with immediate feedback to the development option, there is an increase in productivity.
3. Google Support
Google will enhance its full support, and its vibrant and active community will provide solutions making the best use of the tool. Flutter documentation is easy, even for beginner or expert programmers.
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Features of Xamarin Framework
1. Language Constructs
The Xamarin applications are written in C#. C# is the latest language developed for improving Objective C and Java. The changes made are functional constructs like Parallel programming features, sophisticated generics, dynamic features, Lambdas, and LINQ.
2. Mobile Cross–Platform Support
Xamarin offers cross-platform support to three leading mobile platforms iOS, Android and Windows. Thus, the mobile library in Xamarin provides a unified API to access common resources across platforms. Usually, resource access reduces the development cost and marketing time for developers targeting famous mobile platforms.
3. Java, C, C++, and Objective – C Interop
All these languages are directly invoked in Xamarin. Thus, it gives the power to users to select from a wide array of third–party codes which is previously created. However, existing iOS and Android libraries are written in Objective – C, C, C++, and Java.
Important Article: React Native Vs Flutter – The Best Choice to Make in 2021
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Flutter vs. Xamarin: Which is Better?
It is a good idea of how flutter and Xamarin will stack up individually, but it is time to compare Flutter vs Xamarin directly.
Architecture is significant in gathering all the elements of cross-platform applications. Also, determine how easy it is to work with any framework. Thus, an adequate structure is crucial to roll out critical updates in the future.
The structure of Flutter is designed organically at the same time. However, its essential elements are built into the Dart framework; thus, communication with native modules is not required. Pre–implemented structures like Material design and Cupertino include technologies for creating applications.
Xamarin has a mono atmosphere to use in iOS and Android. The mono is a mixture of elements that will provide a smooth experience. For instance, in Android, it runs along with Android runtime, and in iOS, it uses Objective – C runtime and Linux kernel.
API includes all the libraries and tools developers use in the application development process.
It offers all the apps to create an intuitive application. However, it also allows the developers to access third-party libraries to enhance the application quality. Some of the components offered by Flutter are API access, state management, navigation, and testing.
Microsoft has taken a prominent role in providing proper documentation and API support to Xamarin. The developer can currently use Xamarin to build iOS, Mac OS, Watch OS, and Android apps. This framework has an extensive library of elements and modules that support the development process.
03. UI Components
The application’s User Interface Components make it easy for users to use and navigate. These components are critical factors in improving user satisfaction.
Flutter’s main benefits are revealed in the famous phrase, “All about widgets.” Flutter can be used with Xamarin to create cross-platform apps, but Flutter has its widgets. This allows unique beauty apps to be created using a wide range of customizable widgets. Many interaction models and layouts and navigation and animation support are available.
Do you prefer to use your interface components or to find them easily? Xamarin Native vs. Flutter has built-in systems. You can find the documentation on their official website. Your components may not be as brilliant, but they are there.
04. Code Reuse
Cross-platform application development is fundamentally based on code reuse. It is a crucial factor to be aware of when choosing a cross-platform application development framework.
Flutter allows you to write code that is common for both platforms. However, it also provides for platform-specific differences. You must write much platform-specific code for your Flutter app to succeed on all platforms.
On the other hand, Xamarin prides itself on allowing developers to reuse up to 90% of their application code Xamarin. The form makes code sharing easy with packages like it.
05. Support and Ecosystem
When choosing between Flutter vs Xamarin, it is essential to consider community support. It includes learning resources for beginners and a commonplace to discuss ideas and issues.
Out of all frameworks; Flutter has extensive communities and languages built around it. Google docs are extremely friendly, and a tremendous amount of content is available on public sites and forums like Stackoverflow to consider for help on demand.
Community support for Xamarin is minimal. While Microsoft offers some free Xamarin courses and learning ways to help you initiate, the content level needs to be up to Flutter’s standards.
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Comparison Chart of Flutter vs. Xamarin
In the chart explains the leading difference between Flutter and Xamarin:
|Definition||Flutter is an open-source, cross-platform UI toolkit that allows building quick, beautiful compiled applications for web, mobile, and desktop.||Xamarin is open – a source and cross-platform mobile development app for Android, iOS, and Windows. It enables the developer to create one and reuse it everywhere.|
|App Size||It is significant because it uses large business app binaries.||
Its binary size is relatively small; thus, the app is also tiny.
|Documentation||The framework is well–organized and informative of all available information.
|It has a rich set of documentation and development APIs for developers. It offers support to multiple in comparison to Flutter.|
|User Interface||Flutter has an excellent user interface in comparison to iconic.||Its interface could be better because it offers everything in HTML and CSS.|
|Cross–Platform features||The common codebase and simple for various platforms.||Custom control and providers must implement the same advanced UI elements on multiple platforms.|
Both Flutter vs Xamarin is used to create a Framework. It would be wrong to draw any conclusions about any of these. Each framework has its pros and cons. Xamarin has been around since its inception and is well-maintained and used in multiple projects. However, it’s best suited for cross-platform use if the project is long-term.
Flutter is a promising platform for tech enthusiasts, but startups should carefully consider its features. If the company has an outdated tech stack, moving to flutter with a larger budget is the best option for rapid growth. You should now be able to confidently choose your leader after reading this article. If you’re still unsure, then iTechnolabs can always help you decide.