React vs Xamarin: What should you choose for your app?

Many businesses nowadays have moved towards hybrid mobile application development so as to develop an app that works both on iOS and Android. To achieve this, businesses have started resorting to cross-platform solutions. Multiplatform development will allow you to build an app with a smaller team, and also release it faster.

There are so many options available in the market today that it becomes important to understand the differences between various frameworks from a coding standpoint as well as an architectural perspective.

So what is better: React Native or Xamarin? Read on to find out.

Market & Community

React Native

The React Native developer community has been growing at an amazing rate. Probably much faster than Facebook anticipated. Till date, over 1.6K contributors have worked on the React Native codebase. In 2016, the React Native codebase was already seeing 50% commits from external users, and as many as 266 new pull requests every month. There has also been increasing interest in React Native, as observed on Google Trends.

Google Trends for React Native, Xamarin, and Ionic

One of the possible reasons for the huge popularity of React Native is that it uses Javascript, which is currently one of the most dynamic programming languages. The number of full-stack Javascript developers has also gone up, making it easy to hire a professional developer to build and maintain your app.

Airbnb, Walmart, Tesla, and Instagram are some of the popular users of React Native. There is also some amazing content out there that enables developers to migrate their applications to React Native. It also happens to be one of the most popular repositories on Github.

Xamarin

Xamarin is one of the oldest cross-platform frameworks. It has been around since 2011 and the Xamarin developer community has grow to 1.4M developers across the globe. Once Microsoft acquired it, they integrated it into their Visual Studio IDE.

Some fo the biggest companies in the world such as Slack, Siemens, Pinterest, and others rely on Xamarin.

Xamarin is most popularly used in enterprise environments wherein it has gained a lot of positive feedback over the years. Currently, more than 10,000 companies in the energy, healthcare, and logistics verticals use Xamarin.

Of late, according to the job portal Indeed, there has been a rising supply of Xamarin developers whereas not that many React Native developers. One reason could be that regular Javascript programmers can easily adopt the use of React Native and may not explicitly mention that on their resumes as there are already so many Javascript frameworks to talk about.

Indeed – Hybrid Framework Skill Trends

Competitor Landscape & Comparisons

You’ll notice some obvious differences between some of the top competitors out there to React Native and Xamarin. Here, we draw a comparison with Cordova and NativeScript as well.

Hybrid App Development Framework Comparison

Performance

Performance is a very important factor when comparing different hybrid mobile application development frameworks. Xamarin allows developers to run the fastest code on both Android and iOS. It fully supports 64-bit mode and has extremely fast UI components.

React Native, on the other hand doesn’t fully support 64-bit operations on Android. It clearly has some latency issues on iOS, but that may be due to some low-level optimisations that are promised in upcoming releases of React Native. However, designing UI is extremely elegant with super fast native widgets under the hood.

Scalability

Xamarin provides some amazing integration at the OS level with existing components. It also provides a full set of widgets along with native look-and-feel. React Native doesn’t necessarily provide native look-and-feel however it may be manually configured to do so. For this reason, we strongly believe Xamarin is more scalable than React Native.

React Native vs Xamarin: Conclusion

While both frameworks are individually amazing, it really boils down to the specific project requirements which will ultimately determine which framework to use. However, having compared both of these tools, from a long-term maintainability perspective, React Native seems to be a clear winner with Xamarin not trailing far behind.

If you’re developing some enterprise applications with speed-critical components, you want to use Xamarin. It is not only extremely fast, but also a more complete framework when compared to React Native.

Hope this was of some help to you. If you have any questions or want to discuss your project idea to understand which hybrid app development framework to use, do get in touch with Teqsense. Our expert consultants have more than three decades of cumulative experience in building amazing experiences for startups and enterprises alike.