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“Don’t need to be cross-platform if no one uses other platforms”
How clearly someone has described the need for cross-platform frameworks in this techie world! Mobile App Development has become the easiest way to thrive in your business in this aggressive market. Although, it’s the toughest thing to find and develop an app for a platform for the right audience from the approx 3.5 billion mobile phone users of the world population. Plenty of smartphone companies are there, and so the Operating Systems, your target audience may use iOS, Android, or else. To target audience on multiple platforms with developing a single app, cross-platform app development is a boon for all.
Unlike the early days, people used to target only a single platform, but what about the other platform? As a developer or business owner, you have to take care of both the platforms, right? However, you can opt for native development for each platform, but that will come with a price. Yes, developing a native app for both platforms can be quite costly. That’s when you can opt for Cross-platform app development.
As to develop the Native application, there are specific programming languages like Java, Kotlin for Android and Objective C, Swift for iOS, cross-platform app development has its framework to write the code and deploy on various platforms. Click to discover the top 10 cross-platform App Development Frameworks.
In this article, we’re going to dive in-depth analysis, and the difference between Flutter and Xamarin, you can also consider it as a Flutter vs. Xamarin Comparison in 2020. This Xamarin vs. Flutter Frameworks debate removes all delusions developers and entrepreneurs have for these cross-platform frameworks.
|Introduced||Dec 2012||May 2017|
|Owned by||Microsoft (from 2016)|
|Compilation||iOS-AOT/Android- JIT&AOT||AOT & Dart VM (Virtual Machine)|
|Platform support (Stable)||Android, iOS, UWP||Android, iOS|
|Platform with Technica||MacOS, Tizen, GTK#, WPF||Web, MacOS|
|Code Reusability||Up to 96%||Up to 80%|
|Performance||Almost Native||Close to Native|
|UI Components||Native UI Components||Built-in Customize UI components|
|Community Support||Limited||Strong Community Support|
|Price||Open-source/ for commercial rate- from $499 up to $2999||Absolutely open-source|
|Heavy graphics & animation||Poor||Moderate|
|Used by||BBC, Fox Sport, World Bank||Google AdWords, Google Greentea, Alibaba, Tencent, Hamilton Musical|
Google created an open-source cross-platform that was first announced in 2017 later on released the 1.0 stable version in Dec, 2018. Flutter has released five stable versions to date, including the latest one Flutter 1.12 released in Dec, 2019, during the Flutter Interact 2019. With the specialty of Code once and Deploy twice phenomenon, Flutter altogether sidestepping the Native platforms.
Despite being a cross-platform framework, Flutter is potential enough to provide the platform-friendly performance and look like a native app on both iOS and Android operating systems. Other cross-platform frameworks also provide the code reusability, but none of them can like Flutter does and this characteristic boosts the entire process for Flutter App Development Company to develop a cross-platform app.
In simpler words, you can create significant applications for multiple platforms with a single codebase. Since the inception of Flutter, it has been improved and it has become a blessing for app developers.
Xamarin is a mature cross-platform framework than Flutter. The cross-platform framework founded in 2011 by the developers who created Mono later on acquired by the Microsoft in 2016. Xamarin is also an open-source app cross-platform development tool that used to build native Android and iOS apps. The latest version of the framework is Xamarin.Forms 4.5.0, released by Xamarin-release-manager on 26 Feb, 2020. The latest release consists of new capabilities to optimize the Xamarin cross-platform app development, new handful platform-specific UIs, and more with over 50 fixes that can enhance the productivity of Xamarin Development Company and developer.
On the other hand, Xamarin uses a quite popular and widely used by developers programming language C#. With .NET integration and C#, Xamarin can develop highly native apps for iOS and Android without using any single line of Swift or Java code. Moreover, Xamarin uses XAML- eXtensible Application Markup Language, to let the developers define the user interfaces in Xamarin and that also increases the code reusability up to 96% with their native, clean, and simple UIs.
Read Also: Flutter Vs. React Native Comparison
To install the Flutter SDK on your PC, you can download the binary for a specific platform from GitHub. In the case of macOS, you need to download any stable flutter build and update the path variable. Your development environment must have- OS -macOS (64 bit), and 2.8 GB Disk Spcase (exclude IDE/tools). Installation documents and steps are there for each operating system on the Flutter’s official website.
Xamarin can be installed as a part of the Visual Studio (new Visual Studio 2019) IDE installation, after installing the Visual Studio 2019 Community, Visual Studio Professional, or Visual Studio Enterprise from the Visual Studio page, install Xamarin SDK for iOS and Android. You’ll barely find any documentation or resources for setting up and using Xamarin without Visual Studio. Though, there a few steps available on its official site to get started with Xamarin to develop cross-platform apps with Visual Studio.
Flutter is free from restriction to a specific Integrated Development Environment. The developers are set free to choose between Android Studio, IntelliJ IDEA, or Visual Studio Code to develop Flutter cross-platform apps. Besides, these all IDE options are absolutely free of charge, and to set up an IDE is a piece of cake.
Xamarin is profoundly relies on Visual Studio IDE, which is quite difficult to undertake with the concept of VS Code or similar IDE if the developer is from non-Microsoft stack. Furthermore, the framework comes for free as a part of the .NET platform, and a commercial project needs to buy a license of the Microsoft Visual Studio IDE.
Unlike Xamarin or any other cross-platform framework, Flutter SDK uses its built-in widgets rather than native UI components. Flutter lets the developers create beautiful apps using UI out of a large library of customizable widgets. Besides, it involves the UI components, API access, Navigation, testing, interaction models, layout, and a huge libraries with animation and motion support.
The Microsoft SDK uses native UI components and as it supports more platforms than Flutter such as iOS, Android, Forms, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, etc., that let it have lots of UI components and modules to offer developers. The official site of Xamarin also consists of separate documentation for developing individual components right from the stack layout, button, pop-ups to the database.
Performance & Native Experience
The Google SDK Ui kit Flutter has advantages of reusing code, and as it uses the Dart programming language that compiles source code into native code, the app gets a touch very much like a native app. On the other side, it has an interesting feature of Hot Reload that helps the developers to make as many changes as required and directly inject at the runtime without recompile the entire app. The feature further contributes a lot to increase the productivity within developers.
The Xamarin Profiler has numerous tools to analyze the performance and clarify the meaning of the data presented on the iOS and Android Applications. The framework uses native components for UI designs and runs native codes directly on the smartphone hardware that results in the performance of nearly to native applications.
Putting all things together, Flutter and Xamarin, both proven successful cross-platform frameworks to create magnificent mobile apps. In Flutter vs. Xamarin, we saw the youngest, nevertheless, promising framework of the cross-platform app development, Flutter is cornering the market of other cross-platform frameworks. This comparison can use as the reference purpose, but the decision which one to choose possibly vary from project to project, and to hire Flutter Developers or Xamarin, it is all up to the specific requirement and preference.
Principal Mobile App Developer