In 2022, there are a variety of cross-platform app frameworks available, but Xamarin and Flutter are the best ones. In terms of maturity, Xamarin stands out, while Flutter boasts speed and is criticized for its still limited framework (at the time of writing). We’ll compare the two so that you can make a more informed choice.
An overview of Xamarin and Flutter
These days, there are several cross-platform app development frameworks available, such as Xamarin and Flutter. Teams can use these tools to develop an app for multiple mobile platforms at once. For the native feel, they develop the UI separately and share the majority of the code. After compilation, the project is turned into native code for the target platform.
The Xamarin framework makes it possible to develop cross-platform mobile applications. Microsoft purchased this open-source platform in 2016. Android, iOS, and Windows are the three main target platforms. While providing access to native APIs, it allows code to be shared between platforms.
Google created Flutter in 2017 as an open-source mobile UI framework. A native mobile application can be developed with this framework using only one codebase. It is possible to create apps for multiple operating systems using the same programming language and codebase.
Highlights of Xamarin and Flutter
- Dart and C#
For Flutter, the programming language of choice is Dart, and for Xamarin, it’s C#. Due to its long history, C# has more experienced developers. The Dart language is a more recent development and hasn’t been widely adopted yet.
- Application sizes and performance
There is very hardly any difference in performance between the two frameworks. We would need two identical applications to compare Xamarin vs. Flutter on performance grounds.
Since these frameworks are dependent on libraries to port their code over to native platforms, app sizes are bound to increase. Because of this fact, these apps will always be a bit larger than native apps.
- Frameworks’ architecture
For both iOS and Android platforms, Xamarin relies on C and Objective-C implementations of the Mono programming language. In addition to widgets and Material libraries, Flutter is written in Dart. Embedded code is written in the native language of the platform’s operating system.
Advantages and disadvantages of Xamarin and Flutter
- You can build native-like apps, like Android and iOS.
- You can test how the application is running and detect errors and bugs.
- By using forms, developers won’t need to learn all the native UI frameworks and will be able to design views more quickly.
- It can use a variety of libraries.
- You must understand the programming languages used in the systems.
- Native apps are smaller than Xamarin apps.
- Due to its time-consuming nature, Xamarin might not be the best option if you want to create complex applications.
- As compared to iOS and Android, the Xamarin community is smaller.
- Fastest cross-platform frameworks.
- A single developer can create and maintain an application on a variety of operating systems, which is ideal for start-ups.
- Changing the code and seeing the results (live) in the app preview is possible by using Hot Reload.
- You can create apps that look gorgeous thanks to beautiful, customizable widgets.
- It’s still a newly developed framework.
- As new features are implemented in iOS and Android, Flutter will reflect the changes later than they do in the native development kits for these operating systems.
- A library’s functions are not all free.
- Apps developed with Flutter have a large size, which is one of their major disadvantages.