Cross-platform Development: React Native v/s Xamarin or Ionic

Cross-platform Development: React Native v/s Xamarin or Ionic

Anas Bouargane 01/06/2020 2
Cross-platform Development: React Native v/s Xamarin or Ionic

Most of the businesses are developing apps that should work on Android and iOS.

This is the main reason that people choose cross-platform solutions. You can always choose multi-platform development and can build the app having a small team and can release it quickly. There are so many cross-platform frameworks available online but it depends on you to choose the best one available.

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Which one is better - React Native - Xamarin - Ionic? Let’s read the full article to understand the three of them in detail.

What is Cross-Platform Development?

Cross-platform development can be defined as the practice of building software products and services for various platforms or software environments. Developers always use different ways to accommodate diverse operating systems or environments for any one product or app.

Rather than creating different versions of the app, you can opt for cross-platform app development that will efficiently run on all the platforms. Using the cross-platform development method, developers can use the same code and can deploy it on multiple platforms in one go.

Advantages of Cross-Platform Development

  • It supports a single codebase that developers can export to the various operating systems.
  • The single codebase that has been shared helps developers to provide the same look and feel and experience for all the platforms.
  • Cost-effective and helps in saving resources because only one developer’s team works on the app development instead of multiple teams.
  • Fast developments that save a lot of time.
  • It helps the developers to boost increase their market reach without making much effort.
  • Increase the chances of getting a huge number of downloads and users.

Disparages of Cross-Platform Development

  • Doesn’t integrate easily with respective platforms
  • Don’t have continuous communication among native and non-native elements
  • Decrease the speed of the app and lower down its performance
  • Several integrations and native-only features which are not available in cross-platform applications
  • Cross-platform development does not include all the features provided by each platform and hence developers can look for some other options
  • These modules need some time to get updated with the latest features and updates which are launched by these platforms.

Important Attributes You Need to Consider While Choosing Cross-Platform

  • Programming Language

React Native uses JavaScript which is the most popular, high-level and dynamic programming language.

Xamarin uses C# with .NET environment for developing iOS, Android and MAC applications.

Ionic makes use of HTML5, CSS and JS for developing and running applications and it needed Cordova wrapper for accessing native platform controllers.

  • Code and Performance

Xamarin suggests 2 different approaches for creating mobile applications and they are -

  1. Android and Xamarin.iOS
  2. Forma

React Native apps can share their JS code up to 80-90%. Its performance is a little close to native and it renders code components directly to the native APIs with the help of JavaScriptCore Virtual Machine for Android and iOS both. Also, React Native App Development Services allows Native iOS and Android modules which are written in Objective-C and Java.

Ionic make use of web technologies for renewing apps and it never uses native components while trying to replicate native behavior when using web technologies. For connecting the app with native APIs, Ionic makes use of Native Wrapper Cordova and adapts app behavior to the underlying platform.

  • Graphical User Interface 

Just like Xamarin uses two approaches, it allows developers to build the user interface in two ways i.e Xamarin.Android/iOS or Xamarin.Forms.

The modules of React Native communicate with native iOS and Android US controllers that enable user experience very close to native applications. ReactJS library with extensive UI components can streamline the whole UI development. This is the reason that React Native app development consists of many different UI components that are out-of-the-box like sliders, modules and buttons that help the app developer to work faster.

Ionic does not contain any native component and it renders everything in HTML and CSS. It uses Cordova for recreating native mobile app behavior. Also, it comes with new native-styled UI elements and layouts that were not present on the web earlier.

  • Coding, Building and Debugging

If you are working on Xamarin, then you would be required to install Visual Studio for developing, building and debugging applications. It is considered as the most famous and robust IED if developers are working with C# or .NET related projects.

Ionic uses visual Studio Code in it which comes free distributive powered by Microsoft. Developers will need to perform some kind of tricks for debugging from the Visual Code directly.

React Native is quite similar to Ionic concerning the coding and building process. Developers can make use of Visual Studio Code, ALM, WebStorm, Atom when setting up the same environment for debugging on a device and deploying to the app stores.

  • Market and Community 

React Native has the best recognition in the market and community. Its network of developers is growing vastly and has many experienced React Native Engineers. This helps to kick start any React project quickly and without much effort. It uses an amazingly popular library which is React the most important web development language i.e, JavaScript and delivers real native applications. These are the qualities that make it a strong and independent platform.

Ionic is considered as the second most popular framework after React Native. It helps developers to create native mobile applications in the fastest manner.

Xamarin is a quite popular framework and Microsoft is still putting much effort to grow the Xamarin community.developers working inside the Microsoft ecosystem can begin working with the innovation because of its active support.

  • Code Reusability 

React Native uses native components that are written in Objective-C, Java or Swift for enhancing the app performance. These native components can not be reused over any other platform. Developers will need to work for changing the particular database. You will need to accept these native components which are left of the codebase that can be re-used.

Xamarin does not need to switch in between the development environments. All types of Xamarin apps are built-in visual studio. You can reuse 96% of source code with Xamarin.forms that help in speeding the development process.

Ionic has an essential part in the app development process and i.e. its universality. No matter which OS you are working on, it will work the same for each of them. Some UI components need to be changed as per the rules dedicated by each platform and this will require extra efforts.

Popular Apps

Popular apps built using Xamarin

  • Storyo
  • Just Giving
  • The World Bank
  • Olo
  • Insightly

Popular apps built using Ionic

  • Amtrak
  • Boehringer Ingelheim
  • Panera Bread
  • AAA
  • National Health Service

Popular apps built using React Native 

  • Facebook Ads Manager
  • Bloomberg
  • AirBnB
  • Gyroscope
  • Myntra

Below is the list of some of the popular cross-platform software

  • React Native
  • Xamarin
  • Ionic
  • Flutter
  • Appcelerator
  • Adobe PhoneGap
  • Corona
  • Qt
  • Sencha
  • Unity3D
  • 5App

About React Native

React Native was launched by Facebook in 2015. There got a boom in the market for hybrid frameworks. Within just a few days of its launch in the market, it has become the most popular framework in the market among all other cross-platforms.

Below are some Pros and Cons of React Native

Pros

  • You can share 80% of its codebase across platforms which depends on the complexity of the app
  • It allows you to preview results instantly and offer ready-to-apply elements for lessening the whole development time
  • It has an awesome hot reloading feature that helps developers to see all the changes which were made in the code in just seconds when using native technologies
  • It focuses on UI to a great extent having a highly responsive interface

Cons

  • It is not a fully cross-platform app framework because for using some functions like accelerometer or camera, you need to make use of native components and there will be a separate code for iOS and Android.
  • React Native framework is not built n conjunction with Android or iOS as it lags behind the native platform.
  • When it comes to releasing the updates, it lacks consistency.
  • React Native has a fast speed of development but slow debugging process especially for Android.

Popular applications built on the React Native technology 

  • Instagram
  • Bloomberg
  • Pinterest
  • Skype
  • Tesla

About Xamarin 

Xamarin is an independent cross-app development framework which was launched in 2011 and was later acquired by Microsoft in 2016. Xamarin is an open-source framework that was specially launched for solving the disjointed native technology stacks problems that made mobile app development difficult and expensive.

Below are some Pros and Cons of Xamarin  

Pros

  • Xamarin app development makes use of C# for the coding purpose and it works seamlessly on an array of platforms the include Android and iOS.
  • It has a strong community of more than 60,000 contributors from around 3,700+ companies.
  • It can share 75% of its code across the various platforms that follow “write once, run anywhere” strategy.
  • It has a single tech stack for swift development.

Cons

  • Xamarin is an expensive framework when it comes to using by startups or individuals. Enterprises can buy a license for Microsoft’s Visual Studio.
  • It is not recommended for applications that demand huge and heavy graphics as each platform has an adverse method for visual laying out screens.
  • Xamarin offers limited access to some of the important libraries that app developers need for mobile app development.
  • Xamarin’s user interface is not mobile and that’s the reason the creation of the UI is time-consuming.

Popular applications built on the technology 

  • Fox Sports
  • Alaska Airlines
  • HCL
  • American Cancer Society
  • BBC Good Food

About Ionic 

Ionic an open-source cross-platform app framework which is licensed under MIT. Ionic uses HTML5 for translation and is very similar to AngularJs in the design and structure. Also, Ionic inherits a few design elements from Android and iOS. It gives you a full option for building native-like hybrid apps for iOS and Android and also for progressive web apps.

Here are some Pros and Cons of Ionic  

Pros

  • It is based on a SAAS UI framework that is designed specifically for mobile operating systems. It offers multiple UI components for creating robust apps.
  • The framework allows you to ship continuously i.e. from automating native builds to live updating and CI/CD, Ionic App flow addresses the whole mobile DevOps lifecycle.
  • Ionic is backed by a vibrant community that has more than 5 million developers in more than 200 countries.

Cons

  • If you want to go beyond the basic apps in that case the knowledge of AngularJS will help to do that.
  • The designing of in-app navigation is a little bit complex because of its complicated UI-router.

Popular applications built on the technology 

  • IBM
  • ING
  • SAP
  • NASA

Comparison Between React Native v/s Xamarin or Ionic

Cross Platform  

Credit: www.intuz.com

Conclusion 

It is difficult to decide the best cross-platform development among these three platforms i.e. Ionic, React and Xamarin. The three of them have their features, advantages, specialties, and profits of using them for mobile app development. It’s totally up to you that which cross-platform suits your app development need as per your business area.

Intuz had tried our best to portray all the details about these three cross-platforms. If you are looking for the best cross-platform development services, then you must find out the best company providing the top Android and iOS app development services using the React Native development services. Hire React Native app developers who are well-qualified and skilled to manage your project successfully. For more information, check this detailed guide on React native development.

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  • Scott Andrews

    Informative

  • Kelly Luther

    Good post

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Anas Bouargane

Business Expert

Anas is the founder of CEF Académie, a platform that provides guidance and support for those willing to study in France. He previously interned at AlphaSense. Anas holds a bachelor degree in applied economics from the University Paris Sud.

   

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