Developing a new app for your business is definitely a great move to take a company to new heights of success. However, among the plethora of mobile app development platforms to choose from, the task becomes a bit tedious.
Cross-platform mobile development is highly regarded owing to the numerous benefits it brings along as compared to native app development. In this blog post, we will compare the top three Cross-platform mobile development platforms Flutter Vs React Native Vs Xamarin to help you make a better decision when going for app development.
The Current State of Mobile App Development
The total number of mobile apps in the market is increasing day by day. The figures and statistics are indicative of the same.
As OF Q4 2019, THERE ARE 1.8 million apps are available on the Apple App Store while a whopping 2.5 million are available on Google Play Store.
Moreover, the total number of mobile apps developed for Apple App Store over the past 10 years and the total apps projected for the coming years can be seen in the figure below:
It can be noticed that while the total number of active apps in 2015 was 1.7 million, the figures more than doubled in 2019 at 4.6 million.
Continuing at this pace, it can be estimated that the figures may even touch 6 million by the year 2022.
The Good & Bad of Cross-Platform Mobile App Development
Cross-platform mobile app development brings along a host of benefits that are otherwise missing in the native development methodology.
On the other hand, there are some shortcomings too that make cross-platform development slightly less effective as compared to native development. Let’s take a look at both of these –
Flutter Vs React Native Vs Xamarin – Core Differences
Flutter, React Native and Xamarin rank among the top three cross-platform mobile app development frameworks. Let’s analyze the pros and cons of each of these relative to one another.
A highly popular open-source framework for cross-platform mobile app development, the Flutter framework is highly popular among front-end developers.
The framework allows code re-usability from 50-90% besides providing amazing user interfaces. It utilizes Dart for high-quality application development.
“Google AdWords, Google Greentea, Alibaba, and Topline are some popular apps built using Flutter”.
- Complete Development Ecosystem: Due to the availability of pre-built widgets, CLI tools, and APIs.
- Easy Customization Options: Allows creating new widgets or customizing the existing ones.
- Cost-efficient: Open source hence free.
- Hot Reload: Allows quicker bug fixes, easily build UIs, and add features.
- Large app size: This prompts developers to reduce the number of libraries and compress images to make necessary adjustments
- An average Flutter app is 4.7 MB in size which is quite large compared to an Android native app starting typically from 1 MB.
- Native API: As many native APIs are not provided, third party packages may be required
Built by Facebook in 2015, React Native is another popular cross-platform mobile app development framework.
The use of native UI controllers ensures an amazing GUI and hence an app experience close to native apps with React Native. It even allows 90% of code re-usability overall.
“Facebook, Facebook Analytics, Facebook Ads Manager, Instagram, Uber Eats, Tesla, Skype, and Pinterest are some apps built using React Native”
- High-quality user interface: Due to native UI implementation, apps look like native apps
- Faster development time: Due to the availability of ready-to-use UI components
- Native Functionality Access: Camera, accelerometer, etc., available
- Cost-efficient: Open source hence free
- Not-so-seamless navigation
- Complex animations and transitions hard to achieve
- Comparatively slower running apps
It is the oldest cross-platform mobile app development framework that brings along a host of pros and cons when it comes to mobile app development.
The framework allows code re-usability up to 96%. Getting started with Xamarin is easy as the framework enables building the UI in two ways by utilizing-
- Xamarin.Android Quick Start or Xamarin.iOS Quick Start
While the first approach is comparatively slow, it guarantees a native look & feel.
“Storyo, Insightly, FreshDirect, and The World Bank are some apps built using Xamarin”
- Native-like app performance
- Complete cross-platform app development framework
- Free for small-size teams
- Delay in updates: As new updates to the platform take some time to reflect in Xamarin tools, issues in the app
- performance may arise
- Quite a large app size compared to native apps
- Developing complex applications is time-consuming
Pick a Framework that Perfectly Fulfills your Business App Requirements
All of the three frameworks mentioned above come with their fixed set of pros and cons. They have delivered some outstanding apps as is visible from the popular apps developed using the individual frameworks.
While React Native and Flutter are good from a cost-efficiency perspective, Xamarin excels in terms of seamless user experience.
Here’s a brief of the overall differences between the three frameworks –
Developers and businesses can have their separate set of criteria for platform selection.
While businesses can shortlist the platforms from the overall ROI and app experience perspective, developers can focus largely on ease of coding and building high-end apps in a shorter time frame.
Now let’s come to the conclusion then, which of these three frameworks is best for cross-platform mobile app development?
The winner is… Flutter. Irrespective of the few cons Flutter has, it is indeed quite a robust framework that allows building beautiful native apps ensuring a high-end performance.
This Google Trend graph (Dec 2018- sep 2019) is an evidence of Flutter’s increasing popularity.
It clearly indicates how increased interest in Flutter as a preferred cross-platform mobile app development framework has left behind Xamarin and React Native.
Though Flutter emerges as an excellent framework among the three, you can choose the framework depending on your precise business requirement. Alternatively, an experienced cross-platform app development company can also guide you in this regard.
You can discuss your project scope & budget with the company to get a recommendation on the best framework to pick.
You can opt to hire Flutter developers, Xamarin developers, or React Native developers from ValueCoders if you want the best timely delivered product. We’re a reputed cross-platform app development company, and trust me, this isn’t bragging! Our 99% client-retention rate is evidence of the trust we have gained from businesses such as yours over 15 years.