Both Xamarin and Flutter are important stakeholders in the all-important cross-platform mobile app development market. Before Flutter came into the market, another important player was React Native since Flutter came into the market it has made rapid strides and is now a very important player.
To cope up with the demand for building apps for iOS and Android, which are two different sets of technologies, cross-platform solutions became a necessity.
|Open Source Framework Developed By Microsoft||Open Source Framework Developed By Google|
|Supports Android, iOS & Windows Devices||Supports Only Android & IOS Devices|
|Large Community Base||Relatively Smaller Community Base|
|Use C#, XAML Programming Language||Use Dart Programming Language|
|No Concept of Hot Reload in Xamarin||Supports Hot Reload|
Flutter is from the stables of Google, a name that speaks for itself and needs no introduction to anyone even remotely connected with mobile and computers. Since 2017, Flutter has been making rapid strides and is scaling newer heights every day. Although Xamarin was created in 2011, it was acquired by Microsoft in 2016 and was made a part of Microsoft Visual Studio.
Dart has an easy to follow documentation procedure. Since Xamarin has been using C# since its inception, which is also a popular language, therefore transformation to the cross-platform app is smooth only for C# developers with Xamarin.
Choosing the technical architecture is an important task for developing a cross-platform mobile app. Since Flutter uses the Dart framework where most of its components are inbuilt, much larger, it is much easier to communicate with native modules. With Cupertino and Material design, it is much easier to develop mobile apps with Dart.
The Skia ++ engine used by Dart has all the requisite compositions and channels. On the other hand, Xamarin has a mono execution environment as well as Swift runtime support, which still has much to be answered. Xamarin is not compatible with Kotlin, which is an official runtime for iOS and Android apps development.
The basic criteria of installation procedures should be that it should be smooth, straightforward, and can be easily grasped by the new developers. Flutter is a winner in this regard, as one has to just download Flutter zip file and add it as a path variable in case of macOS. One can download the binary from GitHub and install Flutter. In the case of Xamarin, installation and its usage are not easy to know other than Microsoft Visual Studio.
As is the normal procedure, setting up requires a whole lot of installation and configuration. More the guiding documentation, it is easier to get on board faster. Setting up Flutter is much easier. Flutter Doctor is a marvellous CLI tool that inspects which ones need to be configured and which ones need to be installed in the local machine. Only after the command is happy a new Flutter app is created.
Furthermore, the IDE set up, the platform has a clear guide regarding iOS, and Android, Once the setup is over Flutter app can be installed without any hindrance. Xamarin is from the stable of Microsoft and any developer who does not know Microsoft Ecosystem will run into rough weather, as Xamarin is fully dependant on Visual Studio. Further m for IOS and Android, Xamarin requires separate configurations.
A native component is the most important factor in the development of cross-platform mobile apps. Flutter framework has loads of components giving it an edge to its nearest competitors. The items are device API Access, UI rendering components, navigation, testing, stateful management along with widgets for Cupertino and Material design.
All these give a real boost to the developers for rendering UI in iOS and Android platforms. Xamarin also has documentation for developing components and is compatible with multiple platforms.
This is a key factor in building and structuring the apps faster. Flutter has tons of reload features and is very easy to get started. Moreover, like the nitty-gritty of the apps increase, developers can find ways and means to learn the tricks of the trade. Xamarin, being dependent on Microsoft Visual Studio, developers from the non-Microsoft stack will have quite a tough time handling the concepts of the code or any other IDE. Moreover, C# will take much more time to learn.
Community support is very important in the case of app development. Developers within the communities can help each other and if any issues crop up before development. After Flutter was promoted by Google its community spread has grown everywhere with regular meetings, virtual conferences at all.
Only two years back one of the major events, Flutter life was organized. Flutter community is growing every day at a fast pace. Xamarin too has a community base globally being one of the oldest cross-platform frameworks, but the rate of growth of the Flutter community is mind-blowing.
Testing is very essential to get faster feedback on the code and to have UI Tests for the apps. Flutter has an extraordinary set of testing features to test at the unit, widget, and integration levels. Flutter has a solid guideline of widget testing and full-stack testing which are the latest in the industry. Xamarin too has all types of testing features like UI tests, unit test, and Cloud test environment. However, all these tests are within the Visual Studio purview only.
For the ultimate consumers, the size of the app and the binary are of immense importance as the preference will always be for the apps, which, consume lesser disk space. Xamarin apps are initially consuming lesser disk space but when they are bundled before release, they tend to occupy larger space. There are no codes and performance optimization done before being sent to the end-users.
It is always a cumbersome task to deliver the apps to the Play Store or app store before it is used by the end-users. A lot of code signing and configuration is required. The hassles escalate when it comes to cross-platform app development. Codemagic is the official CI/CD solution to Flutter dedicated exclusively and specifically to Flutter apps.
Developers can thus work with lesser configuration making their jobs a bit hassle-free. On top of that, Flutter has documented the deployment process officially and has an excellent command-line interface. Compared to that, the process of Xamarin is fully dependent on Microsoft Visual Studio configuration. Clearly, Flutter has the winning edge.
Flutter is a clear winner as far as the performance is concerned, more so because of its Dart engine and the reload features which miles ahead of its competitors are. Flutter is developed openly and is open-sourced. Developers can have control over the code also as it is open.
What comes out is Flutter although being a newcomer has already reached a greater height and it will do more so in the future in comparison to its nearest competitors.
We, at Rlogical, deliver bespoke cross platform mobile applications for your business, without burning a hole in your pocket. We offers the option to hire a dedicated Flutter App Developers team to bridge the extended IT talent demand-supply gap through a team of seasoned professionals with domain expertise.
Jatin Panchal is Founder & Managing Director of Rlogical Techsoft Pvt. Ltd, a custom web & mobile app development company specialized in Outsourcing Web Development Services, Android, iOS and IoT App development.
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