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Flutter vs Xamarin: What’s best for Cross-Platform App Development 2021?

Introduction

Flutter vs Xamarin, over the years, cross-platform app development has been pervasive and emerged as a sought-after choice for businesses looking to rapidly deploy applications across multiple platforms. As cross-platform apps leverage a single codebase, the development process is drastically hastened and codes are inexpensive to maintain as they require no additional efforts to deploy and test codes across multiple platforms like Flutter vs Xamarin.

Flutter vs Xamarin

When it comes to Flutter vs Xamarin, while Xamarin is already a veteran SDK, Flutter has proved to be an emerging technology for cross-platform app development. The two cross-platform mobile application development tools offer a plethora of plugins and widgets which developers can leverage to build versatile and highly tailored applications for enterprises. The single source code in these SDKs is well-coordinated and helps with cross-platform application development (including plug-ins and extensions) that enhance the app’s scalability and functionality. We are here to resolve the much-debated desirability of these SDKs which many enterprises are often at the cross-hairs while developing cross-platform apps for their business.

What’s Good About Both

With its latest updates, Flutter allows for building apps that target mobile, desktop, web, and embedded devices from a single codebase. Flutter enables developers to reuse the native codebase across platforms with minimal changes. Flutter offers a variety of ready-to-use, plug-and-play widgets that enable faster customization for apps and eliminates the need for writing codes for each widget when developing cross-platform apps. Flutter is built upon the Dart SDK which promotes powerful architecture and design. Additionally, Dart offers simple management, integration, standardization, and consistency.

Xamarin offers the facility to closely mimic native apps without compromising their performance. The framework has an overarching development ecosystem to build mobile apps that includes C#, .Net, and Microsoft Visual Studio. Xamarin offers standard interface elements through its library of templates with the facility to reuse code and customization across different platforms. Xamarin Insights, a debugging feature on the platform, allows developers to track crashes and exceptions.

The Flipside to These SDKs

Flutter vs Xamarin

Flutter apps tend to be bulkier than those created on other cross-platform SDKs. This induces many limitations, requiring developers to reduce the number of libraries and packages used, compress images, and sometimes forgo animation to reduce the app. The framework doesn’t offer exhaustive native APIs demanding third-party packages and developers having to write native code that accesses the feature from within Dart code. In addition, Flutter is not supported by Continuous Integration.

Xamarin tools tend to be late in incorporating newly updated platform features. Since applications developed with Xamarin use libraries to translate C# calls into native calls, the apps are bigger in size than native apps. While Xamarin works exceptionally well for developing apps with a simple UI, building complicated applications with Xamarin can be cumbersome as developers are required to write intricate platform-specific codes. Xamarin’s framework has a centralized placeholder to describe the visual hierarchy of an application as well as a common navigation user experience.

Flutter vs Xamarin: How Does It Fare?

Here’s an in-depth comparison of both Xamarin vs Flutter’s key features.

Flutter

Xamarin

 

Flutter touts to have a superior native-app experience and communication speed compared to Xamarin. With Dart code compiled to a C# library, Flutter has a better app performance. Flutter also houses versatile widgets like navigation, scrolling, as well as fonts, thus saving a lot of app development time. Xamarin’s latest updates have features like Shell, Hot Reload, Hot Restart, and Visual that simplify and drastically reduce development time. Xamarin apps are laggard while handling heavy graphics as each platform has a different method for visually laying out screens.
While Flutter’s Dart language wasn’t initially developed for mobile apps, it is now well adapted for mobile app development. Owing to this, Flutter is a better choice when it comes to development languages. Xamarin uses .Net languages like C# and F# to write native platform code. The popularity and familiarity of C# Dart have the potential to improve developer productivity.
Flutter’s widgets are known to be non-adaptive Although it offers widgets for both iOS and Android developers have to instate a manual switch between both as Flutter’s widgets don’t automatically adjust styles based on the OS. Xamarin.Forms houses a comprehensive cross-platform UI toolkit consisting of native UI components for both platforms. Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android can be used for custom app UI and enhanced performance.
Flutter’s codebase is highly reusable. With one UI widget tree, developers can reuse the defined logic. Nearly 96% of Xamarin’s C# code can be reused by leveraging the development language. Xamarin’s form components make it a better option for code reuse.

Xamarin vs Flutter: SDKs How Trending Are These SDKs?

Stackoverflow’s 2020 developer survey found that Flutter is the third most “loved” framework with 68% of the surveyed developers developing with the technology and have expressed interest in continuing to develop with it. While Xamarin took the lower rungs in the survey.

Flutter vs Xamarin

According to Statista’s 2019-2021 survey, Flutter is currently the most popular cross-platform mobile app framework used by developers worldwide with 42% of the respondents preferring Flutter. Xamarin took the fifth spot with only 11% of the developers preferring the SDK.

Flutter vs Xamarin

Interest in Flutter has seen an unprecedented uptick since 2018 overtaking Xamarin. According to Google Trends in the Xamarin vs Flutter debate, interest in Flutter is currently nine times that of Xamarin.

Conclusion

Enterprises should align their choice of cross-platform app development with the functionalities that they want to achieve from the app product as well as the business goals. While both Xamarin vs Flutter are great SDKs for building cross-platform apps, Flutter has garnered a large user-base in enterprises that should align their choice of cross-platform development with the functionalities that they want to achieve from the app product as well as the business goals. While both Xamarin vs Flutter are great SDKs for building cross-platform apps, Flutter has garnered a large user base in recent years owing to its distinguished overall performance and the relative ease with which developers can learn the Dart language.

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