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React Native vs Xamarin: Which Is Better?

React Native and Xamarin are great tools for mobile app development. Both of them are very popular.

But which one is better? Which one would be the right fit for your work? In this post, we’ll try to answer these questions.

This article will give you a concise comparison between the two frameworks. We hope you’ll enjoy it.

So let’s start!

Introduction to React Native and Xamarin

React Native: React Native is a great mobile app development framework developed by Facebook. It’s an open-source tool. You can build iOS and Android apps with it.

To build a React Native app, you need to code in JavaScript and React, so good knowledge of JavaScript and React is required. This framework was released in March 2015.

Official site: facebook.github.io/react-native

Xamarin: Xamarin is also an awesome mobile app development framework, which was developed by Microsoft. It’s an open-source software, which you can use to build Windows, iOS, and Android apps.

To build a Xamarin app, you need to code in C#. So good knowledge of C# is required. This framework was released on May 16, 2011.

Official site: visualstudio.microsoft.com/xamarin

Performance

React Native: React Native provides near-native performance. With this tool, you can build super fast apps. The official site may claim that it gives native performance, but keep in mind that true native performance can be achieved only with native languages such as Java, Objective-C, and Swift.

This framework allows you to use native code in your app, so you can build some part of your app using native code and the remaining part using React Native — the Facebook app is built in this way. Use of native code will greatly improve the app’s performance.

Xamarin: Xamarin also allows you to build high-performance apps. It uses platform-specific hardware acceleration to provide great app speed. So like React Native, Xamarin also gives near-native performance.

Development environment

React Native: React Native gives you a lot of flexibility. It lets you choose your own development environment. You can select any IDE/text editor for your mobile app development work.

The good news is that there are a great number of good IDEs and text editors available on the Internet, such as Atom, Sublime Text, Visual Studio Code, Nuclide, Vim Editor, GNU Emacs Editor, Deco IDE, and so on, so you can freely choose the one that you like the most.

Learn more about React Native development environment - React Native vs Xamarin battle.

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Xamarin: To build a Xamarin app, you have to work in Visual Studio. That’s the only option available, though there are other environments, however working with them is not easy.

So the only development environment that is appropriate for building a mobile app with Xamarin is Visual Studio. But keep in mind that it provides an amazing Integrated Development Environment.

Visual Studio gives you many useful tools, controls, and layouts that make your mobile app development work simple and smooth.

Learn more about Xamarin development environment - React Native vs Xamarin battle.

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Development speed

React Native: The Hot Reloading feature in React Native increases the development speed. Using this feature, you can save a lot of time because it lets you instantly reload your app without having to reload it.

So after making some modifications in the code, you don’t need to compile the code again. Simply hot reload the app.

Otherwise, there are many pre-built components in React Native which you can use to achieve a faster app development speed.

Xamarin: Development tools in Visual Studio speed up the development process. The controls and layouts save you a lot of time while building an app.

You don’t need to code the controls from scratch. Instead, you can simply use the available controls. And the Xamarin and NuGet plugins make your work a whole lot easier and save you loads of time.

Market share

React Native: React Native is used by many great companies and startups. The popular mobile apps that use this framework are Facebook, Facebook Ads Manager, Instagram, F8, Facebook Analytics, Skype, Pinterest, Bloomberg, Uber, Walmart, Tesla, Artsy, Chop, Discord, Vogue, and so on.

Companies using React Native - React Native vs Xamarin battle.

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Xamarin: Xamarin is also used by many great companies and startups such as Honeywell, slack, BOSCH, Cognizant, jetBlue, and so on.

Companies using Xamarin - React Native vs Xamarin battle.

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React Native vs Xamarin, what does Google Trends say?

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Community support

React Native: React Native has strong support from the developer community. There are a huge number of learning materials available on the Internet for React Native. So you can learn it easily using the online courses, tutorials, and videos available on the web.

There are a great number of blog posts and articles written about React Native. So if you want to know something about React Native, you can simply do a google search and you will find lots of articles and blog posts. For example, if you want to learn about its performance, google ‘react native performance’ and you will get a large number of blog posts and articles about it.

There are many development tools which you won’t find many learning resources for. But that’s not the case for React Native. There’s an impressive number of learning resources for this framework and the number is growing!

As of writing this post, Google gives 66,50,000 results for ‘React Native tutorial’.

React Native vs Xamarin, see which has bigger community.

Xamarin: Xamarin also has awesome community support. The number of learning materials such as online courses, videos, and tutorials is good enough for this framework.

Like React Native, a huge number of articles and blog posts have been written about Xamarin, too, and the number is growing!

As of writing this post, there are 58,00,000 results for ‘Xamarin tutorial’ on Google.

React Native vs Xamarin, see which has larger community.

While working on your project, if you can’t understand something or if you get stuck somewhere, you can always ask questions about Xamarin and React Native to experts on QA sites and forums.

For both the frameworks, there’s a huge amount of high-quality help available on the Internet.

So which framework is better?

Answering which framework is better is a tough job as both the tools are of very high-quality and both have been developed by big companies such as Facebook and Microsoft.

Instead of asking which framework is better, ask yourself which one would be the right fit for your work.

Take a close look at the comparison factors such as performance, development time, and market share, and decide which framework would work best for your business.

If your employees are experienced in JavaScript and React, choosing React Native would be a great idea, in my opinion, because your developers will be able to quickly grasp the concepts of React Native, and they will also enjoy the work if they love JavaScript and React.

On the other hand, if they love C#, selecting Xamarin would be a wise decision as they can quickly learn Xamarin and will love building apps with it if they’re passionate about C#.

This article gave you a quick comparison between React Native and Xamarin and I hope you found it useful.

Matt Warcholinski

Matt Warcholinski is the COO of Brainhub (a software house building awesome node.js web and mobile apps) who loves to build startups and play guitar.

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