CHAPTER #3

React Native vs Xamarin: A Simple 5-Step Guide [2020]

Last Update

16 Nov, 2020

Reading Time

4 Min

Authors
Matt WarcholinskiCOO & Co-Founder
Linkedin Link
Marcin DrykaCTO
Github LinkLinkedin Link

Introduction

React Native and Xamarin are great tools for mobile app development. As of 2020, 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 and give you a concise comparison of React Native vs Xamarin.

Introduction to React Native and Xamarin

Learn the differences between React Native vs Xamarin.

React Native

React Native is a great mobile app development framework developed by Facebook and released in March 2015. It’s an open-source tool. It can be used to build iOS and Android apps.

To build a React Native app, developers need to code in JavaScript and React, so good knowledge of these technologies is required.

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

Xamarin

Xamarin is a mobile app development framework developed and released by Novell in 2011, and later acquired by Microsoft in 2016. It’s an open-source tool that can be used to build both Windows, iOS, and Android apps.

To build a Xamarin app, developers need to code in C#.

Official site: visualstudio.microsoft.com/xamarin

Performance

React Native performance

React Native provides near-native performance, meaning the apps built with it are fast.

The official site may claim that it gives a native performance, but keep in mind that true native performance can be achieved only with native languages such as Java, Objective-C, and Swift.

React Native allows developers to use native code, as a result, parts of the app are built with native code and the remainings with React Native — the Facebook app was built in this way. The use of native code greatly improves the overall performance.

Xamarin performance

Like React Native, Xamarin also gives a near-native performance. It uses platform-specific hardware acceleration to provide great app speed.

Development environment

React Native

React Native gives developers a lot of flexibility. They can select any IDE/text editor for their work.

There is 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, so they can pick whatever they feel most comfortable with.

Xamarin

To build a Xamarin app, developers have to work in Visual Studio. That’s the only option available. It provides an Integrated Development Environment and gives many useful tools, controls, and layouts that make mobile app development simpler and smoother.

Development speed

React Native

The Hot Reloading feature in React Native increases the development speed. Thanks to this feature developers can instantly reload the app without the need to compile it.

Beyond that, React Native offers many pre-built components that can be used to achieve a faster app development speed.

Xamarin

Development tools in Visual Studio speed up the development process thanks to pre-built controls and layouts. Additionally, Xamarin and NuGet plugins can be installed to make the work even easier.

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 more.

Xamarin

Xamarin is also used by many great companies and startups including Honeywell, slack, BOSCH, Cognizant, and jetBlue.

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 it can be learned easily using the online courses, tutorials, and videos available on the web.

As of writing this post, Google gives 13,700,000 results for ‘React Native tutorial’.

Learn the differences between React Native vs Xamarin - resources availability.

Xamarin

Xamarin also has great community support. Like in the case of 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 6,090,000 results for ‘Xamarin tutorial’ on Google.

Learn the differences between React Native vs Xamarin - online resources availability.

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

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

React Native vs Xamarin – Which 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 – Facebook and Microsoft.

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

Take a close look at the comparison factors like:

  • performance,
  • scalability,
  • learning curve,
  • development speed,
  • market share.

If your employees are experienced in JavaScript and React, choosing React Native would be a great idea, as they will be able to quickly grasp its concepts, and will probably enjoy working with it.

On the other hand, if your developers are more experienced with C#, selecting Xamarin would be a wise decision as they will be able to quickly learn it and feel more natural working with it.

Tip: If you’re considering other React Native alternatives have a look at other articles in the series by using the navigation arrows below.