Flutter vs React Native vs Xamarin: Which is the best choice for 2019?

Flutter vs React Native vs Xamarin: Which is the best choice for 2019?

In 2019, Flutter vs React Native vs Xamarin has been a burning question that is in the list of every app developer and app owner amid of developing an app. So, let’s take the deep-dive into the comparison of the latest cross-platform app development to choose the best one in 2019 and ahead!

Originally published by Sophia Martin at https://towardsdatascience.com

As every one of us assonant with one point in mobile app development — “The Platform Makes The Massive Difference“. There are numerous app development frameworks available like Flutter, Xamarin, and React Native in the market for the two famous Operating Systems used in mobile technology - Android and iOS. Often, the app owner finds it a little difficult to opt for which hybrid app development for Android and iOS.

So possibly if you have landed on this page, I assume you are at six and seven between the different frameworks and platforms.

While doing the homework, I come upon the most common queries of businesses and app developer that are pocketed below:

  • Which is better Flutter or React Native or Xamarin at the performance?
  • What is the difference between React Native and Flutter and Xamarin?
  • Is Flutter Better than Xamarin?
  • Flutter Vs Xamarin Vs React Native — What to choose in 2019 for the best cross-platform app development platform?

By the end of the blog, you will be sure to select among Xamarin vs React Native vs Flutter the right app development platform for your project. So, let’s take the deep-dive into the comparison of the latest cross-platform app development to choose the best one in 2019 and ahead!

1. Xamarin Vs React Native Vs Flutter — Popularity Check (The Latest Trends By Google Analytics & Stack Overlay)

Synopsis: React Native is a popular choice as per the Google Trends in comparison to Xamarin and Flutter.

The cross-platform app development framework is popular as it allows to run the same code on varied development platforms. After every half-year, the position fluctuates and a new one pops up. But, React Native and Xamarin have been a popular choice in the race for quite a long.

# Stats 1 According to the Stack Overflow survey:

React Native is the most loved choice followed by Xamarin. Without any doubt, React Native has gained immense popularity since its inception. The drift occurred between August 2015 to September 2016 and it sailed well through the gigantic waves.

Image Source

#Stats 2 The Untold Story Of Google Analytics says:

React Native was far behind Xamarin in the most popular choices till 2017.

But with exponential growth, React native urged to come back in the competitive world with advancements and has made it to the topmost position in the list of the cross-app development framework. Moreover, with the pool of professionals and experienced cross-app developers, India is popularly known for the place to hire mobile app developers for your project.

Image Source

Although, it is clear that React Native is the most loved and downloaded platform in 2019. But, it is not about just being the best here, there are a lot of other factors that decide the best framework, especially for the app development solutions.

2. Xamarin Vs React Native Vs Flutter — A Quick Sneak From History To Introduction

Before we dive deep into the specific details of their design, library, and tools, let’s have a quick rundown of what is Xamarin, React Native and Flutter.

  • Xamarin: Xamarin is a prominent choice among developers and the reason behind it is — “ Seamless Functionality”. Launched in 2011, Xamarin offers code re-usability and sharing codes with other platforms while giving access to native API’s. Simultaneously developers are delivered with platform-specific functions like native apps.

This cross-platform app development framework relies on the C# programming language that performs wonder for well-known platforms — Android, iOS, and Windows.

  • React Native: It is an entrusted yet trending as the best software development solutions in India based on Javascript. It creates genuine, robust, and natively rendering mobile apps for both the famous platform — iOS and Android.

It is dependent on React, i.e Facebook’s Javascript for creating UI’s, opposing the browser and targeting the mobile platform. Earlier, it was solely developed by Facebook for iOS but lately, it’s available for the Android version also.

  • Flutter: Flutter is the new entrant in the space, that allows simple yet continuous cross-platform app development. It is a free and open-source platform based on Dart — a responsive, Object Oriented language which is primarily easy to learn.
It has its own specific gadgets that are particularly drawn with its own rendering motors. They are tangible, dynamic, and alluring. Its architecture is based on nowadays popular choice “Reactive Programming”.
3. Xamarin Vs React Native Vs Flutter — Top Use Cases

The cross-platform app development is the first choice among the best mobile app development companies in India. Without any doubt, cross-platform is reinventing the app development landscape exponentially.

These platforms are used by numerous organizations from big B’s to startup in the digital space.

Now, it’s time to look at some popular mobile apps that are established on cross-platform app development approach React Native Vs Flutter Vs Xamarin:

React Native: A colossal number of apps are using React Native from hot new startups to established companies. Curious to see what an app can accomplish with React Native, check out on the below apps.

  • Since its inception, it’s used for maintenance and coding Of Facebook Ads Manager and analytics, accompanied by some other Facebook products.
  • Skype, a famous communication tool for video calls and chats.
  • Pinterest, a social web and mobile application popularly known for discovering ideas for what you love.

Xamarin 7 years of existence has grown into 1.6 million developers across 120 countries with Microsoft acquiring it to make it a part of its visual studio environment.

Being a versatile mobile app development platform, Xamarin accelerates in almost all niches developers worked on. Below are some of the top apps used in various categories.

A sci-fi based action RPG that welcomes you to wield an extraordinary weapon to fight against a futuristic city.

  • PictureX (Photo & Video)
  • JustGiving (Health & Lifestyle)

It is a fund raising platform with motive of creating good things around 164 countries and raising $ 3.3 billion for the cause they are supporting.

The world bank survey application expands its capabilities on digital devices and mobile. Basically, it consists of a mobile app, a survey tool, server software for data collection and survey management.

The biggest challenge for the World Bank team was to create on-device data storage that consists of question lists, survey data, etc. Developing the app in Xamarin and visual studio, World Bank managed to build an app to organize surveys on various mobile platforms confidentially.


Flutter is the top choice for the best mobile app development companies in India, Google and developers around the world too.

Here in, I have clutched apps made with Flutter:

  • Google Ads

It helps you keep your Google Ads campaign running smoothly irrespective of where your business takes you.

  • Google Greentea

“ Google Greentea “ is an internal customer management app widely used by Google sales to offer rich visualization for keeping a track of the sales target.

  • Alibaba

Benchmarked as the world’s biggest online commerce company, used Flutter to create and curate an ever-lasting app experience for Android and iOS app with 50M+ downloads.

4. Xamarin Vs React Native Vs Flutter — Performance Analysis

Flutter ranks top among the list with 75.4% and React Native following with 62.5% among the most loved Framework.

Image Source

Something to not wear a cold-shoulder is that React Native has been in the race for a long duration and a huge number of mobile applications are developed on it from the past few years. Whereas, Flutter is just a year old and has been the talk of the digital space, its performance bespoke.

Do you have benchmarks comparing the performance of Android and iOS apps developed in Xamarin c# and Javascript?

  • Xamarin : Its performance is comparable to native mobile applications, which makes it a go-to option for developing the high-performance app with native outlook and feel.

From the technical perspective, Xamarin with native libraries wrapped in DOT.NET for cross-platform app development. Adding on, Xamarin can leverage all native and the latest API’s access to utilize the lurking potential in Xamarin apps such as ARKit for iOS and Android-Multi Windows.

  • Flutter : There is general notion that Flutter delivers better performance than React Native and Xamarin. But, this is not any misconception, indeed it is because Dart code is compiled with native machine code, therefore eliminating the need for Javascript bridge.
  • React Native : React Native based applications usually have an issue with rendering large datasets, because they are dependent on Javascript bridge. Thus, improving the speed of an application with the help of third-party libraries can be a considerable option, but not enough to beat Flutter in the competitive race.
5. Xamarin Vs React Native Vs Flutter — Community Brace

Developing a user community as well as providing direct brace and direct communication with customers is the right ingredient to see how big the pie is. Especially I am talking about the fanatics who spend their life online.

So, to start with let’s take in account Xamarin Vs React Native.

Image Source

  • Xamarin : A major part of developers support already exist. A behemoth assistance can be found through website, forums, and communities. As a surprise, according to Github the number of repository, users, and contributors are half that to React Native.
  • React Native : Still a toddler in the framework industry. There is developer support but are lagging in-depth knowledge sometimes turns as the biggest challenge. As per Reddit, React Native has a large community of around 10k users.

Whereas, according To Google Trends, the most searched cross-platform mobile app development are Xamarin and React Native with a subtle difference. While React Native was mostly searched in China, Vietnam, Hong-Kong, and Israel, and Xamarin was the top-choice in Saudi Arabia, Mexico, South Africa, and Italy.

  • Flutter: While Flutter is the newbie in the field of the best software development solutions in India but has gained a lot of attention in the Google I/O conference in 2017.

The biggest event “Flutter Live” took place in December 2018, aiming to grow rapidly and solve all the common issues with the right resources.

6. Xamarin Vs React Native Vs Flutter — The Diameter Of Framework
  • Xamarin: Xamarin supports the implementation of two common architectural models — MVC (Model View Controller) and MVVM (Model View View Model).

Model View View Model is useful for developing different processes with the same code base whereas, Model View Controller can define the difference between presentation and application logic, therefore, accelerating the app development process. So, if you are an ASP.NET wizard then this is your thing.

  • React Native: React Native supports the modularity of the applications that authorize mobile application development code to be differentiated in various blocks. It works on the modern and one-way data flow provided by React.
Thus, if you are on tap with the latest Javascript, undoubtedly proceed with it.
  • Flutter: Flutter Apps framework size are too big. Sometimes, it leaves developers frustrated when the file size of the hello world app reaching 6.7 MB. Even after minimizing to 4.7 MB, it remain still bigger than many other.

For a clear vision, Flutter core engine takes upto 2.7 MB+ space of the framework and app code which makes app binaries a bit heavy in size.

Lately, there are numerous packages available for Flutter, including HTTP request, image processing tools, various network protocol clients, WebSocket connections, embedded databases as well as push notifications to sensors and cameras.
7. Xamarin Vs React Native Vs Flutter — Research Curve

The process of stage setting for the developers to utilize the new framework does take time. It needs lots of configuration of software installation and similarly have to be sure the technology have proper documentation to get user up and running.

  • Xamarin: Xamarin is solely dependent on Visual Studio and the Xamarin SDK. However, make sure to hire software developers that are well-acknowledged with VS Code and can get up early and match the pace. However, Xamarin requires a different configuration for iOS and Android — Xamarian, iOS, and Xamarin.Android.

However, the Xamarin getting started guide for Android and iOS describes the onboarding process for new developers as it is solely dependent on Visual Studio. So, if the developer isn’t from the Microsoft backdrop, it probably means a larger learning curve to get acquainted with Visual Studio and learning Xamarin SDK.

  • Flutter: The getting start guide for Flutter includes comprehensive information on IDE (Integrated Development Environment) and platform setup for both — Android and iOS. On top of all, Flutter consist of a CLI tool called Flutter doctor which help to sail well through the entire process. It looks after the installed tools on the local machine and the tools that are needed.
Once the Flutter doctor command is contented, you can move up for the next flutter app. When the setup is done, you can walk to a new flutter app through CLI easily.
  • React Native: Taking a look at the latest Google trends, React Native is growing exponentially in popular trends whereas Xamarin remains stagnant. As per the trend, React Native is a bottleneck for the best mobile app development companies in India to lead as the best app development technologies.

Nevertheless, Xamarin vs Flutter vs React Native in 2019 conclude a neck to neck competition to the two most talked technologies of town. Besides this, the graph is a crystal representation of the diminishing trend.

8. Xamarin Vs React Native Vs Flutter — Tangibility
  • Xamarin: Xamarin is extremely flexible for the development of an app. You can also use the new Xamarin.forms to create enterprise apps for iOS, Windows phone, and Android with 100% shared C# code.

As an option, the mobile applications developer creates bespoke UI for each platform with a 70–80% shared code.

  • React Native: React Native is flexible. As it is component-based, it allows a huge amount of modularity. It’s only a view library that makes it the best mobile development solution that can be paired with any other library or framework of your choice.
Besides, it’s Javascript!

Its one of the most tangible libraries out there, but using it rightly is the biggest challenge.

  • Flutter: Flutter is also flexible. As easy to install and coding on low-end machines. Along with this, there is no more need to worry that the Operating System would not be able to manage Flutter.

Quit the contrary, Flutter doesn’t need a powerful machine.

And, while we are talking about Flexibility, we should not forget “Hot Reloads”. One of its great kinds of Flutter things is a hot reload. Developers can see the changes they have made to the code at the same instant.

It just takes seconds to see the change, the team quickly add on features, fix the bugs and experiment. Thus, no more lag time to see the changes you have made.

In The End… What I have concluded after in-depth research and comprehensive reading about Xamarin vs Flutter vs React Native comparison are wrapped in below 4 mentioned points.

React Native in the current scenario has steady growth, impeccable code structure, and great community support with a good adoption base for developers.
Flutter has great potential for mobile app development.
Xamarin code written in C# can be ported to iPhone and Android app development both without any hassle.
Xamarin and React Native offers the best diameter of a framework, learning graph and marks the top place in the popular choices for mobile app development technologies.

Hopefully, after finish reading the exclusive comparison analysis, you must be clear about Xamarin Vs Flutter Vs React Native — which framework is right for you.

Thanks for reading

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Further reading

☞ Flutter: Adding Bluetooth Functionality

☞ Let’s Develop a Mobile App in Flutter

☞ React Native Web Full App Tutorial - Build a Workout App for iOS, Android, and Web

Angular 9 Tutorial: Learn to Build a CRUD Angular App Quickly

What's new in Bootstrap 5 and when Bootstrap 5 release date?

What’s new in HTML6

How to Build Progressive Web Apps (PWA) using Angular 9

What is new features in Javascript ES2020 ECMAScript 2020

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React Native Tutorial - Build Android and iOS App from Scratch

React Native Tutorial - Build Android and iOS App from Scratch

React Native Tutorial - Build Android and iOS App from Scratch. Getting started tutorial on building an Android and iOS app from scratch using React Native. React Native is a modern Javascript framework backed by Facebook that use to make Mobile Apps (Android/iOS) development easier for Javascript developer. In other words, React Native is React.js mobile apps development version.

A comprehensive step by step tutorial on building Android and iOS app from scratch using React Native

A comprehensive getting started tutorial on building an Android and iOS app from scratch using React Native. React Native is a modern Javascript framework backed by Facebook that use to make Mobile Apps (Android/iOS) development easier for Javascript developer. In other words, React Native is React.js mobile apps development version. For more information about React Native definition, features, etc, you can find in their official documentation.

Shortcut to the steps:

  • Install React App Creator and Create A React Native App
  • Add Navigation Header and Home Screen
  • Load World Cup 2018 Data from API
  • Display List of World Cup Matchdays
  • Display World Cup 2018 Matchdays Details
  • Run the React Native World Cup 2018 App

In this React Native tutorial, we are creating an app that listing the World Cup 2018 matches using the free open public domain football data for the world cups in the JSON format.

The following tools, frameworks, and modules are required for this tutorial:

  • React Native
  • Node.js (NPM or Yarn)
  • Worldcup JSON data
  • Android Studio or SDK for Android
  • XCode for iOS
  • Terminal (OSX/Linux) or Command Line (Windows)
  • Text Editor or IDE (We are using Atom)

Before start to the main steps, make sure that you have installed Node.js and can run npm in the terminal or command line. To check existing or installed Node.js environment open the terminal/command line then type this command.

node -v
npm -v
yarn -v

That's the Node and NPM or YARN version that we are using. In this tutorial, we will use Yarn commonly.

Install React App Creator and Create A React Native App

The Create React Native App is a tool for creating a React Native App. To install it, type this command in your App projects folder.

sudo npm install -g create-react-native-app

Then create a React Native App using this command.

create-react-native-app reactWorldCupApp

That command will create a React Native app then install all required modules. The app or project folder will contain these folders and files.

Next, go to the newly created React App folder.

cd reactWorldCupApp

This React Native App is running via Expo app, before running on your Android or iOS device, make sure you have to install the Expo App to Android or Expo Client to iOS. Of course, that app is available in the App Store. So, we assume that you have installed the Expo App in your device then type this command to run the app.

npm start


yarn start

You will see this barcode and instruction in the terminal or command line.

To open the app in the Android device, open the Expo App first then tap on Scan QR Code button. Scan the barcode in the terminal or command line then you will see the React Native Android App like this after waiting for minutes the build process.

For iOS Device, press s from the keyboard to send React Native App URL to your Email or SMS. Enter your phone number or Email address (We use an email address) then press Enter. You will get this email to your mailbox.

Choose open in Expo URL then open in your browser, that will be redirected to Expo App. In Expo App welcome screen, shake your phone to open the React Native App. Now, you will see this screen in your iOS device.

This step for development purpose, we will show you how to build for production at the end of this article.

Add Navigation Header and Home Screen

Above generated React Native App just show blank app with plain text. Now, we will show you how to add the Navigation Header and Home Screen for your app. So, it will look like the Native App. In the terminal or command line type this command to install React Navigation (react-navigation) module.

yarn add react-navigation

Next, create a folder for components and React Native components files in the root of the app folder.

mkdir components
touch components/HomeScreen.js
touch components/DetailsScreen.js

Open and edit components/HomeScreen.js then add this React Native codes.

import React, { Component } from 'react';
import { Button, View, Text } from 'react-native';

class HomeScreen extends Component {
  static navigationOptions = {
    title: 'Home',
  render() {
    return (
      <View style={{ flex: 1, alignItems: 'center', justifyContent: 'center' }}>
        <Text>Home Screen</Text>
          title="Go to Details"
          onPress={() => this.props.navigation.navigate('Details')}

export default HomeScreen;

Open and edit components/DetailsScreen.js then add this React Native codes.

import React, { Component } from 'react';
import { Button, View, Text } from 'react-native';

class DetailsScreen extends Component {
  static navigationOptions = {
    title: 'Details',
  render() {
    return (
      <View style={{ flex: 1, alignItems: 'center', justifyContent: 'center' }}>
        <Text>Details Screen</Text>
          title="Go to Details... again"
          onPress={() => this.props.navigation.push('Details')}
          title="Go to Home"
          onPress={() => this.props.navigation.navigate('Home')}
          title="Go back"
          onPress={() => this.props.navigation.goBack()}

export default DetailsScreen;

Next, open and edit App.js then add replace all codes with this.

import React from 'react';
import { StyleSheet, Text, View } from 'react-native';
import { createStackNavigator } from 'react-navigation';
import HomeScreen from './components/HomeScreen';
import DetailsScreen from './components/DetailsScreen';

const RootStack = createStackNavigator(
    Home: HomeScreen,
    Details: DetailsScreen,
    initialRouteName: 'Home',
    navigationOptions: {
      headerStyle: {
        backgroundColor: '#f4511e',
      headerTintColor: '#fff',
      headerTitleStyle: {
        fontWeight: 'bold',

export default class App extends React.Component {
  render() {
    return <RootStack />;

When the files are saved, the Expo app will refresh the React Native App automatically. Now, the app will look like this.

Load World Cup 2018 Data from API

To load World Cup 2018 data from API, open and edit components/HomeScreen.js then add constructor function before rendering function.

  this.state ={ isLoading: true}

Add function for load API JSON data which the JSON response set to the dataSource.

  return fetch('https://raw.githubusercontent.com/openfootball/world-cup.json/master/2018/worldcup.json')
    .then((response) => response.json())
    .then((responseJson) => {
      // console.log(responseJson);
        isLoading: false,
        dataSource: responseJson.rounds,
      }, function(){


    .catch((error) =>{

The response from API holds by dataSource variable that will use in the view in the next step.

Display List of World Cup Matchdays

We will use the List and ListItem component of React Native Elements (react-native-elements) module. First, install react-native-elements using this command.

yarn add react-native-elements

Open and edit again components/HomeScreen.js then replace all imports with these imports of React, Component (react), StyleSheet, ScrollView, ActivityIndicator, Text, View (react-native), List, and ListItem (react-native-elements).

import React, { Component } from 'react';
import { StyleSheet, ScrollView, ActivityIndicator, Text, View  } from 'react-native';
import { List, ListItem } from 'react-native-elements';

Next, replace all render function with this React Native rendered template which the ActivityIndicator load only if the state status is loading. The list that gets from the data source displaying to the ListItem after mapping the array of the data source.

render() {
      <View style={styles.activity}>

    <ScrollView style={styles.container}>
          this.state.dataSource.map((item, i) => (
              leftIcon={{name: 'soccer-ball-o', type: 'font-awesome'}}
              onPress={() => {
                this.props.navigation.navigate('Details', {
                  matches: `${JSON.stringify(item.matches)}`,

Add style const before the export code.

const styles = StyleSheet.create({
  container: {
   flex: 1,
   paddingBottom: 22
  item: {
    padding: 10,
    fontSize: 18,
    height: 44,
  activity: {
    flex: 1,
    padding: 20,
Display World Cup 2018 Matchdays Details

We will display World Cup 2018 Matchdays Details in the DetailsScreen. Open and edit components/DetailsScreen.js then replace all imports with this.

import React, { Component } from 'react';
import { StyleSheet, ScrollView, View } from 'react-native';
import { List, ListItem, Text, Card } from 'react-native-elements';

Next, replace all render function with these lines codes.

render() {
  const { navigation } = this.props;
  const matches = JSON.parse(navigation.getParam('matches', 'No matches found'));

  return (
      <Card style={styles.container}>
          matches.map((item, key) => (
            <View key={key} style={styles.subContainer}>
              if(item.group) {
                  <Text h3>{item.group}</Text>
                <Text h3>{item.team1.name} vs {item.team2.name}</Text>
                <Text h5>{item.date}</Text>
                <Text h4>{item.score1} - {item.score2}</Text>
              if(item.goals1.length > 0) {
                item.goals1.map((item2, key2) => (
                  <View key={key2}>
                    <Text h4>{item2.name} ({item2.minute})</Text>
              if(item.goals2.length > 0) {
                item.goals2.map((item3, key3) => (
                  <View key={key3}>
                    <Text h5>{item3.name} ({item3.minute})</Text>

Add StyleSheet const before the export code.

const styles = StyleSheet.create({
  container: {
    flex: 1,
    padding: 20
  subContainer: {
    flex: 1,
    paddingBottom: 20,
    borderBottomWidth: 2,
    borderBottomColor: '#CCCCCC',
Run the React Native World Cup 2018 App

To run the application in Expo App, you can find in step 1 of this article. If there's no error found, you will see the result like this.

Next, to run or build as the Native App, type this command to install React Native CLI first.

sudo npm install -g react-native-cli

Next, eject the project from the Create React Native App by type this command.

npm run eject

You will get questions like below, make it the same with the one that we choose.

? How would you like to eject from create-react-native-app? React Native: I'd like a regular React Native project.
We have a couple of questions to ask you about how you'd like to name your app:
? What should your app appear as on a user's home screen? React World Cup
? What should your Android Studio and Xcode projects be called? ReactWorldCupApp

Next, to run the Native iOS or Android App in the Simulator, type this command.

react-native run-ios
react-native run-android

That it's for now. Any suggestions are open for next React Native tutorial. You can find the full working source code in our GitHub.

Flutter vs. React Native vs. Xamarin

Flutter vs. React Native vs. Xamarin

Should you use Flutter, React Native, or Xamarin? That depends on your project. Find out which framework is best for you in this comparison: Flutter vs. React Native vs. Xamarin

What is cross-platform development?

Cross-platform mobile app development allows you to build mobile applications for multiple platforms such as iOS and Android with just one technology stack.

This means that instead of creating multiple versions of your app, each written using the dedicated native language for each platform, you can write your code once and deploy it on several platforms at once.

Cross-platform development advantages

There are several pros when it comes to cross-platform mobile app development compared to native mobile app development, including:

Write once, deploy everywhere

The most significant advantage of cross-platform development is having a single codebase that you can export to multiple operating systems.

Uniformity across apps

Having a single shared codebase allows you to maintain the same look, feel, and experience across all platforms. All updates and fixes are also automatically reflected everywhere.

Saving resources

Instead of having separate teams with different skill sets working on multiple native versions of your app, you only need one team working on a shared codebase. This allows you to leverage smaller teams and quicker development time to save time and money.

Audience reach

Having your app published on multiple platforms allows you to increase your market reach without any added effort, consequently increasing your chances of getting more downloads and users.

Cross-platform development disadvantages

While cross-platform development comes with many benefits that make it an optimal solution for many developers and companies, they come with a few drawbacks and some trade-offs including:

Performance issues

While cross-platform frameworks work on providing apps that are as close to native apps as possible, they still don’t integrate seamlessly with the respective platforms and have inconsistent communication between the native and non-native components, reducing the app’s speed and degrading performance.

Inconsistency with platforms

Cross-platform development tools don’t have all the features offered by each different platform, so you might need to employ some workarounds. It may also take these frameworks some time to get up-to-date with the newest features and updates released by the platforms.

Limited features

There are many native-only features and integrations available in each platform that are not available in cross-platform apps, which limits the user experience you can provide.

Cross-platform mobile app development tools

There are many cross-platform mobile app development tools and frameworks available, including:

We will take a closer look at the first and arguably most popular three frameworks available right now: Flutter, React Native, and Xamarin.


Flutter is an open-source, cross-platform mobile application development framework created by Google in 2017. It’s the newest framework of the three and in short order has become one of the most popular frameworks among front-end devs.

Flutter advantages

Some of the reasons Flutter is currently one of the most loved cross-platform frameworks include:

  • Complete development ecosystem: Flutter offers APIs, pre-built widgets, CLI tools, and pretty much all the tools needed for cross-platform mobile app development.
  • Customizable: While it offers an extensive library of pre-built widgets, you can also create your own or customize pre-existing ones.
  • Reliability: Developed and supported by Google
  • Hot reload: Allows developers to fix bugs faster through faster code implementation
  • Free: Open-source platform

Flutter disadvantages

Flutter poses a few challenges, especially being a new framework, including:

  • Continuous integration support: Lacks compatibility with CI tools such as Travis and Jenkins.
  • Large app size: Flutter apps can be quite large compared to other frameworks that can force developers to reduce the number of libraries and packages used, compress images, and even steer away from using animation altogether in favor of reducing their app’s size.
  • Native APIs: Flutter doesn’t expose many native APIs for you to use. That’s why, for many purposes, you will need third-party packages. Which also means that you will have to depend on the ecosystem.

However, you can always write your own native code that accesses the needed feature, and Flutter will give you a bridge to use that feature from within your Dart code.

Apps built using Flutter

  • Google AdWords
  • Google Greentea
  • Alibaba
  • AppTree
  • Reflectly
  • Hookle
  • Topline
  • Birch Finance
  • OfflinePal
  • Hamilton (musical)
  • BetaBubs

Flutter development tools

React Native

React Native is an open-source, cross-platform mobile app development framework created by Facebook in 2015.

It enables users to use JavaScript and React along with native platform capabilities to build mobile apps.

React Native advantages

Some of the pros of React Native include:

  • User Interface: Implements native UI components, allowing apps to look like native apps, and therefore providing a high-quality user interface.
  • Ready-made components: Offers a vast library of UI components, allowing for faster development time.
  • Access to native functionalities: Like camera, accelerometer, etc.
  • Platform-specific code: Allows you to further optimize your separate native apps by using native code.
  • Hot reload: Allows developers to apply changes to the apps right away without having to recompile the apps.
  • Reliability: Developed and supported by Facebook.
  • Free: Open-source platform.

React Native disadvantages

Unfortunately, React Native still has its pitfalls, including:

  • Navigation: Navigation built in React Native is not seamless and not comparable to native navigation.
  • Complex UI: React Native struggles with building complex animation and transitions.

React Native development tools

Apps built using React Native

  • Facebook
  • Facebook Analytics
  • Facebook Ads Manager
  • Instagram
  • Uber Eats
  • Tesla
  • Skype
  • Pinterest
  • SoundCloud Pulse
  • Walmart
  • Bloomberg
  • Discord
  • Myntra
  • Gyroscope
  • Chop
  • Vogue
  • Artsy
  • F8


Xamarin is an open-source, cross-platform mobile app development framework that was founded in 2011, making it the oldest of the three.

Xamarin advantages

Xamarin cross-platform mobile app development pros include:

  • Performance: Xamarin apps are known for having almost native-like performance levels.
  • Complete development ecosystem: C#, .Net, and Microsoft Visual Studio with Xamarin are all you need to build mobile apps with Xamarin, making it one of the most complete cross-platform mobile app development frameworks out there.
  • Seamless user experience: Xamarin.Forms allows you to take advantage of standard interface elements by providing a library of templates so that you can reuse your code across different platforms. You can also use Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android for manual customization, if needed.
  • Free: For small teams.

Xamarin disadvantages

However, as any cross-platform development framework, Xamarin does have its setbacks, including:

  • Updates delay: Whenever new platform features or updates roll out, there is usually a delay until these changes are reflected in the Xamarin tools, which may cause issues with your app.
  • Large app size: Xamarin apps can add around 5 megabytes for releases and 20 megabytes for debug builds, making them larger than native apps. This is primarily due to the libraries used to translate C# calls into native calls.
  • Heavy graphics: Xamarin is great for apps with a simple UI. However, building complex applications or mobile games with Xamarin might not be the best thing to do as you will have to spend a lot of time writing platform-specific code, which defeats the purpose of using it.
  • Platform-specific code: You might need to re-write some parts of the UI in your app in native code. That means that you will need some knowledge in native programming languages such as Kotlin or Java for Android, and Swift or Objective-C for iOS.

Xamarin development tools

Apps built using Xamarin

  • Skulls of the Shogun
  • SuperGiant Games
  • Storyo
  • Insightly
  • FreshDirect
  • The World Bank
  • Just Giving
  • Olo
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • APX
Flutter, React Native, or Xamarin?

Now let’s look at how these cross-platform development tools compare to each other.


One of the most important factors you should consider when choosing a cross-platform development framework is app performance.

While React Native and Xamarin provide near-native app performances, some argue that Flutter’s performance is better because Dart code is compiled to a C-library, which means it’s close to the native code.

This improves communication speed and provides better performance.

However, it’s hard to benchmark performance as it depends on many factors and variables including device, code, app, and features being used.


With over 1.6 million developers across 120 countries, Xamarin has definitely developed quite the userbase over the years. However, this is largely due to the fact that it is one of the oldest frameworks out there.

Since its release, React Native has slowly but surely gained popularity, surpassing Xamarin in 2017.

According to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2019, Flutter ranked as the most loved framework out of the three, with 75.4 percent of users expressing interest in continuing to develop with Flutter.

React Native came in second with 62.5 percent, followed by Xamarin with only 48.3 percent.

Development languages

The cross-platform tool development language is another crucial factor to consider when making your decision.

Xamarin uses .Net languages like C# and F#, which are common languages and can be used to write native platform code.

While React Native uses JavaScript, which was not invented for it, it still does a great job with React Native apps.

You might encounter a few issues or come across some required workarounds as JavaScript was originally developed for the web.

As a result, some APIs might not work, while others may have to be proxied by React Native.

Flutter uses Dart, which was also not invented for mobile apps. However, it is managed by Google, the same company that created Flutter.

That’s why they make sure to adapt Dart for Flutter and mobile app development, making it better in many ways than JavaScript or C# with fewer workarounds needed.

According to the TIOBE Programming Community Index, C# is the fifth most popular programming language worldwide as of October 2019, followed by JavaScript in seventh place.

While still relatively new, Dart is ranked as the 26th most popular programming language in the world.

This gives an advantage to React Native and Xamarin, which both work with a familiar language that can help boost your productivity and save you from enduring a steep learning curve.


React Native offers some pre-built and partly adaptive components like buttons and text inputs.

However, most of these components aren’t really adaptive. If you need something a bit more advanced, you would have to build it yourself by recomposing these built-in components.

Flutter provides a more extensive library of components, which are called widgets. However, these pre-built components are non-adaptive.

The language offers widgets for both iOS and Android, but you have to switch between both manually as it doesn’t have components that automatically adjust their styles depending on the platform you’re running.

Xamarin.Forms offers a complete cross-platform UI toolkit consisting of native UI components for both platforms, which are compiled into platform-specific UI components.

You can also use Xamarin.iOS or Xamarin.Android for custom app UI and better performance.

Code reuse

Code reuse is what brings developers to cross-platform frameworks, so how much of the code written with each framework is actually reusable?

React Native allows you to write the code once and ship anywhere, but it also embraces platform differences.

This means that from time to time, you have to find out on which platform you’re running and load a different component or set of components depending on the platform you’re running.

Still, a considerable part of the codebase can still be reused.

Flutter’s codebase is more reusable as it allows you to define one UI widget tree and reuse the defined logic so you don’t have to do a lot of differentiation, which you can also still do if you need to.

Xamarin prides itself on allowing developers to reuse up to 96 percent of their C# code by leveraging the language.

Xamarin also offers forms components, making it better for code reuse than React Native and Flutter which share an average of 60–90 percent of codes.


While all three tools are free, open-source platforms, Xamarin is only free for individuals and small companies.

For large enterprises, single-user licenses start at $499 and go anywhere up to $2,999 for a Visual Studio Enterprise annual subscription.

While this might not be a problem for large enterprises, the costs can still add up, which could cause bigger companies to go with React Native or Flutter.

Support and ecosystem

When choosing a framework, you should also consider its community support, especially if you’re new to it. This includes forums, documentation, tutorials, etc.

React Native has a pretty good amount of support out there. You can easily find a lot of learning material as well or developers on forums or QA sites like Stack Overflow to ask for support whenever you need any help.

Flutter is still relatively new, so it is yet to build a strong community like React Native. However, Google is investing heavily in it, and therefore it is expected to grow into a robust ecosystem in the future.

For Xamarin, support is quite limited. However, Microsoft provides some free Xamarin courses and learning paths to help you get started.


When choosing a cross-platform development tool, there is no one-size-fits-all option.

All three frameworks have proven successful in building great mobile apps. Your specific needs and preferences determine which framework is best for you.

Currently, Flutter seems to be the most popular option as it excels in terms of performance. So if you’re new to the world of cross-platform development, Flutter might be the way to go for you.

However, you can’t rule React Native and Xamarin out just yet as they still excel in other areas.

For example, if you already have some prior knowledge of JavaScript, then it might be wise to go with React Native.

At the end of the day, it all depends on what you’re building and what you hope to achieve. Any framework will have its pitfalls, but the one where the advantages heavily outweigh those setbacks would probably be the right choice for you.