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Flutter vs Xamarin: A Quick Guide

When it comes to the development of enterprise apps, the question “Should we choose Xamarin or opt for Flutter instead” is quite old. Sure enough, you have shortlisted the two best available options in the market, but where do you go from here? The confusion is pretty understandable and, as noted above, not new to the industry. After all, Xamarin, which has been around a little longer than Flutter, is now Microsoft-backed and also one of the most sought-after tools for the development of non-native apps for a variety of platforms. Then there is Flutter — this Google-owned resource has managed to win over developers all over the world despite being relatively new.

But that’s not where the confusion starts — the trouble starts when you see that both support multi-platform app development, i.e., apps that can work on OS’ such as iOS, Android, and more. So, if you too have been wondering if you should pick Xamarin for app development or stick with Flutter, here is a guide that will help you decide that.

1. Programming language: A part of the .NET platform, Xamarin offers support for C#, XAML, and more. While C# is a boon for anyone working on a web app and XAML provides its own set of benefits. It is imperative to remember that if you use Xamarin, you will have to make use of and deal with native languages as well if you plan to tailor your app’s UI heavily. Now, on to Flutter — this one makes use of Dart with a C++ driven rendering engine. While some may have their reservations against Dart owing to its incompatibility with a handful of text editors and IDEs, remember that it is similar to OOP languages. So, if you know C++, JavaScript, or Java, Dart won’t be a problem for you at all.

2. Which platforms are covered?: As noted above, both Flutter and Xamarin are compatible with a variety of OS. Flutter offers support for Android and iOS and has also expanded support to the web, macOS, Windows, and more. Whereas Xamarin already supports iOS, Android, UWP, and macOS. Besides that, it is also working to extend the purview of its support to include platforms such as Tizen (Samsung), GTK#, and more soon. Oh, and you can also develop Xamarin apps with Ooui and Uno platforms.

3. User experience: User experience is one of the most important factors while developing any app. However, it is rendered a little complex with cross-platform apps since they have to live up to the standards of native apps. To that end, the Flutter framework comes loaded with a variety of widgets to help developers take their app’s UI to the next level. It also makes it easier to develop UIs that look and feel similar to native apps because you don’t need third-party libraries for it. It is also quite conducive to the development of a tailored design that is in tune all across the app. Xamarin, on the other hand, gets ace UI parts that are aimed at being in sync at each of the many platforms it is compatible with.

While these are the first and the most critical considerations while trying to decide between Flutter and Xamarin for app development, it is advisable that you also consider other factors. It should include native APIs, library support, speed of development, code reusability, and more. A careful evaluation of the two options against these factors will help you make a more informed and smart decision. And once you conclude, be sure to only engage trusted vendors for cross-platform app development services.

Written By

A professional and security-oriented programmer having more than 6 years of experience in designing, implementing, testing and supporting mobile apps developed. Being techno geek, I love to read & share about the latest updates in technology including but not limited to IoTs, AI, application development, etc. In my free time, I like to play football, watch movies and explore new places. I have been learning mobile app development since 2012. With having a good understanding of programming languages, I develop native as well as web apps for both iOS & Android using latest tools & technologies. I am also having experience in both front-end & back-end development.

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