Mobile app development has become a necessity for the business world. More importantly, if we talk about organizations looking for cross-platform app development, the demand is growing significantly. Two of the most common names that you hear when it comes to hybrid development are Flutter & Xamarin. New technologies keep emerging every now and then however these two names have certainly made a mark for themselves. While Xamarin is a Microsoft-backed framework, Flutter belongs to the tech leaders Google, which means both of these were created by some of the genius minds working in the best companies in the world. App development companies and developers from across the globe make it their priority to actually understand which one is the better framework to work on. The purpose of both these frameworks is to ensure smooth cross-platform app development however when you compare them to each other, you will find out that there are so many differences that these two share.
If you look closely, you will learn that the majority of users have moved towards flutter. In this post, let us compare the two and try to understand what gives flutter an edge over Xamarin and why flutter has taken over the entire user base of Xamarin in just a few years. We will also be discussing some of the core reasons behind people choosing flutter so make sure you read this post till the end.
Flutter & Xamarin: An Introduction to Cross-Platform Frameworks
For those who are not good at understanding the technicalities of app development, understanding what are the applications of both these frameworks is really typical. Let’s try to simplify it. Mobile app development is the process of creating an application that synchronizes with the native resources of a mobile device and works flawlessly. It is usually a great way to reach out to the masses as more and more people are using mobile devices on a daily basis. With that being said, developing a mobile app is not that simple of a task. There are multiple options that you have to consider before you start working on your app development project> for instance the biggest point of confusion for hundreds of enterprises is knowing whether you want to go for a native application or a cross-platform application for your product. If you know the difference between the two, you can easily understand how crucial this question is for businesses. A native app is an operating system specifically for instance if you create an Android app, the app will only work with devices that run android while if you go for cross-platform, a single codebase will allow you to release an app on multiple platforms such as android and iOS.
Flutter and Xamarin are both cross-platform frameworks designed by the best in the business to ensure that cross-platform development is easy to implement. While Xamarin is something that makes it complex for the developer, flutter has certainly got a great edge over Xamarin, which is an older framework than flutter but has significantly improved. Flutter however has a great lead over the way Xamarin works as the UI rendering in flutter uses graphics and animations that make it effective while in Xamarin the process is significantly slower as it uses a tree of native controls. Xamarin uses older technologies such as XAML and C# while flutter has Dart for smoother processing and programming experience.
The implementation of Xamarin has become quite complex since flutter entered the market which is why Flutter has become the present and the future of cross-platform app development. Other than the simple technical differences, there are so many reasons why people choose flutter over Xamarin. Check out the next section to learn more about those reasons.
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Why Flutter is Better than Xamarin in 2022?
The internet is full of developer experiences and stories related to moving towards flutter from Xamarin. People have come forward to share that UI was one of the biggest issues they faced while using Xamarin which was well resolved by the flutter and it is clearly visible as more than 45% of the Xamarin users have moved to flutter which is a significant number. So what makes Flutter more desirable for developers? Why has it become so popular among developers that they have forgotten about Xamarin and migrated towards flutter? Well, there are 7 major reasons behind that. These include -
Solid Community Support
The number of users for flutter is growing exponentially. Flutter has become one of the most powerful tools for app development and with reliability comes responsibility. The career options that flutter has opened for young developers are easily the best thing. The community that flutter has created is nothing short of a surprise for the developers. There are more than half a million apps in the market that use flutter. This means thousands and thousands of developers have opted for the framework which makes the community strong and when there are people available to take assistance, you automatically start indulging in creating an experience out of it.
Ease of Code Sharing
All the developers who work on flutter simply program in a single language known as Dart. This means no matter what type of application you are creating, if you have a piece of code, you can share it with someone who needs assistance with the same module or development problem. This means you no longer have to create code again and again as you can simply benefit from the vast community and ask for assistance in times of urgency. Also, suppose you have expertise in creating a certain specific type of application for the market. In that case, you can simply use a similar code in almost every development project while tweaking the requirements of the client.
Enhanced App Performance
The application performance for a flutter-based project is significantly better than any other option. That is because flutter offers the ability to code directly in the machine code which makes the app more familiar with the native resources of the device and hence makes the performance lag-free and efficient. The best way to come up with an application that has no usage lags is to ensure that your code is compiled and optimized well enough to make things work. Let’s be honest here, no one likes to use an app that runs slow on a platform which is why the enhanced performance is one of the crucial reasons why people have moved towards flutter.
Widgets are an important aspect of development and user interface. Flutter has inbuilt widgets to offer for both material design (android) and Cupertino (iOS). Using these widgets makes the app super smooth as these are inbuilt and do not add the bulk of connecting with the native widgets. Usually, people think of widgets as shortcuts in the device that they can use to simplify a process. The use of widgets in flutter is also done the same way however, in a flutter, these widgets are not shortcuts but the core functionalities such as graphic engine or for that matter anything related to the graphic layer of the application is somewhat a widget in Flutter. Using flutter makes it easy for you to access functional widgets and get things done in a smoother manner.
Availability of Reusable Libraries
One of the many perks of using flutter is the availability of reusable libraries. Flutter has a package manager Pub that keeps the record of all the reusable libraries in the framework so that whenever you need them you get them. It is really a developer’s dream to get access to reusable libraries which is why more and more experts are moving towards flutter. With these reusable libraries and packages, implementing code becomes super easy and the errors can be reduced significantly. Not only that, the flutter community has come up with null security checks for the quality of the packages that people contribute to the database of the community. It is suggested that you use these while you are building an app from scratch.
Realtime Changes & Updates
With a cool feature like hot reload, you need not worry about finishing the code first and then checking whether it works or not. You can simply make the changes and they will appear in real-time without you having to compile the code again and again. No matter what changes you make in the code, with the help of hot reload you instantly see the difference so that you can optimize it or change it again. This saves a lot of time as well as a hassle for the developer which is another reason why people are more inclined toward using Flutter over Xamarin. The hot reload feature is a boon for those who need regular maintenance in their application as it practically reduces the downtime of an app to zero.
High Functionality of the Framework
Unlike other frameworks, Flutter does not limit its potential to mobile applications. The community claims that with Flutter you can create an application for any screen. So far, the claims have been proved accurate as flutter can be used to create mobile apps, desktop apps, web apps, and whatnot. This means if you know Flutter, you have many doors opened right in front of you, making things extremely good for your career curve. It is a strong reason for people to turn their attention towards Flutter as now they do not have to worry about learning multiple skills to stay relevant in the market, learning Flutter is enough to procure multiple clients in the field.
With all of these going well for the flutter community and mobile app developers in the USA, why would someone opt for an older framework like Xamarin? The cause and the requirement are clear which makes flutter a great option to create cross-platform applications with the help of simplified and easy to interact user interfaces. When it comes to comparison, Ionic vs Xamarin is also an interesting concept, but if you compare the current two, flutter has the upper hand.
In this post, not only did we discuss what Xamarin and Flutter are, but we also shed light on the drawbacks of Xamarin and why Flutter is more preferred than it. There is no denying the fact that even flutter has its own limitations when it comes to app development or enterprise software development, however, when it is compared with an old framework like Xamarin, it is bound to shine the way it did in the post. If you are using Xamarin and have faced similar challenges, maybe it is time for you to switch to flutter. Also, if you are an enterprise looking to get your hands on a cross-platform app for your product/services, flutter can be a good addition to your tech stack as it is easy to implement and highly customizable with simplified modifications.
Clearly, flutter is a better choice to avail mobile app development service in 2022, however, it will be interesting to see if Xamarin can make a comeback with a few tweaks and updates. Till then, flutter will continue to be the first choice of every developer as well as an enterprise for getting the job done. This brings us to the end of the blog, hope you find it informative and make the most out of it. Good luck!