When it comes to mobile app development, one can choose between fully native and cross-platform applications. Both approaches have their own unique advantages. This topic will provide you with a comparison of some of the most popular app development frameworks – 5, to be exact. These include React Native, Flutter, Xamarin, NativeScript, and Ionic.

The sphere of mobile app development gives you the chance to choose between fully native and cross-platform mobile applications. Native apps work only on the devices powered by the specific OS for which the app developers create them. Cross-platform applications, on the other hand, will work on multiple devices, regardless of the operating system they run on. Both approaches have their unique advantages.

As the owner of a business, one of your priorities is to make the most informed decision at all times. You’ve decided to hire react native app development company for your project, and you did it with deliberation because you’re perfectly aware of what you must do. Nevertheless, if you have enough time, you should go through this write-up. Here you’ll find a comparison between 5 of the most widely used app development frameworks. These include React Native, Flutter, Ionic, Xamarin, and NativeScript. By reading this topic, you’ll get a chance to refine your decision even further.

The 5 app development frameworks you’ll learn about here facilitate cross-platform or hybrid app development.

The differences between native and hybrid

It’s always wise to go through every piece of information you find before you choose to hire react native app development company. As already mentioned above, both native and cross-platform app development have their benefits. Naturally, you have to know the differences between them firsthand.

Native applications utilize the technology or language of the specific platform, such as Swift or Objective C for iOS and Kotlin or Java for Android. As native applications leverage the underlying platform to the fullest, they always tend to deliver the best performance combined with an incredible user experience.

Then again, building apps for several platforms in the native codebase means you need to pay for iOS and Android app versions separately. Apart from the expenses, you’ll require two different codebases and teams to work on the project.

comparison between hybrid vs native

Cross-platform or hybrid apps enter the scene to solve the problem. Developers write code in a different language than the one used in the OS and deliver the experience of native apps at runtime.

One codebase is enough for a developer to build a cross-platform application, which also happens to be the foremost benefit of this approach. Opting for cross-platform app development will allow you, as well as your development team to save time, effort, and expenses. Your developers will be able to utilize some of the most favoured coding languages without learning Objective C, Swift, Kotlin, or Java. Now, you can’t expect everything from hybrid applications. For instance, they aren’t going to be as good as native apps in terms of performance, but the ease of development far outweighs this disadvantage.

Compile for Native

As you know now, developers create native apps with a single codebase. After that, the framework will compile the codebase to native Android or iOS. The developers will translate the development language into the original native widget for the targeted platform in terms of the UI components. The process will convert only the UI components of the code to the equivalent native UI components in the targeted platform. Finally, these platforms will offer access to all the features of the device by abstracting a layer over the device hardware.

About Webview Wrapper

In this particular approach, developers will wrap the app code in a web view and display the same without the browser bar as a native application. Unlike “Compile to Native,” there won’t be any code conversion here. Instead, the app will detect the OS that powers the device and render the app in the browser. The UI code will replicate the UI appearance of the OS by using Sass, CSS, etc. Additionally, “webview” frameworks can gain access to only a few hardware features. Ionic, however, uses Cordova bridge and Capacitor packages to carve a path to the features of the native device.

Comparing the platforms

Now, it’s time to take a look at all the frameworks mentioned earlier. If you continue reading, you’ll find a detailed comparison that will help you ascertain the most suitable option. There’s no point in using the word “best” here because it’s entirely subjective. “Suitable” is the more fitting term as your framework choice will depend on the requirements of your project.

(1) Fame

The best place to get a proper look at the popularity level of all mobile app development platforms is the website of GitHub. Based on the information gathered from GitHub, React Native is exceptionally popular. After all, it managed to garner 89,500 stars. Then again, it doesn’t mean everyone loves it. The popularity of React Native doesn’t prevent people from opting for flutter app development services, either. Developing apps using React Native does have its flaws, but it’s still highly popular. A lot of people are going for flutter app development services too. The fame of Flutter recently exploded and earned more stars than React Native. Currently, it holds almost 100,000 stars. It had only 30,000 back in August 2018. Ionic occupies a spot in the middle, and the popularity of NativeScript is rising at a snail’s pace. Xamarin is trailing all the other frameworks in terms of fame. In the end, everything boils down to the specific requirements of your project, and popularity doesn’t have anything to do with it.

(2) Code reusability

As you can probably guess, this metric measures the reusability of code. Developers will be using only one coding language, but they may need to write different code if you think your project requires platform-specific restyling.

    • Flutter – This one offers incredibly high reusability. In most cases, the widgets it comes with can’t adapt to the OS. That’s why developers use Material Design by default on both platforms. They can also swap widgets manually depending on the platform of your choice. In terms of reusability, ionic app development services are better.
    • Ionic – The concept of webview wrapping ensures that a developer can reuse code with ease. The providers of ionic app development services have access to the framework’s excellent library of automatically styled adaptive components for the OS the app will run on.
    • React Native – React Native compiles to native defaults, but it only offers a basic component set to work with. Developers need to style most of them on their own. Nevertheless, code reusability is high enough because they’ll use one language only and libraries like Redux that don’t require any adjustments.
    • NativeScript – Just like Flutter, code reusability isn’t of high standards. Most of the components compile to their native counterparts automatically. Naturally, developers don’t have to worry about restyling. They simply need to manage components that don’t exist on both platforms.
    • Xamarin – In Xamarin, developers get to reuse almost 96% of the C# code. Xamarin even offers form components. This particular feature makes this framework better than Flutter and React Native regarding code reusability.

(3) Already-styled library of components

With this metric, you’ll learn about the availability of pre-created UI elements. If a framework brings more components to the table, developers find it easier to use them to build beautiful UIs.

    • Flutter – It boasts of having a comprehensive collection of inbuilt widgets that mostly use Material Design. Flutter also keeps on adding more iOS-styled components. When it comes to developing something using Flutter, developers don’t have to bother with manual styling. However, the widgets don’t adapt to the OS automatically. You need to consider this fact if you want your developers to come up with a different look for various platforms.
    • Ionic – This one has a massive set of prebuilt and pre-styled components. These components adapt to the platform on which the app runs automatically. Ionic also offers tooling that makes the overall development process easier. For instance, with Ionic, developers gain access to a development server for running an app on an emulator.
    • React Native – React Native has a decent set of inbuilt components, but developers have to spend time styling most of them. They don’t adapt to the underlying platform, either. Just like Flutter, however, they will get alternatives for both operating systems.
    • NativeScript – NativeScript also ships with a worthwhile number of UI components, and they can adapt to the underlying platform. Then again, it isn’t as comprehensive as Flutter or Ionic, and you may have to ask your developers to create additional widgets.
    • Xamarin – Xamarin.Forms can offer an all-inclusive cross-platform UI toolkit containing native UI components for both platforms. Providers of xamarin development services will be able to use the native UI components compiled into platform-specific UI components. With xamarin app development services, you can also leverage Xamarin. Android or Xamarin.iOS for customizing app UIs and performance enhancements.

Wrapping it up

There are several other points to consider, such as mobile app performance, native device feature accessibility, and community support. If you wish to learn about them, you should get in touch with the providers of native script app development services that also have experience in working with all the other frameworks mentioned here. They can help you decide whether you should go for native script app development services or something else.

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At the core, Moon Technolabs is driven by the vision, sharpness and flourished under the leadership quality led by none other than the founder & CEO i.e, Mr. Jayanti Katariya. His simple-approach & never-give-up attitude is the virtue or rather aptitude that the entire team tries to grasp and follow. From client relations to business development, from industry updates to floor walking, he does everything in his power to provide support to the team.

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