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Xamarin or Ionic: Which one should you choose for mobile app development in 2021

May 14, 2021 |

Xamarin and Ionic both are the frameworks used for developing hybrid applications. Still, there is no doubt that both are best, but if you want to know about the comparison, then this article will help you a lot about finding that which one you should choose for mobile app development in 2021.

Many software companies are involved in mobile application development for clients and in-house use. Due to the hardcore competition, they focus on producing the best output in form for an app. As per the latest trend and rapid technology change, organizations develop cross-platform apps instead of native ones. It gives a cutting-edge advantage as well as a cost-effective approach.

Native mobile app development is like a traditional application development mechanism that depends on the need or requirement proposed by clients as per their business nature. Although multiple frameworks are available, the Xamarin and Ionic both are top of it and have their uniqueness. These are used for intuitive and interactive app development.

If we go with the outline, we will find that cross-platform app development is advantageous compared to native app development. For example, suppose we have to develop a food delivery app for Android and iOS users, so in terms of cost and utilizing the resources, it best to write a app that can work the same on both platforms by using a single codebase.

In short, the advantages are –

1. Cost-effectiveness

2. One Code, Multiple Application

3. Easy Maintainability

Here are some statistics about mobile apps & both frameworks that you should know-

  • As per Statista.com- the top most website known for the statistics about anything says that Xamarin is used 14%  where Ionic is used by 18% of software developers worldwide.
  • In the year 2020, the mobile app revenue was 581.9 billion USD, and till 2023, it is expected to grow 935.2 billion USD.
  • There were 218 billion mobile app downloads recorded in 2020, and the statistics will rise in 2021 as most people are working from home due to pandemics.

The above statistics are enough to prove that how mobile app development rules this world. In the next two years, there will be more activity expected in the cross-platform app development market.

About Xamarin Vs Ionic!

Let’s understand it via find out that –

What is Xamarin?

It is the most popular cross-platform mobile app development framework recommended by many software companies such as mobile app developers, NYC. It is used for native-like performant applications that work on the inter platforms. Its year of existence is 2011, and then in 2016, it was acquired by Microsoft. Microsoft Corp. converted it into open-sourced SDK and included it in Visual Studio for free use. As a result, many companies like app development companies Atlanta, USA, and others worldwide are using.

Xamarin supports a single programming language that is C# alongside the .Net framework. This framework also uses XAML, which works as a data binding language for mobile application.  It facilitates the developers to write the applications and compile them into native application packages, i.e., .apk for Android, IPA for iOS. Some of the best examples of Xamarin apps are Cincinnati, Alaska Airlines, Microsoft Azure etc.

What is Ionic?

There is always confusion that is Ionic is a cross-platform or hybrid framework. The reality is, Ionic is a front-end framework used for crafting hybrid mobile apps using HTML 5 language. The term hybrid refers to the combination of web and native applications. It is solely depending on using web technology as JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. It displays the apps via web view, not like the native ones, and is executed on Android and iOS platforms. That is the reason that people think it is a cross-platform framework.

The Ionic can generate splash screen and icons in a single command. Whenever there is a change in the code, it instantly reflects that even during emulation. It supports the app developers to share an app without sharing via Apple Store or Google Play Store. It empowers the application to access the full native functionality of the device using ng-Cordova.

What do you think about –

Xamarin or Ionic: Which one should you choose for mobile app development in 2021?

Is this question being right? – After reading the above paragraphs of this blog, you are a little bit aware of Xamarin and Ionic. For having greater insight, let us differentiate both of these species.

# Responsive UI/UX Design

In Xamarin, it is smooth to implement the responsive design. Still, in Ionic, if the developer sets the single slider, it won’t work until the application containing the pane is not included manually. Other than it, Xamarin is much suitable for implementing animations, where Ionic is not a perfect choice for it. However, the specialists at app development companies, Los Angeles, find it quite fruitful, and even their first choice is Xamarin, especially when they work on projects that require animation part.

# Code Reusability

It is such a tough task for any cross-platform app developer to maintain the code. Code reusability is time effective idea that saves lots of time instead of spending hours and hours to write the same code again in different languages. Xamarin is best at all in terms of code reusability. Although deploying the single code base to the other OS is tricky and required efforts, but using Xamarin, there is no need to change the code in the source file. Unfortunately, ionic does not support the concept of a single code base.

# Performance

It is quite too tough to compare here because each framework performs better than the other in specific conditions. The Xamarin apps work and perform like native apps, and it focuses on reusing business logic, not the single code base. With Ionic, the concept is different as it uses the web view instead of native app elements that, in turn, decrease the speed of execution.

# Quality

It is clear that Xamarin is for cross-platform app development, and Ionic is for hybrid applications. The Xamarin provides intimate experience to native apps, and Ionic uses web technology. So, there is again a comparison is between hybrid and cross-platform. Mobile app development agency, Sydney found some following facts based on their practical experiences, and these are interesting-

In comparison to the Ionic framework or Hybrid apps, the cross-platform apps

  • Executes 25% faster
  • With the large databases works 62% faster than hybrid
  • Consumes 50% less memory
  • Has 70% less CPU usage

So, it can be easily understood that which is better in terms of performance.

# User Experiences

It is the top-notch thing that is most important because at last, the user will only use it, and the fate of an app will be decided by it. In terms of user experience, both works fine with their specialty, such as Xamarin, to utilize the standard interface elements via the component library to reuse a code. With the help of its developer can create platform-specific UI that will provide the enriched experience of the app to the user. There is no need for any play store for the Ionic app, and the update, downloading of apk is not needed. In terms of user perspective both are best.

# Language Stack

Ionic supports HTML5, CSS and JavaScript; however, its main language is typescript, a subset of JavaScript. Regarding Xamarin, it uses C# with .Net Framework for crafting an app. So it facilitates the developers to use more than 90% of common code for the platforms such as Android, iOS, Windows.

# Graphical User Interface

The Xamarin apps are being built via Visual Studio, so there is no need to switch between the environments. For example, using Xamarin forms, developers can use 94-96% code that speeds up the development cycle.  Although Ionic’s prime feature is universality, some UI elements work based on native rules; there will be a little bit of need for code modification and extra efforts to make that happen.

One of the specialists from a mobile app development company in Chicago says that we have tested multiple apps based on Xamarin and Ionic. Both works fine with their natural coding nature, but if we go with the time & cost-effectiveness, then Xamarin is quite impressive.

# Third Party Support

Xamarin supports almost all third-party SDKs except Bolts and Cocoaumberjack, but for Ionic Cordova plugin is required to make it support the SDK such as Af Networking, Unity Ads, Apps Flyer, Card Lo etc.

# Integration With Enterprise Architecture

Here again, Xamarin is advantageous because it uses the existing .Net libraries for interacting with data services and the web via sharing C# code base and business logic. Ionic integration can be possible via backend technologies such as Node.js, Ruby on Rails, and Express Js. So, if something unusual happens or any difference occurred in the whole architecture, things become messy and quite difficult to handle. The app developers, San Francisco, also confirm it based on their comprehensive experience.

The Final Words!

Although we have made the comparison and still you can find several comparisons on the internet, but both Xamarin and Ionic are best at their place. Mobile app developers, San Francisco says that the comparison is not right here because each has its limitation and perks.

If you need a large enterprise mobile application or want a business app that you want to integrate into your existing architecture that none other than Xamarin is best. It allows code and business logic sharing among client and server. The Ionic is not suitable for complex applications. So whenever you required a small app with customization, Ionic works great.