Although the trend to build own IT solutions for smartphones has appeared recently, the demand for this service continues to grow. If the mobile software development market was estimated at $9 trillion in 2020, then, according to Businesswire, this figure will rise to an impressive $44 trillion with a CAGR of 25.4% by 2027.
It is a time-consuming and painstaking process, where success depends on several factors at the same time. The first is the choice of the technical stack and technical language. GloriumTech experts chose 3 top platforms and compared their capabilities. Let’s consider their features and determine which has the largest potential.
IT Solutions for Smartphones: Peculiarities and Challenges
First of all, let’s take a look at the cornerstones of development. Some can be fixed by regular means, while others offer certain compromises.
Coverage of prevalent mobile devices and their operating systems is a time-consuming task that requires at least two experts in the team. Modern frameworks allow you to work on several versions of the app at the same time.
Thus, work on IT solutions for smartphones goes simultaneously with the streaming correction of logic and code. It complicates the project rather than makes it easier to implement.
For example, even having a staff of experts of different profiles, a company spends more effort on adaptation and testing than coding. Using different platforms also means that even the appearance of your app will not be the same.
Android typically uses lighter graphics engines to conserve resources on low-end devices. The situation is the opposite on IOS since any Apple device can process even heavyweight animations and graphics.
It leads to the first dilemma for specialists because they have to compare the potential and choose one of the frameworks as the basis of an IT solution for both operating systems.
Covering all device specifications in one app is problematic, and given the diversity of mobile systems, the task seems generally impossible. Why is that?
Let’s consider Android. It has an abundance of versions, cores, branded shells, add-ons, etc. Just imagine that the slightest deviation from the standard entails incorrect code processing. The app starts up with errors, performance drops, or the system refuses to work with it at all.
No wonder modern developers limit the list of devices to current models that will surely withstand the graphical load of frameworks, although the dilemma of choice does not disappear.
QA and debugging
Perhaps it’s the most interesting part of the development. It is necessary to check thousands of cases for the entire cycle of creating an IT product on all supported platforms. Of course, automation tools partially solve this problem, but processing hundreds of reports takes a lot of time and effort, which could be distributed to other processes.
The composition of the IT solution
Let’s speak about the TOP-3 frameworks. We will also compare them and figure out what tasks each platform can solve.
What is Xamarin? Based on .Net, this solution uses C#, making it a favorite tool for many professionals. Its code processing speed on all mobile and desktop systems is faster than similar frameworks, and its support for UI and add-ons takes operational functionality to a new level.
So, the advantages of Xamarin are:
- Common API that allows you to use available solutions.
- SDK support for both smartphones and IoT devices.
- Adaptive compilation for any compatible device.
- Large plenty of plug-in libraries and extensions.
- Cross-platform interface for Windows, Android, and IOS.
The shortcomings include:
- Functional limitations in the free version.
- Slow deployment of platform updates.
- Relatively small user community.
- C# as the main language for the platform.
- Enormous appetite for smartphone storage.
Its potential allows you to create large multifunctional solutions for different OS and easily adapt them to shells. Its performance is very high in basic graphical shells, which boosts speed and stability on all operating systems.
Released by Facebook in 2018, it uses Dart to create elements. It is a modern, easy-to-learn syntax that provides simple expressions for building code. Unlike the rest of the participants in our top, Flutter does not need a native interface for each system because it uses its own templates and elements to create apps.
It allows you to make an IT product truly cross-platform and designed in the same style for IOS and Android devices.
Advantages of Flutter are:
- Common interface and business logic for all devices.
- Fast coding and preparation of elements for testing.
- Short time spent on the full development cycle.
- Integrated graphics engine with complex animations.
- Open platform with high speed.
- Heavy installation file due to the Dart emulator.
- The interface should be coded, not created using blocks.
- Few third-party libraries and custom extensions.
- Reliability: the framework has just passed the Beta stage.
- Support for mobile platforms only, no Windows.
Flutter is a young but promising tool for creating multiplatform apps or games. Thanks to the low entry threshold and moderate requirements for developer skills, its popularity keeps growing.
With the further participation of the creators and the community, it will soon compete for supremacy in the niche of universal IT solutions. Even now, its potential allows you to create products with a complex structure and advanced business logic.
It is rightfully considered one of the most popular platforms because both the corporation and ordinary users are involved in its support. Not all the possibilities of older brothers are available, but the potential is undoubtedly great.
Benefits of React Native:
- Large support base.
- Universal code and benefits of template coding.
- Good structure of the final product.
- Friendly interface and high performance.
- Active development and free distribution.
- Poor IOS support and poor adaptability.
- A limited number of APIs for integration.
- Complicated parallel UI development.
- Constant platform changes.
- Poor level of multiplatform.
How to choose the optimal stack
Of course, technical stacks consist of many components, which include databases, frameworks, graphics, and APIs, but today we are only interested in tools for creating multi platform mobile software. Let’s focus on them.
You already know the features of the listed frameworks, but not in comparison with each other. Let’s look at their differences and choose the optimal platform for implementing mobile IT solutions.
Flutter vs. React Native vs. Xamarin
If we summarize the differences between them, we can conclude that each is suitable for implementing a certain kind of app on a particular mobile OS. Frankly speaking, all platforms are adaptive and allow you to develop IT products for any business area.
The difference is only in the final file size, performance, implementation time, and convenience. Requirements for skills and experience do not differ much because creating a quality solution requires expertise regardless of the chosen framework.
Xamarin vs. React Native
|Convenience||Allows you to create organic and convenient code||Easier to compile and develop.|
|Performance in the native OS environment||Excellent on Android and very mediocre on iOS||High, regardless of the OS|
|Cross-platform||Poor iOS support||Universal: Android, IOS, Windows|
|Cost||Free framework||Two versions: free but limited and paid with maximum productivity|
|Popularity||High. Open-source and large community||Medium due to pricing and complexity|
|Functionality||A huge number of possible integrations and unlimited API support||Difficulty in connecting third-party services, poor API integration|
Conclusion: it is better to use Xamarin to ensure full multiplatform. React Native is suitable to create productive Android solutions.
Xamarin vs. Flutter
|Usability||Standard for all .Net products||Easier to write, test, and release|
|Performance in native the OS environment||Works equally well on all supported devices||Works great on Android and iOS|
|Problematic||Quite difficult to work on the product||Lightweight, but requires some skills|
|Popularity||Basic. However, some developers recognize Xamarin as the best platform||High. Due to Dart and the flexibility of the platform, Flutter’s popularity is growing|
|Work on the interface||Standard for most similar solutions||Only coding that connects elements and logic|
Conclusion: apps on Flutter can be developed faster and have better flexibility. Xamarin is cross-platform, the work is a little longer, but the performance is excellent.
Flutter vs. React Native
|Convenience||Complete control over development and testing||Easy work with the app|
|Development speed||Very high||Moderately high, depends on skills and experience|
|Performance in the native OS environment||Works equally well on iOS and Android||Very fast on Android and average on iOS|
|Difficulty of mastering||Medium, but the entry threshold is low due to many available materials||Easy because Java Script is one of the long-lived dynamic languages|
|Support||Full support from the community and the developer||A large number of tutorials, guides, and thematic forums|
Conclusion: Flutter looks like a more versatile and reliable framework. React Native has the same performance but cannot be called 100% cross-platform.
All 3 platforms support feature expansion with database, interface, and security upgrades. Cloud hosting, which is used in most modern products, allows you to process thousands of simultaneous requests without affecting performance. That’s why the issue of scaling for these frameworks is not entirely relevant. A smart performer will improve your app based on any of them.
Speed of development and launch of products on the market
What could be more important than the timely release of an IT solution for business? That’s right, nothing. Flutter and React Native allow developers to reduce the time it takes to create, test, and prepare a product for release, and this is a significant advantage in the list of their benefits. Xamarin, on the other hand, is relatively slow to develop but more flexible in terms of versatility and quality.
The development price depends on the number of offers in the IT market. Finding a good specialist in popular technologies is not difficult, but in the case of Xamarin, it is more challenging. Due to investment in the tool, this environment is not in the same demand as competitors, so finding a good expert can sometimes take a long time. The price of the full version of the framework affects the service’s cost, not for the better.
When choosing a framework for building a mobile app, be guided by the available budget, business logic, and required device coverage. For the best performance of Android programs, it is better to use React Native, and for full cross-platform, Flutter and Xamarin are suitable. And a natural question arises: where to look for specialists in each technology?
Glorium Technologies experts have mastered these and other frameworks to perfection and are ready to develop a project of any complexity. Delegating the task to our specialists, you get a comprehensive service. We will consult, develop, test, and launch your solution on the market. At this time, you can deal with the main business processes and check the results periodically. For more information, please contact our manager.