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Difference between Ionic and Xamarin

Ionic and Xamarin are the two most popular framework for developing hybrid apps. For the past few years, it is a point of debate for developers to choose which framework is best. Both frameworks have a large community of passionate developers who provides the solution for all of your doubts. Both technologies are used in large enterprises. In this section, we are going to see how Ionic is different from Xamarin. The difference between Ionic and Xamarin is not limited to performance only, but it also applicable to Application size, UX/UI experience, Code reusability, third-party libraries, etc.

Ionic

Ionic is an open-source UI toolkit for building performant, high-quality mobile apps, desktop apps, and progressive web apps using web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It allows developers to build once and run everywhere. It was created by Max Lynch, Ben Sperry, and Adam Bradley of Drifty Co. in 2013. The first beta version of the Ionic framework was released in March 2014.

The Ionic framework mainly focuses on front-end user experience or UI interaction, which handles all the look and feel of your app. It is easy to learn and can integrate with other libraries or frameworks such as Angular, React, Cordova, etc. Officially, the Ionic framework has integration with Angular, but it also provides support for Vue.js and React.js.

Pros of Ionic

The advantages of the Ionic application are as follows:

  • If the developer has a basic knowledge of CSS, HTML, or JavaScript frameworks, then learning and developing apps using the Ionic framework is very easy.
  • Ionic provides simple, easy, and well-structured documentation. The official documentation covered most of the things required for the developers.
  • The ionic application can deploy on multiple platforms such as iOS, Android, Desktop, and the web, all with one codebase. The ionic apps can write once and runs everywhere.
  • The user interface of Ionic, such as themes and components are highly customizable. The ionic platform allows its components to adapt to the platform on which the application is running.

Cons of Ionic

The disadvantages of Ionic application are as follows:

  • The performance of the Ionic app is not as good as compared to native mobile applications. However, the performance gap is not noticeable for most of the average users.
  • The app developed with the Ionic framework may not provide as much security as a native application. For example, if you are developing a financial app, e.g., the app for a bank, the Ionic framework is not recommended.
  • You cannot access any device-specific feature in Ionic without using Apache Cordova. Apache Cordova allows you to integrate the plugins which can add the functionality to access those features. However, there are many plugins available to cover most of the native functionalities.
  • Ionic technology is still in development. It regularly keeps changing its support and standard, and its libraries can be rewritten entirely at any time.

Xamarin

Xamarin is an open-source, cross-platform development framework, which offers you to build android, iOS, Windows, and Mac apps by using the C# language. It is first launched in May 2011 by Xamarin Company. In 2016, Microsoft had signed an agreement to acquire Xamarin. Microsoft provides a free tool within Microsoft Visual Studio IDE, where users can get Xamarin's enterprise features. The visual studio offers support to the apps for building, deploying, and debugging apps on a simulator or a device. We can write the code in Xamarin tool using C# language and can use the same code for all other platforms.

Pros of Xamarin

The advantages of the Ionic application are as follows:

  • Xamarin is the best Native App Development Platform that allows developers to build native mobile apps. It has an excellent user interface and controls for creating a native app.
  • Xamarin allows you to build a cross-platform mobile app for Windows, Android, and iOS apps. You can also share codes over multiple platforms.
  • Xamarin has a very less number of bugs in the apps. You can also enhance app performance using the Xamarin Insight, which helps to monitor and keep a record of crashes and exceptions.
  • Xamarin does not need to create different API for different mobile platforms because it can use the same API to build iOS, Android, and Windows applications.
  • Xamarin allows you to generate high-performing compiled code that can access every native API. It provides a very easy way to create device-specific applications over different mobile platforms.
  • Xamarin has huge community support, which can help to solve all your doubts regarding app development.
  • Xamarin allows you to reuse the same code multiple times to create native user-interface for Android, iOS, and Windows devices.

Cons of Xamarin

The disadvantages of Xamarin technologies are as follows:

  • Xamarin is free for individuals and small companies, but it is expensive for enterprises. It is because they need to purchase a license for Microsoft's Visual Studio. Every enterprise that uses Xamarin technology requires all the bells and whistles to pay up to $2,999 for an annual subscription to Visual Studio Enterprise. The cost of these licenses depends on the size and needs of the developers.
  • Xamarin supports most of the .Net libraries, but it might be complicated to use all open-source libraries. It does not support all of the 3rd-party libraries for Android and iOS without specific wrappers.
  • Xamarin is not suitable for apps with heavy graphics, such as video games. If your application has rich UX/UI, then it should be implemented natively.
  • Xamarin made the app size bigger as compared to other frameworks. It adds 3 to 5 MB for the release and around 20 MB for debug builds.

Ionic vs. Xamarin

The comparison chart between Ionic and Xamarin are given below.

Ionic vs Xamarin
Ionic Xamarin
Definition Ionic is a front-end framework for developing a cross-platform app using web technologies such as Vue.js, React.js, and Angular. Xamarin is an open-source, cross-platform development framework, which offers you to build apps by using the C# language.
Created by It was created by Max Lynch, Ben Sperry, and Adam Bradley of Drifty Co. in 2013. It was first launched in March 2014. It is first launched in May 2011 by Xamarin Company. In 2016, Microsoft had signed an agreement to acquire Xamarin.
Language It uses C# and .Net language. It uses TypeScript language.
Performance Ionic has slower performance as compared to Xamarin because it uses the Web-View. It has better performance because it is close to the native app.
Size Size of an Ionic application is small. The size of the Xamarin application is bigger as compared to other frameworks.
Pricing It is free and open-source. If the organization needs to accelerate the development process, it uses a paid version of an Ionic pro. Xamarin is free for individuals and small companies, but it is expensive for enterprises. It is because they need to purchase a license for Microsoft's Visual Studio.
User Experience It gives an average user experience. The developers overly upgrade Ionic to continue using and sustain the completion. It provides an excellent, fastest, and most authentic user experience.
Code Reusability It has an optimum scope of code reusability. It does not provide any specific platform code reusability.
64-bit support In the latest update, Ionic support 64-bit mode only on iOS. Application. Ionic does not support 64-bit mode on Android. Xamarin supports 64-bit mode only. It can also be forced to compile on the 32-bit
Market and Community Support Ionic is the second most popular framework which provides large community support to the developers. Xamarin has huge community support, which can help to solve all your doubts regarding app development.
Tools integrate Some of the popular tools that integrate with an Ionic are Readymag, JScrambler, WebStorm, and DevExtreme. Some of the popular tools that integrate with the Xamarin are OneSignal, KeeWeb, Logify, and Raygun.
Companies use Sellsuki, Edify and eTobb are some of the popular companies that use Ionic. Rdio, Olo, and Rumble are some of the popular companies that use Xamarin.

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