Being the most popular software development language up to date, C# boasts an extremely extensive scope of application options. Thus, apart from desktop solutions, it is used to build pieces of mobile software as well. It is usually done with the help of the special frameworks, such as Xamarin, for one instance. The great thing about this platform is that it does not require any specific developer’s knowledge of mobile OS languages – Objective-C/Swift (for iOS) and Java (for Android). Before starting to work with this framework, however, you are to face a dilemma – which one is better: Xamarin Forms (a popular cross-platform software building tool) or Xamarin Native (which allows creating identical solutions for both platforms, using Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android libraries respectively). Let’s find out how to make a reasonable decision in regard to the Xamarin Native vs Xamarin Forms dilemma by analyzing their pros and cons.
Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android Libraries: Features of Each?
In general, the goal of creating Xamarin was to expand the C# language’s capabilities. Instead of creating exclusively the Windows-compatible desktop software, the Xamarin team managed to create a framework featuring a set of compilers specific for each new OS. Those covered the primary mobile platforms – iOS and Android – as well. Notice that the framework opened access for soft builders to native APIs, which removed any boundaries in implementing the mobile software functionality of one’s bravest desires.
As we have already mentioned, Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android are construction libraries for the respective mobile OS. They provide access to the iOS SDK and Android SDK through the C# language capabilities.
Xamarin.Forms: Who Can Make Use of It?
Xamarin.Forms is an SDK for creating cross-platform apps that allows constructing a single frontend for both general mobile platforms using only C# and XAML. In all the rest of the aspects, this software product shows characteristics similar to any other cross-platform framework. Thus, with Xamarin.Forms, you will be able to save your future app’s implementation budget significantly (as about 80-95% eventually comes out identical for both OSes).
Choosing Between Xamarin.Forms and Xamarin Native
Now it is time we help you decide which of the two would fit your particular development needs best – Xamarin forms vs Xamarin Native.
Cases Fit for Xamarin Native
All in all, there are two most common cases where the Xamarin forms vs Xamarin Native stand is won by the latter:
- Your app is full of dynamically-updated content. Recenty, not many cross-platform-oriented frameworks demonstrate an ability to perform faster than the native analogs (a hyped-up top algorithm React Fiber is looking to change the situation, which, however, requires advanced JS knowledge in its operation). When it comes to solutions with a bunch of dynamically-updated content, the cross-platform approach can bring significant harm to the final user experience and downgrade the level of performance (i.e., the updating of elements would happen as fast as one would wish). Here is where you do not face much of a choice except to go for the native Xamarin development. In such a case, you will be able to save each OS’s native frontend without lowering the rendering speed.
- Your UI involves native OS-specific elements. When you are building a user interface that universally fits both targeted OSes, you do not usually face the task of adapting it to each of the platforms separately. This concerns not only the specific design attributes. Issues may appear in making your solution employ user gadget’s navigational touch-sensitive buttons and standard menu capabilities provided by the platform. In order to avoid excessive problems, it would be much more reasonable here to go for the native Xamarin development.
Read also: Xamarin vs Native Mobile App Development
Cases Fit for Xamarin.Forms
Now, let’s find out why Xamarin Native is not always the best way to go and in which cases it is better to go for Xamarin.Forms when facing the ‘Xamarin forms or Xamarin Native’ dilemma:
- A budget-saving option. As you may already know, the main reason for choosing a cross-platform approach is the desire to save – both the developer’s time and project budget. Using Xamarin.Forms, you can implement up to 80-95% of the identical code. This allows bringing the final product’s release all the closer. As a whole, Xamarin.Forms lets product owners forget about the necessity to sacrifice quality of the solution in certain cases.
- You are not planning to provide continuous tech support. It is reasonable to choose cross-platform development when you realize that, most probably, you are going to work with a certain team of developers on a single project, no further cooperation involved. In such a case, you can hire another company in the future to further scale and customize your solution without being concerned with these developmental processes taking too long (because editing a single app is much more time-efficient than working on two intended for different platforms simultaneously, to say the least).
Summarizing our brief Xamarin forms vs Xamarin Native comparison, we can say that both solutions are great for usage by developers with a good command in C#. In turn, our feature can help you decide which of these two products can best fit your particular project. And if you are looking for developers to implement it, we will gladly help. Our team specializes in building both cross-platform and native mobile solutions - your project can get the best of both of these worlds depending on your particular preferences.