Xamarin Apps vs. Native Apps vs. Hybrid Apps

Shailendra Chauhan  Print 
16 Feb 2017
06 Aug 2018
Intermediate
16.3K

Today's we are living in the age of mobile phones. Every one using mobile phones for various daily activities like chatting, sharing, shopping etc. Mobile apps have changed the way of browsing the web and doing online activities.

In the field of mobile application development, you have three options for developing the mobile apps - native mobile apps, hybrid mobile apps and cross-platform native mobile apps. Now the question is, when to use which one? In this article, I am going to discuss Native Apps, Hybrid Apps and Cross-platform Native Apps development using Xamarin.

Native Apps

Native apps development is specific to a mobile OS platform like iOS, Android or Windows. They can be developed using tools or SDKs and languages which are supported by a particular mobile OS. Like an iOS app can be build using XCode with Objective-C or Swift language, or an Android app can be build using Android Studio with Java language, or a Windows UWP or mobile app can be built using Visual Studio and C# language.

Pros of Native Apps

The main advantages of native apps development are as :

  1. Code is optimized for the OS.

  2. Code can run natively on the device without compiling or a web wrapper.

  3. Code has direct access to device native APIs like Camera, Contact, Media etc.

  4. Provides native user interface (UI).

  5. Provides high performance.

Cons of Native Apps

The main disadvantages of native apps development are as :

  1. They cannot run on cross platform mobile OS like iOS, Android or Windows.

  2. There is no unified code base. You have to write code for each platform.

Xamarin time to market

Hybrid Apps

This is a cross-platform mobile apps development which supports OS like iOS, Android or Windows. They can be developed by using HTML5, JavaScript and Cordova to access mobile native features. They can be deployed to a different platform by building them platform-specific SDKs, supported by a particular mobile OS.

You can also use the hybrid mobile apps development framework like Ionic, Intel XDK, Snecha, Kendo UI, PhoneGap etc.

Pros of Hybrid Apps

The main advantages of hybrid apps development are as :

  1. Unified code base for all platform like iOS, Android or Windows.

  2. Code run on each platform wrapped inside a native container.

  3. Can access device native features like Camera, Contact, Media etc. using cordova plugins.

Cons of Hybrid Apps

The main disadvantages of native apps development are as :

  1. Provides emulated user interface (UI).

  2. Provides low performance as compared to native.

  3. Limited access to platform specific features.

Xamarin - Cross-Platform Native Apps

Xamarin is an open-source, c# .NET based, cross-platform mobile apps development framework to develop truly native apps for iOS, Android or Windows. It builds native apps with high performance and native UI. It has access to platform-specific native APIs for each platform like iOS, Android or Windows.

Xamarin time to market

Pros of Xamarin - Cross Platform Native Apps

The main advantages of cross-platform native apps development are as :

  1. Faster cross-platform mobile apps development.

  2. Extensive code sharing (Upto 100% code sharing with Xamarin forms) for all platform like iOS, Android or Windows.

Xamarin time to market
  1. Code can run natively on the device without compiling or a web wrapper.

  2. Code has direct access to device native APIs like Camera, Contact, Media etc.

  3. Provides native user interface (UI).

  4. Provides high performance (close to native).

Cons of Xamarin - Cross Platform Native Apps

The main disadvantages of native apps development are as :

  1. Limited dynamic language and generics support.

  2. Limited sharing of UI code across iOS and Android.

  3. Limited .NET API support.

What do you think?

I hope you will have better understanding among Native, Hybrid and Cross-platform hybrid apps. I would like to have feedback from my blog readers. Your valuable feedback, question, or comments about this article are always welcome.

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