React Native, Xamarin or Ionic | Which is Best?

Xamarin is a C# framework, whereas React Native and Ionic are JavaScript/TypeScript based.

Xamarin can be used in a number of ways. One alternative is to keep as much as feasible and only switch to C# as a programming language. That is, you use Xamarin Studio tools to create XIBs, storyboards, and Android layout files. Code that does not rely on the user interface can be reused between iOS and Android projects. However, if you want to enjoy all of Xamarin’s potential, there is another option i.e. cross-platform Xamarin. Forms can be used to build the user interface for two platforms at the same time.

React Native and Ionic, on the other hand, have selected JavaScript-based languages. But what distinguishes them?

The main distinction is that React Native works more like Xamarin: you can create the GUI using a unique templating language, which results in the creation of native widgets. Ionic, on the other hand, makes no use of native widgets. Instead, it just shows an HTML-coded web page that matches the look of the native widgets.

As it can be seen, each framework takes a slightly different approach. But how can you know which tool is the best? The following criteria characterise the tools, allowing you to appropriately identify them.

Market and Community: The React Native developer community & react native development company has grown considerably quicker than Facebook anticipated. Over 1.6K contributors have contributed code to the framework’s codebase so far. Google Trends also shows an increase in interest in React Native.

Xamarin, on the other hand, is one of the oldest cross-platform frameworks accessible. The technology is mostly employed in enterprise settings and has received numerous excellent reviews throughout the years. Xamarin is utilised by approximately 15,000 businesses in industries like energy, transportation, healthcare, and others. The number of Xamarin developers is likewise increasing.

Ionic, on the other hand, lives by the motto “Write once, run everywhere.” As a result, the same code can be written on a PC and expected to operate on any device. This method allows software developers to save time and work by generating a single version of the software for all platforms on which it will be deployed. According to statistics, there are 5 million Ionic developers in over 200 countries globally. Over 75% of them create apps for commercial use.

The Language Stack: Developers can create React Native apps by making use of JavaScript, which is by far the most dynamic, popular, and high-performance programming language. React Native, which is funded by Facebook, combines the advantages of JavaScript and React JS. The best part about working with React Native is that, unlike the other two frameworks, it allows the developer to write code in Swift, Obj-C, or Java as needed. On the other hand, Xamarin combines the finest of C# and .Net to construct Android, iOS, and Mac applications. A developer can build something using C# and Xamarin while using native languages.

Ionic, on the other hand, develops and runs mobile applications with HTML5, CSS, and JS. They require a Cordova wrapper to obtain access to native platform controllers. When working with Ionic, code quality is critical. As a result, TypeScript can be used to enhance the quality of code.

Platforms that are Supported: Below are the platforms that support React Native, Xamarin, and Ionic:

  • React Native supports iOS 8+ and Android 4.1+
  • Xamarin supports Windows 10, Android 4.0.3+, and iOS 8+
  • Ionic supports iOS 8+, Android 4.4+, and Windows 10.

Performance Evaluation: Ionic is a good choice for prototyping and rapid development, as well as for creating a multi-functional app with few changes to the code base. As a result, you can quickly cover several platforms using the same code base. Regardless of the operating system you choose, the produced program looks the same.

Apps for React Native and Xamarin are designed to be interoperable with any mobile platform. The native components incorporated into the frameworks make them “feel” native. As a result, everything a user sees in the React Native/Xamarin-based app will be shown as feasible, depending on the individual requirements of each mobile platform. In most circumstances, this development paradigm gives superior performance and responsiveness as compared to hybrid apps.

Experience as a Developer: React Native was discovered by the developers to be a strong technology and the future of mobile development when compared with Xamarin and Ionic. React Native is an excellent example of what may happen when we apply principles that have proven effective in one area of software (web) to a seemingly unrelated area of software (mobile).

Code Sharing: Native components developed in Objective-C, Swift, or Java are used by React Native. As a result, a react native development company or a developer may easily employ native code to optimise an app and improve its speed in high-load processes such as image editing or video playback. In the case of Xamarin, developers utilised C# in conjunction with the .Net framework to create apps for several mobile platforms. Xamarin does not necessitate switching between development environments as all Xamarin apps are created in Visual Studio.

The universality of Ionic apps, on the other hand, is an essential component of their design. They can work equally well on any of them, regardless of the operating system. However, some UI elements must conform to the requirements of a specific platform, which will necessitate further work.

Licensing: Businesses that have decided to develop an app for commercial purposes must exercise caution while using open-source code. Despite the fact that it has a cheaper total cost of ownership than proprietary libraries, there is no 100% guarantee of code protection. The MIT licence applies to React Native, Xamarin, and Ionic. This is one of the most widely used and permissive certifications, providing legal protection to the software developer.

Cost: Businesses can create React Native apps at minimal cost as it is an entirely free and open-source project. This framework and its libraries are available to developers for free. Furthermore, Xamarin requires users to install the IDE, which is delivered on a subscription basis. It provides a free edition with up to 5 users. Professional and Enterprise licences have additional functionality. The Professional licence costs $539 per year, while the Enterprise licence costs $2.999 per year. Whereas, Ionic is a free and open-source framework for creating hybrid mobile apps. Nonetheless, the company offers Ionic Pro, a cloud platform for teams and enterprises, for a fee.

Popular Uses Include: Below are the most popular applications that use React Native, Xamarin, and Ionic:

  • React Native: Instagram, Facebook, UberEats, Airbnb, and more.
  • Xamarin: Olo, The World Bank, Storyo.
  • Ionic: JustWatch, Pacifica, Nationwide, and more.


React Native, Ionic and Xamarin have gained traction among businesses looking to minimise the time and expenses associated with software development. Depending on your company’s goals and priorities, any of the three frameworks can be successful.

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