NativeScript vs Xamarin

So in my pursuit to discover cross platform solutions or frameworks for building mobile applications that target multiple platforms such as Android ,iOS and Windows Phone .

If you have already heard about these two frameworks ,I mean NativeScript and Xamarin and want to make a decision , which one to choose for you or/and maybe your team then maybe this comparison (NativeScript vs Xamarin ) can help you .

Before you can make a decision for the most suitable framework for your needs it might be a good idea to know some key information about both frameworks .

First ,you need to know that every comparison is subjective and after all the best framework for you is the one that makes you productive in less time and the one that you have skills to efficiently work with it .

The first thing you need to know about NativeScript and Xamarin is that both of them are developed by big software companies .Xamarin is owned by the giant and well known company Microsoft where NativeScript is built by Telerik .

To build apps with Xamarin you need to know C# ,which a Java like language built by Microsoft .

NativeScript is a JavaScript framework ,so you need to know JavaScript and you can also use TypeScript which is a superset of JavaScript that adds OOP concepts and strong types to JavaScript which is also created by Microsoft .You can also use Angular 2 with NativeScript so if you are already a web developer you may feel at home when using NativeScript .

Xamarin is owned by Microsoft which also owns Visual Studio the best development IDE in the world so you can have better integration between the two tools .

Xamarin is open source so you know open source means a great community and many other benefits .

What most developers don't like about Xamarin is the code recompilation process.You may think ,this is not a big problem but in practice when you are developing and testing your app in a real device ,this process may take some time depending on your machine power and may become worst depending on your machine conditions so it may be not important for you right now but when you start developing you are going to notice .

On the other side ,NativeScript has nearly instant changes push to real device because no code recompilation is needed ,JavaScript is an interpreted language .You just plug your device and enjoy testing your app and your changes are pushed just like if you are using an emulator .

Also with NativeScript ,you can very easily use any native platform library (For Java or Swift) .You can also built plugins or just look for the available plugins developed by other experienced Java or Swift developers .

With TypeScript ,you can use a subset of CSS so you the power for building your UI using modern web technologies .

Just like Xamarin ,NativeScript is open source too .


So this is some pros and cons of both frameworks and you can't really decide on the winner in this comparison . As i've said before what most important is your skills .If you or your team has better JavaScript skills then the choice maybe clearly NativeScript .On the other side if you have the skills required for Xamarin then you may need to consider Xamarin .Besides the recompilation con ,Xamarin is a very good cross platform solutions for building mobile apps .Also you need to consider your app requirements which maye help decide which one to choose .

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About the author

Ahmed Bouchefra
is a web developer with 5+ years of experience and technical author with an engineering degree on software development. You can hire him with a click on the link above or contact him via his LinkedIn account. He authored technical content for the industry-leading websites such as SitePoint, Smashing, DigitalOcean, RealPython, freeCodeCamp, JScrambler, Pusher, and Auth0. He also co-authored various books about modern web development that you can find from Amazon or Leanpub

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