Mobile DevelopmentXamarin vs. Flutter vs. React Native

Irek Róg
Irek Róg

Frontend & Mobile Tech

Stanislav Naborshchikov
Stanislav Naborshchikov

Solutions Specialist

a man sitting in front of a computer on a desk
Table of contents

A few words for the start

What is the best choice for the fast and cost-effective mobile app development of a cross-platform mobile application in 2023?

According to the Bitrise data and their report "The State of Mobile App Development in 2022" the platform distribution in their ecosystem was the following in the last year:

pie chart with the percentage of Apps built on Bitrise, by the platform in 2022 with the legend

We have compared three technologies — Xamarin vs Flutter vs React Native — so that you can determine which cross platform framework for your application will be the best.


What is Flutter?

Flutter, an open-source cross-platform SDK developed by Google, has revolutionized the way mobile applications are built. Powered by the Dart programming language, Flutter enables developers to create high-quality flutter app for various platforms, including iOS, Android, Linux, Windows, Mac, and Google Fuchsia. Moreover, it also facilitates the cross platform development of web applications, making it a versatile choice for developers across different domains.

Benefits of Flutter

Flutter framework has many advantages, including:

  • a rich selection of widgets with which applications look great. Flutter ui components are also easy to implement and use as it very similar to Material Design;

  • an active, growing community;

  • excellent documentation and support from the development team make it easier to learn and use the framework and programming language;

  • the ability to build versions of the flutter apps for different platforms from the same source code;

  • quick product launch on the market.

Thanks to Flutter for Web, you can develop Android, iOS app or different platform as well as web app using the same programming language. With Flutter Desktop you can create also desktop app. Flutter for Web is well suited for developing progressive web applications (PWA), single-page applications (SPA), and creating web versions of existing mobile applications.

Suitability for Different Projects

Whether you are working on a minimum viable product (MVP) or a large-scale application, Flutter offers the flexibility and scalability required for diverse project requirements. With Flutter, developers can easily prototype and iterate on ideas, allowing for faster cross platform app development cycles. The framework's rich set of pre-built UI components, known as widgets, further enhances productivity, enabling flutter developer to create stunning user interfaces with ease.

Popularity and Recognition

Flutter's popularity has been steadily increasing since its release. It has garnered significant attention and support from the developer community, as evidenced by its impressive performance on platforms like GitHub. With over 154 thousand stars, Flutter has become one of the most highly regarded repositories on the platform, showcasing its widespread adoption and active developer base.

Furthermore, Flutter has achieved recognition as one of the top frameworks, libraries, and tools in the industry. In the influential Stack Overflow survey of 2020, Flutter secured a spot among the top three most popular frameworks, reflecting its growing prominence and the trust developers place in it.

Notable Applications Built with Flutter

Flutter has powered the development of numerous successful applications across a wide range of industries. Here are just a few notable examples:

  • Google Ads: Google Ads, a widely used advertising platform, utilizes Flutter's capabilities to deliver a seamless and engaging user experience across different platforms.

  • Alibaba: One of the world's largest e-commerce companies, Alibaba, leveraged Flutter to create captivating user interfaces for their mobile applications, enhancing their customers' shopping experience.

  • Square: Square, a renowned financial technology company, utilized Flutter to build intuitive and feature-rich payment applications, enabling businesses of all sizes to process transactions efficiently.

  • eBay: The popular online marketplace eBay employed Flutter to develop their mobile application, providing users with a smooth and intuitive buying and selling experience.

  • Hamilton Musical: The official Hamilton Musical application utilized Flutter's cross-platform capabilities to deliver exclusive content, news, and ticketing services to fans worldwide.

React Native

What is React Native?

Released by Facebook in 2015, React Native has emerged as a leading framework for cross-platform mobile application development. This free and open-source framework empowers developers to build applications for iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS using a single codebase. Leveraging JavaScript and the React architecture, React Native development also facilitates the creation of web versions of these applications, further expanding its versatility.

Benefits of React Native

React Native offers numerous advantages that contribute to its popularity among developers. Some key benefits include:

  • Robust Application Performance: React Native enables the development of high-performance mobile applications. By leveraging native components, the framework delivers a native-like experience, ensuring smooth animations, responsive interfaces, and excellent overall performance.

  • Thriving Professional Community: With a large and active community of developers, React Native benefits from ongoing support, updates, and a wealth of shared knowledge. This vibrant community contributes to the framework's evolution, providing resources, libraries, and solutions to common challenges.

  • Ease of Learning: React Native framework embraces a developer-friendly approach, making it relatively easy to learn and start building applications. Even for native developers. The framework offers extensive documentation, comprehensive guides, and a wide array of high-quality libraries, empowering react native developer to quickly grasp its concepts and best practices.

  • Code Reusability: A significant advantage of React Native app development is the ability to reuse code across different platforms. With a shared codebase, react native developers can efficiently develop applications for multiple platforms, reducing software development time and effort while ensuring consistent functionality and user experiences.

Applications Built with React Native

React Native has powered the development of several popular and widely used applications across various domains. Here are a few noteworthy examples:

  • Instagram: Instagram, the renowned social media platform, has leveraged React Native to build its mobile application. React Native's performance and efficiency enable users to seamlessly browse through images, engage with content, and interact with the Instagram community

  • Facebook: As the creators of React Native, it comes as no surprise that Facebook utilizes the framework extensively. React Native powers various features of the Facebook mobile application, contributing to its fast and responsive user interface.

  • Skype: The widely used communication platform, Skype, has incorporated React Native into its mobile application. React Native app's capabilities enable real-time messaging, voice calls, and video chats, delivering a seamless communication experience across platforms

  • Pinterest: Pinterest, a popular visual discovery platform, has embraced React Native to develop its mobile application. React Native's performance optimization and smooth animations enhance the browsing and content discovery experience for Pinterest users.

  • Afterparty: Afterparty, a social networking application for discovering and joining nearby events, utilizes React Native to provide users with a seamless and intuitive event exploration experience.


What is Xamarin?

Xamarin, a popular and free open-source mobile app development platform, caters to developers who work with C#. With a vast community of over 60,000 contributors, Xamarin offers a comprehensive solution for addressing the challenges associated with resource fragmentation during application development. As an extension of the .NET development platform, Xamarin empowers developers to create applications for iOS, Android, and Windows operating systems.

Benefits of Xamarin

Xamarin boasts several advantages that contribute to its appeal among developers:

  • Single Technological Stack: Xamarin enables developers to leverage a single technological stack, primarily based on C#. This eliminates the need to learn different programming languages or frameworks for developing applications across multiple platforms. With Xamarin, app developer can maximize code reusability, streamline development processes, and enhance productivity.

  • Native User Experience: Xamarin ensures a native user experience by leveraging native APIs and capabilities of each platform. This means that applications developed with Xamarin have access to the full range of native features, resulting in high-quality and platform-specific user interfaces. Xamarin cross platform application offers seamless performance and a familiar look and feel, enhancing user satisfaction.

  • Shareable Code: Xamarin allows developers to write and share a significant portion of code across different platforms. Through the use of shared code libraries, developers can reduce duplication and maintain consistency throughout the development process. This not only saves time and effort but also simplifies future updates and maintenance.

  • Time and Cost Savings: Xamarin streamlines the app development process by enabling the creation of cross-platform applications from a single codebase. This approach significantly reduces development time and costs associated with building separate applications for each platform. Developers can focus on writing code once and efficiently deploying it across multiple platforms, saving valuable resources.

Applications Built with Xamarin

Xamarin has powered the development of numerous successful applications across various industries. Here are a few noteworthy examples:

  • Novarum: Novarum, a mobile application for medical diagnostics, utilized Xamarin to deliver a reliable and user-friendly interface for healthcare professionals. Xamarin's native capabilities enabled seamless integration with medical devices, providing accurate diagnostic results.

  • Crédito Agrícola: Crédito Agrícola, a leading financial institution, employed Xamarin to build its mobile banking application. Xamarin's native performance and user interface capabilities contributed to a secure and intuitive banking experience for customers across different platforms.

  • Caption: Caption, a social media platform for sharing photos and videos, leveraged Xamarin to create a visually appealing and feature-rich mobile application. Xamarin's ability to access platform-specific APIs ensured smooth media sharing and a seamless user experience.

  • Turkish Airlines: Turkish Airlines utilized Xamarin to develop its mobile application, offering users a comprehensive and personalized travel experience. Xamarin's native integration allowed for smooth flight bookings, real-time updates, and easy navigation.

Comparison of Dart, JavaScript, and C#

When it comes to developing cross-platform mobile applications using frameworks like Flutter, React Native, and Xamarin, it's important to understand the differences between the programming languages they utilize. React Native relies on JavaScript, while Flutter uses Dart, and Xamarin is built on C#.

JavaScript has a proven track record and has played a crucial role in dynamic web development. However, Dart, a modern language introduced in 2011, offers significant performance improvements compared to JavaScript, thanks to its ahead-of-time and just-in-time compilers.

If speed is a top priority for your application, Flutter and Dart emerge as clear leaders in this aspect.

Similarities between React Native & Flutter

All three frameworks share common characteristics and advantages. They are free and open source, allowing developers to create cross-platform applications. Some noteworthy features they offer include:

  • Continuous Support: React Native and Flutter receive consistent support from Google and Facebook, ensuring regular bug fixes and updates. As a result, these frameworks are known for their reliability.

  • Customizability: Being open source, React Native and Flutter provide extensive customization options compared to other solutions in the market. Developers have the flexibility to tailor the frameworks to their specific requirements.

  • Excellent User Interface: Both Flutter and React Native excel at creating visually appealing user interfaces. While Flutter uses customizable widgets, React Native utilizes native components and UI elements, delivering exceptional UI experiences.

  • Hot Reload: React Native and Flutter offer hot reload functionality, allowing developers to see real-time changes in the user interface without manual refreshes. This accelerates the development process and enhances productivity.

  • Fast and Cost-Effective Development: By leveraging a single codebase, developers can expedite the development process and save resources, making cross-platform app development more efficient.

Creating a user interface (UI)

And now let's take a closer look at the differences between React Native and Flutter. One of them concerns the creation of a user interface.

React Native uses native components of the iOS and Android user interface. Therefore, the components of the React Native application look the same as the components of the corresponding platform. If the OS update changes the appearance or functions of these components, they will be updated in your application in the same way. The plus is that you may have to release new releases less often, and the minus is that OS updates can disrupt the operation of your application.

Flutter, instead of using native UI elements, offers customizable widgets that are drawn from scratch. UI development using Flutter involves extensive customization. You can use the Cupertino widget library to make the interface look native, or you can create something completely individual. You have the option to use and adapt any widget in the Flutter library or develop your own widgets.

From the business point of view

Both Flutter and React Native separate the user interface from the business logic of the application. Flutter employs the block method, while React Native follows the Flux pattern. The block pattern, used by Flutter, ensures smooth scrolling and animations even during data loading through asynchronous methods, structured coding, and multithreading.

React Native offers the advantage of reusing the business logic across different platforms, leading to faster development and reduced error rates. Additionally, React Native benefits from a vast ecosystem of JavaScript libraries, expanding its capabilities.


In terms of documentation, Flutter takes the lead with its excellent documentation, making it beginner-friendly and easy to get started with. React Native's documentation assumes some prior knowledge of JavaScript, making it relatively more complex for newcomers.

Both Flutter and React Native have sizable and active communities. As of May 2022, Flutter boasts 121 thousand stars on GitHub, while React Native has 95.6 thousand. The Flutter community shows consistent growth and high engagement across platforms like Reddit, Stack Overflow, Facebook, and Twitter. This active community support indicates that the future of cross-platform application development is leaning toward Flutter.

Community support and popularity of Flutter vs. React Native vs. Xamarin

Statistics of Flutter and React Native communities as of the end of May 2023

  • Github: Flutter has 154 thousand stars, React Native has 110 thousand stars vs. 5,7 thousand stars of Xamarin GitHub project.

  • Reddit: subreddit FlutterDev community has 109 thousand users, the subreddit reactnative community has 104 thousand users vs. subreddit xamarindevelopers

    community has 5,7 thousand users.

  • StackOverflow: 162,447 questions tagged [flutter] and 131,539 questions tagged [react-native] vs. 50,346 questions tagged [xamarin].

  • Twitter: 232,9 thousand followers of Flutter vs. 177,6 thousand React Native followers vs. 70 thousand Xamarin followers.

According to data provided by SEranking the mentioned technologies have the following search volume in Google (the United States) in the last 12 months:

  • Flutter:

chart about flutter term popularity in Google Search from March 2022 to February 2023

  • React Native:

chart about react native term popularity in Google Search from March 2022 to February 2023

  • Xamarin

chart about xamarin term popularity in Google Search from March 2022 to February 2023

Efficiency and Performance

Performance is a critical factor to consider when selecting a framework, and Flutter excels in this aspect. Flutter's efficient code-writing process, combined with its C++ engine and the Skia graphics library, enables the creation of high-performance applications for various platforms.

React Native, on the other hand, relies on a bridge that connects JavaScript and native code, which can sometimes lead to delays in UI rendering and other performance issues. Flutter, with its direct integration with native elements through built-in libraries and frameworks, bypasses such challenges.


Other hybrid frameworks for mobile application development cannot compare with these leading technologies. There are few alternatives for Flutter and React Native, so they are the best candidates for developing cross-platform applications. However, Flutter is more modern than React Native, with higher performance, better documentation, and customization options. Flutter is able to provide you with faster, scalable, and high-performance applications compatible with numerous platforms.

If you want to develop your cross-platform application using Flutter, fill out the form below, we will contact you soon and discuss everything.

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Matt Sadowski

CEO of Mobile Reality

CEO of Mobile Reality

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