Xamarin.Forms vs Android Studio: Which is the best for mobile app development?

December 11, 2019 10:59 am

An Integrated Development Environment (IDE) plays a key role in facilitating the software development process. There are a number of reasons to use an IDE, an IDE unifies common tasks performed by developers such as debugging, editing source code, version control, and building executables into a single environment. Apart from that, they can also increase developer productivity by integrating multiple lines of code into a single application. In this blog post, we will run a side by side comparison between Xamarin.Forms vs Android Studio.

Xamarin.Forms

Cross-platform mobile app frameworks are now one of the latest trends in the realm of mobile app development. With cross-platform development frameworks, developers can craft powerful and multi-featured mobile apps that are compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows devices. Xamarin is one of those frameworks. Xamarin is a great framework for C# developers since Xamarin uses C# as its codebase, they can also use .NET libraries while developing mobile apps for iOS and Android platforms. Xamarin.Form is an extended feature, Xamarin Developers can find Xamarin plugin on both the IDEs offered by Microsoft, viz. Xamarin Studio for Mac and Visual Studio for Windows. When you wish to build an Android app, you are required to use the Xamarin.Forms. 

With Xamarin.Forms, developers can access built-in controls, pages, and layout to design and develop enhanced mobile apps from a single API.

  

Xamarin.Forms: Features

  • Fast Renderers: Fast renderers are now enabled in Xamarin by default and this primarily benefits Android developers. It comes with an optimized renderer that removes the need for wrapping the view group. So, If you want to go back to use the legacy renderers, you can use the below flag.
    global::Xamarin.Forms.Forms.SetFlags(“useLegacyRenderers”);
  • Shell: Tabs are now more simple with the latest version of Xamarin.Forms. Shell builds upon the fast renderer that we mentioned before since everything in the shell uses the same pattern. If you think about what you had to do to make tabs, or what you still could do today with a tab page to make tabs work, then you will probably end up writing a bunch of codes like this:

shells

 Wouldn’t it be nice if you could write the above code like this:

shell

Pros of using Xamarin.Forms

  • Easy Prototyping: Prototyping can be a time-consuming task for developers. With Xamarin.Forms, developers can effortlessly prototype complex mobile apps.   
  • With Xamarin, developers can update, make changes to the app relatively easy when compared to other frameworks. With native, the procedures are the same, only it’s duplicated for each version of the app.
  • Apps that are developed with Xamarin.Forms can fully access the hardware functionalities of your device such as NFC, sensors, etc, just like a native app. 
  • Xamarin.forms allows developers to build UI in two ways. Developers can build UI with the aid of Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML). At the same time, they can use the default API that is provided by Xamarin to build UI views completely with source code.
  • With Xamarin.Forms, developers can use multiple layouts as a container for views, as well as for other containers. 

 

Android Studio

Android studio is a product of Google and is the official IDE for Andriod development. As such, it’s highly sure that its support will never end as long as Android apps exist. It is a one-stop-shop for building apps for Android Wear, Android Phones, Android TV, tablets and Android Auto. 

Android Studio: Features

  • Firebase and Cloud integration: Android studio provides the added support for developers to connect your app to Google cloud and added services from Google such as Authentication, Notifications, Analytics, and more.
  • Instant Apps for App Bundles: App sizes are always something that annoys us during a download. This is the main reason why Google has added the support for app bundles, it allows you to set certain device configuration requirements for dynamic feature modules to be downloaded automatically during the app install. Apart from that, you can set conditional delivery based on hardware features such as OpenGL Versions, Support for AR(Augmented Reality), API Level or even user country.
  • APK Analyzer: Developers can find APK Analyzer as a handy tool in Android Studio. It allows developers to inspect DEX files, analyze the size of each component, and also allows them to preview packaged assets.

 

Pros of using Android Studio

  • With this IDE, developers can seamlessly build apps for all Android devices such as tablets, mobile phones, wearables, Android Auto and Android TV. 
  • Since Android Studio is considered as the official IDE for building Android apps, developers can expect great community support.
  • Android Studio even provides native support for GCP(Google Cloud Platform). 
  • Google has made Source Control a hassle-free process in Android Studio since it comes with Built-in GitHub integration, but it also supports other source control systems like Google Cloud Source Repositories.

 

From the above comparison, it will be hard for us to arrive at a proper conclusion since we’ve got two amazing platforms for mobile app development. However, we strongly recommend choosing Xamarin as the core tool for your mobile app development.


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