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How to Choose The Best Mobile App For Your E-commerce Business

Thousands of new apps launch in the market every year. Apps for the App Store, Android Play Store and other platforms like Amazon and Microsoft.
Ever since its launch in 2008, the demand for mobile apps has grown tremendously. There are billions of smartphone owners, who use some kind of app regularly, and millions of app developers clambering over each other to create the top apps.

In March 2017 alone, Android users were able to choose from over 2.8 million apps, followed by Apple's App Store, which recorded about 2.02 million apps. I think you get the point. There are a lot of apps and competitions.

With so many options, it's important to make your app stand out from the crowd, to catch the eye of the end user. One of the ways to do this is to have the right tools and features.

For example, in the past, iOS applications were written in Objective-C and Swift, and Android applications were made using Java. Now there has been a shift in this trend, and many other tools have been introduced.
There are several tools, but we'll discuss Xamarin and React Native, so you can have a comparison and choose which is best for your project.

Many companies develop either iOS apps or Android apps, and some of them actually do want to develop apps that function seamlessly on both platforms.

Most apps that you develop using Android tools will not work optimally with IOS devices and vice versa. Both Xamarin and React Native address these problems. This saves a lot of development time because app creators don't have to write a single app for two different platforms. This leads to a one-app-for-all scenario.

Andrii Tymoshenko
CSMO
Market share

React Native: The trend for using React Native has improved considerably. Thousands of websites use this tool, from Fortune 500 companies to new startups. Lazada, a German e-commerce company, the Guardian, a British daily newspaper, ScienceDirect (scientific journals and articles), and the Frontline Recruitment Group are just a few of the websites using React Native. That's not all. Facebook, Skype, Facebook Ads Manager, Tesla, and Walmart also use this tool.

Xamarin: Acquired by Microsoft, and a part of its Visual Studio development, Xamarin is 6 years old and has been the technology choice for 15,000+ companies. Apart from developing cross-platform apps, it lets the developers reuse code, supports a test ecosystem and debugs products. Some of the famous apps made with the platform are Novarum (medical app), CA Mobile (mobile banking), Story (movie maker) and Foundbite (audio sharing).

Winner: Both have strong market shares.

Availability

React Native: A free tool that you can build for both Android and IOS platforms.

Xamarin: There's a free version, but you need to spend extra for the premium tools.

Winner: React Native

Compilation

React Native: JIT (Just in Time) compilation is not possible while developing iOS applications, so React Native falls back to interpreting JavaScript code. On an internal level, it uses the iOS provided JavaScriptCore. JavaScriptCore is also used on Android, but there's nothing preventing JIT from being used on Android.

Xamarin: The language, C++, makes both JIT compilation and AOT (Ahead of Time) compilation possible. However, as JIT compilation is not possible with iOS, Xamarin AOT-compiles the application. Except for some limitations, code that is AOT compiled runs faster. On Android, the default is JIT but it can be configured to use AOT.

Winner: Xamarin

Development environment

React Native: It allows the developers to choose an IDE they are comfortable with. A common practice is to use Expo to debug and develop a React Native application. A great built-in feature of React Native is hot loading, which does not require a full application reload after code modification.

Xamarin: This is more powerful because you can write a code for an iPhone app on Windows and compile it for Mac. However, you need a different platform for the build. And this process is much more powerful than RN because Expo doesn't support everything.

Winner: Xamarin

Framework

React Native: Uses the more modern one-way data flow that comes with React. It could be more productive, but only in a marginal way. If you are happy with the recent changes in the JS web development, then you will definitely love this.

Xamarin: If you are an ASP.NET MVC, Web Forms, or other MV* developer, you would prefer Xamarin. It works in the MVVM framework style.

Winner: Tie

Ready-made components

React Native: The components can all be found in place, with excellent documentation.

Xamarin: The components are split between NuGet and the component store, but the documentation part could be improved.

Winner: Equal quantity and quality of components, but React Native is slightly better.

Community and assistance

React Native: A younger tool and the developer support is there, but much smaller. Often, the depth of knowledge is small.

Xamarin: A great deal of assistance can be found on websites like Stack Overflow, blogs, and community support forums.

Winner: Xamarin

If you want to check the testing capabilities of the tools, then both are really good. Visual Studio Code has amazing debugging capabilities for React Native, while you can easily write unit tests in Jest. You can debug in the Xcode Simulator for iOS with Xamarin.

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