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Dart vs Xamarin: What are the differences?

What is Dart? A new web programming language with libraries, a virtual machine, and tools. Dart is a cohesive, scalable platform for building apps that run on the web (where you can use Polymer) or on servers (such as with Google Cloud Platform). Use the Dart language, libraries, and tools to write anything from simple scripts to full-featured apps.

What is Xamarin? Create iOS, Android and Mac apps in C#. Xamarin’s Mono-based products enable .NET developers to use their existing code, libraries and tools (including Visual Studio*), as well as skills in .NET and the C# programming language, to create mobile applications for the industry’s most widely-used mobile devices, including Android-based smartphones and tablets, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

Dart can be classified as a tool in the "Languages" category, while Xamarin is grouped under "Cross-Platform Mobile Development".

Some of the features offered by Dart are:

  • Dart’s comprehensive libraries give you lots of choices
  • Compilation to JavaScript lets you deploy Dart apps now
  • Pub package manager

On the other hand, Xamarin provides the following key features:

  • Cross-platform development- Thinking about supporting iOS, Android, Mac and Windows? Xamarin allows you to write it all in C#.
  • Reuse existing code- Use your favorite .NET libraries in Xamarin apps. Easily use third-party native libraries and frameworks.
  • Discover as you type- Explore APIs as you type with code autocompletion.

"Backed by Google" is the primary reason why developers consider Dart over the competitors, whereas "Power of c# on mobile devices" was stated as the key factor in picking Xamarin.

Olo, Crowdkeep, and GoFormz are some of the popular companies that use Xamarin, whereas Dart is used by Google, Hybrid Heroes, and Blossom. Xamarin has a broader approval, being mentioned in 75 company stacks & 66 developers stacks; compared to Dart, which is listed in 19 company stacks and 78 developer stacks.

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What is Dart?

Dart is a cohesive, scalable platform for building apps that run on the web (where you can use Polymer) or on servers (such as with Google Cloud Platform). Use the Dart language, libraries, and tools to write anything from simple scripts to full-featured apps.

What is Xamarin?

Xamarin’s Mono-based products enable .NET developers to use their existing code, libraries and tools (including Visual Studio*), as well as skills in .NET and the C# programming language, to create mobile applications for the industry’s most widely-used mobile devices, including Android-based smartphones and tablets, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
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What are some alternatives to Dart and Xamarin?
TypeScript
TypeScript is a language for application-scale JavaScript development. It's a typed superset of JavaScript that compiles to plain JavaScript.
Go
Go is expressive, concise, clean, and efficient. Its concurrency mechanisms make it easy to write programs that get the most out of multicore and networked machines, while its novel type system enables flexible and modular program construction. Go compiles quickly to machine code yet has the convenience of garbage collection and the power of run-time reflection. It's a fast, statically typed, compiled language that feels like a dynamically typed, interpreted language.
JavaScript
JavaScript is most known as the scripting language for Web pages, but used in many non-browser environments as well such as node.js or Apache CouchDB. It is a prototype-based, multi-paradigm scripting language that is dynamic,and supports object-oriented, imperative, and functional programming styles.
PHP
Fast, flexible and pragmatic, PHP powers everything from your blog to the most popular websites in the world.
Python
Python is a general purpose programming language created by Guido Van Rossum. Python is most praised for its elegant syntax and readable code, if you are just beginning your programming career python suits you best.
See all alternatives
Decisions about Dart and Xamarin
Michael Pfaff
Michael Pfaff
CEO at Nucleus Development · | 3 upvotes · 8.1K views
Java
Java
Dart
Dart

I use Dart because it is a fast, modern language with an intuitive package manager and syntax similar to Java, while less verbose (i.e. public by default, _ in front of a variable, class, etc. to be private). Dart has an excellent asynchronous syntax making asynchronous calls such as filesystem interaction or HTTP requests simple and concise.

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Gustavo Muñoz
Gustavo Muñoz
Web UI Developer at Globant · | 6 upvotes · 25.7K views
JavaScript
JavaScript
Visual Studio Code
Visual Studio Code
Android Studio
Android Studio
Dart
Dart
React Native
React Native
React
React
Flutter
Flutter
#Flare

In my modest opinion, Flutter is the future of mobile development. The framework is as important to mobile as React is to the web. And seeing that React Native does not finish taking off, I am focusing all my efforts on learning Flutter and Dart. The ecosystem is amazing. The community is crazy about Flutter. There are enough resources to learn and enjoy the framework, and the tools developed to work with it are amazing. Android Studio or Visual Studio Code has incredible plugins and Dart is a pretty straight forward and easy-to-learn language, even more, if you came from JavaScript. I admit it. I'm in love with Flutter. When you are not a designer, having a framework focused on design an pretty things is a must. And counting with tools like #flare for animations makes everything easier. It is so amazing that I wish I had a big mobile project right now at work just to use Flutter.

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Greg Neumann
Greg Neumann
Indie, Solo, Developer · | 6 upvotes · 69.4K views
TypeScript
TypeScript
Vue.js
Vue.js
Electron
Electron
Quasar Framework
Quasar Framework
ASP.NET
ASP.NET
Xamarin Forms
Xamarin Forms
.NET Core
.NET Core
Xamarin
Xamarin

Finding the most effective dev stack for a solo developer. Over the past year, I've been looking at many tech stacks that would be 'best' for me, as a solo, indie, developer to deliver a desktop app (Windows & Mac) plus mobile - iOS mainly. Initially, Xamarin started to stand-out. Using .NET Core as the run-time, Xamarin as the native API provider and Xamarin Forms for the UI seemed to solve all issues. But, the cracks soon started to appear. Xamarin Forms is mobile only; the Windows incarnation is different. There is no Mac UI solution (you have to code it natively in Mac OS Storyboard. I was also worried how Xamarin Forms , if I was to use it, was going to cope, in future, with Apple's new SwiftUI and Google's new Fuchsia.

This plethora of techs for the UI-layer made me reach for the safer waters of using Web-techs for the UI. Lovely! Consistency everywhere (well, mostly). But that consistency evaporates when platform issues are addressed. There are so many web frameworks!

But, I made a simple decision. It's just me...I am clever, but there is no army of coders here. And I have big plans for a business app. How could just 1 developer go-on to deploy a decent app to Windows, iPhone, iPad & Mac OS? I remembered earlier days when I've used Microsoft's ASP.NET to scaffold - generate - loads of Code for a web-app that I needed for several charities that I worked with. What 'generators' exist that do a lot of the platform-specific rubbish, allow the necessary customisation of such platform integration and provide a decent UI?

I've placed my colours to the Quasar Framework mast. Oh dear, that means Electron desktop apps doesn't it? Well, Ive had enough of loads of Developers saying that "the menus won't look native" or "it uses too much RAM" and so on. I've been using non-native UI-wrapped apps for ages - the date picker in Outlook on iOS is way better than the native date-picker and I'd been using it for years without getting hot under the collar about it. Developers do get so hung-up on things that busy Users hardly notice; don't you think?. As to the RAM usage issue; that's a bit true. But Users only really notice when an app uses so much RAM that the machine starts to page-out. Electron contributes towards that horizon but does not cause it. My Users will be business-users after all. Somewhat decent machines.

Looking forward to all that lovely Vue.js around my TypeScript and all those really, really, b e a u t I f u l UI controls of Quasar Framework . Still not sure that 1 dev can deliver all that... but I'm up for trying...

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Interest over time
Reviews of Dart and Xamarin
Review ofXamarinXamarin

I'm working in Huge company and I'm in charge to choose the cross-platform environment to develop Mobile application for all our services. I choose Xamarin but because the error i get everytime in Visual Studio, I want to leave it and recommand another solution. In fact that's why I'm here.

Weird, Install VS2017 with Xamarin on a new PC Create a new app GOT ERRORS.....!!!!!

Thank you for considering this

How developers use Dart and Xamarin
Avatar of Foundbite
Foundbite uses XamarinXamarin

Xamarin enables us to develop for 3 platforms (iOS, Android and Windows Phone) with one core codebase coded in C#. Xamarin has allowed us to release an app on all three platforms and develop them simultaneously - not bad for a team of 2!

Avatar of Ana Phi Sancho
Ana Phi Sancho uses XamarinXamarin

Self taught : acquired knowledge or skill on one's own initiative. Platform: OSX 10.8 or later. Mac computer user.

Avatar of Robert Brown
Robert Brown uses XamarinXamarin

Build & ship OS X & iOS apps from Visual Studio on Windows. Requires paid team license.

Avatar of AL1L
AL1L uses DartDart

I will use Dart later to handle the payloads from Roblox and all API requests.

Avatar of Daniel Kovacs
Daniel Kovacs uses XamarinXamarin

Mobile app development with PCL and Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android.

Avatar of Olo
Olo uses XamarinXamarin

Cross platform, white labelled native mobile apps

Avatar of Tobe O
Tobe O uses DartDart

Built on Dart.

How much does Dart cost?
How much does Xamarin cost?
Pricing unavailable