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Electron vs Xamarin: What are the differences?

Developers describe Electron as "Build cross platform desktop apps with web technologies. Formerly known as Atom Shell, made by GitHub". With Electron, creating a desktop application for your company or idea is easy. Initially developed for GitHub's Atom editor, Electron has since been used to create applications by companies like Microsoft, Facebook, Slack, and Docker. The Electron framework lets you write cross-platform desktop applications using JavaScript, HTML and CSS. It is based on io.js and Chromium and is used in the Atom editor. On the other hand, Xamarin is detailed as "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.

Electron belongs to "Cross-Platform Desktop Development" category of the tech stack, while Xamarin can be primarily classified under "Cross-Platform Mobile Development".

Some of the features offered by Electron are:

  • Use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript with Chromium and Node.js to build your app.
  • Electron is open source
  • maintained by GitHub and an active community.

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.

"Easy to make rich cross platform desktop applications" is the top reason why over 50 developers like Electron, while over 111 developers mention "Power of c# on mobile devices" as the leading cause for choosing Xamarin.

Electron is an open source tool with 74.4K GitHub stars and 9.72K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Electron's open source repository on GitHub.

Slack, WebbyLab, and triGo GmbH are some of the popular companies that use Electron, whereas Xamarin is used by Rdio, Olo, and Rumble. Electron has a broader approval, being mentioned in 213 company stacks & 366 developers stacks; compared to Xamarin, which is listed in 74 company stacks and 65 developer stacks.

- No public GitHub repository available -

What is Electron?

With Electron, creating a desktop application for your company or idea is easy. Initially developed for GitHub's Atom editor, Electron has since been used to create applications by companies like Microsoft, Facebook, Slack, and Docker. The Electron framework lets you write cross-platform desktop applications using JavaScript, HTML and CSS. It is based on io.js and Chromium and is used in the Atom editor.

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.

Want advice about which of these to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

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What are some alternatives to Electron and Xamarin?
Photon
The fastest way to build beautiful Electron apps using simple HTML and CSS. Underneath it all is Electron. Originally built for GitHub's Atom text editor, Electron is the easiest way to build cross-platform desktop applications.
React Native Desktop
Build OS X desktop apps using React Native.
React Native
React Native enables you to build world-class application experiences on native platforms using a consistent developer experience based on JavaScript and React. The focus of React Native is on developer efficiency across all the platforms you care about - learn once, write anywhere. Facebook uses React Native in multiple production apps and will continue investing in React Native.
Element
Element is a Vue 2.0 based component library for developers, designers and product managers, with a set of design resources.
JavaFX
It is a set of graphics and media packages that enables developers to design, create, test, debug, and deploy rich client applications that operate consistently across diverse platforms.
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What tools integrate with Electron?
What tools integrate with Xamarin?
    No integrations found
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      Decisions about Electron and Xamarin
      No stack decisions found
      Interest over time
      Reviews of Electron 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 Electron and Xamarin
      Avatar of Chris Saylor
      Chris Saylor uses ElectronElectron

      Our application began as an HTML5 browser game, however we decided to leverage certain native parts of desktop applications by wrapping our client code into Electron. This also allowed us to not have to worry about compatibility across all the various browsers.

      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 HyVive
      HyVive uses ElectronElectron

      Our Web Applications are served on our Desktops by Electron. This allows us to have native apps running on our Workstations without having too many Browser Tabs open at the same time.

      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 PawByte
      PawByte uses ElectronElectron

      Electron is the current preferred method to convert games made in the Game Pencil Editor for desktop support.

      Avatar of Metrix Financial Reporting Solutions UG
      Metrix Financial Reporting Solutions UG uses ElectronElectron

      Implement a web-service using your favorite tools but sell a desktop application for oblivious windows users.

      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 Ralic Lo
      Ralic Lo uses ElectronElectron

      Used Electron to package single page web application as a desktop application.

      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

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