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Framework7 vs Xamarin: What are the differences?

What is Framework7? Full Featured HTML Framework For Building iOS Apps. Framework7 - is a free and open source mobile HTML framework to develop hybrid mobile apps or web apps with iOS native look and feel. All you need to make it work is a simple HTML layout and attached framework's CSS and JS files! Framework7 doesn't force you to write some custom tags that will be converted by JavaScript to something else.

What is Xamarin? Create iOS, Android and Mac apps in C#. Xamarin鈥檚 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鈥檚 most widely-used mobile devices, including Android-based smartphones and tablets, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

Framework7 and Xamarin can be primarily classified as "Cross-Platform Mobile Development" tools.

Some of the features offered by Framework7 are:

  • iOS Specific
  • UI Components
  • Swipe Actions

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.

"Well designed" is the top reason why over 11 developers like Framework7, while over 111 developers mention "Power of c# on mobile devices" as the leading cause for choosing Xamarin.

Framework7 is an open source tool with 14.4K GitHub stars and 3.03K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Framework7's open source repository on GitHub.

- No public GitHub repository available -

What is Framework7?

Framework7 - is a free and open source mobile HTML framework to develop hybrid mobile apps or web apps with iOS native look and feel. All you need to make it work is a simple HTML layout and attached framework's CSS and JS files! Framework7 doesn't force you to write some custom tags that will be converted by JavaScript to something else.

What is Xamarin?

Xamarin鈥檚 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鈥檚 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 Framework7 and Xamarin?
      Ionic
      Free and open source, Ionic offers a library of mobile and desktop-optimized HTML, CSS and JS components for building highly interactive apps. Use with Angular, React, Vue, or plain JavaScript.
      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.
      jQuery Mobile
      jQuery Mobile is a HTML5-based user interface system designed to make responsive web sites and apps that are accessible on all smartphone, tablet and desktop devices.
      Bootstrap
      Bootstrap is the most popular HTML, CSS, and JS framework for developing responsive, mobile first projects on the web.
      AngularJS
      AngularJS lets you write client-side web applications as if you had a smarter browser. It lets you use good old HTML (or HAML, Jade and friends!) as your template language and lets you extend HTML鈥檚 syntax to express your application鈥檚 components clearly and succinctly. It automatically synchronizes data from your UI (view) with your JavaScript objects (model) through 2-way data binding.
      See all alternatives
      Decisions about Framework7 and Xamarin
      Jonathan Pugh
      Jonathan Pugh
      Software Engineer / Project Manager / Technical Architect | 21 upvotes 730.1K views
      Framework7
      Framework7
      JavaScript
      JavaScript
      TypeScript
      TypeScript
      Figma
      Figma
      Visual Studio Code
      Visual Studio Code
      Webpack
      Webpack
      Babel
      Babel
      Ruby
      Ruby
      HTML5
      HTML5
      CouchDB
      CouchDB
      Pouchdb
      Pouchdb
      Font Awesome
      Font Awesome
      Apache Cordova
      Apache Cordova
      CSS 3
      CSS 3
      PhoneGap
      PhoneGap
      #Sass
      #HTML5
      #SCSS
      #Sketch
      #Css
      #GraphQL
      #CSS3
      #Less
      #Electron
      #HandleBars
      #Template7
      #GraphCool

      I needed to choose a full stack of tools for cross platform mobile application design & development. After much research and trying different tools, these are what I came up with that work for me today:

      For the client coding I chose Framework7 because of its performance, easy learning curve, and very well designed, beautiful UI widgets. I think it's perfect for solo development or small teams. I didn't like React Native. It felt heavy to me and rigid. Framework7 allows the use of #CSS3, which I think is the best technology to come out of the #WWW movement. No other tech has been able to allow designers and developers to develop such flexible, high performance, customisable user interface elements that are highly responsive and hardware accelerated before. Now #CSS3 includes variables and flexboxes it is truly a powerful language and there is no longer a need for preprocessors such as #SCSS / #Sass / #less. React Native contains a very limited interpretation of #CSS3 which I found very frustrating after using #CSS3 for some years already and knowing its powerful features. The other very nice feature of Framework7 is that you can even build for the browser if you want your app to be available for desktop web browsers. The latest release also includes the ability to build for #Electron so you can have MacOS, Windows and Linux desktop apps. This is not possible with React Native yet.

      Framework7 runs on top of Apache Cordova. Cordova and webviews have been slated as being slow in the past. Having a game developer background I found the tweeks to make it run as smooth as silk. One of those tweeks is to use WKWebView. Another important one was using srcset on images.

      I use #Template7 for the for the templating system which is a no-nonsense mobile-centric #HandleBars style extensible templating system. It's easy to write custom helpers for, is fast and has a small footprint. I'm not forced into a new paradigm or learning some new syntax. It operates with standard JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS 3. It's written by the developer of Framework7 and so dovetails with it as expected.

      I configured TypeScript to work with the latest version of Framework7. I consider TypeScript to be one of the best creations to come out of Microsoft in some time. They must have an amazing team working on it. It's very powerful and flexible. It helps you catch a lot of bugs and also provides code completion in supporting IDEs. So for my IDE I use Visual Studio Code which is a blazingly fast and silky smooth editor that integrates seamlessly with TypeScript for the ultimate type checking setup (both products are produced by Microsoft).

      I use Webpack and Babel to compile the JavaScript. TypeScript can compile to JavaScript directly but Babel offers a few more options and polyfills so you can use the latest (and even prerelease) JavaScript features today and compile to be backwards compatible with virtually any browser. My favorite recent addition is "optional chaining" which greatly simplifies and increases readability of a number of sections of my code dealing with getting and setting data in nested objects.

      I use some Ruby scripts to process images with ImageMagick and pngquant to optimise for size and even auto insert responsive image code into the HTML5. Ruby is the ultimate cross platform scripting language. Even as your scripts become large, Ruby allows you to refactor your code easily and make it Object Oriented if necessary. I find it the quickest and easiest way to maintain certain aspects of my build process.

      For the user interface design and prototyping I use Figma. Figma has an almost identical user interface to #Sketch but has the added advantage of being cross platform (MacOS and Windows). Its real-time collaboration features are outstanding and I use them a often as I work mostly on remote projects. Clients can collaborate in real-time and see changes I make as I make them. The clickable prototyping features in Figma are also very well designed and mean I can send clickable prototypes to clients to try user interface updates as they are made and get immediate feedback. I'm currently also evaluating the latest version of #AdobeXD as an alternative to Figma as it has the very cool auto-animate feature. It doesn't have real-time collaboration yet, but I heard it is proposed for 2019.

      For the UI icons I use Font Awesome Pro. They have the largest selection and best looking icons you can find on the internet with several variations in styles so you can find most of the icons you want for standard projects.

      For the backend I was using the #GraphCool Framework. As I later found out, #GraphQL still has some way to go in order to provide the full power of a mature graph query language so later in my project I ripped out #GraphCool and replaced it with CouchDB and Pouchdb. Primarily so I could provide good offline app support. CouchDB with Pouchdb is very flexible and efficient combination and overcomes some of the restrictions I found in #GraphQL and hence #GraphCool also. The most impressive and important feature of CouchDB is its replication. You can configure it in various ways for backups, fault tolerance, caching or conditional merging of databases. CouchDB and Pouchdb even supports storing, retrieving and serving binary or image data or other mime types. This removes a level of complexity usually present in database implementations where binary or image data is usually referenced through an #HTML5 link. With CouchDB and Pouchdb apps can operate offline and sync later, very efficiently, when the network connection is good.

      I use PhoneGap when testing the app. It auto-reloads your app when its code is changed and you can also install it on Android phones to preview your app instantly. iOS is a bit more tricky cause of Apple's policies so it's not available on the App Store, but you can build it and install it yourself to your device.

      So that's my latest mobile stack. What tools do you use? Have you tried these ones?

      See more
      Greg Neumann
      Greg Neumann
      Indie, Solo, Developer | 7 upvotes 290.5K views
      Xamarin
      Xamarin
      .NET Core
      .NET Core
      Xamarin Forms
      Xamarin Forms
      ASP.NET
      ASP.NET
      Quasar Framework
      Quasar Framework
      Electron
      Electron
      Vue.js
      Vue.js
      TypeScript
      TypeScript

      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...

      See more
      Interest over time
      Reviews of Framework7 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 Framework7 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 Daniel Kovacs
      Daniel Kovacs uses XamarinXamarin

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

      Avatar of Jonathan Pugh
      Jonathan Pugh uses Framework7Framework7

      Powerful, flexible, many beautiful widgets and a low learning curve.

      Avatar of Olo
      Olo uses XamarinXamarin

      Cross platform, white labelled native mobile apps

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