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NativeScript
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NativeScript vs Xamarin: What are the differences?

What is NativeScript? Build truly native apps with JavaScript. NativeScript enables developers to build native apps for iOS, Android and Windows Universal while sharing the application code across the platforms. When building the application UI, developers use our libraries, which abstract the differences between the native platforms.

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.

NativeScript and Xamarin belong to "Cross-Platform Mobile Development" category of the tech stack.

Some of the features offered by NativeScript are:

  • 100% Access to Native Platform API
  • NativeScript is free of charge as an open source project
  • Code with JavaScript. Style with CSS

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.

"Access to the entire native api" is the top reason why over 55 developers like NativeScript, while over 111 developers mention "Power of c# on mobile devices" as the leading cause for choosing Xamarin.

NativeScript is an open source tool with 17.1K GitHub stars and 1.26K GitHub forks. Here's a link to NativeScript's open source repository on GitHub.

Rdio, Olo, and Rumble are some of the popular companies that use Xamarin, whereas NativeScript is used by Work Box, Zege Technologies, and GeekyAnts. Xamarin has a broader approval, being mentioned in 74 company stacks & 65 developers stacks; compared to NativeScript, which is listed in 10 company stacks and 23 developer stacks.

- No public GitHub repository available -

What is NativeScript?

NativeScript enables developers to build native apps for iOS, Android and Windows Universal while sharing the application code across the platforms. When building the application UI, developers use our libraries, which abstract the differences between the native platforms.

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 NativeScript and Xamarin?
    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.
    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
    Lots of people use React as the V in MVC. Since React makes no assumptions about the rest of your technology stack, it's easy to try it out on a small feature in an existing project.
    Flutter
    Flutter is a mobile app SDK to help developers and designers build modern mobile apps for iOS and Android.
    Apache Cordova
    Apache Cordova is a set of device APIs that allow a mobile app developer to access native device function such as the camera or accelerometer from JavaScript. Combined with a UI framework such as jQuery Mobile or Dojo Mobile or Sencha Touch, this allows a smartphone app to be developed with just HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
    See all alternatives
    Decisions about NativeScript and Xamarin
    leonardo silveira
    leonardo silveira
    Software Engineer at Casa Magalh茫es | 4 upvotes 66.7K views
    NativeScript
    NativeScript
    Apache Cordova
    Apache Cordova
    Vue.js
    Vue.js

    So, i am preparing to adopt NativeScript.

    For years my hybrid projects used Apache Cordova.

    "Let's avoid to maintain two teams and double the deliver velocity".

    It was good for a few years, we had those september issues, (i.e. apple broke some backward compatibility) , but for the last years, things seems to be losing the grip faster.

    Last breaking changes, for instance, seems to have a workaround, however that growing feeling that simple things can not rely on so fragile webviews keeps growing faster and faster.

    I've tested nativescript not only on it's "helloworld", but also on how do they respond on issues.

    I got tweed support. I opened an github issue and got answers on less than 10 hours (yes i did it on another timezone and very close to a weekend). I saw the faulty docs get corrected in two days.

    The bad news is i only can adopt nativescript on newer projects, since there is no budget to revamp the current solutions.

    The good news is i can keep coding on Vue.js , without vou router, but that's ok. I've already exchanged vanilla html for real native app with background magic enabled, the router can be easily reproduced.

    See more
    Greg Neumann
    Greg Neumann
    Indie, Solo, Developer | 6 upvotes 233.8K 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 NativeScript 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

    Review ofNativeScriptNativeScript

    It is using the native components to build the UI and offers the best skills reuse story. All you need to know is JS/TS and CSS. Angular 2 is also supported which leads to even more code reuse across web and mobile.This is also the best way to access the native platform APIs directly.

    Review ofNativeScriptNativeScript

    NativeScript allows you to reuse your JS skills to build Native mobile apps without any sacrifices. It takes a bit to learn about all possible features, but each time you discover a new one you can't help but get more and more excited.

    How developers use NativeScript 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 Olo
    Olo uses XamarinXamarin

    Cross platform, white labelled native mobile apps

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