The aim of this article is to help you understand key differences between Ionic and Xamarin so that you can make an informed decision between them. Given my experience working with both, I will provide my conclusions and in-depth research. The four factors that we will consider are cost, quality, development and maintainability.
Cost Comparisons of Ionic vs Xamarin
As Ionic is open source, its price tag of $0 is quite promising. Likewise, depending on whether or not you’re looking to scale your app in terms of push notifications and deploying to a growing number of devices, you could benefit from the power of Ionic Cloud Services. Ionic Cloud Services offer free push notifications and deployments to devices at a cap of 1,000,000 and 100,000 respectively. Afterward, you will start out with a $20 monthly fee on top of costs for additional push notifications and deployments. For many startups and companies, those prices are a steal. Click here for cost details.
Xamarin, now owned by Microsoft, is free with Xamarin Studio (Mac) and Visual Studio Community Edition (Windows) and additional features are available with the paid version of Visual Studio. Depending on what you are trying to accomplish, this may or may not be justified. Something to consider will be the learning curve if your team does not have .NET developers or background. There is a considerable amount of free training that is being authored at a rapid pace. If you want something a little more structured and desire to be Xamarin Certified Mobile Developer then you will be interested in the Xamarin University program. It’s $83.25 per month and grants you access to both live and offline training materials.
Quality Comparisons of Ionic vs Xamarin
Considering that the Ionic platform uses web technologies to produce a hybrid application, it will only offer an average user experience and pale in comparison to Xamarin apps. Xamarin will offer the closest experience to native applications and will be the tool of choice if you’re looking to compete with other applications on the market. Below are analytics that highlight the performances of Hybrid HTML mobile apps versus Cross-Platform Native apps: