Should You Choose Titanium vs Xamarin vs Native for Your Next Mobile Application?

When it comes to mobile app development, there are as many opinions as there are developers. And while no universal "best choice" can be determined in a cross-platform framework comparison, there are several factors that can guide you to the decision that's right for you. Here, we'll address the Titanium vs Xamarin vs Native debate -- laying out the pros, cons and subtle differences between each method.

Using Titanium

Titanium is a popular open source tool for cross-platform mobile development in iOS or Android, utilized by new and experienced developers around the world. Known for its rapid prototyping, Titanium assists you in testing and demonstrating the basic idea behind your application. This is ideal for those working in teams that must collaborate. It is also effective for apps that interact with a web service. However, Titanium is best suited for smaller projects and is not the best choice for complex apps with many features. Utilizing JavaScript, Titanium makes for a smooth and simple transition from web development to app development. While your apps will be hybrid, Titanium works to attain a UI that is as close to native as possible.

Using Xamarin

Xamarin has been touted as the go-to tool for those looking to optimize app performance, utilizing its own IDE for development. It is unique in that it allows for native app development and sever code sharing. With the same API and UI controllers as those used in iOS and Android-specific platforms, Xamarin-built apps are easy to maintain. An obvious downside to Xamarin is its lack of accessibility -- it is not an open-source tool like Titanium. However in 2016, the company announced that Xamarin would be freely available with Visual Studio. Xamarin works efficiently by compiling C# for Android, iOS, and Windows. While more than 60 percent of code is said to be reusable, some developers may not be familiar with .NET and C# -- limiting this tool to a subgroup of developers. Essentially, Xamarin aims to provide the beautiful look and feel of a native app without the extra work.

Choosing Native

For many developers, native mobile apps are the gold standard. Combine a seamless UX, speed and additional features like multi-touch designed directly integrated for a particular device. This is what native apps typically deliver. Developers choose to go native, either for iOS or Android, because of the undeniably smooth features and flawless UI that results. However, native app development limits you to one kind of device, meaning that you'll need to develop more apps if you wish to reach a larger demographic. While hybrid app development with Titanium dramatically reduces the amount of code you'll need to write, native app codes are only useful for a single operating system. Teams developing native apps for both iOS and Android would need to know both Objective C and Java languages. Thus if it is important for you to reach both Android and iOS users, developing native apps for each will likely be more time-consuming and costly.


Enterprise mobile app developers must consider their highest priorities to come to a decision. The platform that will best serve the needs of one business will be different from that which serves the needs of another. Developers must first get clear on their target audience, think from the user's perspective, and only then select the development that makes sense for their project.

If you’re looking for someone to build an app for you or if you still have questions, contact our team at Concepta and we’ll be able to help.

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