Alternatives to Android Studio logo

Alternatives to Android Studio

IntelliJ IDEA, Visual Studio, Eclipse, Xamarin, and Xcode are the most popular alternatives and competitors to Android Studio.
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What is Android Studio and what are its top alternatives?

Android Studio is a powerful and popular integrated development environment (IDE) for building Android apps. It offers a comprehensive set of tools for code editing, debugging, testing, and performance profiling. Key features include a visual layout editor, real-time feedback, intelligent code completion, and support for multiple programming languages. However, Android Studio can be resource-intensive and complex for beginners, leading to a steep learning curve.

  1. IntelliJ IDEA: IntelliJ IDEA is a versatile IDE that supports various languages and frameworks, including Android development. It offers advanced tools for code analysis, debugging, and version control. Pros: robust features, user-friendly interface. Cons: can be expensive for commercial use.
  2. Visual Studio Code: Visual Studio Code is a lightweight yet powerful code editor with rich features and extensions. It supports Android development through plugins and offers a customizable interface. Pros: free, customizable, extensive extension library. Cons: may not have all features built-in for Android development.
  3. Eclipse: Eclipse is a widely used IDE for various programming languages, including Java for Android development. It offers a plugin system for customization and integration with other tools. Pros: open-source, extensive plugin ecosystem. Cons: can be slower and less intuitive than modern IDEs.
  4. NetBeans: NetBeans is an open-source IDE that supports Java development, including Android apps. It provides features like code templates, refactoring, and profiling tools. Pros: free, versatile, actively developed. Cons: may lack some specialized Android tools compared to Android Studio.
  5. Xamarin: Xamarin is a cross-platform development tool that allows coding in C# for Android apps. It offers a single codebase for multiple platforms and native performance. Pros: cross-platform support, native performance. Cons: learning curve for C# and Xamarin-specific concepts.
  6. Unity: Unity is primarily a game development platform but can also be used for building interactive Android apps. It provides a visual editor, asset store, and multi-platform support. Pros: robust graphics capabilities, cross-platform compatibility. Cons: focused on game development, may be complex for non-game apps.
  7. Cordova: Cordova is a framework for building mobile apps using web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It offers a hybrid approach for Android development and access to native device features. Pros: web development skills can be leveraged, cross-platform compatibility. Cons: performance may not match native apps, limited access to device capabilities.
  8. PhoneGap: PhoneGap is a distribution of Cordova with additional tools and services for building Android apps. It simplifies the app building process and provides cloud-based compiling. Pros: easy setup, cloud compiling service. Cons: may have limitations in customizing native features.
  9. Corona SDK: Corona SDK is a mobile development platform for creating 2D games and apps for Android. It offers a visual editor, real-time preview, and support for Lua scripting language. Pros: fast development cycle, cross-platform deployment. Cons: specialized for gaming, limited for complex apps.
  10. React Native: React Native enables building Android apps with JavaScript and React framework, sharing code across platforms. It offers a fast development process, hot reloading, and access to native APIs. Pros: code sharing, fast development cycle. Cons: may require knowledge of React, performance may not match native apps.

Top Alternatives to Android Studio

  • IntelliJ IDEA
    IntelliJ IDEA

    Out of the box, IntelliJ IDEA provides a comprehensive feature set including tools and integrations with the most important modern technologies and frameworks for enterprise and web development with Java, Scala, Groovy and other languages. ...

  • Visual Studio
    Visual Studio

    Visual Studio is a suite of component-based software development tools and other technologies for building powerful, high-performance applications. ...

  • Eclipse
    Eclipse

    Standard Eclipse package suited for Java and plug-in development plus adding new plugins; already includes Git, Marketplace Client, source code and developer documentation. Click here to file a bug against Eclipse Platform. ...

  • Xamarin
    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. ...

  • Xcode
    Xcode

    The Xcode IDE is at the center of the Apple development experience. Tightly integrated with the Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks, Xcode is an incredibly productive environment for building amazing apps for Mac, iPhone, and iPad. ...

  • Flutter
    Flutter

    Flutter is a mobile app SDK to help developers and designers build modern mobile apps for iOS and Android. ...

  • Appcelerator
    Appcelerator

    Appcelerator is the first mobile platform to combine the flexibility of open source development technologies with the power of cloud services. ...

  • Firebase
    Firebase

    Firebase is a cloud service designed to power real-time, collaborative applications. Simply add the Firebase library to your application to gain access to a shared data structure; any changes you make to that data are automatically synchronized with the Firebase cloud and with other clients within milliseconds. ...

Android Studio alternatives & related posts

IntelliJ IDEA logo

IntelliJ IDEA

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Capable and Ergonomic IDE for JVM
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PROS OF INTELLIJ IDEA
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    Fantastically intelligent
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    Best-in-class ide
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    Many languages support
  • 158
    Java
  • 121
    Fast
  • 82
    Code analysis
  • 79
    Reliable
  • 76
    Out of the box integration with maven, git, svn
  • 64
    Plugin architecture
  • 61
    Integrated version control
  • 12
    Code refactoring support
  • 11
    Best java IDE
  • 7
    Local history
  • 6
    Code Completion
  • 6
    Kotlin
  • 6
    Integrated Database Navigator
  • 6
    Built-in terminal/run tools
  • 5
    All
  • 5
    Free for open-source development, students and teacher
  • 5
    Base for Android Studio
  • 5
    Free If you're a Student
  • 4
    ERD Diagrams
  • 4
    Free
  • 4
    Cross platform
  • 4
    IDE
  • 4
    Database/Code integration
  • 3
    Out Of The Box features
  • 3
    Column Selection Mode
  • 3
    Server and client-side debugger
  • 3
    More than enough languages for any developer
  • 3
    Typescript support
  • 3
    Multicursor support
  • 3
    Reformating Code
  • 3
    Intuitive
  • 3
    Command-line tools
  • 3
    Android Integration
  • 3
    Vim support
  • 3
    Special icons for most filetypes in project list
  • 3
    Supports many frameworks
  • 3
    Built-in web server
  • 3
    Live Templates
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    Scala support
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    Works fine with mac os catalina
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    A lot of plugin
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    Just works
  • 2
    Integrated Ssh/Ftp Managers
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    Full support
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    Task managers
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    Diff tools
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    File Watchers
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    Support for various package managers
  • 2
    Integrated Code Linting
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    Clean UI
  • 2
    Open source
  • 2
    So modernised
  • 2
    Efficient, one Stop solution
CONS OF INTELLIJ IDEA
  • 20
    Large footprint required to really enjoy (mem/disc)
  • 16
    Very slow
  • 8
    Bad for beginners
  • 7
    UI is not intuitive
  • 5
    Not nearly as many tools to integrate as vs code
  • 5
    Constant reindexing
  • 4
    Needs a lot of CPU and RAM power
  • 3
    Built in terminal is slow
  • 3
    Doesn't work that well with windows 10 edu
  • 1
    Ruby is a plug in
  • 1
    Pesky warnings increase with every release
  • 0
    AAD

related IntelliJ IDEA posts

christy craemer

UPDATE: Thanks for the great response. I am going to start with VSCode based on the open source and free version that will allow me to grow into other languages, but not cost me a license ..yet.

I have been working with software development for 12 years, but I am just beginning my journey to learn to code. I am starting with Python following the suggestion of some of my coworkers. They are split between Eclipse and IntelliJ IDEA for IDEs that they use and PyCharm is new to me. Which IDE would you suggest for a beginner that will allow expansion to Java, JavaScript, and eventually AngularJS and possibly mobile applications?

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I am a QA heading to a new company where they all generally use Visual Studio Code, my experience is with IntelliJ IDEA and PyCharm. The language they use is JavaScript and so I will be writing my test framework in javaScript so the devs can more easily write tests without context switching.

My 2 questions: Does VS Code have Cucumber Plugins allowing me to write behave tests? And more importantly, does VS Code have the same refactoring tools that IntelliJ IDEA has? I love that I have easy access to a range of tools that allow me to refactor and simplify my code, making code writing really easy.

See more
Visual Studio logo

Visual Studio

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State-of-the-art tools and services that you can use to create great apps for devices, the cloud, and everything...
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PROS OF VISUAL STUDIO
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    Intellisense, ui
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    Complete ide and debugger
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    Plug-ins
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    Integrated
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    Documentation
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    Fast
  • 35
    Node tools for visual studio (ntvs)
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    Free Community edition
  • 24
    Simple
  • 17
    Bug free
  • 8
    Made by Microsoft
  • 6
    Full free community version
  • 5
    JetBrains plugins (ReSharper etc.) work sufficiently OK
  • 3
    Productivity Power Tools
  • 2
    Vim mode
  • 2
    VIM integration
  • 1
    I develop UWP apps and Intellisense is super useful
  • 1
    Cross platform development
  • 1
    The Power and Easiness to Do anything in any.. language
  • 1
    Available for Mac and Windows
CONS OF VISUAL STUDIO
  • 15
    Bulky
  • 14
    Made by Microsoft
  • 6
    Sometimes you need to restart to finish an update
  • 3
    Too much size for disk
  • 3
    Only avalible on Windows

related Visual Studio posts

Shared insights
on
C#C#JavaJavaVisual StudioVisual Studio

I use C# because of the ease of designing user interfaces compared to Java. Using Visual Studio makes C# a breeze for prototyping and creating apps and I really appreciate how quickly I can turn an idea into reality. I was first introduced to C# in a special topics course and quickly started preferring it over Java. The similarities between the two made the switch easy while the added benefits C# offers made it very worth it.

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Andrey Kurdyumov

I use TypeScript because it greatly simplify my refactoring efforts. I regularly re-validate my assumption about application architecture, and strictness of types allow me write make changes safely using just Visual Studio tooling. Integration with existing JavaScript libraries very simple and fast. If I have no time, I could just use any type as output of JS module. When I have more time, I could just submit PR to DefinitelyTyped and it would be quickly accepted. Overall it gives less ambiguity for my code.

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Eclipse logo

Eclipse

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IDE for Java EE Developers
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PROS OF ECLIPSE
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    Does it all
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    Integrates with most of tools
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    Easy to use
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    Java IDE
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    Best Java IDE
  • 9
    Open source
  • 3
    Hard for newbews
  • 2
    Great gdb integration
  • 2
    Professional
  • 2
    Good Git client allowing direct stage area edit
  • 2
    True open source with huge contribution
  • 2
    Great code suggestions
  • 2
    Extensible
  • 2
    Lightweight
  • 0
    Works with php
CONS OF ECLIPSE
  • 14
    2000 Design
  • 9
    Bad performance
  • 4
    Hard to use

related Eclipse posts

christy craemer

UPDATE: Thanks for the great response. I am going to start with VSCode based on the open source and free version that will allow me to grow into other languages, but not cost me a license ..yet.

I have been working with software development for 12 years, but I am just beginning my journey to learn to code. I am starting with Python following the suggestion of some of my coworkers. They are split between Eclipse and IntelliJ IDEA for IDEs that they use and PyCharm is new to me. Which IDE would you suggest for a beginner that will allow expansion to Java, JavaScript, and eventually AngularJS and possibly mobile applications?

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Dean Stringer

Have been a Visual Studio Code user since just after launch to the general public, having used the likes of Eclipse and Atom previously. Was amazed how mature it seemed off the bat and was super intrigued by the bootstrapped nature of it having been written/based on Electron/TypeScript, and of course being an open-source app from Microsoft. The features, plugin ecosystem and release frequency are very impressive. I do dev work on both Mac and Windows and don't use anything else now as far as IDEs go.

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Xamarin logo

Xamarin

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Create iOS, Android and Mac apps in C#
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PROS OF XAMARIN
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    Power of c# on mobile devices
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    Native performance
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    Native apps with native ui controls
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    No javascript - truely compiled code
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    Sharing more than 90% of code over all platforms
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    Ability to leverage visual studio
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    Mvvm pattern
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    Many great c# libraries
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    Amazing support
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    Powerful platform for .net developers
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    GUI Native look and Feel
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    Nuget package manager
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    Free
  • 9
    Backed by Microsoft
  • 9
    Enables code reuse on server
  • 8
    Faster Development
  • 7
    Use of third-party .NET libraries
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    It's free since Apr 2016
  • 7
    Best performance than other cross-platform
  • 7
    Easy Debug and Trace
  • 7
    Open Source
  • 6
    Mac IDE (Xamarin Studio)
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    Xamarin.forms is the best, it's amazing
  • 5
    That just work for every scenario
  • 5
    C# mult paradigm language
  • 5
    Power of C#, no javascript, visual studio
  • 4
    Great docs
  • 4
    Compatible to develop Hybrid apps
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    Microsoft stack
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    Microsoft backed
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    Well Designed
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    Small learning curve for Mobile developers
  • 2
    Ionic
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    Ability to leverage legacy C and C++
CONS OF XAMARIN
  • 9
    Build times
  • 5
    Visual Studio
  • 4
    Price
  • 3
    Complexity
  • 3
    Scalability
  • 2
    Nuget
  • 2
    Maturity
  • 2
    Build Tools
  • 2
    Support
  • 0
    Maturidade
  • 0
    Performance

related Xamarin posts

Greg Neumann
Indie, Solo, Developer · | 8 upvotes · 1.5M views

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
Bhupendra Madhu
Web Developer at Ecombooks · | 8 upvotes · 522.6K views

I want to learn cross-platform application frameworks like React Native, Flutter, Xamarin, or Ionic, and I'm a web developer. I can learn other programming languages as well. But I'm confused about what to learn, which framework is best, and which framework will last long as the application grows further into complexity.

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Xcode logo

Xcode

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The complete toolset for building great apps
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PROS OF XCODE
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    IOS Development
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    Personal assistant on steroids
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    Easy setup
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    Excellent integration with Clang
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    Beautiful
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    Built-in everything
CONS OF XCODE
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    Massively bloated and complicated for smaller projects
  • 3
    Horrible auto completiting and text editing
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    Slow startup
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    Very slow emulator

related Xcode posts

Julien DeFrance
Principal Software Engineer at Tophatter · | 8 upvotes · 442.5K views

As a Engineering Manager & Director at SmartZip, I had a mix of front-end, back-end, #mobile engineers reporting to me.

Sprints after sprints, I noticed some inefficiencies on the MobileDev side. People working multiple sprints in a row on their Xcode / Objective-C codebase while some others were working on Android Studio. After which, QA & Product ensured both applications were in sync, on a UI/UX standpoint, creating addional work, which also happened to be extremely costly.

Our resources being so limited, my role was to stop this bleeding and keep my team productive and their time, valuable.

After some analysis, discussions, proof of concepts... etc. We decided to move to a single codebase using React Native so our velocity would increase.

After some initial investment, our initial assumptions were confirmed and we indeed started to ship features a lot faster than ever before. Also, our engineers found a way to perform this upgrade incrementally, so the initial platform-specific codebase wouldn't have to entirely be rewritten at once but only gradually and at will.

Feedback around React Native was very positive. And I doubt - for the kind of application we had - no one would want to go back to two or more code bases. Our application was still as Native as it gets. And no feature or device capability was compromised.

See more
Sezgi Ulucam
Developer Advocate at Hasura · | 7 upvotes · 934.2K views

I've recently switched to using Expo for initializing and developing my React Native apps. Compared to React Native CLI, it's so much easier to get set up and going. Setting up and maintaining Android Studio, Android SDK, and virtual devices used to be such a headache. Thanks to Expo, I can now test my apps directly on my Android phone, just by installing the Expo app. I still use Xcode Simulator for iOS testing, since I don't have an iPhone, but that's easy anyway. The big win for me with Expo is ease of Android testing.

The Expo SDK also provides convenient features like Facebook login, MapView, push notifications, and many others. https://docs.expo.io/versions/v31.0.0/sdk/

See more
Flutter logo

Flutter

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Cross-platform mobile framework from Google
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PROS OF FLUTTER
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    Hot Reload
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    Cross platform
  • 104
    Performance
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    Backed by Google
  • 73
    Compiled into Native Code
  • 59
    Fast Development
  • 58
    Open Source
  • 53
    Fast Prototyping
  • 49
    Single Codebase
  • 48
    Expressive and Flexible UI
  • 36
    Reactive Programming
  • 34
    Material Design
  • 30
    Dart
  • 29
    Widget-based
  • 26
    Target to Fuchsia
  • 20
    IOS + Android
  • 17
    Easy to learn
  • 16
    Great CLI Support
  • 14
    You can use it as mobile, web, Server development
  • 14
    Tooling
  • 13
    Debugging quickly
  • 13
    Have built-in Material theme
  • 12
    Good docs & sample code
  • 12
    Target to Android
  • 12
    Community
  • 11
    Support by multiple IDE: Android Studio, VS Code, XCode
  • 10
    Easy Testing Support
  • 10
    Written by Dart, which is easy to read code
  • 9
    Real platform free framework of the future
  • 9
    Have built-in Cupertino theme
  • 9
    Target to iOS
  • 8
    Easy to Unit Test
  • 8
    Easy to Widget Test
  • 1
    Large Community
CONS OF FLUTTER
  • 29
    Need to learn Dart
  • 10
    Lack of community support
  • 10
    No 3D Graphics Engine Support
  • 8
    Graphics programming
  • 6
    Lack of friendly documentation
  • 2
    Lack of promotion
  • 1
    Https://iphtechnologies.com/difference-between-flutter

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Vaibhav Taunk
Team Lead at Technovert · | 31 upvotes · 3.9M views

I am starting to become a full-stack developer, by choosing and learning .NET Core for API Development, Angular CLI / React for UI Development, MongoDB for database, as it a NoSQL DB and Flutter / React Native for Mobile App Development. Using Postman, Markdown and Visual Studio Code for development.

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The only two programming languages I know are Python and Dart, I fall in love with Dart when I learned about the type safeness, ease of refactoring, and the help of the IDE. I have an idea for an app, a simple app, but I need SEO and server rendering, and I also want it to be available on all platforms. I can't use Flutter or Dart anymore because of that. I have been searching and looks like there is no way to avoid learning HTML and CSS for this. I want to use Supabase as BASS, at the moment I think that I have two options if I want to learn the least amount of things because of my lack of time available:

  1. Quasar Framework: They claim that I can do all the things I need, but I have to use JavaScript, and I am going to have all those bugs with a type-safe programming language avoidable. I guess I can use TypeScript?, but that means learning both, and I am not sure if I will be able to use 100% Typescript. Besides Vue.js, Node.js, etc.

  2. Blazor and .NET: There is MAUI with razor bindings in .Net now, and also a Blazor server. And as far as I can see, the transition from Dart to C# will be easy. I guess that I have to learn some Javascript here and there, but I have to less things I guess, am I wrong? But Blazor is a new technology, Vue is widely used.

See more
Appcelerator logo

Appcelerator

54
70
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Build network-connected mobile applications across native platforms and the web
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+ 1
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PROS OF APPCELERATOR
  • 5
    Android
  • 4
    Open Source
  • 4
    Easy to learn
  • 2
    Great community
  • 2
    Javascript
  • 2
    IOS
  • 1
    Angular.js beta
  • 1
    Vue.js beta
  • 1
    Native UI
  • 1
    Lots of native modules, components, libraries
  • 1
    MVC-based
  • 1
    Paid plans available
  • 1
    Free
  • 1
    Write directly to iOS and Android SDK with JavaScript
CONS OF APPCELERATOR
  • 1
    No online IDE

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Firebase logo

Firebase

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The Realtime App Platform
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PROS OF FIREBASE
  • 371
    Realtime backend made easy
  • 270
    Fast and responsive
  • 242
    Easy setup
  • 215
    Real-time
  • 191
    JSON
  • 134
    Free
  • 128
    Backed by google
  • 83
    Angular adaptor
  • 68
    Reliable
  • 36
    Great customer support
  • 32
    Great documentation
  • 25
    Real-time synchronization
  • 21
    Mobile friendly
  • 18
    Rapid prototyping
  • 14
    Great security
  • 12
    Automatic scaling
  • 11
    Freakingly awesome
  • 8
    Chat
  • 8
    Angularfire is an amazing addition!
  • 8
    Super fast development
  • 6
    Built in user auth/oauth
  • 6
    Firebase hosting
  • 6
    Ios adaptor
  • 6
    Awesome next-gen backend
  • 4
    Speed of light
  • 4
    Very easy to use
  • 3
    Great
  • 3
    It's made development super fast
  • 3
    Brilliant for startups
  • 2
    Free hosting
  • 2
    Cloud functions
  • 2
    JS Offline and Sync suport
  • 2
    Low battery consumption
  • 2
    .net
  • 2
    The concurrent updates create a great experience
  • 2
    Push notification
  • 2
    I can quickly create static web apps with no backend
  • 2
    Great all-round functionality
  • 2
    Free authentication solution
  • 1
    Easy Reactjs integration
  • 1
    Google's support
  • 1
    Free SSL
  • 1
    CDN & cache out of the box
  • 1
    Easy to use
  • 1
    Large
  • 1
    Faster workflow
  • 1
    Serverless
  • 1
    Good Free Limits
  • 1
    Simple and easy
CONS OF FIREBASE
  • 31
    Can become expensive
  • 16
    No open source, you depend on external company
  • 15
    Scalability is not infinite
  • 9
    Not Flexible Enough
  • 7
    Cant filter queries
  • 3
    Very unstable server
  • 3
    No Relational Data
  • 2
    Too many errors
  • 2
    No offline sync

related Firebase posts

Johnny Bell

I was building a personal project that I needed to store items in a real time database. I am more comfortable with my Frontend skills than my backend so I didn't want to spend time building out anything in Ruby or Go.

I stumbled on Firebase by #Google, and it was really all I needed. It had realtime data, an area for storing file uploads and best of all for the amount of data I needed it was free!

I built out my application using tools I was familiar with, React for the framework, Redux.js to manage my state across components, and styled-components for the styling.

Now as this was a project I was just working on in my free time for fun I didn't really want to pay for hosting. I did some research and I found Netlify. I had actually seen them at #ReactRally the year before and deployed a Gatsby site to Netlify already.

Netlify was very easy to setup and link to my GitHub account you select a repo and pretty much with very little configuration you have a live site that will deploy every time you push to master.

With the selection of these tools I was able to build out my application, connect it to a realtime database, and deploy to a live environment all with $0 spent.

If you're looking to build out a small app I suggest giving these tools a go as you can get your idea out into the real world for absolutely no cost.

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Collins Ogbuzuru
Front-end dev at Evolve credit · | 16 upvotes · 12.9K views

Your tech stack is solid for building a real-time messaging project.

React and React Native are excellent choices for the frontend, especially if you want to have both web and mobile versions of your application share code.

ExpressJS is an unopinionated framework that affords you the flexibility to use it's features at your term, which is a good start. However, I would recommend you explore Sails.js as well. Sails.js is built on top of Express.js and it provides additional features out of the box, especially the Websocket integration that your project requires.

Don't forget to set up Graphql codegen, this would improve your dev experience (Add Typescript, if you can too).

I don't know much about databases but you might want to consider using NO-SQL. I used Firebase real-time db and aws dynamo db on a few of my personal projects and I love they're easy to work with and offer more flexibility for a chat application.

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