Xamarin alternatives for cross-platform mobile development

| 8 min. (1617 words)

Xamarin is now officially sunset, leaving many developers seeking other options for cross-platform mobile development. If you’re one of them, don’t panic. While Microsoft themselves have shifted towards .NET MAUI, it’s not the only option – there are several robust frameworks that can match Xamarin’s capabilities, and even introduce exciting new features and efficiencies.

Let’s look at some leading alternatives to keep your mobile projects thriving.

1. .NET MAUI: The natural successor

.NET Multi-platform App UI (MAUI) is the direct successor to Xamarin, designed by Microsoft to streamline and enhance the Xamarin environment. .NET MAUI simplifies the development process by integrating directly with .NET 6 and beyond, offering a more unified approach to building mobile and desktop applications. If you’re already familiar with Xamarin, transitioning to .NET MAUI will be a breeze, as it retains much of Xamarin’s design philosophy while offering improved performance and a more robust development experience.


  • Seamless transition for Xamarin developers with a similar development environment.
  • Single codebase for mobile and desktop applications.
  • Strong integration with the .NET ecosystem, enhancing performance and tooling.


  • Still maturing, with fewer resources and community support compared to Xamarin (for now).
  • Maintained by Microsoft, who have a reputation for frequently replacing UI frameworks, so challenging to rely on.

For Raygun users, MAUI is a super convenient choice, with a full-featured Raygun provider for both Real User Monitoring and Crash Reporting to make migration as painless as possible.

2. Uno Platform - Universal .NET applications

Uno Platform emerges as a noteworthy option for developers aiming to craft applications across a spectrum of platforms with a unified codebase. This open-source framework empowers you to develop stunning .NET applications for Windows, iOS, Android, macOS, Linux, and WebAssembly using XAML and C#. For .NET developers, Uno Platform offers a familiar and cohesive environment, integrating smoothly with existing .NET libraries.


  • Write once, deploy everywhere: Craft your application once and launch it on multiple platforms, including mobile, desktop, and web.
  • Familiar development experience for those accustomed to UWP, WPF, or Xamarin Forms.
  • Broad platform support, extending even to Linux and WebAssembly.
  • Seamless integration with popular development environments like Visual Studio, VS Code, and JetBrains Rider, and compatibility with design tools such as Figma.
  • Access to a plethora of controls from leading vendors through .NET MAUI Embedding.


  • Smaller ecosystem: Currently has fewer third-party libraries and tools compared to more mature frameworks such as Flutter or React Native.
  • Learning curve: May present challenges for developers new to XAML or those transitioning from different development backgrounds.

3. Avalonia

Avalonia has a reputation for performance and UI flexibility. It’s actively maintained and supported by an open-source community and offers XAML-like markup and CSS-like styling, allowing you to customize UI themes and elements.


  • Uses a high-performance rendering engine with Direct2D, Skia, and OpenGL for smooth hardware-accelerated graphics.
  • Follows the MVVM pattern and provides strong data-binding features, making it familiar for Xamarin developers.
  • Integrates with tools like Visual Studio and JetBrains Rider, providing hot reload features for faster development iterations.
  • Aligns with .NET Standard for wider compatibility and reuse of existing .NET libraries.


  • Less mature than Xamarin, which means some features and stability may not be as robust. Smaller ecosystem; fewer third-party libraries and tools.
  • Mobile support is still experimental, so there’s the potential for bugs and limited feature coverage.

4. Flutter: A UI powerhouse

Developed by Google, Flutter has rapidly gained popularity for its highly performant and striking UI. Unlike Xamarin, which uses native controls, Flutter renders its own controls, giving developers control over their app’s aesthetics and behavior across platforms. This framework uses Dart, which might require some ramping up if you’re coming from a C# background, but the tradeoff is unmatched efficiency in building complex, custom-designed UIs.


  • High-performance, beautiful custom UI across all platforms with a single codebase.
  • Large and active community, with a wealth of plugins and resources.
  • Excellent documentation and support from Google.


  • Requires learning Dart, which is less commonly used outside of Flutter.
  • Larger app size due to the inclusion of its own rendering engine.

Raygun customers, this is another good option: Raygun’s Raygun4Flutter provider works robustly with Crash Reporting to monitor your mobile apps for errors.

5. React Native: Leverage your web skills

Facebook’s React Native allows developers to build mobile apps using JavaScript and React. Its biggest selling points are a vast and active community and the ability to leverage web development skills for mobile app development. React Native is an excellent choice if you’re aiming to develop an app that feels truly native on both iOS and Android using a single codebase. The framework is supported by a massive ecosystem of libraries and tools.


  • Build apps using JavaScript and React, which is familiar to many developers.
  • Strong community support and a vast ecosystem of libraries.
  • Apps feel truly native on both iOS and Android.


  • Performance can lag behind truly native apps, especially on complex UIs.
  • Sometimes requires native code tweaks, which demands knowledge of native languages.

Raygun user? See our React Native provider for Crash Reporting and Real User Monitoring.

6. Kotlin Multiplatform: Native for Kotlin-heads

Kotlin Multiplatform, from JetBrains, shares business logic and data layers across platforms while allowing developers to implement native UIs. This is a solid alternative for teams looking to maximize code reuse without compromising on the native look and feel of their apps. Kotlin’s succinct syntax and interoperability with Java have already made it a favorite among Android developers, and Kotlin Multiplatform extends these benefits to iOS and beyond.


  • Share logic across platforms while using native UIs, maintaining high performance.
  • Growing support from JetBrains and the Android community.
  • Interoperable with Java, making it easy to integrate with existing Android applications.


  • Relatively new, with a smaller community and fewer resources.
  • Requires maintaining separate UI code for each platform, which can increase development time.

7. Apache Cordova: For simple projects

If your app doesn’t require heavy native functionality and prioritizes content over complex interactions, Apache Cordova (formerly PhoneGap) could work for you. It wraps your HTML/JavaScript app into a native container that can access the device functions of several platforms. This framework is perfect for simpler applications where speed and ease of development are more critical than advanced features.


  • Good for applications that don’t require complex native functionalities.
  • Uses familiar web technologies (HTML, CSS, JavaScript).
  • Large plugin ecosystem.


  • Performance issues with more complex or graphically intensive apps.
  • Dependence on third-party plugins which may not be maintained.

8. Swift for iOS and Kotlin for Android: The native advantage

If performance and platform-specific capabilities are your top priorities, go native with Swift and Kotlin.

Swift for iOS: Developed by Apple, Swift is an intuitive programming language for iOS, macOS, watchOS, and TVOS app development. It is designed to be faster than its predecessor, Objective-C, as well as more robust and easier to read. Swift integrates with Apple’s Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks along with existing Objective-C code, which makes building iOS apps safe and straightforward.


  • Optimized performance and access to the latest iOS features.
  • Strong safety features with its error handling and type system.
  • Vibrant community and extensive resources from Apple.


  • Limited to Apple platforms, which necessitates separate development for Android apps.

Kotlin for Android: Officially supported by Google for Android development, Kotlin is a modern language that brings clarity and functionality to Android app creation. It is fully interoperable with Java and provides solutions to API design deficiencies. Kotlin also offers extensions and coroutines, enhancing both development speed and program performance.


  • Concise and expressive syntax, reducing boilerplate code.
  • Interoperability with Java enhances flexibility in migrating or integrating existing apps.
  • Strong community support and ongoing updates from JetBrains and Google.


  • Although growing, the Kotlin ecosystem is less mature than Java’s, with fewer libraries and resources.

Swift and Kotlin combined: By choosing Swift for your iOS app and Kotlin for your Android app, each performs optimally on its respective platform. This gives you access to the full range of capabilities offered by each platform, from direct hardware access to the latest platform-specific user interface guidelines. On the other hand, however, this also means maintaining two different codebases, which can increase development time and costs.

With native languages, you’re well-equipped to develop high-quality, performant applications that offer enriched user experiences tailored to each platform’s ecosystem. This is ideal for projects that are focused on performance, user experience, and a range of native features.

What do other experts say?

You might like to watch this episode of our Founder & Friends series: Beyond Xamarin: The Future of Mobile Development (on-demand video) with Matthew Richardson, Director at Velocity Engineering Systems.

With over 13 years of experience working in the Xamarin ecosystem, Matthew has seen and done it all. In this episode, Matthew shares his insights on easing the migration from Xamarin, working in parallel, and transitioning to the modern .NET stack such as .NET MAUI, Blazor hybrid apps, and other alternatives.

Making the choice

To choose the right framework for your mobile development, you’ll have to weigh factors like your team’s expertise, project requirements, and future scalability. Whether you go with MAUI, Flutter, React Native, Kotlin, or keep it simple with Cordova, each framework offers unique advantages.

While migration may be a hurdle, it’s also a chance to explore powerful and efficient frameworks that can improve your cross-platform mobile development.

Explore Raygun documentation for the frameworks mentioned in this article: