Nowadays Xamarin has been continuing to become more and more popular among developers and business units. This is for sure as Xamarin framework allows to create apps quickly by enabling them to code in C# which can be shared across multiple platforms such as iOS and Android. So let’s define some key features Xamarin has and try to understand what makes it so popular and why it is worth to be used.
As it is said on developer.xamarin.com site the Xamarin platform consists of a number of elements that allow you to develop applications for iOS and Android:
C# language – Allows you to use a familiar syntax and sophisticated features like Generics, Linq and the Parallel Task Library.
Mono .NET framework – Provides a cross-platform implementation of the extensive features in Microsoft’s .NET framework.
Compiler – Depending on the platform, produces a native app (eg. iOS) or an integrated .NET application and runtime (eg. Android). The compiler also performs many optimizations for mobile deployment such as linking away un-used code.
IDE tools – The Xamarin Studio IDE and the Xamarin plug-in for Visual Studio allow you to create, build and deploy Xamarin projects.
In addition, because the underlying language is C# with the .NET framework, projects can be structured to share code that can also be deployed to Windows Phone.
Xamarin is the great tool for cross-platform development and delivers high performance compiled code with full access to all the native APIs so you can create native apps with device-specific experiences. Anything you can do in Objective-C or Java, can be done in C# with Xamarin. But at the same time Xamarin is not the same as mobile web/PhoneGap/flash or the other cross platform tools. As it is said Applications built in Xamarin keep and save all the Java features on Android ObjectiveC from iOS.
What features make Xamarin a number one choice for mobile development?
1/ If you’re already familiar with .Net or C#, you would be able to start using Xamarin immediately. It supplies full C# implementation and accurate implementation of the .NET class libraries. In case you are not well experienced developer anyway you will cut down time for learning the basic principles of this framework.
To work successfully on both Android and iOS with Xamarin you just need to learn C# and one core set of classes, while usually they need you be acquainted with two separate programming environments: Java and Objective-C respectively. Anything you can do in Objective-C or Java, can be done in C# with Xamarin.
2/ Using the same C# code base and integrating with SDKs of all of the different operating systems for different OS allow sharing code across multiple platforms so that you are no more in need to write several codes. As a result less code you write less support your app need. The ability to reuse major part of the code cuts the development time mostly in half. That is for sure saves time and money resources to both customers and service providing companies on the app’s multi-channel distribution.
3/ When building apps with Xamarin, developers are able to perform on device processing without creating additional plug-ins. Mobile applications developed with Xamarin, give us a better user experience across various mobile platforms, as these apps are created with standard UI controls. Plus such mobile programs give us a possibility to let platform-specific functionality like iBeacon and Android Fragment becomes a part on the mobile app. Thus, there is no need developing additional plug-ins for device processing.
4/ Xamarin TestCloud allows you to automatically test your iOS and Android apps immediately, on hundreds of devices, offering continuous integration, beautiful reports, test for fragmentation, and object-based UI testing.
5/ Also as it is mentioned by professionals unlike other cross-platform mobile development frameworks, Xamarin is suitable for creating large and complex projects. Since this tool allows developers writing code using only one programming language, companies are able to scale horizontally while not employing additional IT specialist.
Also great advantage is that using Xamarin give us a possibility to focus our efforts on building app features once and then shipping the app. Compare this to the native platform environments where we build the app features once for one platform, then we build them again for the other platform, and then finally we ship. In case of Xamarin we developer one code mostly for three mobile platforms saving time and budget which makes great value for large entities and start-ups.
So to sum up it is definitely the best cross-platform development environment available today and is attracting more and more developers to the community every day. Xamarin is gaining acceptance with large corporations. If you’re looking to develop a cross-platform, native mobile application and are willing to accept some minimal downside, then Xamarin may be just the right tool for you.
So what do you think about Xamarin? Do you use it for mobile-cross platform development? If it is so, can you please let know why do you decide to use it?
Look forward to getting your ideas and comments!