From years, Xamarin platform is ruling the mobile app development market due to its exceptional features and lasting services. It is an open source .NET based program – Mono and is facilitated by Microsoft to create diverse variety of cross-platform apps that are hardly possible using any other trusted platform or solution.
Xamarin and its programming
Mono is developed to allow the programs written in C# programming language on an operating system other than Windows – Unix or Mac OS.
Xamarin Developers have fantastically developed C# compilers for other platforms as well. Using Xamarin, the developers are allowed to use the .NET platform to create C# based mobile applications along with providing a full set of native API to use all the capabilities of the mobile platform for which the app has been developed. The effect will be like the C# code is further compiled into a native execution file that is exactly similar to the files drafted in Java or Objective-C.
Xamarin – Cross Platform App Development technology facilitates the developers to create applications for Windows, iOS and Android using utilizing C# in the same IDE: Visual Studio or Xamarin Studio. This ability best supports the easy development of cross-platform apps. Xamarin does not requires its developers need any duplication of their business logic in their projects for each platform. Thus, you get at least 40% of time sand efforts saved while you are dealing with cross platform app development.
Xamarin at its initial phase
With its initial release, Xamarin was not understood as a perfect solution to develop apps on multiple platforms and deal with obstacles arriving in the process. Initially, it took much time to learn the native library classes for all platforms and Xamarin is only provider to cover the native API, instead of providing its own API. The next most challenging stuff is the need of buying an Apple computer for iOS app development. Finally, the initial free version of the Xamarin technology comprised of a very limited and unstable debugger. The free license limitation brought about the obstruction in applying knowledge to the real projects. No way was there to confirm whether the full version would be a perfect tool for the job when it mattered really or not.
However, the situation changed with the time and for the goodness. Every new Xamarin development version arrived into the world of information technology involving stability and many new sets of useful features. A new library was announced in June 2014 i.e. Xamarin.Forms. This library has proved quite significant to provide the required mechanism for creating the native interfaces on multiple platforms on the same C# codebase. Here more than 40 cross-platform controlling schemes and elements are used that were connected to the native elements during the application runs. The resulting apps are now perfect and fit better with the guidelines of the vendor.
Xamarin App Development makes it easier for a web developer to create a similar layout for different platforms. Here, the developer just needs to describe the interface using mark-up language XAML and later on, the library generates all the code that is required. XAML is a language that is well understood by the developers who have worked with WPF (World Presentation Foundation). Xamarin.Forms that use XAML, can save a significant amount of time when a common interface is developed utilizing non-platform specific controls.
Xamarin – Cross Platform App Development Technology
During February 2016, Microsoft has officially announced the purchase deal of the Xamarin technology, which further became the most popular and one of the largest platform for mobile app development. Deal’s details are unknown, but the rumours say that it has been sold for over $400 million. Just after two months, during April 2016, Microsoft brought the dreams of many developers into reality by presenting Xamarin as a free product and aligning it to the Visual Studio 2015 Community Edition. Additionally, the source code of the Xamarin SDK was revealed by the company and finally it became an official open source project. Now, everyone can contribute to the Xamarin open source project, propose possible fixes and create additional features to the platform.
Involvement of Microsoft in the Xamarin projects has given a rocketed speed to the value of the platform in comparison to any other software program. Experts are even surer of the increase in popularity of Xamarin and its increased usage by the more and more developers. The platform has received immense trustworthiness within the community of the mobile app developers.
Agile, but caution needed
Though, it is an agile and a powerful tool, but Xamarin is not a complete and universal solution. However, some cases are there when the usage of Xamarin is prohibited and the developers should know it. It is better not to use this cross-platform development approach when:
- The project is developed for a platform and it is required to be converted to other popular platforms; or
- The project comprises some platform specific features or the modules dependent of the platform.
Today, Xamarin technology has eliminated majority of its advantages and it is now completely ready for being applied to the real projects. It has become a required tool for the mobile developers that should be learnt to apply essentially. One should hire Xamarin developer for the expertise and knowledge needed to develop their projects efficiently.