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A 7-Minute Guide To Xamarin Mobile App Development
Rockon I.T - Blog

A 7-Minute Guide to Xamarin Mobile App Development

  •   Gemma Walker
  •   Oct 05, 2018

A 7-Minute Guide to Xamarin Mobile App Development

Being a developer means engaging in a continuous battle with loads of vile bugs and glitches, advanced programming languages, the latest innovative tools, and other numerous development challenges. In the classic native engineering, businesses need to develop various apps in different languages compatible with multiple platforms, e.g. one coded in Objective C or Swift for iOS and other programmed in Kotlin or Java for Android platform. The native route is pretty resources-consuming and expensive as well as requires both extensive development talent and time since the code must be converted or written twice for other devices. Nowadays, the hybrid mobile app development has become an adequate alternative to the intricate and traditional native approach. The reason behind opting for cross-platform app development – Xamarin in particular – is its capability of sharing business logic and reusing the code across different platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows, and more.

In this blog post, we will take an in-depth insight at Xamarin mobile app development, so let’s get started!

What is Xamarin?

Xamarin is an immensely popular hybrid mobile app development environment based on Microsoft’s technology stack. The end goal of this comparatively new framework is to fix all the glitches regarding complex and disconnected frontend and backend development components, including programming languages, software tools, etc. It is a natively compiled, go-to framework that employs C# as a single language for hybrid iOS or Android mobile app development.

This powerful tool abides by the “WORA – Write Once Run Anywhere” concept. By this means, it enables developers to reuse about 90 percent of code regards to business logic, network communication, and database access across major platforms. Not to mention, it already has a progressive development community of over 1.4 million programmers all around the world. Due to its code-sharing facet, there’s no need to build platform-specific UI code source separately, thereby reducing development time, cost, and efforts significantly.

Since it puts the Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) and Common Language Specifications into practice together, C# can effectively be utilized with a handful of beneficial .NET features like Lambdas, Asynchronous programming (Async), etc. This allows programmers to create Android as well as iOS apps separately with native user interfaces and APIs, and then deploy the same code across multiple platforms, such as Windows and MacOS. The main drawback of using Xamarin to develop cross-platform apps is that they too complicated and much larger in size than the native apps.

What are the benefits of Xamarin Framework?

Below we have outlined some significant reasons why Xamarin is being used by numerous tech giants, including Slack and GitHub.

1. One Technology Stack Code for All Platforms

By complementing C# with various .NET features, Xamarin enables you to reuse up to 96 percent of the deployment code to build cross-platform apps for all platforms, thereby speeding up the development pipeline. The way app logic is shared for database interactions, input validations, backend integrations, and web service calls across various platform makes Xamarin a must-use hybrid mobile app development framework. Additionally, you don’t have to hurdle back and forth between development environments to create an app for a specific platform. Due to its cross-platform implementations, Xamarin makes updates and maintenance easier.

2. 100% Native User Interface

While Xamarin comes with an incredible code-sharing feature, it’s still possible to develop prototypes and user interface code layer from the beginning for each device separately. By using Xamarin.Forms tool, developers can easily modify the UI components of an app to the platform-specific UI elements during the runtime, which helps in increasing the speed of engineering cycle and delivering an impeccable user experience, as compared to hybrid apps.

3. Complete Hardware Support

Technically speaking, Xamarin provides native-level app functionalities, which eradicate any sort of hardware compatibility malfunctions using platform-specific APIs & plugins. In addition to that, you can connect with native libraries and leverage all API access (both latest and native) to get the best out of Xamarin’s underlying platform capabilities, with less running costs.

4. Complete Development Ecosystem

Xamarin is an all-in-one package consisting of a rich set of development tools, including:

  • Xamarin Studio/Visual Studio - its personal IDE
  • Xamarin SDKs
  • Xamarin Test Cloud
  • Hockeyapp and Xamarin.Insights - distribution and analytics platforms

Thus, businesses don’t need to integrate the third-party resources or invest in additional collaboration tools to create, debug, and test their Xamarin apps.

5. Portable Class Libraries (PCL) Support

To streamline the process of developing apps that run on windows, Xamarin with Microsoft Visual Studio offers an impressive multidimensional matrix and different PCL profiles for sharing the code source between Android, iOS, and Windows. This makes cross-platform app development an effortless practice while executing intricate functions.

6. Xamarin Component Store

From UI controls and cloud services to native APIs, one can directly integrate high-quality component to an app from their IDE.

The final words

Most businesses select Xamarin platform for hybrid app development because it significantly decreases TTM (Time to Market) and also reduces engineering efforts and cost, by using one technology stack and sharing the code across all platforms. However, it also has some drawbacks that cast a cloud upon this cross-platform, including:

  • Limited access to open libraries
  • Not suitable for apps with complex animations
  • Larger app size than native ones
  • Compatibility problems with third-party tools and libraries

At the same time, Xamarin has been proven to deliver great value in terms of performance and product quality. By empowering developers to link with native APIs and implement native UI while using a single code base, Xamarin is filling the gap between hybrid and native app development.

Looking for reliable, cost-effective mobile app development services to develop robust, intuitive applications for your business? Contact us today!


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