Xamarin is a software company headquartered in San Francisco, which develops tools for cross-platform application development using C#.
The products are developed to allow developers to share code between different platforms in use. As an example, developers could develop an iOS library with the Swift programming language that can be used on Xamarin, Android. From April 2014 until May 2016, Microsoft fully acquired Xamarin after showing interest in it since November 2013 when they invested in the company.
Xamarin offers a suite of products to allow cross-platform development:
Xamarin.Forms: A library that allows developers to create user interfaces that can be shared between different platforms using XAML.
Xamarin.iOS: A platform that allows developers to create native iOS applications using C#.
Xamarin.Android: A platform that allows developers to create native Android applications using C#.
Xamarin Studio/Visual Studio: Integrated development environments (IDEs) for creating cross-platform applications with Xamarin technology.
Xamarin Test Cloud: A cloud-based service for testing mobile apps across multiple devices and platforms.
1. Cross-platform development:
Developing mobile apps with Xamarin lets you use a single codebase to target multiple mobile platforms, including iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. This can save you a lot of time and energy when developing your app.
- Familiar language:
C# is a familiar language for many developers, so there’s less learning curve when using Xamarin.
2. Shared codebase:
Since you’re sharing code between different platforms, you don’t have to waste time rewriting or port code. This can save you a lot of time and energy when developing your app
- Robust tooling:
Xamarin provides tight integration with Visual Studio, Xamarin Studio, and other code editors. This provides you with a rich environment for building iOS and Android apps in C#.
3. Extensible framework:
Xamarin allows developers to access platform APIs that are usually inaccessible from standard programming languages. For example, it’s possible to use the iPhone’s camera through Xamarin without dealing with Objective-C or Java.
- Debug UI tests directly on device/emulator:
Using the Xamarin Test Cloud service, you can simultaneously run automated UI tests against multiple devices/emulators. This lets you test your app directly on your target devices to ensure that it will look and feel great for users.
4. Great performance of C# code:
Xamarin applications are compiled to native ARM or x86 machine code, ensuring optimal speed on mobile devices. This means you don’t have to compromise UI responsiveness or the user experience due to slower emulation or virtualization.
- Test Cloud Service:
You can use the Xamarin Test Cloud service for testing your app directly on accurate devices/emulators/simulators. In addition, it provides an easy way to test your apps cross-device.
5. Native wrappers:
The features of each platform are wrapped in a .NET interface so you can quickly write platform-specific implementations if necessary, although this is not required. This helps reduce the amount of duplicate code.
- Builds for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone:
The Xamarin framework is powerful enough to allow developers to build a fully functional mobile app with all the features for each platform it targets. In addition, you can write your business logic once and share it between target platforms.
6. Native component integration:
Xamarin provides a way to easily integrate native components into your GUI by binding events on controls and allowing them to call methods on any other activity in the app.
- Source code access:
You can modify or extend from existing project templates as you need, whether you’re using C#, Objective-C, Java, or C++. This helps reduce the amount of duplicate code.
7. Community support:
If you get stuck while developing your app, there’s a large and active community of developers who are more than happy to help. The Xamarin Forums and Stack Overflow are great places to start.
- Supported in Visual Studio:
Xamarin is supported in both Visual Studio 2015 and Visual Studio 2013. So you can use either of these IDEs for your cross-platform development needs.
8. Mono runtime:
The Mono runtime provides a nearly identical execution environment on all major mobile platforms. This helps ensure that your app behaves the same way on all devices.
- Open source:
Xamarin is an open-source platform, which means the code is freely available for inspection and modification. This allows for a high degree of flexibility and customizability.
9. Integrated into Azure:
Xamarin has been integrated into Azure, Microsoft’s cloud services platform. This provides developers with many options for deploying, scaling, and managing their mobile apps.
- Support for universal Windows Apps:
You can use Xamarin to create universal Windows apps that run on all devices that share the same core operating system (Windows 10). This includes PCs, tablets, phones, Xbox One, HoloLens, and Raspberry Pi.
10. Community-driven roadmap:
Xamarin was developed in collaboration with its large and active community. This means that the features and direction of the platform are driven by what the community wants and needs.
- Enterprise-grade support:
If you need enterprise-level support, Xamarin offers several support plans to meet your needs. For example, you can get 24/7 phone support, live chat support, and even on-site training.
Read Also: Xamarin vs React Native
Xamarin is an excellent solution for those building cross-platform apps that target Android, iOS, and Windows devices. It allows you to share as much code as possible between the different platforms it supports. This helps reduce development time dramatically and simplifies testing and maintenance work. In addition, Xamarin is supported by Microsoft and has been integrated into Azure, which makes it a great choice if you’re looking for an enterprise-grade mobile app platform.
Xamarin is a robust cross-platform development framework that allows developers to write code once and share it between iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices. In addition, it has a rich feature set that lets you build fully functional mobile apps with all the features for each platform. And if you need enterprise-level support, Xamarin offers several different plans to meet your needs.
The downside of this platform is that it only supports C#, but if you’re already using C# in your projects, then Xamarin should be considered. With Xamarin, you can share as much code as possible between the different platforms it supports, which helps reduce development time dramatically and simplifies testing and maintenance work. So if you’re looking for a framework to build cross-platform mobile apps quickly, Xamarin should be at the top of your list.