Just pose a question about building an Android or iOS app, and you will certainly find people referring to Objective-C, Swift, and Java as the only native languages for development. Possibly, they are oblivious about the new ecosystem of platforms and the potential that they bring in for mobile app development.
Amongst the various technology stacks that can turn out to be an advantageous alternative to proprietary development platforms is Xamarin. It’s a cross-platform native development system, owned by Microsoft.
Xamarin is considered edgy over the proprietary and hybrid development models for the fact that it allows developers to code an app using single language, i.e. C#. Alongside, it offers a class library and runtime environment that’s similar for all the three mobile platforms (Android, iOS, and Windows).
Building Cross-Platform Native Apps with Xamarin
With Xamarin.Android and Xamarin.iOS SDKs, you get the power to create native Android and iOS application, using the UI controls that you use in Java, Objective-C, or Swift. But you can have all of this with flexibility and efficiency of C# language, .NET base libraries, and Microsoft’s IDE, Visual Studio. This cross platform native development platform allows using the business logics, database, network access etc. and re-use it for app development for multiple platforms. Together with this, building mobile apps with Xamarin offer the following benefits:
1. Less Complex Development Environment
When building an app with Xamarin, you need to have single machine for all environments. You can get started with Xamarin development with Visual Studio on Windows or Mac, as per your choice.
Since Windows apps can only be developed on Windows, you need to have Visual Studio for Windows, when an app for Android, iOS, and Windows is being developed. Nevertheless, the files and projects can be shared between Mac and Windows computers. So, if Android and iOS apps are built on Mac, the shared code can then be added to the Windows project.
Developing iOS Apps: For building iOS apps, you need to have macOS. Although, you can use Visual Studio for writing the code and deployment, you still need a Mac for the build and licensing purposes. You should also have Xcode IDE on machine to act as compiler and simulator for testing.
Developing iOS Apps: For building Android apps, you need to have Java and Android SDKs installed in machine. This serves as compiler, emulator, and assist in tasks like building, deployment, testing etc.
Developing Windows Apps: For building Windows apps (WinForms, UWP, or WPF), you cannot use Xamarin directly. However, the C# code for iOS and Android can be shared.
2. Xamarin Works on the Limitations of Hybrid Apps
When it comes to cost saving, code sharing, easy maintenance etc., cross-platform native development turns out to be the biggest advantage against hybrid HTML apps. These facts serve the evidence.
- Xamarin performs CPU-intensive tasks 22X faster than hybrid HTML.
- Cross platform native uses 50% less memory than Hybrid HTML.
- Cross platform native uses 76% less CPU time than Hybrid HTML.
- Cross platform native loads large datasets 62% faster than Hybrid HTML.
- Cross Platform native apps start 25% faster than Hybrid HTML versions.
3. Seamless Integration with Azure Cloud
A seamless integration of Azure and Xamarin can let you have an advanced and secure mobile cloud backend. With Azure, integrating and scaling your app with new features is an efficient process. Offline data update, push notification, authentication, and a number of app essential services can be integrated into the app with just few lines of code.
4. Xamarin SDK is more Stable and Updated
Xamarin SDKs for Android and iOS app development (Xamarin.Android and Xamarin.iOS) are well tested and stable than other cross platform development tools in the market. Also, talking about the features list, developers are likely to find stable features faster in Xamarin SDKs. Take examples of delay in Splash Screen Design in Ionic and Screen Orientation in React.
Ready to Build your Next App with Xamarin?
Building a mobile app is a comprehensive process that involves a thorough and careful up-front designing, testing it for user experience, quality analysis on thousands of devices, a full beta cycle, and finally deployment to the app marketplace. Xamarin makes working on this app development cycle efficient, cost-effective, and versatile.
Impressed with the Xamarin benefits and uniqueness shared above, if you wish to adopt this technology for building your next app idea on it, then you should check out our specialized Xamarin App Development Services to get started.