Why Xamarin is becoming the first choice for building enterprise mobile apps
The dream of every app developer is to have a good and reliable solution that would help him develop apps that would work across different platforms. With the huge variety of operating systems penetrating the current market, it is not a wrong choice either. Because, with such a solution the developer would be able to reach out to a wider range of audience. Mobile apps that work on various platforms are easier and cheaper when compared to native apps which are not only time-consuming, but cheaper as well. This is where Xamarin comes in.
With its acquisition by Microsoft in February 2016, Xamarin has evolved to be the most preferred choice for people who want to develop cross platform portability between their apps. In this article, we examine why Xamarin has become the most preferred choice for mobile app developers and why it delivers a device specific experience at lower investment.
What makes Xamarin so famous is that it uses native APIs to display the User Interface of apps and compiles with native code. When an app using Xamarin is created perfectly, nobody would be able to distinguish it from its native counterparts because it blends in so smoothly. Of course, there are pros and cons of using Xamarin, but when you do a comparative study of Xamarin with other development platforms, you will see that it does score better.
Following are some obvious reasons why Xamarin is the preferred choice for mobile app developers
- Cross platform native mobile app development in C++
With Xamarin, it is now possible to target multiple platforms like Andorid, Windows, Blackberry and iOS by using C++. This way developers can easily acquire all the requirements of different platforms.
- Xamarin Forms gives it a universal UI
With Xamarin, it is possible for C++ developers to write all their codes in a single platform, thereby leading to universal UI. This would help them to map to the concerned platform’s controls whenever it is supposed to run.
- The shared code base of Xamarin saves time
If Xamarin is coded once, it can be integrated with the SDK’s of all other operating systems. Developers can share the code by including portable class libraries, linked files and conditional compilation.
- Developers can use the same logic by sharing the code
Xamarin allows the developers to share the code application logic across various platforms. They can work in Java once for Andorid and use the same in Objective-C for Apple. Developers will no longer have to use the native development environment of each platform separately.
- The most powerful IDEs (Integrated Development Envrionment) with Xamarin
Xamarin allows you to enjoy the full benefit of powerful IDEs thereby improving support process, development process and simplify development.
- Developers don’t have to learn complicated codes and programs anymore
Xamarin gives the added advantage of having knowledge of .Net and C++ to get things going. Cross platform usage makes it easier to make Android and iOS apps through their knowledge of Java and Objective-C.
- Xamarin allows you to test several devices
Xamarin not only allows you to make apps, but you can actually test them across 2000 devices and detect bugs. The tests can be automated depending on what the developer thinks the customer might be using. With its performance tracking capabilities, the developer would be quickly able to detect any performance difficulties that might arise.
- The incidence of bugs is much less when compared to other technologies
With Xamarin, the incidence of bugs is low and mistakes in coding are rarely an issue – because there will be only half the codes written. The possibility of greater test coverage is also another advantage of Xamarin. It is also possible to run a single, but comprehensive set of tests for both Andorid and iOS platforms, instead of individual tests.
- Xamarin allows for innovations
Xamarin is a preferred choice among developers because it allows for innovations. For example, Xamarin.Andorid supports Google Glass devices while Xamarin.iOS supports Apple Watch. This gives the developers the leverage to produce products that cater to customer demands.
A couple of things you must know about Xamarin
Xamarin doesn’t come cheap
It is true that Xamarin can do wonders, but it isn’t an inexpensive proposition. They have a stream of excellent products and even developers dedicated to Xamarin so there is 100% coverage to native APIs, and this doesn’t come cheap.
Also there is one other thing that you cannot do with Xamarin – you cannot use it as a tool to port apps.
You have existing apps running on various platforms, you cannot take those and port them to other platforms using Xamarin. This is possible only when new iOS and Android apps.
Even though Xamarin is now widely used by developers, they still get a lot of client queries on the matter of “Native vs Web. vs. Cross-platform”. In the past, Xamarin was considered a small vendor, but now with Microsoft’s acquisition that problem has been solved forever. Many clients who have made significant investments on one strategy are now thinking about getting their apps made with Xamarin. All they need are strong apps that would give that native look and feel, so they are ready to give up the current multiple code base for their apps to make things faster. Thanks to Microsoft’s strong cross-platform front end development approach, mobile app developers can concede to the demands of their clients successfully.
Interesting links about the topic:
Xamarin emerging as clear winner among cross-platform mobile app development platforms
Pros and Cons of using Xamarin for cross platform mobile app development
5 reasons to use Xamarin for cross-platform development
Pictures: Flickr.com/ Jens Hilligsøe / Nic Wise
The author: Reema Oamkumar is engaged as a thought leader at Software-Developer-India.com which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.