Technology + People + Process

Developing Mobile Apps  using Xamarin- By Sai Krishna Pawar
Feb 03
2015

Developing Mobile Apps using Xamarin- By Sai Krishna Pawar

Xamarin is mostly preferred for developing cross platform mobile apps. Xamarin with visual studio or Xamarin studio gives all the advantages of powerful IDEs such as Eclipse or Netbeans. Xamarin has the capability to deliver high performance compiled code; this compiled code provides full access to all native APIs for creating native apps with device specific experiences. Whatever the developer does in Objective C or Java for native development, the same can be done in C# with Xamarin.

Evolution of Technology

We are in an age of technology where there are more mobile phones than public utilities. During the past 10 years, technology has taken a giant leap and has changed the lives of millions of people around the world. There was a time when the technology was easily available in developed countries but due its far reach and advantages it has evolved at a faster pace in developing countries. Currently, almost all the people ranging from developing to developed countries have the presence of technology in their hands. When we talk about the technology, its not computers or Internet but both packed in a single miniature thing called as a mobile phone. Mobile phones play a crucial role in a person’s everyday life. Right now, they are not just used for making calls or sending text messages but indeed they are packed with an operating system, which provides almost everything that we require.

Almost everything meaning applications, these applications are provided by the available platforms in the world. What makes these mobile phones available to every one? Earlier there was a time when mobile phones were costlier and the rich were only able to afford it but thanks to the shear competence between the mobile phone manufacturers the costs of mobile phones have dropped very drastically. Due to this, everyone is able to afford a mobile phone. For these mobile phones, applications play a pivotal role. There are many applications available in the market and they can even become a part of a person’s life. So, for mobile phones to evolve, there is a constant need of applications. At the same time, for bringing out the applications to users, developers play a pillar role. What technology should the developers choose to develop a mobile application? When we talk about the mobile application development, the first thing that comes in to a developers mind is Native Development. Native development is faster, better and produces more responsive applications meaning applications that can give native feel. Though, native applications are good but if a developer wants to develop a native application on android, windows and IOS he needs to develop 3 different applications, which at the end give the same result. Because of this reason, the cost for native mobile application development increases.

An alternative form of developing a mobile application is by using phone gap. Costs wise phone gap development is cheaper when compared to native development. Phone gap development has its own pros and cons. The good thing about phone gap development is that a single code base can work for all the platforms such as android, windows and IOS. But one of the negative aspects of phone gap development is the applications do not give a native feel and they always have a lag for a certain amount of duration. But these can be overcome by hiring a good designer and JavaScript developer.

Another way of developing a mobile application is by using Xamarin platform. Xamarin provides two types of development:

  • Xamarin using native
  • Xamarin using forms

Xamarin using native is always preferred if a developer wants to develop an app using Xamarin technology. Xamarin using forms is complex and most of the developers around the world have reported some critical issues on it. Xamarin development makes use of C# coding and the look and feel of a Xamarin application is almost similar to a native application. In Xamarin development, front end i.e., user interface is developed by using native platform, whereas the back end is developed by using C# programming language.

Reasons for Choosing Xamarin Development

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Xamarin is mostly preferred for developing cross platform mobile apps. Xamarin with visual studio or Xamarin studio gives all the advantages of powerful IDEs such as Eclipse or Netbeans. Xamarin has the capability to deliver high performance compiled code; this compiled code provides full access to all native APIs for creating native apps with device specific experiences. Whatever the developer does in Objective C or Java for native development, the same can be done in C# with Xamarin.

Xamarin technology allows the developer to keep native UI across all the three platforms. With the help of this, native performance can be preserved and at the same time it gives access to full API coverage, shared code base and application logic. The most important factors that a developer can re-use in Xamarin technology is the Code. This indeed, saves the time and resources.

Android, IOS and Windows SDKs are integrated with Xamarin. This integration is very helpful to the developer as he can access the native controls that exist for the I Pad, Android or Windows but only coded once. The ability to re-use 60-80% of the code cuts the development time in half. At the same time, a single code base reduces the costs for support and new features introduction.

Xamarin for android also provides support for Google glass devices. Basically, development on windows and windows phone is natively supported by visual studio and Xamarin is not involved here. This means, Xamarin applications for windows platform can be developed without the need of Xamarin SDK for windows.

At times, the developers may not test the application on specific devices. This shortcoming can be overcome with the help of Xamarin Test Cloud. The developers can test the application directly on Xamarin Test Cloud, which offers hundreds of devices. It also offers continuous integration, reports, and tests of fragmentation and object based UI testing.

Today, nearly 500,000 developers are already using Xamarin to create amazing apps.

I would like to conclude by noting that, with Xamarin you write your entire apps in C#, share the same code on Android, IOS, and Windows. Get the flexibility to reuse .NET libraries and easily incorporate platform specific frameworks and libraries when you want to. In this way, you can develop faster, modern, reliable and user-friendly applications in a cost effective way.


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