Mobile app development has become a must for businesses striving for online success. Every day the number of smartphone users is rising. Many organizations are shifting their business strategies for mobile devices which gives a seamless user experience to their customers with all the mobile platforms - Android and iOS. Therefore, the need for Cross-platform app development services has taken the spot.
When we talk about developing a mobile app for Android or iOS platforms, Objective-C, Swift, and Java are the game changers that immediately pop up in mind. For the last many years, these native stacks have been the go-to weapon of choice for many developers. But we have found a new alternative for building user-friendly apps that can dominate mobile app development.
Yes! We are talking about Xamarin. Xamarin app development enables organizations to serve customers in their “Mobile Moments”. Owned by Microsoft, Xamarin is one of the top open-source cross-platform frameworks which is used to create secure, scalable, and feature-rich mobile applications.
Xamarin is a cross-platform mobile application platform built using C# and .NET. Xamarin was founded in 2011 and acquired by Microsoft in 2016. Based on the Microsoft Technology stack, Xamarin offers 95% of its code reusability features across platforms.
Developers have always dreamt of writing a single code for various mobile platforms. Though, it has become possible now. But it has its drawbacks such as poor user experience, maintenance, and testing.
However, with Xamarin development services, now developers don’t have to compromise on such crucial aspects while cross-platform app development. Using this platform, you create an app for Android and iOS leveraging the features UI experience, notifications, graphics, and many more.
With the help of the Mono framework, Xamarin connects with the APIs of your mobile device functions.
How Does Xamarin Work?
Xamarin comes up with two commercial products: Xamarin.Android and Xamarin.iOS. They both are built on top of Mono, an open-source variant of the .NET Framework based on accessible .NET ECMA principles. Mono runs on nearly all possible platforms such as Linux, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, and Unix.
For the Android platform, the compiler of Xamarin assembles down to Intermediate Language (IL), which is then Just-in-Time (JIT) gathered to the native assembly when the application takes off.
For the iOS platform, the Ahead-of-Time (AOT) compiler of Xamarin assembles Xamarin.iOS applications straight to native ARM assembly code.
For both Xamarin.Android and Xamarin.iOS frameworks, Xamarin apps utilize a runtime that inevitably handles things such as garbage collection, underlying platform interop, memory allocation, etc.
Xamarin Development Approaches
Using Xamarin development services, developers have two ways of developing cross-platform applications.
- Forms technology:It allows developers to design a visual interface once. For that, it’s required to create some C# logic to it and share this codebase across iOS, Android, and Windows platforms with some minor code changes. In this case, the UI code and the backed are pulsed together for all solutions.
- Xamarin Native:It has Xamarin.Android, Xamarin.iOS, Xamarin, Windows libraries that allow developers to design separate applications for each platform. In this case, the UI code offers a unique solution, but the backend is shared just as with Xamarin.Forms.
Advantages of Using Xamarin For Cross-Platform Development
As a Cross-platform app development company, we have curated some important factors to consider Xamarin for cross-platform app development.
1) Native User Experience
Xamarin has full access to native APIs and toolkits used on iOS, Android, and Windows platforms. It offers amazing native design and performance for every application.
Having platform-specific elements and technologies available in C# and Visual Studio, Xamarin offers a feature of nativeness.
- Using Xamarin.Android and Xamarin.iOS, .NET developers can access Android and iOS SDKs respectively.
- Xamarin.Essentials library offers accessibility to core overlapping native APIs.
- Xamarin.Forms expose a UI toolkit for all mobile platforms.
Therefore, this gives you all the unique elements in one place which can be beneficial to offer a single solution with platform-specific interfaces.
2) Single Technology Stack
One of the major advantages of Xamarin app development is that a single language C# creates all types of solutions. Xamarin uses C# complementarity with the .NET framework to create apps for all mobile platforms. Moreover, it allows you to perform all the operations in Visual Studio without switching any environments.
Hence, with 96% of the source code reusability, you can speed up the development cycle. This feature allows developers to perform the same process using one language instead of two different languages. Hence, Xamarin is easy to learn for every developer.
3) Simplified Maintenance
Xamarin has simplified maintenance for developers with Xamarin.Forms as they share code. If you need to update applications and fix some issues, then you have to do it in the source file. All the changes will be automatically implemented on both iOS and Android apps.
This way, developers can save their development time and minimize the development cost by keeping apps up to date. Additionally, the Xamarin community provides comprehensive customer support backed with well-organized documentation and training opportunities.
4) Full Hardware Support
With Xamarin, you can get native-level app functionality for Android app development services. Moreover, you will not face any hardware compatibility issues if you use plugins and some common specific APIs across various platforms. Xamarin also allows you to connect with native libraries to platform-specific APIs. This way, you can do better customization and add native-level functionality with a little overhead.
5) Time Saving & Cost-effective
Having features of code reusability and single technology stack, developers can save their time and money on the development cycle. Developers have to write one single codebase for an application and they can use this code for other solutions. This makes only slight adjustments and doesn’t allow developers to spend time on the same procedure. This allows the development procedure to be faster.
Having said earlier, there is no need for separate teams working on the application, as everything is written in C# and within the .NET framework. A single team can perform all the operations such as development, testing and deployment. This leads to a streamlined development process and eliminates the extra expenses associated with it.
It’s especially beneficial for many organizations that have limited manpower and hardware resources.
6) Strong Corporate Support
Acquired by Microsoft in 2016, Xamarin guarantees stability, continuous technical support, and prompt issue resolution. Due to which some radical changes were made to the Xamarin licensing policies.
The Xamarin SDK has become open source, including runtime, libraries, and various command-line tools. All these you can find under the license of MIT as a part of Visual Studio. By eliminating licensing costs, major barriers, Microsoft paved the way for the platform to move forward. Moreover, Microsoft offers various educational opportunities, which include Xamarin courses and comprehensive tech documents on the official Microsoft Learn platform.
Key Criteria Supporting Xamarin for Cross-Platform Mobile App Development
So until now, we have gone through the basic understanding of Xamarin development and its advantages. And that’s the reason Xamarin has become the most popular cross platform mobile app development framework. The demand for this framework is increasing day by day among developers and businesses alike.
Xamarin also enables organizations to save their cost and time on their mobile app development project. Therefore, it has become the most preferred platform. It offers a “one fits all” solution. Xamarin has turned out to be a successful tool that dramatically cuts both creation and maintenance costs without compromising quality. Hence, we see it as a potential game-changer for many.
Xamarin is definitely here to stay. So, if you are planning to develop a Xamarin app, you can hire Xamarin developers or contact the best Xamarin app development company - The One Technologies.