In recent years, the amount of consumers and enterprise apps have increased tremendously. Till date, millions of applications have been added to the play store and hundreds of new products are getting added every day. The competition between apps to stay ahead is quite evident and it also shows the popularity of app development. There are a lot of different application development tools present in the market today.
What is Xamarin?
Xamarin is the toolkit used for development of cross-platform applications. With the help of C# and .NET, It is used for building application that shares the same code across all major mobile platforms - iOS, Android, and Windows.
“There are reasons why Xamarin is used by more than 15000 companies including Trello, Slack, and GitHub”
Let’s discuss some of the xamarin benefits:
1. Write Once and use everywhere
Xamarin uses C# and .NET to build applications for any mobile platform. Up to 96 percent of the source code can be reused to speed up the app development process. Xamarin with the same codebase helps in creating native experience across iOS, Android, and Windows mobile platforms. There is no need to switch between the development environments as it works seamlessly with Xamarin IDE (for Mac) or Visual Studio (for Windows). The logics of Networking, business, parsing (including error handling), navigation, model, and view models are shared among all versions of the application. This doesn’t affect the functionality and makes it easy for the developers to find bugs in the application.
2. Native experience in UI
Developers can use Xamarin’s platform-specific UI elements to create a smooth and seamless experience for their website. Xamarin.Forms convert application UI components into the platform-specific interface elements. While creating the user interface Xamarin.Forms have an option of using native controls of each mobile platform. Thus it makes easy for the developers to customize the user interface for each mobile platform. It increases the speed of app development and a great option for business-oriented projects.
Xamarin Forms features:-
- Xamarin.Forms give freedom to the developers to create a user interface in two different ways. Either programmer can go for the API provided by the framework and create a user interface views completely with the source code. Or they have an option of using Extensible Application Markup language (XAML) for creating user interfaces.
- Most of the time developers have to spend a lot of time on prototyping while working on some complex mobile apps. Applications designed in Xamarin.Forms are written in C# as well as these are native in nature. Therefore, these applications can take advantage of other APIs and features of the mobile platform.
- Xamarin.Forms give an option of using several pages while creating any application. Here in Xamarin.Forms pages can be defined as the application’s screen. Just like pages it also gives the option of using a variety of layouts. While developing the application programmers can use these layouts as a container for both views and other containers.
3. Seamless API Integration
Both iOS and Android get updates more frequently and it is a regular phenomenon. Coming to iOS, the updates are annual and quite regular but when it comes to Android unpredictable OS updates are common. Therefore, it is necessary for the cross-platform framework to support newly released features on the device as well as operating systems, Xamarin is capable of doing all that.
Xamarin.iOS, Xamarin.Android, and Xamarin.Mac are used to bind APIs and UI controls which is with the same capacities of native platforms. Across all mobile platforms, Portable Class Libraries (PCL) and other suitable application architecture enables Xamarin to share the code,which is one of the interesting Xamarin advantage. Because of Xamarin’s unique binding feature, there is always a link for the latest support packages for iOS and Android release.
4. Hardly any Bugs
The sole reason for the lesser amount of bug is due to the less code written which directly results in the faster time-to-market. It reduces errors thus making a better test coverage. Xamarin allows developers to code the application logic at a time and then it allows them to share it across both iOS and Android. Each project has a limited amount of time allowed for testing. Instead of spending time in writing two sets of huge repetitive tests, developers can easily write a single and more relatable set of tests.
5.No Extra Plug-In needed
Mobile applications done with Xamarin, give great user experience across different mobile platforms, these apps are made using standard UI controls. Android Fragment and iBeacons are platform-specific functionality which supports this kind of mobile programs .No additional Plug-In are required to be developed for this purpose.The developers are able to effectuate on device processing without creating additional plug-ins.
Browse Plugins for Xamarin- https://github.com/xamarin/XamarinComponents
We know that Xamarin is used to create iOS/android apps. All the shared logic which is used for creating iOS/Android apps can also be used for windows phone development. So without wasting much time and energy windows app can be generated. Xamarin is a package of toolset which supports multiple platforms with a minimum amount of duplication. Xamarin has a tremendously growing community of 700,000 plus developers who are repeatedly making and enhancing the software.
From Microsoft Official Blog: “The Future of Mobile App Development”
The list shows some of the most important benefits of using Xamarin. The application development industry has certainly evolved in recent years and it has also influenced the business. Therefore, seeing their audience business owners are also moving towards app-based. It is required for the developers to learn Xamarin concepts to avoid the embarrassment of failing to provide a satisfactory mobile experience to their customers.