If you use a specific platform for your application, the traditional “Build Apps Natively” approach will be the perfect choice. However, if you look at all three major platforms for your application development, you must build individual applications for iOS, Android, or Windows separately. So you need to have different sets of source code and hire a large group of developers for each platform. This increases costs and takes quite some time. Ability to sync feature on platforms also face major obstacles.
Xamarin allows developers to build native applications for iOS, Android, Windows and Mac, in a programming language, namely C #.
Xamarin is unique in that it combines all of the power of the native platforms and adds a number of powerful features of its own, including:
- Complete Binding for the underlying SDKs – Xamarin contains bindings for nearly the entire underlying platform SDKs in both iOS and Android. Additionally, these bindings are strongly-typed, which means that they’re easy to navigate and use, and provide robust compile-time type checking and during development. This leads to fewer runtime errors and higher quality applications.
- Objective-C, Java, C, and C++ Interop – Xamarin provides facilities for directly invoking Objective-C, Java, C, and C++ libraries, giving you the power to use a wide array of 3rd party code that has already been created. This lets you take advantage of existing iOS and Android libraries written in Objective-C, Java or C/C++. Additionally, Xamarin offers binding projects that allow you to easily bind native Objective-C and Java libraries using a declarative syntax.
- Modern Language Constructs – Xamarin applications are written in C#, a modern language that includes significant improvements over Objective-C and Java such as Dynamic Language Features , Functional Constructs such as Lambdas , LINQ , Parallel Programming features, sophisticated Generics , and more.
- Amazing Base Class Library (BCL) – Xamarin applications use the .NET BCL, a massive collection of classes that have comprehensive and streamlined features such as powerful XML, Database, Serialization, IO, String, and Networking support, just to name a few. Additionally, existing C# code can be compiled for use in an applications, which provides access to thousands upon thousands of libraries that will let you do things that aren’t already covered in the BCL.
- Modern Integrated Development Environment (IDE) – Xamarin uses Xamarin Studio on Mac OS X and Visual Studio on Windows. These are both modern IDE’s that include features such as code auto completion, a sophisticated Project and Solution management system, a comprehensive project template library, integrated source control, and many others.
- Mobile Cross Platform Support – Xamarin offers sophisticated cross-platform support for the three major mobile platforms of iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. Applications can be written to share up to 90% of their code, and our Xamarin.Mobile library offers a unified API to access common resources across all three platforms. This can significantly reduce both development costs and time to market for mobile developers that target the three most popular mobile platforms.
Because of Xamarin’s powerful and comprehensive feature set, it fills a void for application developers that want to use a modern language and platform to develop cross-platform mobile applications.