Understanding Xamarin - A Cross Platform Solution

26 Aug 2022
4 min read  

Xamarin is a free open-source framework to build truely native cross-platform mobile apps using C# .NET for iOS, Android or Windows. It runs on Mono and .NET to build apps with native performance and native UI. Xamarin allows you to develop native apps using C# language and platform specfic tools/SDKs and share the same code across multiple platforms - iOS, Android or Windows.

Whatever you can do with Objective-C or Swift for an iOS app or with Java for an Android App, same you can do with C# and Xamarin. To know about differences among Xamarin, Native and Hybrid Apps refer Xamarin Apps vs. Native Apps vs. Hybrid Apps.

Xamarin cross-platform mobile


Mono is a free open-source .NET framework developed by Novell and owned by Xamarin a company of Microsoft. First time it was introduced in June 30, 2004. The purpose of Mono project is to run .NET based applications on cross-platform including Linux, Android, mac etc.

Mono .NET framework

.NET you can run on Android using Mono for Android which is now known as Xamarin.Android and on iOS you can run using MonoTouch which is now known as Xamarin.iOS.

Xamarin Architecture

Xamarin is based on Mono which can run .NET based application on Android, Mac and Linux. Using Mono you can access C# .NET features and use it with developing application for non windows platform. The underline architecture for Xamarin is shown in the fig.

Xamarin Architecture

Xamarin Family

Based on the OS, Xamarin has various options to develop apps for iOS, Mac, Android, Android Wear, Android TV or Windows Phone and Windows UWP platform. There are following options to develop apps using Xamarin framework.

Xamarin Family

Development SDKs

For Developing Xamarin apps, you need to install SDKs for iOS, Android and Windows.

Xamarin Apps Showcase

Xamarin Apps Development IDEs

Xamarin apps development can be done using Visual Studio for windows, Xamarin Studio or Visual Studio for mac to design, develop and debug native mobile apps using your existing C# skills, tools and code.

Xamarin Apps Showcase

Development with Mac Machine

Using mac machine you can only build native apps for iOS and Android. For developing windows apps you need to have windows machine.

Xamarin Development with Mac Machine

Development with Windows Machine

Using Windows machine you can only build native apps for Android and Windows. For developing iOS apps you need to have mac machine.

Xamarin Development with Windows Machine

Development with Windows and Mac Machine

For developing native apps for iOS, Android and Windows, you need to have Windows as well as Mac machine. Using Visual Studio on windows machine you can make a connection to your mac machine to build app for iOS and mac.

Xamarin Development with Windows Machine

Xamarin Apps Showcase

More than 1 million developers are using Xamarin to build critical enterprise and consumer apps. Some of the mobile apps developed by Xamarin are given below:

Xamarin Apps Showcase

Xamarin Advantages

Using Xamarin you can build high-quality, high-performance apps for iOS, Android and Windows using your existing skills. There are following advantages of using Xamarin for your apps development.

  1. Based on Rich Language C#

  2. Cross Platform Development

  3. Cost-Effective

  4. Native Performance and Native UI

  5. Native API Access

  6. Shared App Logic

  7. Extensive & Auto Updates

  8. Powerful IDEs

  9. Testing and Insight

What do you think?

I hope, now you have an understanding about Xamarin platform to build native cross-platform mobile apps. I would like to have feedback from my blog readers. Your valuable feedback, question, or comments about this article are always welcome.

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About Author
Shailendra Chauhan (Microsoft MVP, Founder & CEO at Scholarhat by DotNetTricks)

Shailendra Chauhan is the Founder and CEO at ScholarHat by DotNetTricks which is a brand when it comes to e-Learning. He provides training and consultation over an array of technologies like Cloud, .NET, Angular, React, Node, Microservices, Containers and Mobile Apps development. He has been awarded Microsoft MVP 8th time in a row (2016-2023). He has changed many lives with his writings and unique training programs. He has a number of most sought-after books to his name which has helped job aspirants in cracking tough interviews with ease.
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