Understanding Xamarin - A Cross Platform Solution
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.
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.
.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 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.
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.
For Developing Xamarin apps, you need to install SDKs for iOS, Android and Windows.
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.
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.
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.
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 Apps Showcase
1 million developers are using Xamarin to build critical enterprise and consumer apps. Some of the mobile apps developed by Xamarin are given below:
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.
Based on Rich Language C#
Cross Platform Development
Native Performance and Native UI
Native API Access
Shared App Logic
Extensive & Auto Updates
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.