What is Xamarin?
When considering how to build Android and iOS applications, many people think that the native languages, Objective-C, Swift, Java, and Kotlin, are the only choice.
Xamarin allows you develop in C#, with a class library and runtime that works across all many platforms, including iOS, Android, and Windows, while still compiling native (non-interpreted) applications that are performant enough even for demanding games.
Xamarin combines all of the abilities 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 apps.
- 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 large collection of classes that have comprehensive and streamlined features such as powerful XML, Database, Serialization, IO, String, and Networking support, and more. Existing C# code can be compiled for use in an app, which provides access to thousands of libraries that allow you do things that aren’t covered in the BCL.
- Modern Integrated Development Environment (IDE) – Xamarin uses Visual Studio for Mac on macOS and Visual Studio on Windows. These are both modern IDEs 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. 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.
Why use Xamarin
There is a single shared C# code base in Xamarin. You don’t have to sit and write separate codes for different app platforms. You can create a single app base and use it across iOS, Android, Windows, or other platforms.
Native Application Programming Interface Access
Xamarin offers complete access to native application programming interfaces (APIs) on all platforms. The APIs can save developers time and effort, and help to launch quickly and successfully to the market.
Writing multiple codes at the same time for native app building in multiple platforms is not worthwhile. It draws too many hours without producing an equivalent result. However, using Xamarin, we can reduce the time and the cost. The same code base (70 to 80 percent of code) can be reused to create mobile apps that function, perform, and render native UX.
It’s Not Limited to Mobile App Development
Xamarin is not limited to simple mobile app development. Using Xamarin, you can develop:
- Wearable apps
- Mac apps
- TvOs apps
- OpenGL games
- SceneKit/SpriteKit/Metal games
It Supports Smartwatch Apps
Xamarin supports Smartwatch apps and makes it possible for you to run C# code on your wrist. Developers can use Visual Studio for Mac and Windows to build iOS Apple Watch apps, and Xamarin also supports Android Wear.
Due to its cross-platform framework for mobile apps, Xamarin makes maintenance and updates easier. You can simply deploy the changes to the source file and they will be applied to iOS, Android, and Windows apps.
Seamless Designs WithXamarin.Forms
The UI for apps is written in Xamarin.Forms. This helps you to create a good UX design, and can save a lot of time when preparing the UI.