There could be different reasons for individuals or companies to create an app. May be, it is a business app or you have a great idea. But regardless of all these reasons, you still have to start from the scratch and the most important thing is choosing the right platform for mobile app development.
Xamarin has evolved to be the most preferred choice for developers who want to built cross platform portability i.e. integrate an app to all three dominant mobile platforms(iOS, Android, Windows)
Xamarin and its Three Major Components:
1) Xamarin Platform is the major part of Xamarin. It provides code APIs, code samples, runtime engines and virtual machines. The platform targets Android, iOS or Mac OS 10 apps, Microsoft Windows phones, tablets etc.
2)Test Cloud: It provides an automatic online testing harness that automates your app testing on thousands of real devices in the Cloud.
3) Xamarin Insights: It is an app-monitoring service that tracks app crashes and exceptions which helps the developers to know what is happening with app users in real time .
Benefits of Using Xamarin:
1) One technology stack to code for all platforms: To write a mobile code, you need to choose the programming language.
Instead of using these three languages, Xamarin code apps using C# language which uses familiar concepts like links, generics, tasks etc. Here, you can write your codes in required IDE and it’s been successful. In total, Xamarin acts as a popular cross-platform toolkit.
2) Native User Experience: The IDE of Xamarin enables coding in C#, which is considered to be an object-oriented programming language that can compete with Objective-C, Swift and Java paradigms. Thus, Xamarin provides a native UI access to device-specific hardware and OS specific software features.
3) Xamarin is Extensible: The component store of Xamarin platform allows developers to select from a multitude of components to customize their apps and end product. This property of Xamarin is useful for custom app development companies as it provides several extensions to choose from in order to meet client needs.
4) Capable of API Integration: Xamarin is capable of binding using Xamarin.iOS, Xamarin.Android, Xamarin.Mac, Xamarin.Windows which has the same capacities of native platforms. Its Portable Class Libraries (PCL), and app architecture enables sharing of code across all platforms.
5) Xamarin has a Component Store: The component store of Xamarin allows adding high-quality elements to the app directly from your IDE which includes web services APIs, controls and much more. It also enables integration of popular back-ends such as Microsoft Azure, Salesforce Parse, SAP etc. and also add powerful security features such as encryption and authentication.
6) Xamarin.Forms: The API- Xamarin.Forms help in building user interface code that can be shared across Android, iOS or Windows using 100% shared C#. This includes more than 40 layouts and controls, which are mapped to native controls during the runtime. Thus, Xamarin saves resource and time needed for the development of similar native UIs for different platforms.
7) Possibility to Test in Cloud: When working with a cross-platform app, developers invest much of their time to test and evaluate its performance, look and feel on different devices. With Xamarin Test Cloud, you can directly detect the flaws and bugs in the cloud.
8) Compatible with MVC and MVVM patterns: Xamarin is compatible with major software development patterns where, MVVM allows creating different projects using the same code base. MVC makes it easier for developers to keep the app logic and presentation separate which helps in accelerating the process of app development.
9) No need to Create Extra Plug-in: Developers can built apps directly without creating new plug-ins. As Xamarin apps are created with standard UI controls it gives a better user experience across various mobile platforms and these mobile programs are able to access platform-specific functionalities like Android Fragment, iBeacons etc.
10) Cost-effective: As you need not invest in the development infrastructure for Android, iOS and Windows separately, Xamarin is an obvious winner at cost efficiencies. With a single team of Xamarin developers, you need to code just once and then deploy on all the major platforms for seamless user experiences.
11) Offline App Support: Now its mandatory for app to even work offline, mainly in the remote areas its essential for enterprise apps to work also without the Internet. This can be acquired by Xamarin through its feature of Cloud for reliable data synchronisation.
12) Future Centric Apps for Wearables: Xamarin also turns out to create complete companion apps that can even run on wearables. For example: Xamarin.Glass supports on Google Glass.
13) Upgradation of Apps across Different Platforms is Easy: Xamarin’s feature of SDK integration provides support for new features and automatically updates versions to corresponding platform, as soon as they are inserted in the operating system of the device.
All these above listed features, clearly shows that for any business, Xamarin as a development platform happens to be secure, reliable and cost-effective to build apps across Android, iOS & Windows.