Why Choose Xamarin For Cross Platform Mobile Apps With Visual Studio?

Nowadays, everyone wants to use mobile apps rather than websites because they are easy to use with your smartphones. But, do you think mobile apps development is easy? No...Mobile app development is not an easy task due to the availability of different platforms like iOS, Android, and Windows. When we create a website, it is accessible from any device from an Android phone to your laptop. But when you create an App, it is not always accessible from all platforms.

Earlier it was not possible for a single app to run on each platform because of hardware compatibility, OS, executable files, etc. There are different technologies being used to create these apps like for iOS, we use Swift, for Android apps, we use Java etc. This means that to create an app for different platforms, we generally use languages which are platform dependent.  But, there is a common technology, Xamarin, which can be used to create cross-platform apps that can run on any platform.

Xamarin provides tools to create and build cross-platform native mobile apps. It basically supports only C# [Csharp] and F# language hence most developers use C# as it is simple, modern and type safe. We can create iOS, Android and also Windows apps using Xamarin and share common code between different platforms.

To know more about Xamarin, visit the official site.

Why Xamarin?

We can create Cross-Platform Mobile Apps using Xamarin. Cross-Platform means if we create an app using Xaxarin then it will run on iOS, Android and Windows. We can grab all the feature of C# to enhance our application performance and quality. As we know, nowadays C# is the most popular programming language. Rather than creating individual mobile apps for each platform [iOS, Android, and Windows], we can create the cross-platform app using Xamarin that will be accessible to all platform devices. And it will give you the same performance as your native app. Cross-Platform does not mean that the app will be single file. No -- it means, to create an app we write different code for different platforms but when we use Xamarin, we can use the same code for the different platforms. 

For instance, if I am creating an Android app using Xamarin and writing my business logic and UI, then I can share and use the same code to create an iOS app as well.

Working with Xamarin, we can save time and money because of code sharing. Using Xamarin.Forms, we can share more than 90% of code between different platform apps including complex UI code as well. Working with Xamarin in Visual Studio, we can frequently get the latest update available so that we can create and update our app and keep it up to date.

Installation of Xamarin with Visual Studio 2017

If you are using Visual Studio 2017 and install all components, you don’t need to do anything. You can find Xamarin project when creating a new project. To find Xamarin, just type Xamarin in the Search box. If you don't have all components installed and if you have installed partial components using Visual Studio Installer and not installed Xamarin, then you have to run Visual Studio Installer and choose “Mobile Development with .Net” and install it. It will install all required components for cross-platform mobile app development using Xamarin.

Xamarin

After installation, we can check if Xamarin has installed or not. To check it go to "about Visual Studio" as follows and see if Xamarin components are listed or not.

Xamarin

Technologies with Visual Studio to create Mobile Apps

We have different technologies available with Visual Studio 2017 to create Cross-Platform Apps. For Xamarin developers or those who have knowledge of XAML than they can use Xamarin Native Apps or Xamarin.Forms to create a Mobile app which can be run on a different platform.

If you are a web developer, you can use JavaScript, HTML and CSS with Apache Cordova to create Cross-Platform Native App or as a C++ developer, you can also use C++ to create Cross-Platform Native App.

Xamarin

Several IDEs are available to work on Xamarin App development like one of the  more popular is Xamarin Studio, for Mac platforms we can use Visual Studio Mac and as a Windows user, we can use Visual Studio 2015 or higher versions. So, basically Visual Studio is an salternative for all existing IDEs for the different platforms; like for iOS, we use Xcode, for Android we use Android Studio.

Code Sharing with Xamarin.Forms

Writing business logic, data access logic or UI design code for each platform app is a painstakings task. So, why not use Xamarin.Forms which is used to share your code with other platform apps and can be reused without any issue? Using Xamarin, we can share more than 90% of the code between different platforms so that we don’t need to write the same code again and again for different platforms. Shared code can be your business logic, data access login along with UI as well.

It reduces your time to create your app as well as if your client asks to create iOS for the same app which is already created in Android then you don't have to worry and can use the same code to create iOS.

Performance Issues

When talking about Mobile Apps created using Xamarin as compared to Apps created using native language for that particular platform, Xamarin app performance is almost the same. So, you will not find any differences in performance between apps created with a native language for that platform and apps created using Xamarin. But if we create different abstraction business logic layers then obviously it will slow the app down. 

Open Source

After acquiring Xamarin, Microsoft made a few components open source, like Xamarin SDK, Command line tools, Runtime Libraries etc. To access the full functionality of Xamarin, we have to use the licensed version of Xamarin with Visual Studio.

Conclusion

So, today we learned what  a cross-platform mobile app is, and why we should use Xamarin for cross-platform mobile apps rather than creating the app using its native language.

I hope this post will help you. Please put your feedback using the comments which helps me to improve myself for the next post. If you have any doubts please ask your doubts or query in the comment section and if you like this post, please share it with your friends. Thanks