Application development has been growing at a phenomenal rate, which is mostly due to the massive consumer dive into mobility. Multiple carriers, devices and software have all carved their own niche into the daily lives of people all over the world. This has created a huge opportunity for businesses and mobile application developers to strengthen their presence as promoters and facilitators of the mobile revolution. In the world of mobile applications, it is no secret, that native applications warrant no debate. Their advantages greatly overwhelm those of hybrid or HTML5 apps.
Before deciding on which platform to support, a thorough study of the requirements with an end-user focus is necessary. This helps you identify a strategy for the goals that have been set. Appealing to multiple platforms is a great way to ensure user satisfaction across varying devices. You do not want to start coding an app for one platform only to realize midway that you need it for another platform. This approach greatly increases the application development and testing time, which could have an adverse effect on your release cycle.
Gartner says, “By 2017, mobile apps will be downloaded more than 268 billion times, generating revenue of more than $77 billion and making apps one of the most popular computing tools for users across the globe.”
According to another study by Flurry Analytics from January 2014 to March 2014, the time spent on iOS and Android connected devices amounts to 162 minutes per day for the average American. 86% of that time is spent on mobile applications as opposed to 14% on mobile browsers.
It is clear from the above statistics that mobile applications and multiple platforms are here to stay. Businesses need a strategy to be able to deliver applications in times of such high demands. Here we present five core reasons to use Xamarin for cross-platform development of mobile applications.
Why Xamarin Makes More Sense For Cross-Platform App Development
The mobile landscape has been spreading like never before. The need for cross-functional mobile apps is increasing at a rapid pace.
1. Native applications
The preferred solution for any application is native design. This is where Xamarin and its unique approach come in. Xamarin Studio (IDE) enables code completion in C#. It provides the advantages of native UI, access to specific-device features, and most importantly, native performance. Code sharing across platforms is a breeze with Xamarin, helping you shorten that development cycle.
2. Shared app logic
Apart from native UI, the way app logic is shared across multiple platforms makes Xamarin a must-use cross-platform development tool. Application logic underlying the UI layer, like input validation, web service calls, database interactions, and backend enterprise integrations are coded once in C#. Developers can share as much as 75% of the code across the varying operating systems. This saves time required to recode and leaves less room for bugs to creep in.
3. API integration
Xamarin binds the same APIs and UI controls that are used to build iOS, Android and Mac apps in their respective platform specific languages. For Windows development, Xamarin with Microsoft Visual Studio offers Windows Phone and Windows 8 applications. Code can be shared between iOS, Android and Windows using Portable Class Libraries (PCL) and appropriate application architecture. With Xamarin, support is always around the corner. Their unique binding technology enables them to provide support for new features soon after they are introduced in the device’s operating system. Click on the respective platforms links for their latest support packages for iOS 8 and Android L (with wearable support).
4. Xamarin Component Store
The folks at Xamarin clearly believe in collaboration and sharing. This is a testament to their ongoing efforts on the Xamarin Component Store. Developers can choose from a host of free or paid components, which include UI controls, cross-platform libraries, and third party web services to apps with just a few lines of code. The Component Store is built right into Xamarin Studio and Xamarin’s Visual Studio extensions.
5. Advantages of C#
C# is a simple, modern, general-purpose, type-safe, pure object-oriented programming language. Being object oriented from the get-go, it is more than just a modernized version of C++, allowing even simple data types to be treated as objects. The type-safety of C# helps prevent type errors that could result in flawed program behavior, without the need of boilerplate or verbose type annotations. Its simplified syntax also eliminates the use of pointers and headers, while namespace and reference operators are replaced by the period. Along with Microsoft’s .NET framework, developer needs are well taken care of making asynchronous programming a breeze. In short, C# is a great programming language for cross-platform development.
This and a lot more crowns Xamarin as the new king of cross-platform development. The rich features and the resulting benefits of Xamarin all point towards flawless cross-platform native applications. In addition to the above-mentioned five reasons, Xamarin boasts an ever-growing community of 700,000 plus developers who are continuously collaborating and enhancing the software.