The mobile application market is growing at a pace that we can't even fathom. In fact, recent trends show that the apps market will continue to hit new heights in future without any signs of slowing down. Hybrid monetization models such as in-app ads and in-app purchases are continuing to rise in popularity and profitability.
According to the findings published by Statista, the gross annual revenue of global mobile app industry will reach 189 billion by 2020. At the same time, digital revolution has handed great power to the consumers which makes the market competition intensifying. Businesses who wish to keep pace with the rapid evolution of customer expectations needs to launch a mobile app so that it lets them stay connected to the brand even while on-the-go.
Mobile application development is a tricky task as the consumer base is divided among iOS (13.5%) Android (41.8%), Windows (35.8%) and other mobile operating systems (8.9%). If you are planning to develop an app that works across the three major platforms, then an extensive range of development resources and tools is required. But with the advent of Xamarin technology, cross-platform application development seems like a breeze.
What is Xamarin?
Xamarin is a powerful and popular mobile app development platform built by by a team of developers led by Miguel de Icaza that created Mono. The Xamarin company was founded on 16 May, 2011 which was later acquired by Microsoft in 2016. Though it is a comparatively new tool used for cross-platform mobile application development, Xamarin community has over 1.4 million developers across 120 countries.
Before the Microsoft acquisition, Xamarin was a commercial project. As the tech giant made it an open-source, it became part of Xamarin Visual Studio Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Written in a single language, C#, Xamarin app is created with shared .NET codebase, APIs and data structure. Since Xamarin allows creating a platform-specific UI code layer, the application would look and feel native to each platform they run on. Database access, web services access and business logic are reused across the platforms thereby enabling cross-platform implementations.
1. Single tech stack to code for all platforms
Xamarin uses C# along with .NET framework in a Visual Studio integrated development environment that allows reusing source code and negating the need for switching IDEs. When you opt for Xamarin mobile app development, you are gaining access to a complete development ecosystem with its own IDE, platforms, testing tools, distribution and analytics.
2. Native performance and user experiences
Unlike the traditional hybrid mobile applications, Xamarin apps are built by sharing business logic across platforms and creating platform-specific UI. When the UI is rendered with native controls whilst taking advantage of system and hardware specific APIs, the user ends up with a completely native user experience and performance.
3. Smooth on-boarding
When it is about developing mobile applications for Android and iOS platforms, a developer need to be skilled in different programming languages, SDK platforms, functionalities, process lifecycle and so on. Instead, when you opt for Xamarin app development, the developer has to be expert only in a single programming language - C#. Since Xamarin is an open source technology with strong corporate support, tech professionals are also offered with the flexibility and liberty to customize the components as per their requirements.
4. Reduced time to market
If you opt for the traditional approach of launching an app across the major platforms simultaneously, then it may take months and possibly years to translate and rewrite code. But with Xamarin cross-platform, developers can write a single code logic and share it across all the targeted platforms thereby reducing the time to market.
5. Less maintenance
Maintenance and updates are easier with Xamarin as developers can simply update the source file which will be directly applied to the apps. And considering the fact that Xamarin applications are written with less code, the chances of errors or bugs are lower too.
Debates on utilizing cross-platform technology are still doing its rounds on the technology landscape. Yet, Xamarin has clearly managed to emerge as a winner. So, if your business is planning to develop Android, iOS and Windows application in sync without breaking the bank and reducing the time to market, then Xamarin is what you need.
Do you think Xamarin facilitates faster and easier cross-platform mobile app development? Share your thoughts with us.