Xamarin App Development
Cross-platform frameworks for building apps can significantly reduce app development time in both mobile and desktop environments. Designed to provide a way to write once and deploy at scale, choosing the right framework is essential to avoid starting from scratch and moving to another framework later in the development process.
If you choose a framework for Android, iOS, and Windows app development, Xamarin has many benefits to offer, but it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding which platform is best for your app.
The benefits of Xamarin
One of Xamarin’s greatest strengths is how well-established it is. From the Ximian and Mono open-source projects, Xamarin was founded in 2011, making it one of the oldest cross-platform development frameworks.
This long history means a great deal of experience, as people have been developing applications with Xamarin and .NET for years, and the process is now well established. Since its acquisition by Microsoft and its official adoption into the .NET ecosystem in 2016, the Xamarin SDK has attracted more than a million users worldwide.
It’s easy to see why: Xamarin allows developers to use .NET and C# to write native applications that avoid the overhead of some rival frameworks and deliver high performance, but the Xamarin. Forms framework provides a way to ensure a consistent look and feels across all the devices. through a single application programming interface (API).
Where platform-specific APIs are required, there’s Xamarin. Essentials is a cross-platform API that offers translation to features like geolocation, sensor access, device statistics, and secure storage. And while Xamarin targets mobile development for Android and iOS devices, it allows developers to share the underlying code with any platform that supports .NET, including Windows, macOS, Linux, and more.
Xamarin also has an impressive list of companies that have developed widely deployed applications on the framework: the UPS mobile app, including its built-in automated customer service bot functionality, is built on Xamarin; Charitable giving platform JustGiving uses Xamarin for its Android and iOS apps; and Microsoft itself uses Xamarin for its Seeing AI app, designed to improve accessibility by telling the world about a visually impaired smartphone user.
For individual developers, early-stage startups, and small businesses, Xamarin is also completely free, although larger businesses will need to license Microsoft’s Visual Studio development environment. However, by doing so, developers are guaranteed a well-supported and accessible development environment with the weight of Microsoft behind it.
Cons of Xamarin
There are a few drawbacks to be aware of before embarking on cross-platform app development with Xamarin, and the above license requirements, which can add up for large enterprises, are only a small part.
While it is true that Xamarin is one of the oldest cross-platform development frameworks, it has lost a lot of ground to the younger ones. The two most popular, Flutter and React Native, are used by 42% and 38% of framework-assisted cross-platform mobile app developers, respectively, according to a 2021 Statista Developer Survey; Xamarin at only 11%.
A small pool of developers can mean it’s harder to find staff with the skills you need when it comes time to grow your team for app development or maintenance compared to a more popular framework. However, the fact that Xamarin has been around longer meaning that the staff available are generally more experienced, which means that any difficulties you have finding entry-level staff may be outweighed by the ease with which you can find developers. higher level.
Many Xamarin competitors have branched out beyond mobile, allowing for a single code base that can be used to deploy applications to both mobile and desktop devices. Xamarin, however, retains its mobile focus. There is nothing in Xamarin specifically targeted at desktop platforms. However, its integration with .NET means that up to 75% of a code base can be shared between mobile devices and desktops.
You’ll still need two development branches, but they don’t need to be separate.
Visual Studio also just released the .NET MAUI framework, which Microsoft says is “the evolution of Xamarin.” MAUI is a new framework for building modern, cross-platform, natively compiled apps for iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows using C# and XAML in a single code base. Socket Mobile will launch official support for MAUI development in the coming months and will continue to provide the tools developers need to build high-performance applications.
Xamarin App Development: Choose a frame
There are cases where Xamarin is the only logical choice for a cross-platform mobile application framework. If you’re already working in the .NET ecosystem, Xamarin means you can start developing right away without having to choose something entirely new, and in the comfortable environment of Visual Studio to get started.
However, for those who come up with completely new things, it is a more complicated decision. As we discussed in our look at Flutter vs React Native, it’s all about weighing the pros and cons.
If you’re curious to learn more about what Xamarin can do or the steps required to develop a Xamarin application with built-in data capture functionality through our CaptureSDK toolkit, check out our recorded Xamarin webinar where Xamarin Engineer Socket Mobile software, Matt Robbins, takes a journey through the development process.
Xamarin App Development –Bespoke Software For All Platforms
Bespoke Software Development – Xamarin
The StyleTech bespoke software application development team has actually been developing with Xamarin given that since 2013. Xamarin permits C# designers to use Visual Studio or Xamarin Studio to produce native Android, iOS, and Windows apps by sharing code across these platforms.
The code sharing is achieved by composing portable class libraries to deal with non-user interface operations. Portable class libraries permit around 60% of the application to be re-used across different platforms (e.g. database, security, notifications, and so on). Prior to Xamarin, a designer would have to re-write 100% of the application if that application needed to be cross-platform (e.g. the iOS variation is a 100% rewrite of the Android version).
Xamarin is now addressing the staying 40% of unique cross-platform development by presenting Xamarin Forms. As soon as and then re-used throughout the various platforms, Xamarin Forms enable the user interface to be developed.
StyleTech uses Microsoft Azure technologies for backend services within Xamarin apps, as they allow the app usage to scale forever and you just pay for what you utilize (fantastic at peak times such as Christmas). StyleTech uses the following Microsoft Azure technologies when relevant:
Azure Active Directory (Azure AD):.
StyleTech utilizes Azure advertisement to offer permission and security services to Xamarin apps. StyleTech likewise uses OAuth service providers to provide security services.
Azure Mobile App Service:
An Azure Mobile App Service enables two-way data synchronization between a central data shop and each device running the Xamarin app. This permits the app to operate online and offline with automatic data synchronization. An Azure Mobile App Service also permits the Xamarin app to support push notices.
SQL Azure supplies a cloud-based relational database (part of the Microsoft SQL Server household). Most of the server-based SQL Server functions are available within SQL Azure, but to keep expenses down, StyleTech will use the Azure DocumentDB data store whenever possible.
The Azure DocumentDB is a key-value data store that offers a significant expense saving over SQL Azure. StyleTech will use the DocumentDB data shop whenever possible if the information schema permits.
StyleTech constructs modern Xamarin and cloud-based applications which completely make use of Microservices. Microservices are little independent and scalable customer-orientated services that cross-communicate.
StyleTech uses Azure WebApps to host server-side reasoning (e.g. REST APIs) for the Xamarin app to consume. The WebApps are composed using ASP.Net MVC in C#.
Azure File Sync:
The Azure File Sync is used to keep your on-premise files (on Window Servers) in sync with Azure storage. Utilizing Azure storage indicates that the Azure backup and fast catastrophe healing features can be used. When moving legacy software applications to Azure, Azure File Sync helps.
StyleTech utilizes Azure HockeyApp to help with the advancement, circulation, and testing of the Xamarin mobile app.
Azure Application Insights:
StyleTech uses Azure Application Insights to collect information on the Xamarin app use in the real world (consisting of crash analysis).
StyleTech uses Azure Search to offer improved search capabilities within the Xamarin app. Azure Search provides an excellent experience when searching for details within the Xamarin app (including pluralization, fuzzy reasoning, and multilingual Xamarin apps).
Azure Logic Apps:
StyleTech utilizes Azure Logic Apps to trigger procedures such as third-party combinations or the sending out of SMS or email messages (resulting from actions within the Xamarin app).
If much better fit than using a full WebApp), StyleTech uses Azure Functions to provide a server-less event-based design (.
Azure Machine Learning:
StyleTech has welcomed Azure Machine Learning and is constantly searching for opportunities to use it to enhance the Xamarin app usage experience.
StyleTech totally carries out Visual Studio, Mobile Lifecycle Solution (MLS), and Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) by utilizing the following to assist the development group:
Source code control (Team foundation or GIT).
Work items (Agile stockpiles and sprints).
Integrate (Azure and third-party services).
Builds (Continuous Integration).
Automated screening (with Visual Studio App Center Test).
Release (publish to Azure and app shops).
StyleTech has established numerous mobile applications which include:
Offline information shop
Offline data synchronization.
Information file encryption.
Customer service photograph proof.
Chart display screen.
Best price computations.
Twitter, Facebook, and Email Sharing.
StyleTech makes it an essential priority to ensure the bespoke software application advancement group is maintained to date with all the Xamarin enhancements that each new release brings
Mobile app development: Top 6 Apps Built with Xamarin
Allow’s currently have a look at several of the fantastic applications made with Xamarin:
FreshDirect is just one of the prominent online grocery store shipment solutions in the U.S.A.. It allows its customers to purchase neighborhood as well as natural fruit and vegetables, chef-made dishes, fresh fish and shellfish, custom-made cuts of meats, and also to name a few for quick shipment to the front doors.
The firm originally released its mobile applications coded in platform-specific languages.
To satisfy the needs of every consumer as well as to range, they moved to C# from Java
( Android) as well as Objective-C/Swift (iPhone) to increase their time to market.
United Parcel Solution (UPS) is the globe’s biggest bundle shipment solution. Each day, it supplies over 19 million bundles throughout greater than 220 countries and also regions. The UPS mobile application assists its customers to take care of deliveries, track parcels, and also a lot more while on the move.
Like FreshDirect, it at first constructed its mobile applications in platform-specific languages i.e., Java for Android and also Objective-C for iPhone.
By leveraging the Xamarin structure, the business observed boosted programmers’ performance, lowered lines of code, and also faster time to market.
Olo is recognized for establishing iPhone as well as Android electronic purchasing and also shipment applications for over 150 dining establishments that include Applebee’s, WingStop, and also 5 Individuals.
The firm additionally switched over to Xamarin to make certain a faster time to market and also unparalleled customer experience that their clients as well as target individuals long for. To enter even more information, look into Xamarin at Olo.
The following one on our checklist of preferred applications constructed with Xamarin is Alaska Airlines which satisfies greater than 44 million clients a year with a path that covers over 120 locations in 5 nations.
The Alaska Airlines application makes it possible for checking out choices, reserving journeys, signing in, relocating effortlessly via airport terminals, and also locating all the trip information.
The programmers at Alaska Airlines develop cross-platform indigenous iPhone, Android, and also Windows applications making use of C#.
BBC Good Food:
An around-the-world food media brand name, BBC Good Food is loaded with dishes as well as food-related material online that covers health and wellness, traveling, as well as family members.
To equal the change of its clients to mobile from a desktop computer, the business accepted the Xamarin structure to make sure practical accessibility to its material throughout all networks.
BBC Good Food teamed up with NV Interactive (a Microsoft Gold Companion) and also introduced totally spruced-up iPhone, Android as well as UWP applications leveraging Microsoft Visual Workshop Devices for Xamarin and also Visual Workshop Application.
Novarum DX makes analysis examinations for finding illnesses like HIV, Aids & Ebola and also dangers like contaminated water products. The group at Novarum DX intended to construct as well as launch an application that would certainly enable customers to spot results through a smart device electronic camera.
The group leveraged accessibility to the indigenous video camera and also made use of the very same code throughout systems to construct Novarum Viewers i.e., the initial analysis application.
Making use of Xamarin, the business set up just one advancement group to craft all applications.
“Because of that initial application, we have actually taken on 20 various tasks for a range of clients, consisting of clinical tool business with rigorous high quality and also regulative needs. We have actually established a system strategy based upon Xamarin that enables us to accelerate growth for our clients.”-Neil Polwart, Managing Director at Novarum DX.