We love building native mobile apps for our clients. What we don’t love is building each app twice, doing twice as much work, supporting two different code bases and then explaining to potential clients why we have to charge twice as much. Web-based cross-platform solutions may work fine for some applications, but when the customer demands a solid, quality user experience, a native app is the only way to go. The need for a cross-platform mobile development tool that results in a native mobile experience is apparent. This is what Xamarin does and that’s why we use it.
What Xamarin Is
Xamarin is a framework that allows developers to create apps quickly by enabling them to code in C# which can be shared across multiple platforms such as iOS and Android.
What Xamarin Isn’t
Xamarin is NOT a silver bullet solution to native cross-platform development. Core logic and other back-end processes can typically be shared, but most user interface development still requires a custom approach for each platform.
Why We Use Xamarin
Xamarin Improves Efficiency and Stability
With Xamarin, we are able to accomplish more with less code. Sharing core code between platforms allows our engineers to work more efficiently, getting our apps out faster without sacrificing quality. Less code also yields improved stability. Apps are like anything else… if they have too many moving parts, those parts are more liable to break. Simplifying the code-base is paramount when building a solid mobile app.
Xamarin Maintains Native Quality and Visual Standards
Although Xamarin shares code between iOS and Android, it doesn’t force the code to take on the appearance of one platform over another. Xamarin provides the flexibility to create native mobile apps that are visually appealing, and follow platform specific user interface standards and conventions.
Xamarin Provides Tools for Monitoring and Testing
The main idea behind Xamarin is building native apps using shared code, but it doesn’t stop there. Xamarin offers unique tools to help test and monitor app performance. Xamarin Test Cloud and Xamarin Insights are some of the tools that allow developers and testing engineers to more efficiently test and monitor the stability of apps built with the Xamarin framework.
Xamarin Makes Our Apps Easier to Support
Writing less code means there’s less code to support. If you, or your company, has a mobile app out on the app store then you probably know that apps require upkeep. As mobile platforms mature, and updates become more frequent, the effort required to support an app increases. Sharing code across multiple platforms help us reduce support time and lets us get updates out even faster.
While not a completely perfect solution to the native cross-platform app development conundrum, Xamarin DOES save us a considerable amount of development time. Paired with the additional tools that are offered to ease the Q&A and monitoring processes, we’ve definitely experienced a boost in overall efficiency. If you’re a developer and would like to learn more about building native apps with Xamarin, they offer a certification program called Xamarin University. If you or your company is interested in building a cost effective native mobile app, contact us and we’ll be glad to setup a consult.