Xamarin is one of the most widely used development platforms in large organizations for mobile applications. From being cross-platform, to AI for mobile apps, there are many reasons users love this development platform. Let’s explore a few of these reasons in detail.
Here are our top 5 reasons why Xamarin making is mobile development better.
Xamarin is cross-platform
The biggest benefit of developing an app in Xamarin is that it is cross-platform by default. Build once and run anywhere is difficult in the mobile space with iOS and Android having completely different approaches to mobile development. However, Xamarin takes into account the uniqueness and quirks of both platforms and delivers native performance for apps on both platforms. To make this possible, Xamarin needs deep API-level integration with both platforms and needs to keep pace with the latest version of the mobile OSes every few months. The benefit is that you can have a single codebase and high code reuse, making every step of mobile app development a lot easier. This used to be impossible before, but thanks to advances in mobile development, DevOps teams can be more streamlined and reduce time spent duplicating work for multiple mobile operating systems.
In the fast-moving world of mobile, speed is of the essence. Xamarin shines here by enabling developers to get started in minutes. You can build a proof of concept app in 10-15 minutes and render it on a mobile device right away. This is powerful when you consider the amount of complexity that Xamarin abstracts away to enable this level of simplicity.
I recently published a report on a hackathon that compared various mobile app development platforms, including Xamarin. The team that used Xamarin was the quickest to build the front-end of their mobile app and were all praise for its ability to templatize front-end UI elements and easily replicate pages and views in a mobile app.
Xamarin continues to innovate with new features like FlexLayout which quickens UI design, and even bakes in clever defaults like responsive design for different screen sizes.
This means you can build new features faster, and in true DevOps fashion, you can ship these features more frequently. This ensures developer productivity translates into a faster release cadence, which eventually results in greater app experiences for end-users.
Simply releasing faster isn’t enough; mobile apps need to meet a high bar when it comes to user experience. This requires great quality for every release. When you consider that you need to run unit tests, UI tests, smoke tests, and performance tests across multiple versions of iOS and Android, and on various mobile devices, mobile testing can be a nightmare. However, Xamarin has you covered, enabling every type of testing, complete with detailed crash reports and screenshots of faulty steps.
Previously, mobile developers would have a couple of devices in their in-house lab which functioned as a moment-of-truth test just before production deployment. However, this is not scalable because it costs too much to keep buying the latest devices and involves a lot of manual IT tasks to ensure the devices are prepped and ready for every test. The solution to this is to rent mobile devices that are accessed via the cloud and are managed by a vendor. Xamarin saw this need and has a solution for real device testing.
Xamarin lets you test your code before deployment on real devices in the cloud. There’s a wide range of devices to choose from, and you can be confident that your code is battle-tested before release. Importantly, Xamarin helps you automate testing on these devices so that it is scalable and delivers high testing coverage. A device cloud is a recent necessity for QA teams, and Xamarin is ahead of the curve in this regard.
Artificial intelligence for mobile apps
Xamarin is now integrated with Azure to leverage scalable cloud resources for mobile apps. This includes scalable cloud-based container instances, cloud storage, and other cloud-native tools.
Xamarin makes it easy to get started with AI for your mobile apps. It uses uses Azure’s Cognitive Services to enable these features. Whether it’s sentiment analysis or object detection, Xamarin can get you started in minutes, and makes it easy to manage these AI services without having to write a lot of code.
Xamarin also supports external AI tools like Tensorflow for image classification, and Arkit, an SDK from Apple that helps create augmented reality experiences for iOS apps.
Enterprise mobile development
Visual Studio has a large footprint in enterprises. Organizations have invested years and large budgets into growing and training their teams around the VS platform. Xamarin, now integrated into the Visual Studio platform, enables organizations to get more out of their investment in the VS ecosystem. This means large organizations need not throw away the skills and talent they’ve built over the years — They can augment it with a modern development platform like Xamarin. It lets these organizations develop in Visual Studio with a .NET codebase. Developers can use the familiar C# programming language as they build native mobile apps with advanced controls. The VS platform itself has been through a great deal of evolution, and Xamarin is part of this journey for its mobile capabilities.
In conclusion, there are many reasons to use Xamarin to quicken, improve, and modernize mobile app development. Whether it’s cross-platform development, AI capabilities, or scalability in the cloud, Xamarin lets you achieve all these goals with your existing talent pool. This is a powerful proposition, and it is why Xamarin is at the forefront of the mobile revolution today.
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