Xamarin and Cross-Platform DeXamarinvelopment

by Mario F

XamarinXamarin

In a world where mobile devices are taking over and the desktop is becoming more and more obsolete, the need to provide users with applications that can be portable across different devices becomes a necessity. Xamarin, a cross-platform software company fills this need. They essentially provide their customers with a one stop shop to convert their applications from C# to iPod, android, windows phone or essentially any other platform. This technology although its been around for a while, has been evolving rapidly as well as changing the way we develop applications. Xamarin has set itself apart from other cross-platform providers by their user friendliness and their use of native code instead of translators.

They’re several ways to provide cross-platform services, but the two main methods are, through the use of either translators or by converting the code into native code. Translators essentially serve as a middleman in between the applications and the code helping translate the application language into the devices mobile language. The translator method provides a product sooner and it does it with less work needed since the translator essentially speaks all the languages. On the other hand compiling into native languages is much slower and also requires a different application for all the differing devices, but on the upside it makes for faster applications. Xamarin has found a way to combine both of these approaches, they convert all code into native language and provide their customers with a one stop shop to convert their code. By one stop shop I mean that a Xamarin user could essentially convert their code into other platforms with the click of a few buttons.

Although there are many companies that focus on cross-platform development, Xamarin stands out from most because of their user friendliness. The people at Xamarin seem to have gone out of their way to work with platform providers such as Microsoft and Mac. Most cross-platform software comapanies do the oposite becausemeeting with these companies takes time and money. In order to work with these big platform companies you first have to convince them thatit would be benificial for them to work with you, secondly you would have to have your team and their tema find a meeting schuedule and decide on the meeting location or meeting style. All of these choices although they seem small and irrelevant make the development prosess both more expensive and more complex leading to a projectthat takes much more time to complete.

Personally I believe Xamarin’s approach to cross-platform development will change the way we work in our field. By providing us with a one stop shop for cross platform conversion, development teams can be less diverse (there will be little need to have different platform experts on the teams). Also a smaller company will be able to deliver a working product in a shorter time frame, because they will be able to focus more of their energy on the product itself instead of worrying about platform compatibility. Also I feel that their could be a higher demand for people who know these universal languages (such as C# and F# in Xamarin’s case) and that the people who specialize in platform specific languages could end up as specialists that help the cross platform software companies to provide a better product. In short although this technology is evolving rapidly, it is of very good use at the moment. We can now develop applications at a faster rate and have someone else worry about compatibility, I do expect this technology to be far more advanced in the future and that all applications will be able to run on all devices regardless of the operating system installed on them.

Refrences

Xamarin Blog. Xamarin Mobile World Congress 2012 Unofficial Conference App Released! | Xamarin Blog. Retrieved February 1, 2014 from http://blog.xamarin.com/mwc_2012/

Xamarin – Build mobile apps for iOS, Android, Mac and Windows. How it Works – Xamarin. Retrieved February 1, 2014, from http://xamarin.com/how-it-works

TechCrunch – The latest technology news and information on startups. Microsoft .NET for Mobile Company Xamarin Gets $12 Million In Series A Funding | TechCrunch. Retrieved February 1, 2014, from http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/24/microsoft-net-for-mobile-company-xamarin-gets-12-million-round-of-funding.

9 thoughts on “Xamarin and Cross-Platform DeXamarinvelopment”

  1. Very interesting. Your absolutely correct when saying the mobile world is taking over form the traditional desktops world. Cross Platform is Key to helping your company survive in very different markets. I think this approach will definitely help spark some very creative thinking and new approaches to cross platform writing and translating.

  2. This was very informative. Companies would be able to cut down the size of development teams sigificantly and outsource the compatability issue to a 3rd party with little cost. This could also help out Indie game and application developers not worry so much about compatability and more about just getting their game or app to work properly on a single system.

  3. This is very useful. I program applications on my computer and to have something that can program for different platforms would make it very time saving.

  4. Cross platforming is definitely going to be the norm in the very near future. Many popular devices nowadays are backwards compatible to their predecessors, so it’s only a matter of time before things are able to go on multiple devices. I think Xamarin chose a great market to get into now, as they have the potential of powerhouse in this market.

  5. I like this product. I first heard about it a few years ago. Back then it was called MonoTouch. I have used it once to build an iOS app and I was amaze at how easy it was. Normally, its not that hard for me to learn a new language but for some reason I had a hard time teaching myself objective-c. Thanks to Xamarin I was able to code the app using c#.

  6. Although I am not heavy into programming I find that this type of tool can be very useful to many people because like you said it only needs one language and then it will do the work for you, my only worry is the accuracy of results. I think this would be an important tool in the modern idea of teaching new generations to code because it can show how far you can go with only knowing one language.

  7. Im not a great at programing but this looks like a great way to cross platform applications. I will give it a download and play with the features thank you for the heads up on this.

  8. Cross-platform is the key to the future advance technology which save a lot of time for developers play around the different environment. In my imagination of future, if the bio-computer has been developed, this piece of technology is essential to this type of computer to access any kind of software environment in order to understand the meaning of codes into bio-computer logic.

  9. It was only a matter of time until this issue be addressed and then turned into a solution. It’s absolutely spot on in terms of what most developers suffer from when it comes to cross-platform woes. The technical now how comes off really advanced to me. The logic involved seems way over my head on how this could be pulled off unless it’s simply converting syntax and then running a compiler. It can’t be that easy.

    Very interesting subject, I was unaware to this product until you presented it.

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