One of the first questions for a person interested in a mobile app development project is whether to go for a native or cross platform app development approach? And if cross platform approach is decided as the way to go, the next big question is which cross platform app development approach is the best- Xamarin or others?
Facing the scrutiny of countless corporate dramas ranging from license issues to funding issues, Xamarin turned over all odds and by 2014 emerged as the most funded cross-device app development platform. Xamarin on its own has successfully changed the way how people look at the cross platform app development approach for an app. It provides a fresh optimistic view and seems very promising. Let’s find out why!
Cross Device coverage: Native approach, Write Once and Work All approach
The term cross-platform mobile app development is often misleading and till now there are no concretely defined parameters as to what app can be called cross-platform exclusively. Traditionally, an app is ‘cross platform’ if it works on all mobile device platforms such as Android, iOS, Windows, etc. However recently the term cross-platform is applied more towards those approaches that facilitate sharing of a single code base on multiple devices. So for someone looking to achieve the objective of launching an app which works on various platforms, or cross-platform, there are three approaches to achieve this:
A Native App for every platform
As the name suggests a native mobile app is a smartphone application that is coded in a specific programming language designed for a particular platform such as Objective C for iOS and Java for Android operating systems. This means you will need to design and develop apps for all the desired platforms individually. While the advantage here is that it gives a better user experience, it turns out to be expensive. To simplify this, developers produced write-once-work-all magic box solutions.
Xamarin has taken this attempt a step further and with Xamarin Forms launched they have truly achieved write-once-work-all solution. Xamarin basically provides an abstraction over different native apis and allow developers to create a cross platform app with almost 100 percent code reuse. Also, unlike Titanium and PhoneGap, Xamarin uses C# as its main coding language and a .NET framework based Xamarin Studio as its main coding environment. It also comes with a plugin for Visual Studio, so a .Net developer can easily code for a Xamarin app and code management is absolutely hassle free.
Another advantage with Xamarin is that you can design your app in such a way that your UI is consistent across platforms. You can have your own UI standard and that being rendered on all the platforms. This though might not have exactly similar native look and feel, but would be consistent across platforms. Therefore, it makes sense for Enterprises to build on such a platform from the branding and ease of use perspecti