Xamarin Pros and Cons for Cross-platform Development
The amount of consumer and enterprise apps has tremendously increased during the last decade. App stores are absolutely flooded with millions of mobile solutions; hundreds of new products refill stores every day. Such a competitive environment proved app development to be popular and challenging at the same time. But the real challenge is faced by businesses that desire to transform their BIG ideas into BIG things reaching BIG results. That is the reason businesses select the seasoned mobile experts who know how to turn bright ideas into tangible business value.
As a result, mobile app developers get the unenviable task to develop a competitive mobile solution that can engage the wide audience on the market. To succeed in this, tech experts should consider a large range of factors including the development environment. But what mobile development environments are appropriate? What are their pros and cons?
One of the most popular environments that allow cross-platform mobile development is Xamarin. So, let’s examine this cutting-edge technology focusing on the final goal, to develop a killer app on time and on budget.
What is Xamarin
Xamarin is a tool widely used for development, testing and monitoring of cross-platform apps. Using C# and .NET, it allows building a robust mobile app that shares the same code across all major mobile platforms – iOS, Android and Windows. However, Xamarin has both advantages and disadvantages.
Xamarin strives to be the only framework that can cover all major mobile platforms – iOS, Android, and Windows without compromising the quality and performance as a rule expected from native apps development.
Xamarin is one of the most cost- and time-efficient tools used for building apps for different operating systems. Instead of designing an app for each system separately, app developers can share about 75 % of developed code across all major mobile platforms which decreases cost and time-to-market. Xamarin exceeds developers’ expectations by delivering high performance and excellent UX based on native API. Also, to ensure seamless integration Xamarin provides quality assurance and functionality testing on a wide range of devices.
Besides considerable benefits, Xamarin has some inherent disadvantages. One of them is Xamarin’s inability to use numerous open-source libraries for iOS and Android development. A few popular Android and iOS libraries are rewritten for Xamarin by members of its fast-growing community. But this number is very small.
Although, on the surface, Xamarin ensures good performance and customizable UI that looks native. Underneath, it requires unique UI code for each platform separately since Xamarin uses native UI components. So, UI development may be quite time-consuming in this case. Moreover, code developed in the Xamarin environment cannot be reused for native applications (e.g. iOS, Android).
Before building a mobile application, you should decide whether to develop a native, hybrid or cross-platform app. If you are confident that the mobile application is a complex one and it is not going to be available across several platforms, then native development can be a viable option. If your application runs across multiple platforms and time-to-market as well as resources are important for you, then developing an application using Xamarin will be quite reasonable. However, consulting a professional mobile app development company will help you make the right decision easier and faster. Mobile experts can offer the most efficient mobile development using their best practices and approaches needed to succeed.