5 reasons we love using Xamarin for our app development
By: Jack Fisher
Thursday, July 27, 2017
Xamarin is our product of choice for app development at Pogo Studio. If you’re unfamiliar with Xamarin, it allows for iOS and Android apps to be developed using .NET/C#. Microsoft and Xamarin recently announced a global partnership that has their teams working closely together in unison. It is quickly becoming a rising star in app development, and if it’s not already on your radar, then it should be. Here are 5 reasons why we love Xamarin so much.
- Reduced development times. Xamarin allows for us to use one code application for both iOS and Android. This cuts out one of the biggest pain points for building apps. Usually, developers have to code one app in Java for Android and another in Objective-C for iOS. This means that unnecessary code has to be written. Xamarin avoids this completely. What does it mean when less code has to be written? It means that the project takes less time to complete. What does it mean if the project takes less time to complete? It means the project is more affordable for our clients. This alone is enough of a reason to use Xamarin for our app development. It should be noted that although Xamarin greatly reduces the time it takes to build an app, it doesn’t cut the time in half. There are still some things that must be coded specifically for each platform such as UI and platform-specific features
- Fewer bugs. When apps are developed using Xamarin there are fewer bugs in the code. The main reason for this that as I mentioned earlier, there is less code to write for Xamarin development. Any developer will tell you if there is less code, there are fewer errors in the code. Fewer errors mean fewer bugs. Simple. We can, however, go deeper than that. Because of the reduced time spent writing the code, we have more time to spend testing the code. This means we don’t have to waste time running almost duplicate tests for both the iOS code and the Android code, instead, we can run one cohesive test that gets the job done more efficiently.
- There’s less to learn. This one is a benefit for the developers. As I mentioned in the introduction to this blog, Xamarin allows for iOS and Android apps to be written in .NET/C# which means that any developer who is already proficient in these languages can effectively jump in straight away and get developing. Of course, there is always a learning curve when tackling mobile app development for the first time but Xamarin makes things much easier. Even if you are not an existing .NET/C# developer, you will probably still save yourself some time by using Xamarin. Traditionally iOS and Android require two different programming environments: Objective-C and Java respectively. There are very few developers out there who are experts in both, so building an app for both of these platforms will almost always require learning at least one of these.
- No forced limits. Both iOS and Android have features that are distinct to themselves which make the apps on these platforms have a unique look and feel. These features are essential to iOS apps feeling like iOS apps, and Android apps feeling like Android apps. Often cross-platform tools will hide this uniqueness which means that the apps don’t feel “right”. Xamarin does the opposite of this by embracing the uniqueness of each platform. It includes iOS specific .NET classes and Android specific .NET classes, each of which brings out the uniqueness of each platform making the apps look and feel like you’d expect them to.
- It’s ready for future platforms. Although the big dogs in the app world are iOS and Android, there is no telling what the future holds. We’re not suggesting that there will be a new big player in the app world anytime soon, but we would shouldn't rule it out. If a new platform arises, we are in place to create apps for it using the Xamarin platform. Xamarin allows for all the shared logic that we create for our iOS and Android apps to be applied to any platform as long as we indicate we would like that to be in place at the beginning of the project.
That concludes our favourite reasons for using Xamarin to develop our apps. Xamarin is gaining traction every day and we believe that it is the future. We suggest you definitely keep it on your radar.