Building mobile application with Xamarin can be easy, yet involves an extreme process including rigorous up front design, usability testing, QA testing on several devices, a complete beta cycle that involves a number of different ways.
A Xamarin mobile application includes several requirements. It should suffice the need to build iOS and Android application. The application runs on C# including iOS and Android. You can choose for an Apple Macintosh computer that runs OS X Mountain Lion, if you wish to develop for iOS and code in Xamarin Studio or Visual Studio. The Xamarin applications are based on .NET BCL and are written in C#. Yet, the Xamarin requires the iOS SDK and Xcode for compilation.
In addition to the iOS Device Simulator is also the part of iOS SDK. It is available only in MAC. To make iOS SDK available you have to be a member of Apple’s Developer Program.
Introduction to Xamarin
Xamarin combines in itself the essentials of the indigenous platforms and includes in itself a good lot of features as discussed below:
- It enables complete binding for the indigenous SDKs
Xamarin provides bindings for the entire underlying platform SDKs in both iOS and Android. However, these bindings are strongly typed so as to provide compiled and time-type checking for the development. It helps in fewer runtime errors and higher quality applications.
- Objective-C, Java, C, and C++ Interop
Xamarin has facilities to directly invoke Objective-C, Java, C, and C++ libraries. It allows the developer to use the power for a wide array of 3rd party code, which is already created. It makes working in iOS and Android libraries easier that is written in Objective-C, Java or C/C++. Xamarin works to bind projects making binding of native Objective-C and Java libraries easier, with a declarative syntax.
- Modern Language Constructs
All the Xamarin applications are written in C#. Being a modern language it involves significant amount of improvements over Objective-C and Java, like Dynamic Language Features and Functional Constructs such as Lambdas, LINQ, Parallel Programming features, sophisticated Generics and many more.
- Amazing Base Class Library (BCL)
The existing C# code is compiled to use in the applications that provides access for thousands of libraries, which allow you for doing things, which are not covered in the BCL. The Xamarin applications use the .NET BCL with a massive collection of classes which have comprehensive, streamlined features which are as powerful XML, Database, Serialization, IO, String and also in Networking support.
- Integrated Development Environment
Xamarin Studio is used on Mac OS X; whereas Xamarin Studio or Visual Studio is used on Windows 2013. The modern IDE’s include features like code auto completion, sophisticated project solution, a good solution management system, integrated source control, a comprehensive project template library and several others.
- Mobile Cross Platform Support
Xamarin offers excellent cross platform support for the three major mobile platforms – iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. Written applications can be shared up to 90% of the code. Again, the Xamarin mobile library offers a unified API for accessing the common resources across the three platforms. It significantly reduces both the development costs, time to the market, for the mobile developers for easy workflow in the three platforms.
How does Xamarin work?
The two commercial products of Xamarin are Xamarin. iOS and Xamarin Android. Both are built on top of Mono, which is an open-source version of the .NET Framework, based on the published .NET ECMA standards. Mono runs on all sorts of platforms like from Linux to UNIX, FreeBSD, and Mac OS X. It is on Android, that Xamarin’s compiler compiles down to the Intermediate Language (IL), which is then Just-in-Time (JIT) for compilation of the native assembly as and when the application launches.
It is in both the cases that the Xamarin application makes utilization of the runtime, which automatically handles features like memory allocation, garbage collection, underlying platform interop and many more.
Nikunj Bhanushali is associated with Cogzie as Sales & Operations head and who loves sharing information regarding ASP.NET, MVC, HTML5 and JS Angular. Get in touch with him for Episerver 7 CMS Development.