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The Pros and Cons of Using Xamarin for Cross-Platform Mobile App Development
Technical Perspectives


Written by Prem Khatri Posted March 13, 2015 by Carolina
Prem Khatri

Prem Khatri

A well-developed mobile application can help businesses increase customer satisfaction and engagement by allowing the company to be available to their target audience at all times, generating revenue and creating additional channels for marketing. Given the widespread use of mobile devices, it is no surprise that the market is segmented with different operating systems. Yet, this creates a problem for those looking to build a mobile application that flawlessly functions across a diverse set of devices.

Today, it is not a question of whether or not to build a mobile application, but rather how. Companies looking to engage consumers across various mobile platforms should look no further than Xamarin to develop cross-platform applications.

What is Xamarin?

First launched in 2011, Xamarin is a tool used to develop cross-platform mobile applications. It works through the Mono framework to communicate with the Application Program Interface (API) of common mobile device functions including contacts, camera, and geolocation for popular iOS, Android, and Windows operating systems. It allows developers to build robust applications using the C# programming language that runs on the .NET Common Language Infrastructure (CLI).

Regarded as a "write once, run anywhere" tool, the use of Xamarin for mobile application development has its positives and negatives.

Pros of Xamirin Mobile Development

  • Cost Effective – Using Xamarin is a great way to cut down expenses when developing intricate applications for multiple operating systems. Instead of developing a complete application for each system, which increases the time needed to market and depletes monetary resources, developers can syndicate about two-thirds of a single codebase using C#.

  • Native Performance – Xamarin excels at being a tool that delivers high performance with device-specific experiences using native API's to create a User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) that the users of specific devices are accustomed to.

  • Functionality – Xamarin allows QA and functionality testing for bugs on thousands of devices to ensure a perfect integration.

Cons of Xamarin Mobile Development

  • App Size – When using Xamarin there is a lot of operational software overhead. This is due to the linking of codes and referencing between .NET frameworks and the target operatingsystems, which increases download and startup time of an application.

  • Some Manual Coding – The phrase "write once, run anywhere" is not one hundred percent accurate. A majority of the code can be syndicated across multiple platforms, but the core UI development is not portable. This means that some of the code must be done manually for each platform and unfortunately, UI development can be very time-consuming.

  • Limited Support – Unfortunately, there is limited support for the coding outside of Xamarin. Code developed in Xamarin will not transfer and cannot be reused for native or HTML5 applications for iOS or Android.

When bringing a mobile application idea to fruition, the first decision is whether or not to develop natively or cross-platform. (See Native vs Cross-Platform App Development: Pros and Cons of PhoneGap, Titanium, and Xamarin)

If the mobile application is not inherently complex and/or is not going to be released to multiple platforms, native development may be the correct choice. If the application will be released on multiple platforms and time and resources are of the essence, then developing an application using Xamarin has some definitive benefits.

Contacting a professional mobile and tablet software development specialist will help make the decision easier. They can suggest the applicable standards and efficient practices needed to develop a mobile application for any device. This depends on the intended use, audience, and functionality needed for your business, rather than simply suggesting the use of the newest coding tools available.

For more information on Xamarin cross-platform application development services, visit https://www.chetu.com/solutions/mobile/xamarin.php


Chetu, Inc. does not affect the opinion of this article. Any mention of specific names for software, companies or individuals does not constitute an endorsement from either party unless otherwise specified. All case studies and blogs are written with the full cooperation, knowledge and participation of the individuals mentioned. This blog should not be construed as legal advice.

Chetu was incorporated in 2000 and is headquartered in Florida. We deliver World-Class Software Development Solutions serving entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 clients. Our services include process and systems design, package implementation, custom development, business intelligence and reporting, systems integration, as well as testing, maintenance and support. Chetu's expertise spans across theentire IT spectrum.

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