Xamarin App Development – Pros and Cons
Thinking of building apps for Android, iOS, or Microsoft? Xamarin remains one of the most reliable open-source cross-platform app frameworks around. Since its 2016 takeover by Microsoft, Xamarin has only gotten better and now remains a relevant and useful choice for app developers. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of Xamarin so you can decide whether this platform is for you.
Xamarin App Development – Pros
- Cost-Effective – Like other open-source cross-platform frameworks, Xamarin reduces costs by enabling developers to build multiple apps from essentially the same code. Instead of coding two or three apps separately, one for iOS, one for Android, and one for Windows Mobile, they can use Xamarin to build a cross-platform app from the start.
- Speeds Up Development Time – Xamarin is a mature framework with plenty of features that allows developers to reduce the development cycle and maximize their productivity. This is true for developers already familiar with .NET and C#.
- Compatible with the Model-View-Controller Architecture – MVC compatibility makes Xamarin a versatile and flexible solution for building a variety of apps following established web standards.
- Good Hardware Support – The framework enables developers to fully use device features like GPS and camera to build complex functionality into their apps.
- Effective Code Compilation – The framework uses Ahead-of-time compilation on iOS which makes developers’ life easier and provides overall fast and effective code compilation.
- Very Good Performance – Native tool integration and support for the 64-bit architecture make the platform fast across all major mobile operating systems. This is one of the major advantages of this platform over competitors.
- Makes App Look Native – Apps created with this framework look and behave like native apps. Any differences compared to natively-built apps are subtle enough for most users not to notice them.
- Integrates with Visual Studio – Visual Studio is a paid development tool, but for developers who are willing to invest in it, the benefits include access to the Visual Studio integrated development editor (IDE) and helpful debugging tools.
Xamarin App Development – Cons
- Doesn’t Support Hot Reload – Hot Reloading is a feature present in other app frameworks that enables developers to preview changes to the code in real-time without the preview window reloading each time.
- Complicated UI Development – UI development with this framework takes time and doesn’t always produce ideal results. In this regard, Xamarin isn’t the best choice for apps with sophisticated user interfaces.
- Community Support – While it’s powered by an active community, this framework doesn’t enjoy as much community support as other frameworks, meaning that finding solutions to specific problems may be challenging at times. For teams who start a Xamarin project for the first time, this could lead to a longer development period.
- Fewer Repositories on GitHub – Following from the previous point, Xamarin has fewer code repositories than competitors, which may or may not be a problem, depending on what sort of features and functions you want to build into your app.
- Big App Size – Apps built with Xamarin can be quite big compared to apps built using other frameworks. While this is not a big drawback, it’s a long-standing issue for Xamarin that annoys developers sometimes, especially when they want to build lightweight apps.
Xamarin App Development – The Bottom Line
Xamarin may not be perfect, but it remains a robust choice for developers familiar with .NET and C#. Good hardware support and fast performance, coupled with the framework’s cross-platform benefits, make it a dependable solution for developers who want to build great apps fast without sacrificing quality.
Xamarin App Development – Additional Resources
- Visual Studio Tools for Xamarin – Deliver native Android, iOS, and Windows apps with a single shared .NET code base.
- Microsoft Xamarin – Get started with Xamarin