Xamarin has the power and efficiency to offer developers a platform for developing cross-platform mobile apps while using a modern language. Many people still misunderstand that the native languages - Objective-C, Java, and Swift - are the only options when it comes to building Android and iOS apps. In fact, a new ecosystem of mobile application IDEs has emerged in recent years.
Xamarin is unique amongst these in the sense that it offers just one language (C#), class library, and runtime which works across the three mobile platforms of Android, iOS, and Windows Phone (which already has C# as its native language) but still offering high-performing native applications which can run even the most demanding games.
The Getting Started series aims to help users begin building apps for Android and iOS. There are also tutorials for Windows Phone development. If you want to learn more about Xamarin cross-platform development, which includes UWP applications for Windows, then you can check out the Building Cross-Platform Applications guide.
How Does Xamarin Work?
Essentially, Xamarin provides two commercial products. They are Xamarin.Android and Xamarin.iOS. These are both built on Mono, which is an open-source form of the .NET framework based on .NET ECMA standards that have been published. Mono can run on pretty much every platform - including Linux, Unix, Mac OS X, and FreeBSD. - and claims almost as long a history as the .NET framework itself. The Ahead-of-Time (AOT) compiler on iOS compiles Xamarin.iOS apps directly to a native ARM assembly code, and on Android, the compiler goes straight down to Intermediate Language (IL) which is then Just-in-Time (JIT) compiled to native assembly upon launching the app. Whichever the case is, Xamarin apps use a runtime which automatically takes care of garbage collection, memory allocation, underlying platform interop, and more.
Cross-platform mobile support:-
Xamarin provides fantastic cross-platform support for the major mobile applications, namely Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. The mobile library offered by Xamarin gives you a unified API in order to access common resources across these platforms, and you can write applications to share up to 90% of their code. This reduces the time and financial cost of development and lets mobile developers easily target all three of these popular platforms.
Complete binding for the underlying SDKs:-
In Android and iOS, Xamarin has the necessary bindings for almost all of the underlying SDKs. These bindings can easily be used and navigated too as they're strongly typed, and they offer good compile-time type checking. This means you get less runtime errors and a better application overall.
Objective-C, C, Java, and C++ Interop:-
Xamarin offers you the ability to directly invoke libraries of Java, C, C++, and Objective-C, so you can easily utilize massive amounts of already available third-party code. As such, you can make the most of many of these existing Android and iOS libraries written in Java, Objective-C, or C and C++. The binding projects on Xamarin also let you bind native Java and Objective-C libraries easily through declarative syntax.
Modern language constructs:-
Xamarin applications are written in C# because as a language, C# offers advantages over Java and Objective-C. These include functional constructs like Lambdas, Parallel Programming, and LINQ features, modern generics, and dynamic language features.
Fantastic Base Class Library (BCL):-
Xamarin applications utilize the Base Class Library from .NET, a large set of classes with sleek, effective features like robust Database, IO, Serialization, XML, String, and Networking support. Applications can also use compiled existing C# code, and a huge number of libraries can then be used to do things which are not covered in the Base Class Library.
Up-to-date Integrated Development Environment (IDE):-
Xamarin uses Visual Studio for Windows and its Mac counterpart for Mac OS X. These up-to-date IDEs offer excellent features like auto-completion of code, modern project and solution management systems, integrated source control, and a large library of project templates.