Fast changing technology and the need of Smart Phone Applications in almost every sector of businesses has encouraged many new programmers to learn latest and advanced mobile technologies. More and more college graduates are now entering in this what it seems like never ending era of mobile development. Since the early stages of mobile development, IT world has seen an immense revolution in this sector. In 2017 itself the world has witnessed a tremendous increase in the mobile phone users which was 4.77 billion and this trend is expected to surpass 5 billion up to 2019 (based on Statistics). Mobile development is definitely one of the leading edge and expanding sector. Observing the current user base and future predictions this gives young aspirants an enormous opportunity to learn and earn.
Mobile Applications are being used by small to big companies for their product selling and mobile marketing. IT giants such as Google, Microsoft and Apple are continued to dominate the mobile market with their powerful Operating Systems such as Android, Windows and IOS respectively. The biggest challenge new age programmers face today is writing code to build applications in different platform, since learning new mobile technology is not an easy task for most of us. Developers have to up-grade their knowledge which is a very crucial thing to consider if one wants to stay in this new age Mobile Technology.
GROWING DEMAND OF NATIVE APP
The demand of Native apps has been increasing due to its many advantages over web app. Platform specific apps are always at the beneficial side because they can utilize all the resources such as latest hardware and software of the Mobile device. As per Q1 2017 Smart phone OS market share, Android will continue to dominate with 85% of the total Market share followed by IOS which is 14.7% and rest is windows phone and others. By the statistics it is clear that more users are using Android and hence from the Business owner’s point of view the main focus would be to develop an application that runs on Android. But you cannot ignore the other OS platforms as this data might change with time and with any changes the cost and eventually time to develop Native app for other OS platform will increase.
The main disadvantage of native app is to develop app separately for every platform. As a developer our main focus would be to seek out a multi platform implementation that ease out our development and cost to build a Native application which has the capability to run on any device. In the past few years, many alternatives came into existence that has made many developers life easy. Cross platform implementations are a need of the hour and here in this section we are going to discuss one such powerful platform “XAMARIN”.
WHAT IS XAMARIN
XAMARIN is a software company currently acquired by Microsoft based in California founded in May 2011, the engineers who started the firm have created Mono, Mono for Android and MonoTouch which are cross platform implementations of Microsoft Dotnet. Xamarin lets the developers use shared C# codebase to write native code for Android, IOS and Windows apps with native user interfaces and share code across multi platforms such as Windows and MacOS. With the increasing popularity of Xamarin, over 1.4 million developers were using Xamarin’s Product in 120 countries by April 2017.
WHAT MAKES XAMARIN DIFFERENT FROM OTHERS
Mobile application framework of Xamarin has both Xamarin.Android and Xamarin.IOS that allows programmers to build Native Android, IOS and windows development using C#. Xamarin’s SDK is open source and Microsoft bundled it for free with its Visual Studio Microsoft IDE for dotnet framework, which makes visual studio available for Android and MacOC. It Allows programmers to build Mobile applications either with Xamarin Studio or Visual Studio. Third party Libraries, cloud services and UI controls are integrated directly into Mobile Apps by Xamarin’s component store.
Let’s take a brief look at what are the real benefits of XAMARIN
Hardware and Software Independent Development:
In Native application development, the biggest challenge is to write code considering the Hardware and OS requirement of the mobile device and that can be very time consuming and costly for the companies to develop apps in multiple platform. This is where the Xamarin’s unique feature takes place. Xamarin studio enables code completion in C# and the use of plugins and special APIs, it annihilates all the Hardware and software compatibility issues.
Introduction of Multi Cross platform tools
Xamarin offers this leverage to the programmers to build Windows and Android app on a windows PC using Visual studio and Xamarin. Availability of Xamarin.Android allows us to build Android apps with modern and flexible C# language using the same UI control as Java. If one has to build IOS application using modern C# and .NET base Class libraries, Xamarin.IOS gives this advantage to create native IOS applications with the same UI controls that are available in Objective C and XCode.
Xamarin.Mac was created as a tool to develop desktop applications for Mac. It gives developers to reuse majority of the code across Android, IOS and Windows since Xamarin.Mac applications are written in C# and DOT.NET. It integrates straightly with the Xcode leveraging developer to use Xcode’s Interface builder to create application’s user interface.
Open Sourcing .NET Core and Visual Studio for Mac:
Microsoft has made .NET Core open source to build cross platform development for Windows, Linux and Mac OS. This means that the advantages of Dotnet Class libraries, C# and F# intellisense, integrating unit testing support and debugging tests with the Visual Studio Test Platform are readily available. Visual Studio for Mac is a modern, sophisticated IDE with many features for creating mobile, desktop, and web applications. It includes a rich editor, debugging, native platform integration with iOS, Mac and Android, and integrated source control to name just a few of its many features.
Blessings of C#
C# is an easy to learn, Modern, flexibile, type safe and object oriented programming language. That avails the same features as that of any other high level programming modern language. Cross platform application development is very easy with C# using dotnet framework.
FUTURE OPPORTUNITIES FOR FRESHER IN XAMARIN:
Xamarin leverages great future opportunities for fresher in the mobile development sector. As we have seen above the importance and benefits of using Xamarin, lot of companies would soon be adopting it for its multiple advantages. For a college graduate and a student there is an ample opportunity for learn and earn, below are the various benefits for graduates who are thinking to make career in mobile development.
- There is a great learning curve for any fresher in case of Xamarin, the technology is too vast and keep evolving that there is no end for learning.
- One can start coding in C# quite easily if they know any other object oriented programming language. Learning C# and Xamarin development on live project offers a good hands-on experience to the candidates.
- Open sourcing .NET core will create many jobs for cross platform development.
- Xamarin development is still in an early stage, there are very fewer programmers available for Xamarin and considering the future predictions demand for Xamarin programmers will increase. Hence, in this case any fresher starts his career now will have high paying jobs available in the near future.
So here is the overall summary of Xamarin that makes it top of the cross platform mobile development. Rich development environment, open source third party tools, use of Visual Studio, remotely simulating IOS applications, benefits of C# and dotnet plus a huge community of programmers that is constantly enhancing the Xamarin.