Until Xamarin was launched, the approach used while programming in Cordova, Titanium and other similar frameworks was similar to this:
Let’s now get deep into the problems this kind of programming was causing:
- Browser fragmentation, was often causing developers issues because of deprecated components on updated browsers and unsupported components on old, not updatable, browsers.
- The app was designed only for one platform, and often the design of an Android app has to be radically different than the design of the very same app running on Windows Phone or iOS.
This often caused unhappy users, which can’t use an app that was natively built for their phone and unhappy developers which received lots of complaints from their unhappy users. Unhappy developers means abandones apps, which will no longer receive updates. Also, the said frameworks have strong implementation limitations, and often can’t access all of the APIs on the target device.
And this is why Xamarin became important, thanks to its ability to easily cope with all these problems. The image down here describes how exactly Xamarin works:
The UI is built natively per platform, leveraging C#. The approach is having one shared app logic code base for all of the following platforms: iOS, Android, Mac, Windows phone, Windows Store, Windows. And, most importantly, Xamarin is built around C#, and if you want to know what’s so awesome about C#, you will have to wait until the fifth post of the series! 😀
See you soon!
Here is the long awaited third post of the series that will explain you why it’s conveniente to use Xamarin for application development, especially when you are a student. You can fine here the previous 2 posts:
On November 5th 2014, Xamarin officially announced the availability of a free Indie license for any current student. The Indie license allows you to build app an app of any size (even use Xamarin.Forms), but it was missing one thing. The biggest limitation to the Indie license was was that it didn’t allow for the use of the Visual Studio plugin, which meant being restricted to Xamarin Studio for development. The Indie license has a retail value of 300 USD per year, and Xamarin, making it available for free for students hugely boosted their userbase.
As of this week, Xamarin enhanced the Indie license for students to include the Visual Studio plugin. This is great for students, especially since a student can obtain a copy of Visual Studio for free from the DreamSpark program (http://www.dreamspark.com) or just use the free Visual Studio Community Edition. Even though the student license includes the Visual Studio plugin, this does not mean however that it is a Business license. The all the same restrictions still apply besides the plugin. This modification to the license saves users from the hefty $999 price tag.
Below here the link to rapidly compare the Business and Indie versions of Xamarin:
So if you are a student and are anxious to try Xamarin, apply for the free license today by going to https://xamarin.com/student and apply! All it takes is an email address and proof of enrollment to get started down the wonderful path of Xamarin development!
Happy coding! 😉