On the last episode of Breakpoint (check out yesterday’s post), Jonathan, Paul, and I looked at developing cross-platform applications using Xamarin and Visual Studio. With RedBit being a Xamarin Premier Partner and myself being a Windows Phone MVP, we have successfully built cross platform products for customers or put them on the right path to go cross platform.
From my point of view as a Windows platform developer & Windows Phone MVP, Xamarin is a great tool to adopt to expand your skills and knowledge into new markets, extend the market reach for your apps, all while maximizing your existing code base. This will save you time and if you are trying to live off app revenue, it will accelerate time to additional platform markets and generate additional revenue for you.
While the episode was airing live, we got some questions on how to actually get started with Xamarin, so I’ll cover that here. I’ll follow up with another post on the cross platform Tip Calculator that I was building, but in the meantime, the source code for Tip Calculator can be downloaded from GitHub.
There are four different categories for the Xamarin Tools:
Couple of things to note:
By the way, if you’re an MSDN subscriber, you actually get a discount off of your Xamarin license. Here’s more info on that.
My recommendation is as follows:
The best experience overall is with Visual Studio, so if you can, definitely go for it!
You’re going to hear lots of discussion (or perhaps think it yourself) that ‘Xamarin costs to much’ to be beneficial and ‘would rather just write objective C or Java’. This is where you have to take a step back and ask yourself:
These are only a few questions to ask yourself but my recommendation is
For me, it is definitely worth the licensing fees.
Now that we’ve covered the thinking around cross-platform development and Xamarin, here are the starting points to help you move forward:
Stay tuned for for an upcoming multipart post on building the cross platform Tip Calculator featured on the episode and the new Universal App feature for Visual Studio 2013 announced at Build 2014.