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Xamarin Platform OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Xamarin Platform is the #6 ranked solution in our list of top Mobile Development Platforms. It is most often compared to Appium: Xamarin Platform vs Appium

What is Xamarin Platform?
Develop native iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows apps in C#
Buyer's Guide

Download the Mobile Development Platforms Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2021

Xamarin Platform Customers
Cinemark, MixRadio, Sqor Sports, Storyo, JetBlue, The World Bank, Cr_dito Agrcola, Applied Research Associates
Xamarin Platform Video

Archived Xamarin Platform Reviews (more than two years old)

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KS
Xamarin Developer
Real User
Saves time for application development. We write once and the code works everywhere.

Pros and Cons

  • "It usually saves time for application development. We write once and the code works everywhere."
  • "They need to take a step towards independence from the UI platform. It takes a lot of time to adapt the native controls."

What is our primary use case?

I use Xamarin.Forms to develop mobile applications, which basically have the same functionality and cross-platform.

How has it helped my organization?

It usually saves time for application development. We write once and the code works everywhere.

What is most valuable?

In Xamarin.Forms, it is valuable that one and the same code (including UI) work on all platforms. It is very convenient.

What needs improvement?

They need to take a step towards independence from the UI platform. It takes a lot of time to adapt the native controls.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Everything is fine. There have been difficulties with memory leaks, but usually they are not difficult to fix.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues. Everything is fine.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support is not very good. Bugs remain very long openable.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Earlier, I tried to write code on native technologies, but still liked C# more. 

We switched because it makes cross-platform applications more expedient, faster, and cheaper.

How was the initial setup?

Everything was simple. Besides, on GitHub there are always good examples. Although, you need to understand the native SDK a bit.

What about the implementation team?

Good knowledge

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Xamarin is free, or comes with Visual Studio. Therefore, it is very profitable.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I looked at Ionic and other HTML/JS platforms, but I considered this a bad decision. They were too slow and you had more problems with their frameworks than the benefits of their work.

What other advice do I have?

Be sure to look at the lessons from Xamarin University, as well as test projects on GitHub.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
JS
Founder and CEO at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
The cross platform ability is a great asset

Pros and Cons

  • "The cross platform ability is a great asset."
  • "We need to think about partnering with IBM because there is a need for a big data partner; someone who has machine learning and can help us connect the app to big data."

What is our primary use case?

We develop Model X for sports and tourism and for Android and iPhone sport.

How has it helped my organization?

We have some projects on the sport-level worldwide, not only in Europe. One of our examining apps is the GDPR tool. We want to expand the GDPR tool to mobile apps for local sports and in other non-profit organizations. That's the reason why we want to develop mobile apps in the Xamarin Platform, so we can connect local organizations to sports, tourism, and non-profit organizations. That's our focus.

What is most valuable?

The Cross Platform is a great asset. We develop and then at the end, we publish other mobile apps to Android and to iPhone platforms. We develop stand-alone apps for Android and the iPhone and then transfer our development to Xamarin because it's much easier.

What needs improvement?

We need to think about partnering with IBM because there is a need for a big data partner; someone who has machine learning and can help us connect the app to big data.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of this solution is fine.

How is customer service and technical support?

I have not used tech support too much. In the beginning, we had some issues, but the support resolved the issues quickly.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was easy.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Find out what your peers are saying about Microsoft, Appium, IBM and others in Mobile Development Platforms. Updated: September 2021.
540,884 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Jane Jane
User at D’aprile Properties
Real User
Well-integrated with Visual Studio so it will feel very familiar to you once you start

Pros and Cons

  • "Their leadership is exceptional at both listening to the customer base and delivering innovative, best-in-class products."
  • "Being able to use the .NET framework and platform have me creating applications better than anyone who develops on Windows."
  • "Xamarin is well-integrated with Visual Studio so it will feel very familiar to you once you start."
  • "There is limited support for UX widgets."
  • "There are compatibility issues between versions of various Xamarin components."

What is our primary use case?

Xamarin helped us to develop a cross platform mobile app with less time and resources. 

How has it helped my organization?

Managing code is useful using TFS, so a separate code managing software was not required. Authenticating user to app is easy using Azure authentication, which is supported in Xamarin

What is most valuable?

Provides a wide variety of technical work and some interesting problems to solve. 

Being able to use the .NET framework and platform have me creating applications better than anyone who develops on Windows. 

Being able to use Visual Studio means development gets to use the best IDE currently available.

Xamarin is well-integrated with Visual Studio so it will feel very familiar to you once you start. 

What needs improvement?

There is limited support for UX widgets. Also, there are compatibility issues between versions of various Xamarin components.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The new go-to-market with Microsoft is different. It will require some adapting.

How is customer service and technical support?

They are genuine, smart, and action-oriented people across the board!

What was our ROI?

It saved a lot of time and resources needed to develop a cross platform mobile app.

What other advice do I have?

If you are already heavily invested in the .NET platform and C# development, Xamarin is the quickest way to make native iOS apps.

Their leadership is exceptional at both listening to the customer base and delivering innovative, best-in-class products. A company that takes great care of its people. 

Xamarin has just been bought by Microsoft. What an endorsement!

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Anandjit Banerjee
Xamarin Certified Consultant/Architect
Consultant
Helps to create a connected system, by enhancing the productivity and usefulness of different products

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is to build high performance mobile applications and bring about maximum code sharing between different platforms.

How has it helped my organization?

We have a lot of applications, which cater to different types of end users. These have really helped us in creating a connected system, which has enhanced the productivity and usefulness of different products.

What is most valuable?

This is close to the native app experience.  It brings about good code sharing strategies, which bring down cost and maintenance efforts.

What needs improvement?

The android application compilation time needs to be reduced.  The deployment package sizes need to be looked into.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is to build high performance mobile applications and bring about maximum code sharing between different platforms.

How has it helped my organization?

We have a lot of applications, which cater to different types of end users. These have really helped us in creating a connected system, which has enhanced the productivity and usefulness of different products.

What is most valuable?

  • This is close to the native app experience. 
  • It brings about good code sharing strategies, which bring down cost and maintenance efforts.

What needs improvement?

  • The android application compilation time needs to be reduced. 
  • The deployment package sizes need to be looked into.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Kacper Ryniec
Software Development Lead at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Allows us to reuse our knowledge of C# and .NET Framework

Pros and Cons

  • "We were able to optimize the service organization for one of our clients."
  • "It allows us to reuse our knowledge of C# and .NET Framework."
  • "It is common to find a problem that you would need to develop from the start since there are no third-party components to reuse."
  • "From time to time, it is a bit harder to code some specific scenarios compared to the native approach."

What is our primary use case?

We mainly build mobile solutions for enterprises. In most of the cases, it does require a lot of complex domain knowledge and multiple integrations with various internal systems, pretty often legacy ones. 

We decided to work with Xamarin, since it does give us a lot of advantages compared to fully native solutions, which use Java or Swift/Objective-C. First, it allows us to reuse our knowledge of C# and .NET Framework. Next, since .NET and Java are the most common choices for enterprise platforms, it allows us to reuse some parts of business logic without the need to re-write/port them. Then, there is the possibility to apply well-known MVVM patterns to both Android and iOS targeting apps with reuse of up to 70% codebase between platforms, not to mention automated testing possibilities.

How has it helped my organization?

Xamarin brought various benefits to our clients. For example, we were able to optimize the service organization for one of our clients. Customers can use now a branded mobile application to submit issues within the customer products. It allows for QR code scanning with error details. It makes it much easier for customers to report issues and for service employees to collect all necessary data, then quickly respond to the customer’s needs.

What is most valuable?

The possibility to share business domain model-related code between iOS and Android.

What needs improvement?

It would be great to have some quirks of Xamarin.Forms solved. However, the number of community developed libraries and components are growing rapidly, so this should be another advantage soon. 

Nowadays, it is common to find a problem that you would need to develop from the start since there are no third-party components to reuse.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What other advice do I have?

It does have its drawbacks. From time to time, it is a bit harder to code some specific scenarios compared to the native approach. Since Xamarin is the another layer of abstraction, it also adds its own bugs to the whole process. However, the overall experience is really positive. The benefits listed above are much higher than the costs associated with the overhead needed to work with Xamarin.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user879264
Mobile Practice Director
Real User
Significantly reduces development and test costs

Pros and Cons

  • "It has significantly reduced the skill barrier for development and testers."
  • "The most important impact is the reduction in product lifecycle costs."
  • "It significantly reduces development and test costs, and ensures that there is synergy between the platforms on product features and user experience."
  • "The worst build issue concerns are the caching process MSBuild uses to reduce the build time."

What is our primary use case?

We use Xamarin almost exclusively for development of native mobile applications, even when single platform. The development hardware that we use are MacBook Pros with 16GB RAM and min 500GB SSDs. We run Windows 10 in a Boot Camp partition and virtualized using parallels. We have Xcode installed on the iOS partition and Visual Studio 2017 installed on both Windows and Mac partitions, along with Android SDK and NDK.

We use Xamarin.Android and Xamarin.iOS for apps with a complex UI, and use Xamarin.Forms where applicable.

How has it helped my organization?

It has significantly reduced the skill barrier for development and testers. Our company is mostly a Microsoft stack house, so most developers either use, or are familiar with, C# and .NET. Removing the need to become proficient in two other languages, makes adoption easier. Though it should be noted that developers still have to become familiar/proficient with the iOS and Android SDKs and the lifecycles of the native apps.

The ability to reuse significant amounts of code between platforms, have a single code repository, and a single development team for all platforms has massive advantages. It significantly reduces development and test costs, and ensures that there is synergy between the platforms on product features and user experience. However, the most important impact is the reduction in product lifecycle costs.

What is most valuable?

It allows the development of truly native applications in C# using the power of .NET framework and Visual Studio.

Xamarin allows the same development and build environment to be used for all platforms and code to be controlled in a single code repository. Shared logic, such as business logic and models, can be shared between the platforms, which significantly reduces development, test, and maintenance efforts. Typically, this leads to around 75-80% code reuse between the platforms. If Xamarin.Forms can be used, then this reuse typically rises to around 95%.

Xamarin also leverages the full power of the .NET Framework, including things like lambdas, LINQ, properties, bindings, commands, etc. Lastly, it uses the Visual Studio IDE, by far the most powerful and complete IDE available, making development and maintenance much easier.

The Xamarin SDK provides C# bindings to all native iOS and Android SDK APIs, as well as access to the .NET framework and builds to a native package. The Xamarin Mono run time runs a .NET CSR alongside the native run time with a bridge between them, and handles memory management and garbage collection.

App behavior is completely native and performance is near native (depending on the app architecture, but can be even faster than native if the business logic is computationally intensive). App size and memory footprint is slightly larger than native, due to the need for the inclusion of the .NET and Xamarin libraries. In a debug build, this can be significant. However, in release mode, the build process uses a rigorous linking process which removed most of the unused classes and methods from the managed DLLs. As a result, the average app size increases in a release build by only 5 to 6MB.

What needs improvement?

The most common issues involved are with the IDE and build process. The worst build issue concerns are the caching process MSBuild uses to reduce the build time. It is unnecessarily complex (internally) and will sometimes leave cached files which should have been removed, even when a full solution clean is performed. The work around involves closing the solution and deleting some project folders. Occasionally, IntelliSense loses sync with the code and provides visual error indicators when no error exists.

Xamarin.Forms does have some short comings, especially surrounding performance. Launch time on Android is a particular issue because Xamarin.Forms loads all the external assemblies during initialization. Support for lazy loading or merging of assembles would significantly reduce this, but Microsoft is still committed to a solution. Support of platform specific behavior could also still be improved. However, I believe strongly that Xamarin.Forms is the future of cross-platform native mobile development.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What other advice do I have?

I have been using Xamarin for about seven years, since before it was Xamarin (it used to be MonoTouch and MonoDroid).

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Chandran Subramanian
Technical Lead with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Renderers allow us to use native-platform controls easily, but some controls are lacking

What is our primary use case?

We use this framework when the requirements for mobile application development include different platforms.

What is most valuable?

I like Renderers in Xamarin. They allow us to use native-platform controls easily.

What needs improvement?

They need to improve performance, especially for the Android platform. Also, some controls are missing in the Xamarin framework when compared to native controls; for example, the checkbox control.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What is our primary use case?

We use this framework when the requirements for mobile application development include different platforms.

What is most valuable?

I like Renderers in Xamarin. They allow us to use native-platform controls easily.

What needs improvement?

They need to improve performance, especially for the Android platform. Also, some controls are missing in the Xamarin framework when compared to native controls; for example, the checkbox control.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Michael Henke
Manager Mobile Software Development at Seamgen, LLC
Real User
Helps reduce overhead significantly through code-share and reuse

Pros and Cons

  • "The Xamarin platform can reduce overhead significantly through code-share and reuse. The typical team size for a Xamarin project is significantly reduced compared to purely native projects."
  • "The ability to share a platform-agnostic common core, or business logic, enables a mobile developer to write code for all targeted mobile platforms, independent of the individual developer's specialization in iOS, Android, or Windows. This helps not only during development but also enables easier maintenance of deployed apps, since bug fixes or feature additions can be often made in the platform-agnostic layer."
  • "Xamarin's profiling tools are only available for the highest tier of MSDN subscription and compatibility with platform-native profiling tools is rather lacking. This causes friction when working on performance-related issues."
  • "For beginners, the entire setup can be overwhelming because it involves setting up development environments for iOS, Android, and Windows at the same time if you want to target all three."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case at Seamgen for the Xamarin platform is to create forms or data-driven apps that utilize mostly stock UI components and benefit greatly by sharing a common core software layer for data processing and handling.

How has it helped my organization?

With the help of Xamarin.Forms, we can effectively realize a cross-platform app with a very small team of 1-2 developers, targeting both iOS and Android platforms.

In a purely native development environment, you would typically find a developer specializing in one of the major platforms. If the objective is to create a mobile experience for more than one platform at the same time, you typically need distinct resources for each platform. Often times they create the same code/logic in different programming languages for each platform. In this scenario, the Xamarin platform can reduce overhead significantly through code-share and reuse. The typical team size for a Xamarin project is significantly reduced compared to purely native projects.

What is most valuable?

The ability to share a platform-agnostic common core, or business logic, enables a mobile developer to write code for all targeted mobile platforms, independent of the individual developer's specialization in iOS, Android, or Windows. This helps not only during development but also enables easier maintenance of deployed apps, since bug fixes or feature additions can be often made in the platform-agnostic layer.

What needs improvement?

Xamarin's profiling tools are only available for the highest tier of MSDN subscription and compatibility with platform-native profiling tools is rather lacking. This causes friction when working on performance-related issues.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

While working with the Xamarin framework at Seamgen, we do not encounter any major stability issues in the framework itself. However, we do recommend testing any third-party component for fitness, because it is fairly easy to incur stability issues by importing external components or libraries.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Outside of the general issues that come with bigger development teams, the Xamarin framework added no extra overhead.

How are customer service and technical support?

Before Microsoft acquired Xamarin, the technical support was excellent. The acquisition added some noticeable friction and the transformation period for long-running Xamarin customers to the Microsoft environment wasn't the smoothest.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

At Seamgen, we evaluate which framework and platform are the most viable to achieve our client's goals on a per-project basis. We do not default to any one set of tools for everything. We work on many projects where Xamarin is not suitable.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very well documented and there are plenty of resources available to hit the ground running if you are an experienced developer already. For beginners, the entire setup can be overwhelming because it involves setting up development environments for iOS, Android, and Windows at the same time if you want to target all three.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Xamarin is available under several licensing arrangements. Each developer needs one license at least. To access all features, especially the Profiler, you need the highest tier.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We do evaluate other options like PhoneGap, Itanium, React Native, Cordova and the like, not only against the technical requirements of each project but also against the particular requests of our clients.

Compared to alternative cross-platform development frameworks for mobile (i.e. Appcelerator, Cordova, Ionic, React Native, etc.) we consider Xamarin the most viable option in most cases.

What other advice do I have?

We have been using Xamarin for over four years on multiple app projects of varying sizes, complexity, and code-reuse, ranging from fully featured custom UI social networking applications to data-driven forms apps with a maximum degree of codeshare and minimal UI.

Xamarin can sure look like the one hammer that makes every project look like a nail, but it is not. Here at Seamgen, we consider it another tool in our toolbox, suitable to successfully realize our customer's ideas.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Nilesh Chavan
Technical Architect at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Because of the C# programming language, we can train our .NET developers to learn the tool and develop mobile apps easily

Pros and Cons

  • "We very much like the XAML design techniques, multiple layout and pages, MVVMCross support, and portability across different platforms."
  • "Because of the C# programming language, we can train our .NET developers to learn Xamarin and develop mobile apps easily."
  • "It needs offline sync capabilities to store data on devices persistently."

What is our primary use case?

We have been using Xamarin for enterprise mobile application development. Primarily, we are targeting iPhone devices. This field mobility application helps end users to perform their duties and view 360 information about the work to be performed.

How has it helped my organization?

  • Because of the C# programming language, we can train our .NET developers to learn Xamarin and develop mobile apps easily. 
  • It helps us to easily integrate and implement Azure Cloud API services. 
  • We can track mobile usage with the help of the mobile device center.

What is most valuable?

We very much like the XAML design techniques, multiple layout and pages, MVVMCross support, and portability across different platforms.

What needs improvement?

  • It needs offline sync capabilities to store data on devices persistently. 
  • Security features and data analytics need to be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

This is a free product, so there is zero investment on licenses and IDE.

What other advice do I have?

This product is very easy to design and develop, and it is using C#. Microsoft is supporting this application, so product reliability increases.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user879252
Software Engineer at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
We can focus on the functionality, not the coding, but AppCompat library creates issues

Pros and Cons

  • "Recently, Xamarin has added a lot of features such as Effects, Behaviors, Triggers, etc. This has made the UI user-friendly, lively, and attractive."
  • "I feel that the Android AppCompat library creates a lot of issues. A lot of development time is often wasted solving these issues."

How has it helped my organization?

From a developer's point of view, with the help of Xamarin, we can focus on the functionality, rather than spending time coding differently for iOS and Android.

What is most valuable?

For me, Xamarin becomes more valuable when it comes to forms. Xamarin has come up with a lot of features over time. I love XAML most. Recently, Xamarin has added a lot of features such as Effects, Behaviors, Triggers, etc. This has made the UI user-friendly, lively, and attractive.

What needs improvement?

I feel that the Android AppCompat library creates a lot of issues. A lot of development time is often wasted solving these issues.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

When I started with Xamarin, I used to face a lot of stability issues. Its memory management was very poor. But now, I don’t face any kind of issue related to stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability depends on how one designs his architecture.

How are customer service and technical support?

Initially, our team used the technical support and it was good. But now, you can find most solutions on blogs, Stack Overflow, etc.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I was into Web development using .NET and C#. I wanted to try mobile applications and, with my knowledge of C#, that is what pulled me towards Xamarin.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup is straightforward. Microsoft has combined Visual Studio and Xamarin Studio so you just need to download the installer and follows the instructions. That’s it.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

For personal use, the Community Edition is free. If someone is a freelancer he can easily use the free edition.

What other advice do I have?

I have been using this solution for the past three years. I have developed many iOS and Android apps using Xamarin classic as well as Xamarin.Forms. In a nutshell, I would say that for those who love C# and mobile, this platform is a blessing.

I would like to rate this solution as a seven out of 10. The reason for this rating is that this solution is definitely better than others. We can share a lot of code among the different platforms and can also use our C# skills, which we love. In addition, we can get native UI, native API access, and native performance. Still, there are a lot of areas in which Microsoft can make it better. And I must say, they are working on it.

Architecture is the key point of every successful project and this is applicable to Xamarin as well. When implementing any project, one needs to be sure the app is following all the design patterns like MVVM, dependency injection, etc.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user877152
Xamarin Forms Sr. / Team Leader
Real User
Makes it easy to create white label applications for all platforms

What is our primary use case?

The main reason for use is productivity, time gain, and code reuse.

How has it helped my organization?

The company that I work for develops white label applications. Xamarin makes it easy to create white label applications for all platforms.

What is most valuable?

Easy to develop applications for all platforms, including Mac and Windows.

What needs improvement?

Needs to improve the customization of its screens.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What is our primary use case?

The main reason for use is productivity, time gain, and code reuse.

How has it helped my organization?

The company that I work for develops white label applications. Xamarin makes it easy to create white label applications for all platforms.

What is most valuable?

Easy to develop applications for all platforms, including Mac and Windows.

What needs improvement?

Needs to improve the customization of its screens.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user877128
Technical Consultant at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
A single team can target multiple platforms on a shared C# codebase using Xamarin.Forms

Pros and Cons

  • "Xamarin.Forms exposes a complete cross-platform UI toolkit for .NET developers. The advantage is that a single team can target multiple platforms (Android, iOS, and Windows) on a shared C# codebase."
  • "For those who use only XAML to design the UI, it would be better if there was a better XAML previewer or designer."

What is our primary use case?

Xamarin provides two ways to build great native apps: Xamarin Native and Xamarin.Forms. We used Xamarin.Forms on many of our solution platforms, but it also can be used on complicated scenarios (with a lot of business logic code), like product configurator apps.

How has it helped my organization?

Xamarin.Forms exposes a complete cross-platform UI toolkit for .NET developers. In our case, we used existing C#/.NET knowledge to build native iOS and Android. The advantage is that a single team can target multiple platforms (Android, iOS, and Windows) on a shared C# codebase.

What is most valuable?

A very good feature of this solution is Xamarin.Forms, which is best for specific types of mobile apps. Based on my experience (and also Microsoft's recommendation), the best scenario for use would be for:

  • Data entry apps.
  • Apps requiring very little platform-specific functionality.
  • Apps where code sharing is more important than custom UI.

What needs improvement?

For those who use only XAML to design the UI, it would be better if there was a better XAML previewer or designer.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user877149
C#/Xamarin/Mobile Technical Lead at a tech vendor with 1-10 employees
Real User
Enables our developers to work interchangeably on different projects/platforms

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable features are: One language for all platforms: C#; XAML for UI in Xamarin.Forms; provides 100 percent coverage of APIs on each platform."
  • "I would like to see hot reload, similar to what Flutter has out-of-the-box. There is "Live Reload" but it’s still in preview and was only recently announced."

What is our primary use case?

In most cases, I develop apps for iOS and Android, but there are some rare cases that include UWP platform. My environment includes a Windows 10 PC with VS 2017 and a Mac mini with VS for Mac.

How has it helped my organization?

All of our mobile developers can easily substitute for each other on different projects and platforms.

What is most valuable?

  • One language for all platforms: C#
  • XAML for UI in Xamarin.Forms
  • Provides 100 percent coverage of APIs on each platform

What needs improvement?

I would like to see hot reload, similar to what Flutter has out-of-the-box. There is "Live Reload" but it’s still in preview and was only recently announced.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There have been some stability issues, mostly with VS 2017 for Windows when working with iOS.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Community support is great. You can always ask on the Xamarin forum or Stack Overflow. If you are a member of Xamarin.University you can get a one-to-one hour with a technical instructor.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Xamarin is my first cross-platform framework.

How was the initial setup?

Using early versions of Xamarin, especially VS on Windows for developing iOS, were a mess. But now, with the latest installer, it is really straightforward.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

In most cases, it is sufficient to have free/community license. But if you plan to seriously develop production-level, highly polished apps, you need to use Xamarin.Profiler and the professional or enterprise license.

What other advice do I have?

I rate it a 10 out of 10. It's the best cross-platform framework, and it continuously improves.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Bhupesh Sharma
System Analyst at Intersoft Data Labs
Real User
Top 20Leaderboard
I can develop apps for iOS and Android without migrating to Objective-C or Java

Pros and Cons

  • "For me, developing apps for iOS and Android is a dream came true, without migrating to Objective-C or Java. Xamarin enables me to do so."
  • "Test Cloud, Calabash, SpecFlow, and Xamarin.UITest are the features which can’t be ignored because just writing code doesn’t mean your app will run flawlessly. You need to test your app on each possible device and configuration, which you can do easily."
  • "Plugins like MvvmCross make a developer’s life easy."
  • "All Xamarin library issues need to be taken care of as a top priority."
  • "There is room for increasing the scale a little bit further with the designer in the Visual Studio, more specifically, Xamarin.Android Designer in Visual Studio."

What is our primary use case?

Let’s take an example of a simple restaurant App which needs to be developed for each platform (iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows). Xamarin gives you the power to produce a quick proof of concept where you can use Xamarin.Forms and have your app ready within some days for each platform, using only one Xamarin developer. Otherwise, you need different native developers to have your app developed for each Platform. 

How has it helped my organization?

I have been using Xamarin Platform for four years and learning new things each day. Being just an Asp.NET C# developer, I feel more confident because, for me, developing apps for iOS and Android is a dream came true, without migrating to Objective-C or Java.

Also, it’s cost-effective when you don’t require more native developers for each platform. You can train one C# developer for Xamarin using free resources or even provide paid training, and he or she alone can deliver your apps for each platform.

What is most valuable?

Test Cloud, Calabash, SpecFlow, and Xamarin.UITest are the features which can’t be ignored because just writing code doesn’t mean your app will run flawlessly. You need to test your app on each possible device and configuration, which you can do easily.

And how can I forget plugins like MvvmCross, which make a developer’s life easy.

What needs improvement?

I would say that every technology has room for improvement, Xamarin Platform is no exception. All Xamarin library issues which need to be taken care of should be top priority. Sometimes it becomes clumsy when there are a lot of things going on in your project or solution and you need to take care of business logic in parallel. On top of everything, providing only wrapper classes does not make a developer’s life easy.

So yes, there are improvements going on and they will need to continue to improve in the future as well.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

As far as my experience with Xamarin, I’ve found no issues with the stability, if you have the right people working with you. It’s always easy to criticize a technology and it amazes me to see people out there criticizing some technology just because they couldn’t use it properly.

Over time it has created a revolutionary change in the technology and market. In our case, we were able to deliver projects on time and that’s what matters in the end. Maybe we have faced some issues but it would not be nice to say that Xamarin is not a stable technology. As a matter of fact, it is very stable, and they're working on making it more and more stable each day.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

People are flying radio-controlled drones and aircraft as a hobby with the help of apps which were developed using Xamarin technology. Yes, there is room for increasing the scale a little bit further with the designer in the Visual Studio, more specifically, Xamarin.Android Designer in Visual Studio.

How is customer service and technical support?

I would rate technical support at eight out of 10. There are communities like Xamarin Forums and Stack Overflow that will possibly give you answers. If you are a developer you know exactly what I am talking about.

How was the initial setup?

In the very beginning, it was a bit complex because I was using Visual Studio 2015 which doesn’t come with a Xamarin module like Visual Studio 2017; you need to add it manually.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

If you plan smartly enough I think you will save some bucks for sure. You don’t need different native developers for each platform as Xamarin comes with cross-platform development so that’s an advantage.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate Xamarin Platform an eight out of 10 because, while developing applications using Xamarin Platform you will come across some library issues which need to be taken care of first. But I would strongly recommend Xamarin Platform because it’s a reliable technology compared with what is out there in the market and a plus-point is support for C# language. 

My only advice is that you please do a proof of concept before diving straight into development. It is always good to see beyond what you want and the requirements of your project. First, do some benchmarking of the requirements and then go for implementation of your solution.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Jan Zeman
Mobile Apps Team Lead, Scrum Master, Senior App Developer (Xamarin, Android) at a music company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Cross-platform development saves time and provides consistencies-

Pros and Cons

  • "Cross-platform development saves time and provides consistencies."
  • "The performance needs improvement, especially the dev tools, and also the ultimate output of the mobile applications."

What is our primary use case?

Mobile applications for our music streaming service. 

How has it helped my organization?

  • A much larger portion of shared codebase
  • Better usage of software patterns
  • Better knowledge sharing among team members
  • More streamlined, standardized development and testing processes.

What is most valuable?

  • Cross-platform development saves time and provides consistencies. 
  • C#: Simply the language. 
  • Native UI: No compromises needed for final users. 
  • MVVM: Clear concerns separation. 

What needs improvement?

The performance needs improvement, especially the dev tools, and also the ultimate output of the mobile applications.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Five years ago, we switched from native development to a cross-platform solution, we have never regretted this move.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Co Founder at a tech company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Provides cross-platform support for mobile app creation. It should support native functions for iOS and Android.

What is most valuable?

  • The ability to work in macOS for Xamarin iOS solutions
  • Cross-platform support

How has it helped my organization?

Creating mobile apps became quicker as we started to use the code base function.

What needs improvement?

Xamarin Studio should be more polished and support native functions (iOS, Android). It should be working like a charm.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Generally, when iOS products get updates, some issues can happen with Xamarin. Crashes happen from time to time.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Most scalability is handled on the server side. In rare cases, some libraries weren’t supported, such as the TCP/IP stack.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good.

How was the initial setup?

Setup was actually pretty complex, as we had to get experience. We had some oddly written solutions provided from previous vendors of our customers. These were impossible to maintain.

What was our ROI?

By the third year, we got a solid ROI. It’s hard to measure, but is was probably over 200%.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Licensing and pricing have changed, as the product moved to Microsoft. Before that, it was fairly complex: $800 per developer place, for one platform only.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did look at alternatives. However, other solutions were only hybrid platforms, which lagged behing when doing moderately complex projects.

What other advice do I have?

You will need to invest a bit of time to become a good vendor using this framework.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are an Xamarin certified partner.
Thangavel Sundaram
Test Manager/ QA Consultant at Aspire Systems
Consultant
Top 20
You can test any native (created on native language for example, for android java and for iOS object c) and hybrid application (created on C#) with Xamarin.UI test.

Valuable Features:

UI Test - Xamarin Calabash framework with c# front end, Testing support on both Local (No execution hours limitation) and Testcloud (limited hours based on subscription)

Xamarin.UI is an automation library, through which you can automate any android and iOS application, without any concern of the language used to create that application. You can test any native (created on native language for example, for android java and for iOS object c) and hybrid application ( created on C#) with Xamarin.UI test.

Improvements to My Organization:

Easy set up Automation framework with Specflow (BDD Approach) and NUnit. Same code works for both android and iOS (If locators are same). Even though if locators different we can use the same code with different locators (Using conditions). It helped to automate iOs and android apps for our client within show time which helped them for regression testing (daily basis) so manual effort reduced.   

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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