Microsoft’s Xamarin, since its advent in 2011, has become the favorite mobile app development framework of over 15,000 businesses worldwide, and the year 2015 marked its 1 million downloads milestone. With big names like Coca-Cola, Siemens, Kimberly-Clark, Pinterest, World Bank, Slack, Aviva, Alaska Airlines, etc., using Xamarin to digitize their business outlook, it is definitely a well-accepted app development framework.
Xamarin has proved to be revolutionary because it provides developers with tools that allow them to create cross-platform mobile apps with all native features through shared code. Before Xamarin, creating native apps was the only option available. Without having to go through the trouble of coding from scratch each time one wants to develop a native app, Xamarin cut the development time substantially. Hence, the popularity.
In 2016, it was acquired by Microsoft, making it one of the most promising frameworks. Xamarin is, in fact, proving to be a widely preferred app development framework. But, it may not be that easy to find a top Xamarin development company in the first instance since there is a range of factors that you need to ensure before you can choose one. This blog will help you understand the requisites that you need to ensure before you hire the right Xamarin developer.
As businesses vie for increased visibility over multiple platforms (iOS, Android, Mac, Windows), Xamarin presents them with a viable solution to create apps that work across platforms, thus taking mobility to an altogether new level.
Here are some basic but important reasons why over a million developers and thousands of businesses across the globe prefer to develop apps with this open-source framework.
Why Xamarin is the Preferred Framework
When it comes to building cross-platform applications, Xamarin offers more advantages than just code reusability. It is helping more than a million developers create cross-platform applications, which enable them to maximize shared code reuse as well as deliver a high-quality native experience on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.
Most businesses that are looking for apps, that need to function across platforms – iOS, Android, Windows – opt for Xamarin not only because of code reusability, but also lower cost and lesser development time, among other benefits.
Here are some major reasons why Xamarin has gained popularity:
- Xamarin has turned out to be one of the most time-efficient tools for developing applications across platforms owing to a short learning curve, and the possibility of fixing and maintaining applications quickly.
- With Xamarin SDK, available as an open source platform with backing from Red Hat, JetBrains, Unity, and the .NET Foundation, it proves to be cost-efficient as well.
- As much as 75% of developed code across platforms (iOS, Android, Windows), can be leveraged by developers. There is no need to design apps separately for separate operating systems, resulting in lower costs.
- It takes user experiences to a finer level based on native API, unlike other “write-once, run everywhere” platforms, that render very basic, generic-looking interfaces. This is exactly the kind of revelation you make when you compare platforms like React Native to Xamarin.
- Since the integration that Xamarin offers is seamless, it makes testing and quality assurance available on several devices through the Xamarin Test Cloud.
These being the evident upsides of Xamarin, what value is it in particular that hiring a great Xamarin development company will add to your business?
The Value that a Great Xamarin Developer will Bring to Your Business
While developers are the ones who closely understand the advantages of Xamarin, it is businesses that also reap the benefits. If you want to hire an expert Xamarin development agency, here’s the value that it brings to your business.
Early Return on Investment
Since Xamarin offers code reusability, it, in fact, gives your business the opportunity to lower its cost, speed up the app development process, and offer a faster time to market the app. With the native-like UI that Xamarin apps offer, user experience and acceptability certainly add to the success of the app. All these factors account for a rather early and high return on investment.
Rapid Mobile App Development (RMAD)
Rapid mobile app development or RMAD, is one of the major reasons why today’s businesses go for cross-platform development instead of native app development. It speeds up the developmental process at an affordable cost by allowing the developers the luxury of code reusability across platforms. Xamarin.Forms libraries enable total code reusability, further simplifying, and accelerating the development process.
With its capabilities, Xamarin lets businesses achieve this goal, with resultant cross-platform apps that look and feel like native Android, iOS, or Windows apps exhibiting exceptional user experience, thus ensuring businesses get the apps which they want and which their users will like.
Lower Developmental Costs
Since the basic skills needed for Xamarin development is, both knowledge and experience in C# and .NET, it is not a herculean task to find developers with requisites for Xamarin app development. This reduces the cost of hiring because even if Xamarin developers are much sought after, the skills are not rare to find.
Also, since the code can be reused across platforms, the need for re-development for various platforms from scratch is eliminated, thus, again reducing the cost of development.
Faster Time to Market
Faster time to market is something that is desired by every business, especially in the case of web and mobile applications. The longer a product will take to market, the more expensive it is for a business.
Xamarin uses shared code that can be re-used for multiple platforms. So, once it has been used for one platform, it is almost ready-made for other platforms. It also offers quick debugging. Because of these virtues, it takes relatively shorter than native iOS or Android frameworks, to create an app that your business wants. So, precisely because of the shorter development time that Xamarin offers, the app takes a faster time to market.
One – apps developed in Xamarin offer fewer bugs; two – if there are bugs, it’s easier to debug the apps on devices and emulators simply through Visual Studio or Mac.
As the developer goes on to validate the code for multiple platforms at the same time, it becomes comparatively easier to keep the code bug-free. Testing is done using Xamarin Test Cloud that offers instrumental functionalities like object-based UI testing, continuous integration, fragmentation, reports, etc. Xamarin also offers Xamarin Insights, an app monitor module that lets you track the performance of your app in real time.
All these features ensure that there is a constant improvement with minimal re-work.
It’s particularly easy to integrate Xamarin with SDKs of mobile OS, and makes use of some common APIs (platform specific). It helps create top-quality mobile apps by providing strong cohesion to SDKs and APIs of multiple platforms. This is what makes it future-ready for lending support for new features as soon as they are put into an OS of a device. That is what accounts for the user-friendliness of Xamarin mobile apps.
Great Community and Assistance
As important as functionalities, is the assistance. By the virtue of being a relatively old framework (it came out in 2011), a large community that is well-versed with Xamarin has formed around it. So, there already exists massive technical support (including communities, forums, and websites) that can lend help anytime you need.
How to Choose a Xamarin App Development Company
Now, there are always two sides to mobile app development – the business side and the technical side. As is evident, both need to be taken care of. While it is the developer who needs to take care of the technical aspect, it is the business that needs to do some sound homework before the developer is hired. These business considerations will decide if Xamarin is the apt framework for development if mobile app development is viable for a particular business yet, what sort of development company you should be hiring, and well, how you should carry out the process.
Key Considerations for Hiring a Xamarin Development Company
The very first step in moving towards hiring a developer is to set your app requirements. It is important that you have a clear case about who your target audience is and what value you wish your app to offer to them. See if your business idea fits into the app design? Will the app help you acquire customers?
The operating systems that you want your app on, the audience that you are targeting, the features that you want your app to have – all these requirements need to be set before you aim for mobility.
Once these requirements have been set after meticulous planning, your search for a developer will begin.
Once you have the apps requirements, the next step is to set a budget. Depending on your budget, you will need to choose among an in-house developer a team of developers, a freelance developer, or a development company. Each has its upsides. However, in the case of a development company, you should expect a stronger portfolio and better expertise than the other two cases.
Whatever your preference is, make sure you discuss the following:
- What price model will you be following – fixed, hourly, dedicated offshore resource, etc.
- What methodology do they work on – Agile Estimation or Waterfall?
- Will they be willing to sign a fair legal contract, that binds the business and the app development company/developer for the said project?
Do care to look at the company’s portfolio. A strong and proven track record is what your business should be looking for. Analyze their portfolio closely to take a look at the kind of work they’ve done before.
You will need concrete answers to questions like – how many successful projects have they delivered? Have they had projects similar to yours? How many developers will be on the team? How long will they take to deliver the app?
A company’s case studies are another good way to check what the company’s projects in Xamarin app development have been like.
Experience in App Development
It is always recommended to hire a company which has a history of app development. The idea is to go for the one that has been developing mobile apps, in general, and Xamarin apps, in particular, for years and for varied projects. Companies that pass these criteria are more likely to understand your business requirements.
If you are looking for an app experience that precisely caters to your requirements and is perfectly accepted by your target personas, it is important to hire professional(s) that hold experience in Xamarin app development. The reason is simple – you can expect fewer mistakes and more efficiency. Any experience ranging from 3 to 5 years is considered great, given that Xamarin was launched only in 2011.
Apart from years of experience, there are several technical considerations including programming skills in C#, and .NET, familiarity with the framework, and tools and testing options, that you need to take care of.
Over the past 7 years, Xamarin has come up as a comprehensive solution for developing cross-platform mobile apps. From code reusability to easy integration, from lower development costs to faster time to market, there are numerous advantages that both business and developers reap by using Xamarin. As cost-effective, reliable, and comprehensive as it is, it remains one of the most preferred mobile app development frameworks. These are precisely the reasons why businesses hire Xamarin developers to create cross-platform apps that have a native-like user interface.
When it comes to hiring, the knowledge that we just shared can be extremely instrumental. It takes sound business planning before you can go on to create the app. Once you are through that, it will be easier for you to make the hiring decision. The tips that we’ve shared will help you understand the indispensable requisites that go into planning before you can choose the top Xamarin app development company for creating your mobile apps.