Xamarin makes it easier for mobile app developers to share code across multiple mobile platforms. It is used widely by developers to build iOS, Android and Windows Phone apps using the same C# code. But the developers now have option to use Xamarin Forms which was introduced in version 3.0 of the cross-platform mobile application development platform.
As a cross-platform UI API,enables developers to create and share user interfaces across iOS, Android and Windows Phone. At the same time, they have option to use native controls of each mobile platform while creating the user interface. Thus, it becomes easier for them to customize the user interface’s look and feel of the user interface for individual mobile platforms.
Major Advantages of Xamarin Forms over Xamarin
Rapid Prototyping of Mobile Apps
While creating complex mobile apps, developers often have to spend a lot of time and effort on prototyping. Along with being written in C#, Xamarin Forms applications are native. So these applications can take advantages other APIs and features of the underlying mobile platform. For instance, theiOS. Likewise, the applications can also utilize Tiles on Windows Phone, or Google Play Services and NFC on Android. The developers also have option to use certain parts of the user interface using Xamarin Forms, and other parts using native UI toolkit.application can avail PassKit, StoreKit, CoreMotion and similar features on
Option to Decide User Interface Development Technique
Xamarin Forms further allows developers to create user interfaces in two distinct ways. The programmers can avail the API provided by the framework to create user interface views completely with source code. At the same time, they can also create user interfaces using Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML). As a declarative markup language, XAML can be used effectively to define the user interface. However, the user interface needs to be defined in a XML file, whereas its run time behavior has to be defined in a separate code-behind file. Thus, the developers can choose the right user interface development technique to save both time and efforts.
While creating applications, the developers have option to use several pages. The pages can be defined as the application’s screens. Based on the mobile platform, a page can be a View Controller in iOS, an activity in Android, or a Page in Windows Phone. The developers can customize the user interface’s look and feel by using several types of pages including content page, navigation page, tabbed page, carousel page, or master detail page. The pages make it easier for developers to customize the app’s look and feel without writing longer lines of code.
Variety of Layouts
Like pages, Xamarin Forms allows developers to use a variety of layouts. They can further use the layout as a container for both views and other containers. Based on the requirements of the application, the programmers can use stack, absolute, relative, or grid layout. The stack layout allows users to position elements in a single line, whereas the grid layout displays the elements in rows and columns. Likewise, absolute layout displays the elements at absolute positions, whereas relative layout displays elements based on constraints.
The mobile app developers can also use over 40 views as user interface elements. Normally, the end-users will interact with these controls. They can use Entry as a single-line form element to receive user input, Button to initiate a user command, Image to display images to the user, and Listview to display information in cells. The developers also have option to create custom views by writing code or defining them within a XAML layout. Along with using the views and controls provided by , the developers can also use views and controls in third-party projects.
On the whole, Xamarin Forms enables mobile apps developers to rapidly create cross-platform user interfaces. In addition to sharing the user interface across multiple mobile platforms, the developers can also use native controls on each platform. Thus, Xamarin Forms significantly reduces the amount of time and efforts required to retain the user interface’s look and feel for iOS, Android or Windows Phone.
Tecordeon is an Authorized Consulting Partner of M/S Xamarin and have developed Multiple Applications using Xamarin Technology. Tecordeon developed apps for iPhone, Android, iPad devices and served clients of various Industry verticals, like media & entertainment, finance, enterprise, lifestyle, eCommerce.