When it comes to cross-application mobile development, Xamarin has been popular for a number of reasons. If you’re a developer or project manager, enlisting in Xamarin training would give your team an edge in this highly competitive arena.

The fact that more than 20% of Fortune 500 companies use Xamarin for app development proves that it’s quickly finding its way into the market. And the fact that Xamarin has partnered with Microsoft who now include templates for cross-platform app building with Xamarin directly in MS Visual Studio should be a sign for developers to update their toolbox.

Traditionally, an app is cross-platform if it works on all device platforms such as Android, iOs, Windows and so on. However, recently, the term “cross-platform” is applied more towards those approaches that facilitate the sharing of a single code base on multiple devices.

If you want to launch an app that works on various platforms, there are three ways to do this. First, you could natively develop an app for each platform. Second, you could create a web app wrapped as a native app. And third, you could do it cross-platform, as a hybrid or with HTML5.

If you want to make a native app for each platform, you have to create a smartphone application that is coded in a specific programming language designed for a particular platform, such as Objective C for iOs and Java for Android operating systems.

This means you would have to design and develop apps for all the desired platforms individually. While it may provide a better user experience, it can be a rather expensive proposition. You would have to separately pay iOs, Windows and Android developers to come up with a single app. Native app development would be more expensive in this case than hybrid or cross-platform development.

The second mobile app development option would be to create a web application wrapped as a native application. This approach would use a web browser and web-view concepts to create an app that runs on all devices.

This requires the developer to write the code in one language, and then a pre-built cross-platform tool would create apps for all other platforms. Frameworks such as Sencha and Adobe PhoneGap follow this approach.

However, the downside is that can remove what users liked about the app in the first place. It can end up stripping away all the look and feel inherent with a native app of that platform. While it may be good for some apps, in many cases it would just annoy and irritate users who are already used to their phone’s native UI.

Besides developing native or web apps, the third option would be cross-platform native applications. It would be a write once, work for all solution. It would allow you to create native apps using different UI for different platforms.

Tools of this trade are Xamarin and Titanium. It divides the mobile development into two main areas, core and platform specific. Xamarin has taken it a step further. They provide an abstraction over different native APIs and allow developers to create cross-platform apps with nearly 100% code reuse. Unlike Titanium and Adobe PhoneGap, Xamarin uses C# and comes with a Visual Studio plugin which allows hassle-free code management.

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