Silver Bullet for Native Cross-Platform Apps?

The app market is competitive, to say the least. There are thousands of brands building apps that fight for customers' interest, which gives consumers not only a wealth of options but a wealth of market power. These consumers, by the actions taken via the brands' apps, send important and immediate messages to companies about the relative importance of their app, and ultimately, their brand. This heightened state of competition and consumer power puts a lot of pressure on brands to build the right apps with the right features; and needless to say these apps must absolutely be optimized for mobile and every device on every platform.

As a result, brands nowadays must not only launch a mobile app, but they also need to ensure that it's one of the best available. And on top of that, those apps should be feature-rich and accessible on a variety of mobile devices and operating systems. This puts a lot of pressure on businesses, especially when they don't have any expertise whatsoever in mobile app development – let alone creating apps natively on multiple platforms. But as it stands, consumers aren't letting any brands off the hook.

This means that companies need to think and act fast. They must have tools that make native cross-platform app development easy and lifecycle management just as simple, and they should have teams of expert consultants to help guide them through app building and assist with support. These are the precautions that other brands with great apps are taking to succeed.

Xamarin allows companies to provide mobile app users with better experiences.

A solution for rapid development

Therefore, it's no surprise that many consider Xamarin, a cloud-based rapid development platform, to be a silver bullet for native cross-platform mobile app creation and management. As Maribel Lopez, founder of Lopez Research, said in an article for Forbes, a tool such as Xamarin allows companies to provide mobile app users with better experiences, and it offers brands a solution for quickly developing, scaling and supporting apps throughout their entire lifecycles. This way, every organization can compete in the mobile app market.

In fact, Xamarin has become one of the most popular mobile app development platforms. Lopez reported that in just 12 months, the number of developers leveraging Xamarin has increased 98 percent. It's because this platform truly gives app users a native experience, and that's all thanks to a coding language called C# – pronounced "see sharp."

In short, C# is perfect for mobile app development, especially when time-to-market is important. It was designed for app creation, and it is familiar enough for developers with skills in C and C++ – two very popular coding languages. But C# really shines when Xamarin is involved.

With C# in the mix

Jim Bennett, a Xamarin-certified developer, spoke to Sam Atkinson of DZone to explain the phenomena that is Xamarin and C# mobile app development. Xamarin is a cloud-based platform for developing, hosting and managing mobile apps, and on the development side of things, it provides developers with frameworks for app creation.

Most importantly, as Bennett said, Xamarin takes C# code and converts it into native code for iOS and Android. This code is functionally the same as what's in other iOS apps, and in Android's case, developers get native byte-code after compiling. No emulation is involved. In other words, Xamarin does the heavy lifting. It creates native experiences from C# – a coding language is much easier to use.

With a solution that enables brands to provide their customers with great app experiences, the only thing left is to debug and launch a mobile app. After all, nowadays, consumers will put down any mobile app that has glitches or frequently crashes. According to AppDynamics, 86 percent of U.S. mobile users send apps to the trash if they encounter too many problems.

A platform plus an experienced team equals success

Thankfully, Xamarin can help in that regard as well. It provides developers and testing teams with access to thousands of real mobile devices via the cloud, ensuring that they can put their apps through the rigors before releasing it to the public. Better yet, Bennett explained that user interface frameworks are complex enough to capture screenshots of problems. That way, testers are the first people to discover bugs and glitches, not end users.

Of course, no platform or technology will create the best mobile app development strategy, or the app itself for that matter. Xamarin might be a powerful tool for app creation but without a keen understanding of the complexities of managing a project of that scale or a team of qualified mobile app developers, brands could get lost. Companies can benefit from partnering with experienced mobile app consultants that provide expertise as well as technical assistance like many other corporations have done in the past to provide their customers with great mobile experiences.