Xamarin is a platform that allows developers to create Android and iOS applications with a shared C# code base, first introduced in 2011 as a commercial product, and made open source by Microsoft in 2016. It is comprised of 4 components:
- Compiler – produces apps and performs optimizations,
Mono .NET framework – a cross-platform implementation of features from the .NET framework
- C# programming language – because Xamarin is natively compiled, it allows developers to create high-performance C# apps that look and function like native apps
- IDE – Visual Studio for building, and deploying Xamarin apps
The functionality of Xamarin is extended by additional products, like Xamarin.Forms (for prototyping and creating apps with an identical codebase across iOS and Android), Xamarin.Mac (for building Mac OS applications), and platform-specific SDKs.
It’s used by many high-profile companies like Slack, Trello, and GitHub. One of the biggest advantages of Xamarin is that it allows developers to reuse as much as 96% of the source code they write for their apps, which can speed up the production process immensely in comparison to other mobile development platforms.
Xamarin performance on mobile systems is very close to native app performance. It can be compared to Java for Android, and Swift for iOS. The reliability and power of Xamarin is regularly improved by its creators in order to eventually match native development in effectiveness.