At Webfuel we write most of our mobile apps using Xamarin, which is fantastic cross platform mobile app framework that allows us to write the app once and have it run natively on iOS, Android, Windows & Mac.
Because of this we're particularly excited by the recent announcement that Microsoft has acquired Xamarin. The Xamarin framework is built on top of the core Microsoft technologies that we use here at Webfuel including C#. The acquisition by Microsoft will ensure that this framework can grow to reach its full potential.
The great thing about Xamarin is that it allows us to write an app using Microsoft's C# language, but when that app runs on a mobile phone it has access to all the native controls, native APIs and native power of that phone. The app doesn't run in simulator or hidden browser like frameworks such as PhoneGap use. It doesn't feel any different to using a 100% native app. But because we can write the app just once our customers don't need to pay for multiple versions of the app to be written to run on Andriod and iOS.
Xamarin is great for small and large apps alike. The quick to market model makes launching a small app very easy. But if your app grows in popularity you can access advanced enterprise features such as online health monitoring of your app using Xamarin Insights and automated testing with Xamarin Test Cloud. These are professional enterprise level services provided by Xamarin to support apps that run across thousands or tens of thousands of devices.
Some apps can run standalone in a client's mobile phone, but others require some sort of back end server support. For example an app may communicate with a database server to store information centrally, or it may require frequent updates or pushing down data such as new events or offers. In this case the app will need to be supported by a server side platform. We use Microsoft Azure cloud hosting for such scenarios. As you'd expect Xamarin integrates easily with Microsofts own hosting platform, and because our servers are cloud hosted they automatically scale to meet the kind of demands that a popular mobile app makes.
Over 15,000 companies already use Xamarin to power their mobile apps, and over 1 million developers are building on the platform. If you are considering having an app developed, small, or large, then please give us a call so we can discuss how we can leverage the power of this framework to turn your ideas into a reality.
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