We Knew There Had To Be A Better Way To Build Apps

Made for

Developers with a lot of overlap in the code they write for iOS and Android apps. As a cross-development platform, Xamarin allows users to develop and maintain iOS and Android apps using C#.

Not for

Users building complex apps that need to employ the level of functionality that native platforms (Xcode and Android Studio) allow for.

 
Free version
 
$25 - $158/month
Pricing details
Example customers

Features

App Platforms

  • Create native iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac apps in C#.
  • Build native apps for multiple platforms on a shared C# codebase.
  • Use the same IDE, language, and APIs everywhere. Native UI, native API access, and native performance

Development Tools

  • Anything you can do in Objective-C, Swift, or Java you can do in C# with Xamarin
  • Ship cutting-edge apps with same-day support

App Management

  • Use the same language, APIs and data structures to share an average of 75% of app code across all mobile development platforms.
  • Build user interfaces with Xamarin.Forms and share nearly 100%.

Integrations

Vertical Features

Visit Our Recipes Page for specific features for:

  • Cross-Platform
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Mac

Deployment

  • C# uses type inference to give developers more safety in fewer keystrokes, without boilerplate or verbose type annotations.
  • Generics guarantee that collections and other compound types are used safely, without the need for casts or comments.

Pricing

Basic info

 
Free version
 
$25 - $158/month
 

No minimum contract, free version:

  • Xamarin Platform has 30-Day Money Back Guarantee 
 
Monthly subscription
Annual subscription
  • Indie - $25/month  
  • Business - $83/month 
  • Enterprise - $158/month

Reviews

Sort by
 
Client Interview
Mar 16 2016

Xamarin is Fantastic for the Back-end, But Not Great for UI-heavy Apps

3.5

Features: 
3.5
Ease of use: 
4.5
Support: 
3.5
Willing to refer: 
3.5
the reviewer
 
Information Technology
 
11-49 Employees
 
Ukraine
CEO, Seductive Mobile
Max Semenchuk
1
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

Seductive Mobile is an application development studio founded in 2011 with representatives in the United States, Germany, Israel, Australia, and Ukraine. Seductive Mobile has worked with a variety of clients from the enterprise-level down to startups. Seductive Mobile has found that Xamarin is most effective when working on apps with plenty of business logic on the back-end, but little platform-dependent user-interface. Xamarin has been very helpful in driving down cost for Seductive Mobile by allowing one developer to build both iOS and Android apps using C# as opposed to native languages. Seductive Mobile's primary complaint for Xamarin is that it does not support enough core libraries for native UI development. However, overall the client highly recommends Xamarin to others.

OPPORTUNITY/CHALLENGE

Please provide a brief description of your company, as well as your role and responsibilities there.

Seductive Mobile is an award-winning mobile app development studio, with representatives in the U.S., Germany, Israel, Australia and Ukraine. Founded in 2011, we have worked with a number of enterprise-level clients including Samsung, MasterCard, and Philip Morris. However, our primary focus is to work in an agile environment with startups particularly around MVP [minimum viable product] development.

Who is the ideal client for an app developed with Xamarin?

An ideal app to develop on Xamarin is an app with a huge business logic that has less platform dependent UI. Shazam would be a great example of this type of app.

With Xamarin, business logic can be written in C# and then be reused on all available platforms. However, the UI must be done separately for iOS, Android, and Windows phones, using C#, but with the help of native frameworks.

SOLUTION

What advantages does Xamarin have over other cross development platforms?

The compiled application on Xamarin will look and perform like native app, so you shouldn't get into any performance issues, as you might with a more traditional cross platform like PhoneGap. Xamarin's native UI looks more convenient for users and is easier to use.

What are the disadvantages?

You still need to write native UI code, so you need to know how native UI components work on all platforms. Also, not all native libraries are supported, and there is much less codebase and third-party libraries available than in native code writing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

How has the platform helped your development projects?

Xamarin has helped us to develop more iOS and Android applications with fewer developers as a developer only needs to know one language [C#] to write both apps.

FEATURES

What are the features or tools that have most impressed you?  

Microsoft Visual Studio is a very strong IDE [integrated development environment] and supports many features that allow you to create high-end apps. It is impressive and much more comfortable than Android Studio and Xcode.

Are there any areas of the software that are not as strong, and could be added or improved upon?

It would be nice if all core libraries were supported with Xamarin. Also, Xamarin forms could be improved to allow developers to write cross platform UI.

Have you had a positive or negative experience utilizing the platform's support resources?

Fortunately, we have not had to use the support functions very much.

OVERVIEW

We have a few quick questions and, for each question, we ask you to rate the software on a scale of one to five, with five being the best. What would you give the software for functionality of the features available?

Three.

What would you give the software for ease of use or ease of implementation into your business?

Four.

For support, as in responsiveness of the team or helpfulness of the resources available?

Three.

How likely are you to recommend the software to a colleague or similar business?

Three.

For overall satisfaction with the platform?

Three.

3.5
Overall Score
  • 3.5 Features
  • 4.5 Ease of Use
  • 3.5 Support
  • 3.5 Willing to Refer
 
Client Interview
Jan 25 2016

Xamarin's C# Code Base Reduces Development Time

3.0

Features: 
4.0
Ease of use: 
4.0
Support: 
3.0
Willing to refer: 
4.0
the reviewer
 
Information Technology
 
50-200 Employees
 
Coimbatore Area, India
CEO, Technoduce
Saranraj Chinnamuniyappan
1
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The client is Technoduce, a mobile application development studio based in Coimbatore, India. The client utilizes Xamarin as a development tool when it is looking to develop an app quickly and cost-effectively. The client appreciated Xamarin.forms for its ability to share large chunks of our code across platforms and their Test Cloud, which identifies bugs quickly. However, the client was disappointed with Xamarin's footprint, which led to longer download times and required excessive amounts of storage.

BACKGROUND

Please provide a brief description of your company and the role you play there.

Technoduce Info Solutions is a mobile application development company that creates applications for all mobile platforms. We have a team of people who combine their technological expertise with a passion for innovation. In addition to developing applications, we also provide ready-made solutions for clients that help them develop their own custom applications. I am the chief executive officer of Technoduce.

SOLUTION

What advantages does Xamarin have over other cross-development platforms?

The core benefit of the Xamarin platform is that it requires only a single code base for developing applications on all platforms. Its underlying language is C#, and thus projects can be structured to share code that can also be used on many types of mobile phones. Xamarin can also be used to detect bugs and flaws in an app. Simply put, the code reusability feature of Xamarin makes it easier for developers.

What disadvantages do you see with Xamarin?

Xamarin leaves a larger footprint, requires a longer download time and occupies more storage space. The code cannot be shared with other platforms. The support community has a limited capacity for providing instant remedies, and there is only limited sharing of UI [user interface] code across iOS and Android systems.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any success, metrics, or overall results related to your use of Xamarin?

The single code base of Xamarin helps in the faster development of applications with fewer platform-specific bugs. Xamarin makes it easier to develop native apps with its device-specific features while its unique binding technology enables easy updating of features on all devices. Finally, we can select several components for development directly from the Xamarin Component Store.

What are the features or tools of Xamarin that have most impressed you?

Xamarin Designer for iOS removes the necessity of waiting for changes in the coding to sync, and their Studio is the best IDE [integrated development environment] for creating native and desktop applications. I like Xamarin.forms for its ability to share large chunks of our code across platforms, and their Test Cloud enables immediate location of bugs before apps are launched. Finally, their UI uses native controls on each platform making them indistinguishable from each other,

Are there any areas of the software that are not as strong and could be added or improved upon?

The XAML works slowly, making it difficult to access the controls. Moreover, the support community for Xamarin is of limited help in times of emergencies. The inability to scroll both directions in Android apps built with Xamarin is an added concern.

What has been your experience utilizing Xamarin's support resources?

The support service for Xamarin isn't all that much help. It takes too much time for their support resources to diagnose a problem thoroughly and offer a solution. The staff at Xamarin needs to work more on this aspect of their service.

Finally, we have a few quick questions, and for each question we ask you to rate Xamarin on a scale of one to five, with five being the best. What would you give Xamarin for the functionality of available features?

Four.

What would you give the software for ease of use or ease of implementation into your business?

Four.

For support, as in responsiveness of the Xamarin team or helpfulness of the available resources?

Three.

What is your overall satisfaction with Xamarin?

Three.

How likely are you to recommend Xamarin to a friend, colleague or someone in a similar business?

Four.

3.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Features
  • 4.0 Ease of Use
  • 3.0 Support
  • 4.0 Willing to Refer
 
Client Interview
Jan 22 2016

Xamarin, a Great Fit for Microsoft-inclined Clients

4.0

Features: 
4.5
Ease of use: 
3.0
Support: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
4.0
the reviewer
 
Information Technology
 
50-200 Employees
 
Munich, Germany
Xamarin Specialist at *instinctools
Daniil Rybin
1
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The user is *instinctools, a software development firm based in Germany and Belarus. Two years ago, *instinctools developed a dedicated Xamarin to keep up with the growing demand for the platform. In that time, *instinctools has developed a number of successful Xamarin projects. *instinctools typically only recommends Xamarin to clients who are looking to work with a Microsoft back-end and already have experience with .NET and C#. Clients who fit this description have been very happy with Xamarin. The primary, negative feedback the client offered about Xamarin was that developing Android applications was significantly harder than developing iOS.

BACKGROUND

Can you provide a brief description of your company and the role that you play there?

*instinctools is a software design and development firm. We were founded in 2000, and provide a full cycle of custom software development and support for clients from small businesses to enterprises. Currently, *instinctools employs 100-plus highly skilled specialists in Belarus and Germany. Our key areas of expertise include Java-related technologies, front-end and web, mobile (both native and cross platform), Node.js and big data solutions as well as business analysis and consulting, QA [quality assurance], DevOps, and design services. Since 2014, I have headed up our Xamarin department.

How long have partnered with Xamarin?

We have partnered with Xamarin for approximately two years and, in this time, completed a number of successful projects for clients.

EXPERT INSIGHTS

Are you familiar with any other cross-platform solutions? In your opinion, how does Xamarin compare to these solutions?

Our expertise in cross-platform solutions has mostly been with Xamarin, but we have also worked with Titanium and other cross-platform tools like PhoneGap, which is based on HTML. What makes Xamarin special is that it uses its own operating system tools for rendering and not HTML. According to our experience, the greatest advantage to working with Xamarin is the possibility of using C# for near-native capabilities.

What recommendations would you have for someone trying to decide whether to develop natively or on a cross platform?

Cross-platform solutions suit enterprise-oriented needs the best. For example, PhoneGap is perfect for situations, where there is a website, and the application is made as site's extension. Xamarin is most effectively used in two situations, first for native UI [user interface], and second for cross-platform UI on Xamarin.Forms.

The first question to ask when you deciding whether or not to choose Xamarin, is what your developers are experienced in. For developers experienced  in . NET and C#, who are looking to integrate a Microsoft stack back-end, Xamarin is an excellent tool to leverage.

Who is the ideal customer for Xamarin?

An ideal customer for Xamarin has .NET background and Microsoft stack back-end.

The worst customer is the one who has heard many marketing stories and believes that cross-platform solutions are a kind of silver bullet that will always save money and time.

What cost factors should customers be aware of when working with Xamarin, both in the short term and the long term?

Xamarin would be a cost-efficient option if you have a .NET back-end and .NET developers (you don't have to retrain them). Overall, we find Xamarin projects to be as expensive as native or even more.

SOLUTION

Looking back there any areas of the software upon which you feel could be added or improved?

At the moment, Xamarin remains raw. The second is that developing Android apps on Xamarin is a real headache. Something needs to be done here; otherwise, Xamarin's growth will be very restrained.

Have you had a positive or negative experience utilizing the tool's support resources?

As to the communication with Xamarin itself it has been on a very high level all the time. Organizational questions have been solved quickly and effectively. Technical troubles have been solved temporarily by moving to the beta version preview or by waiting until Xamarin improves bugs in general.

OVERVIEW

We have a few quick questions and, for each question, we ask you to rate the software on a scale of one to five, with five being the best. What would you give the software for functionality of the features available?

Four and a half.

What would you give the software for ease of use or ease of implementation into your business?

Three.

For support, as in responsiveness of the team or helpfulness of the resources available?

Four.

How likely are you to recommend the software to a colleague or similar business?

Four.

For overall satisfaction with the platform?

Four.

4.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Features
  • 3.0 Ease of Use
  • 4.0 Support
  • 4.0 Willing to Refer
 
Client Interview
Jan 15 2016

Xamarin Implementation for Web-based App

4.0

Features: 
4.0
Ease of use: 
3.0
Support: 
3.0
Willing to refer: 
4.0
the reviewer
Kumar Aditya
1
The Review
Recommendations

NZ Technologies is an Indian-based development agency focused on building mobile apps. NZ Technologies finds Xamarin to work particularly well for clients who are trying to build cross-platform apps on a short timeline. NZ was particularly impressed with the consistent access to application programming interfaces across various platforms; however, they did say that improvements could be made on the user interface side of Xamarin. Overall, Xamarin is highly recommended to others.

BACKGROUND

Please provide a brief description of your company.

NZ Technologies is a team of more than 30 highly qualified, skilled professionals in the mobile and web applications domain. We provide both complete and partial application development, with a strong focus on project maintenance, allowing us to develop long-term relationships with our many clients – typically small to medium-level companies. We also work as contractors for several employers. Our core specialization is Xamarin, DNN [DotNetNuke], and NOP [no operation] web applications and software development.

Who is the ideal client for an app developed with Xamarin?

An ideal client for apps developed in Xamarin is one with an app that has an extended maintenance cycle. Making a cross-platform app in Xamarin involves special design patterns to partition the code so that the entire business logic can be shared between all the mobile platforms. For small apps, this is not cost-effective but, for larger apps or small apps with extended support and maintenance cycles, sharing of the business logic can be profitable since only one module needs to be modified in order to add new features or make modifications to the existing business logic.

SOLUTION

What advantages does Xamarin have over other cross-development platforms?

Xamarin has several advantages. It allows the business logic to be shared between all mobile platforms and creates native apps as opposed to code that runs in WebView. As such, all advantages that come with a native app come with Xamarin, such as a smooth native user interface experience. In addition, developers can use a consistent set of nonmobile APIs using the .NET platform, instead of having to use a different set of nonmobile APIs for iOS, Android and Windows phones. This makes maintenance easier since multiple codebases, APIs, and developer skills need not be maintained. Developers can also use productivity-enhancing tools, such as ReSharper, to aid in rapid code editing.

Finally, Xamarin provides 100 percent bare metal access to all native APIs and features of the mobile devices as opposed to relying on plug-ins to support native features. For simple form-based apps, even the UI [user interface] can be shared across multiple platforms using Xamarin. Forms, and their component store, allows for the use of ready-made components to expedite development.

What are the disadvantages of Xamarin?

A Xamarin app uses Mono internally and, therefore, cannot be used with other platforms, such as Unity, which also uses Mono since two Mono instances cannot run in the same thread. This is not a major problem, however, as very few apps need to integrate Xamarin and Unity. A Xamarin app maintains an internal Java and Mono instances of objects, so the memory footprint of a Xamarin app may sometimes be rather large. Sometimes, developers have to deal with bugs in the Xamarin platforms that otherwise do not exist in native toolchains.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any successes, metrics, or other feedback related to your use of Xamarin?

We have shipped numerous mobile apps by working with Xamarin successfully, and these are always very much appreciated by our clients. For example, one client needed an app to be delivered in almost half the normal time because it was to be demonstrated at a huge event. Because Xamarin allows us to share code seamlessly, we were able to meet the deadline, and the client was very happy. There is always an advantage to using Xamarin when we are faced with that kind of time pressure.

What are the features or tools of Xamarin that have most impressed you?

Xamarin itself is a kind of glue that brings many already existing technologies – such as PCL, Shared Projects, Mono, Cocoa, Windows SDK and the Android Development Kit – together in a seamless fashion. This integration, along with the use of the component store to ease development, has been very impressive.

Are there any areas of the software that are not as strong and could be added or improved upon?

The visual UI designers are not as strong as the native Android Studio or Xcode. This forces the developers to get the .nib, storyboards, or AXML [the UI] developed in the native tools and then bring them back in for use in Xamarin. For example, in Android Studio, one can see the hex color of any set element as a color chip in the gutter or create an event handler from the UI editor itself. But, in Xamarin, this needs to be done manually. Auto completion in UI code editing is also not available.

Additionally, Xamarin developers often use an external library called MvvmCross to implement the MvvmCross pattern. Native support for such a library would be useful for non-Xamarin.Forms apps because Xamarin.Forms have limited support for the Mvvm pattern.

OVERVIEW

What has been your experience using Xamarin's support resources?

The Xamarin team and the Xamarin community have been very helpful in solving our problems.

Finally, we have a few quick questions, and for each question we ask you to rate Xamarin on a scale of one to five, with five being the best. What would you give Xamarin for the functionality of the available features?

Four.

What would you give the software for ease of use or ease of implementation into your business?

Three.

For support, as in responsiveness of the team or helpfulness of the available resources?

Three.

How likely are you to recommend Xamarin to a colleague or similar business?

Four.

Overall, what is your level of satisfaction with Xamarin?

Four.

4.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Features
  • 3.0 Ease of Use
  • 3.0 Support
  • 4.0 Willing to Refer
 
Online Review
Jan 14 2016

Xamarin Perfect for Mobile App Development Experts

4.5

Features: 
4.0
Ease of use: 
4.5
Support: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
4.0
the reviewer
 
$250 - $1,000/yr. spend
 
Information Technology and Services
 
51-200 Employees
 
India
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

This user recommends Xamarin largely for the time savings it offers their development team. The user highlights that a quicker development time offers clients a lower development cost. This user points out that Xamarin still has room to improve the design aspects of their platform.

TechAhead is a software and application development company. We needed an app development platform which would allow us to deliver high-quality development within a smaller turnaround time for all major mobile operating systems. Xamarin turns out to provide a good business solution tool to do that.

Xamarin, as a product has issues developing apps which require more user-experience, user-interface, or any graphic design, but we are confident that with each new version they release, they work to really improve on those aspects.

Our in-house Xamarin team is performing well. They continue to learn more about the app development tool. Having a team that is able to develop within Xamarin has really helped us to minimize the delivery time on many of our app development projects.

As a pro, the Xamarin development and support teams are quite responsive and provide an excellent level of customer support.

As mentioned, the biggest con is that the tool faces problems when it comes to graphics or apps that require a high-level of automation.

In this era of technology, Xamarin serves as a great tool to make businesses more competitive. It allows us to beat many of our competitors by providing a quick turnaround time with affordable pricing. With Xamarin, users can develop apps for different platforms through a single piece of code drastically cutting the time needed by developers and therefore reducing costs for the developers.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Features
  • 4.5 Ease of Use
  • 5.0 Support
  • 4.0 Willing to Refer
 
Client Interview
Nov 20 2015

Reliable Cross Platform Development

4.5

Features: 
4.5
Ease of use: 
4.5
Support: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
the reviewer
 
Information Technology
 
11-50 Employees
 
Jaipur, India
Founder at ARKA Softwares & Outsourcing
Rahul Mathur
1
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The client is ARKA Softwares & Outsourcing, a mobile and web development agency based in India. The client utilizes Xamarin to develop applications for its clients when it needs a fast and reliable cross-development platform that can share its codebase between iOS, Android, and Windows apps easily. The client has found Xamarin particularly suited to their needs because it has a small startup cost, is user-friendly, and has allowed his developers who are familiar with C# and ASP.NET to work on the same apps with ease. The client would strongly recommend Xamarin to clients looking to develop apps quickly and reliably, but also want simple integrations with cloud services and social networks.

OPPORTUNITY/CHALLENGE

What was the business challenge you were facing that encouraged you to implement Xamarin?

The biggest challenge was the cost of hardware involved with native iOS application development. Xamarin provides us with a platform to develop apps using C# [code], which a number of our team members are quite experienced with. Also with Xamarin, our ASP.NET team will be able to work with iOS applications, too, which is big plus for us.

SOLUTION

Was your company considering other platforms? Why did you choose Xamarin?

For our needs, there are no comparable solutions to Xamarin. It's has a low barrier to entry and is generally user-friendly, which has helped us to increase and speed up the development process.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Why should clients develop an app on Xamarin as opposed to a native platform?

With Xamarin, iOS, Android, and Windows apps can all be developed on single, shared C# codebase. APIs [application programming interfaces] and data structures are also shared as well. This increases the efficiency with which you can develop apps greatly that, in turn, lowers costs for clients.

FEATURES

What are the features or tools that have most impressed you?  

The UI [user interface] components of various types, especially the charting components, are very useful. Xamarin also supports various cloud services, such as Amazon, Microsoft Azure, and Salesforce, which is helpful. Social network components, such as Pinterest and Facebook, are added easily as well.

Are there any areas of the software that are not as strong, and upon which could be added or improved?

Core Java and C-Object offer areas of improvement for Xamarin.

OVERVIEW

We have a few quick questions and, for each question, we ask you to rate the software on a scale of one to five, with five being the best. What would you give the software for functionality of the features available?

Four and a half.

What would you give the software for ease of use or ease of implementation into your business?

Four and a half.

For support, as in responsiveness of the team or helpfulness of the resources available?

Four and a half.

For overall satisfaction with the platform?

Five.

How likely are you to recommend the software to a colleague or similar business?

Five.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Features
  • 4.5 Ease of Use
  • 5.0 Support
  • 5.0 Willing to Refer
 
Client Interview
Sep 08 2015

Software Development Company Intersog's Implementation of Xamarin

4.0

Features: 
4.0
Ease of use: 
4.0
Support: 
3.0
Willing to refer: 
4.0
the reviewer
 
$10,001 - $100,000/yr. spend
 
Information Technology and Services
 
51-200 Employees
 
Chicago, IL
Head of Marketing, Intersog
Vik Bogdanov
1
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The client is Intersog, a software and application development company headquartered in Chicago with development capabilities heavily in Ukraine. This client was in need of a cross-platform development tool that would accelerate their development process across iOS, Android, and Windows applications. This client highly recommends Xamarin for applications that are not external stakeholder facing and don't require a lot of visual content. This client recommends Xamarin as a great tool for business solutions targeting employees or internal customers.

BACKGROUND

Can you please provide a brief description of your company and the role that you play there?

I'm the head of marketing and public relations. Intersog is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. We provide custom software development – mostly mobile development. Right now, we are targeting innovative technologies – wearables, Internet of Things and big data. We've been in the software development business for 10 years. 

OPPORTUNITY/CHALLENGE

What was the business challenge your company was facing that incited the need for this platform?

In today's software development realm, the business is focused on getting deliveries fast from their provider so that they can speed up their time to market and optimize costs. For us, as a company that services businesses that provide enterprise solutions, our aim is to satisfy our clients and speed up the delivery of the software that they're requesting from us.

Therefore, if we only coded from scratch, then the time to code would extend significantly and this would have negative effects on our delivery promises. Therefore, it's critical for modern mobile developers to use different platforms or some pre-developed tools and frameworks that facilitate the process and allows developers to make fixes or user interface changes quickly while remaining focused on providing high-quality code in the main architecture. I wouldn't say that we had a business challenge that drove us to use these types of platforms and tools, but it's more of a requirement when there are time constraints.

SOLUTION

How does your company implement this platform or software?

Xamarin is a cross-platform tool that allows users to create a single code for many platforms. Our developers usually use Xamarin when they need to develop one app for iOS, Android, and Windows, for instance. They use Xamarin to optimize the development process and to accelerate the time. Xamarin is great for cross-platform development, but it's also preferred for business solutions, just because it doesn't have very good UI [user interface] functionality embedded in it.

RESULTS

Was your company considering other platforms? Why this platform?

Our developers prefer Xamarin and Qt Creator because of the support. These platforms provide various methods of support, and their teams are quite responsive. Compared to other platforms, the support is much better in these tools. Both Xamarin and Qt Creator are slower than the native development tools, but save time across platforms.

FEATURES

Were there any software features and tools that really impressed you?  

Xamarin is not good for UI, but it is great for business solutions or for some internal projects that don't target external stakeholders, and only target employees or internal customers. Xamarin is good for apps that don't require a lot of graphics, imagery, visual content, or widgets.

Looking back, are there any areas of the software upon which you feel could be added or improved?

As for the flaws or drawbacks of Xamarin, if you make one mistake in code, then this mistake will go to all platforms, and you will have to fix that bug on every platform, which can be very time consuming and not very convenient. The Xamarin platform is also slower than native development. It's much faster to build an app in Objective C or Swift, for instance, if we're talking about iOS because it's much faster.

Have you had to interact with the platform's support team or reference their support resources?

Yes. We consider the support team good.

OVERVIEW

We have a few quick questions and, for each question, we ask you to rate the software on a scale of one to five, with five being the best. What would you give the software for functionality of the features available?

Four.

What would you give the software for ease of use or ease of implementation into your business?

Four.

For support, as in responsiveness of the team or helpfulness of the resources available?

Three.

For overall satisfaction with the platform?

Four.

How likely are you to recommend the software to a colleague or similar business?

Four.

4.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Features
  • 4.0 Ease of Use
  • 3.0 Support
  • 4.0 Willing to Refer
 
Client Interview
Aug 18 2015

AltexSoft's Move Into Mobile Application Development With Xamarin

4.0

Features: 
4.0
Ease of use: 
4.5
Support: 
3.5
Willing to refer: 
4.0
the reviewer
 
$10,001 - $100,000/yr. spend
 
Information Technology
 
51-200 Employees
Director of Technology, AltexSoft
Andrey Chekh
1
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The client is AltexSoft, a software development company that needed an entrance into mobile application development. AltexSoft has a depth of expertise in .NET development which made Xamarin a viable tool for their development team. This client typically recommends Xamarin for long-term projects, when the need for a mobile application is part of a larger technology system, and when the application does not need to be built from scratch. The client highlights Xamarin as a great tool for building for the Android OS but often utilizes PhoneGap when specifically building for iOS due to the prevalence of bugs and necessity to install multiple tools in order to develop on iOS using Xamarin.

BACKGROUND

Can you please provide a brief description of your company?

AltexSoft is a software development services company. We provide software development services for clients throughout the world. Our focus is custom development in several stacks, like .NET. We also do PHP/HTML and JavaScript. Our core expertise for custom software development is within .NET mostly.

What role do you play there?

I am the director of research and technology. I oversee our company's technology and expertise development processes. I also lead our technology research on where to direct our internal resources with regard to the future technologies.

OPPORTUNITY/CHALLENGE

What was the business challenge your company was facing that incited the need for this platform?

Our main challenge was that we needed to enter mobile development and we were choosing between starting by developing our native mobile development expertise or trying to apply our existing .NET skills to mobile platforms. Xamarin is basically a .NET-based tool, so we decided to use Xamarin to help us apply existing skills to new platforms.

SOLUTION

How does your company implement this platform or software?

We've built a dozen small mobile applications for iOS and Android using Xamarin. Our focus as a software development company is the development of full solutions. Most are line of business products for our clients. It means that the business of our clients is built and constructed around the products we develop for them. Mobile technology is a vital part of most technology products existing on the market right now as long as that continues to be the case, we expect that cross-platform technology and Xamarin will be complementary to our main services.

Was your company considering other platforms? Why this platform?

We have evaluated the most popular platforms. There are so many cross-platform tools on the market. Our choice was based first on whether the cross-platform tool provided decent code re-usability and whether re-usability is functional between platforms, we didn't want to have to create applications for each platform from scratch. We also wanted a platform that utilized our core expertise, .NET. Lastly, the platform actually had to build useful and good-quality applications.

The modern applications are very strict, especially when it comes to user experience. Today's app platforms and tools should provide nearly perfect user experience in order to be competitive with native application development. With regard to these criteria, Xamarin was the best tool because it helped us re-use our existing .NET skills, it provided some level of code re-usability between different platforms. Although there is not as much re-usability as we would hope, Xamarin applications feel like native applications so there is no compromise for user experience, as opposed to PhoneGap and Appcelerator-based applications, which are not capable of providing native user experience.

On an annual or monthly basis, how much does your company spend to utilize the platform?

The Xamarin license is very costly. Right now, we mostly push the costs of those licenses to our clients. We typically recommend Xamarin to our clients for their long-term projects and, as part of this long-term relationship, we delegate the purchase of the licenses to our clients. We only assist them with this purchase process.

We do have internal licenses, but we only have two – one for iOS and another for Android – and we use them interchangeably between our engineers in order to build smaller short-term projects when it doesn't make sense to recommend clients to buy a license for themselves.

RESULTS

Can you share any success, metrics, or overall results of your implementation of this platform?

We noticed that the effort to build an application using Xamarin is not significantly different from building the application using a native platform, at least with the expertise our developers have. As a drawback, the number of people with Xamarin skills on the market is much lower than for native platforms. With regard to this, Xamarin is right now less likely to be used for smaller mobile projects, or when we build a project from scratch.

For us, Xamarin is the tool of choice when providing a mobile app as part of a larger solution. The advantage here is a shorter cycle for implementation of changes for the application and the larger system. The changes in the data model and the business logic model should be propagated throughout all the other layers of the system, like the web frontend, database, and constraint rules.

With regard to large systems, the mobile aspect is typically one of the smaller parts of the system. It's much easier to implement such changes when the old code base uses the same tool chain, all code is stored in a single repository, and everybody has access to the old code and has visibility of the code changes needed.

FEATURES

Were there any software features or tools that really impressed you?  

It's not about the features as much as the functionality. For example, when I evaluated Xamarin for a simple application, it turned out that the Android OS platform did not provide a well-built media player. In this case, Xamarin was a great option, finding that I could spin up a socket server inside of the application and allow the internal Android media player to receive data from the local socket, instead of loading data from an external source allowed me to build a reliable application with Xamarin.

Looking back, are there any areas of the software upon which you feel could be added or improved?

I don't like how Xamarin works with the iOS platform. In essence, it turns out that we need to install Xamarin tools to both the Mac device and the Windows device in order to build the application, not to mention the bugs that still show up. With iOS implementations, I tend to prefer PhoneGap. PhoneGap has their cloud service, and you just need to provide the necessary keys and additional information in order to build the iOS package. I understand that there are restrictions from Apple for building, mostly licensing rather than technical but, as you can see, Adobe PhoneGap somehow overcame these things.

OVERVIEW

We have a few quick questions and, for each question, we ask you to rate the software on a scale of one to five, with five being the best. What would you give the software for functionality of the features available?

Four.

What would you give the software for ease of use or ease of implementation into your business?

Four and a half.

For support, as in responsiveness of the team or helpfulness of the resources available?

Three and a half. I did have interactions with the support team. For our business license, they didn't have a very fast response time.

Overall, satisfaction with the platform?

Four. It's very good especially for Android applications, but it can still improve.

How likely are you to recommend the software to a colleague or similar business?

Four. Xamarin has advantages. I usually do recommend it, but as I said, it is no silver bullet, and it doesn't provide significant benefits for all types of projects.

4.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Features
  • 4.5 Ease of Use
  • 3.5 Support
  • 4.0 Willing to Refer
 
Client Interview
Aug 13 2015

Software Development Company, Eleks, Implements Xamarin

4.5

Features: 
5.0
Ease of use: 
4.0
Support: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
4.0
the reviewer
 
$1,001 - $10,000/yr. spend
 
Information Technology and Services
 
501 -1000 Employees
 
Lviv, Ukraine
Product Manager, Eleks
Markiyan Matsekh
1
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The client is Eleks, a large software development company. This client largely focuses on native development, but their development team has extensive experience with Xamarin and another cross-platform development tool, PhoneGap. This client points to the fact that based on application requirements and budget sometimes a cross-platform tool is the most viable option. In the case of Xamarin, the client highlights the ability to reference extensive third-party native libraries to speed up development. This client recommends Xamarin as a development platform but points out that it requires a very specific and unique skill set. The most successful developer on Xamarin will need to have a good grasp of Java (native Android), Objective C (native iOS), C#, and .NET.

BACKGROUND

Can you please provide a brief description of your company?

Our company, Eleks, provides software development in the spaces of mobile, data-driven, and digital products. We do custom software development, but mostly full-cycle development with UX [user experience], QA [quality assurance], business analysis, and support. We've been doing this for about 20 years, and we have about a thousand employees at the moment.

What role do you play at Eleks?

I am the product manager of mobile and wearable technology.

OPPORTUNITY/CHALLENGE

What was the business challenge your company was facing that incited the need for this platform?

We do most of our projects native, so it's either an iOS or Android environment. We've done research on both Xamarin and PhoneGap. We've tried their commercial products, so we can share our insights. But, to be honest, after using both of these platforms, we still prefer the native environment.

We are always looking for the best way to develop the app based on its requirements. From our research, there are cases when cross-platform tools are more efficient, either in terms of budget or efforts, for a specific application. With PhoneGap, we did some research to form an opinion on what the platform can do and what it can't.

With Xamarin, we did some research to understand if the platform could conform to the needs of our clients and worked to understand in which cases we should use it and in which cases not. We've made our conclusions, and we have completed one commercial project and a few smaller consulting projects where Xamarin was used.

SOLUTION

How does your company implement this platform or software?

Before starting the project there is always the question of which platform should we use for building this app. In most cases, native is simply the easiest and most straightforward choice for long-term projects. In some cases, Xamarin and PhoneGap may be a better option.

Was your company considering other platforms? Why this platform?

We also took a look at Appcelerator Titanium. We performed our research, we tried to build a test application and see if it was more productive than with native or other approaches. We were quite disappointed. The research was performed in mid-2014, and our conclusion was that, at that time, Appcelerator was immature for our needs. The amount of effort it took to build custom applications with custom needs, for multiple platforms, was just too much of a struggle for the result.

We sometimes look at different platforms but, as we see it, regarding the techniques and how the mobile platforms work, it's usually a similar approach either to PhoneGap or to Xamarin, whether it's a web-view inside an app or it's cross compiling. We tend just to focus on the platforms that are the most popular.

In our case, when we build apps for our customers, we want to make sure the platform is reliable. Reliability is the minimum requirement. Platforms must also have a strong community, we want to know that other reliable companies or partners have used this technology successfully. Once we build products, they will usually be live for a couple of years, and it's a very painful to change platforms midway through a project.

On an annual or monthly basis, how much does your company spend to utilize the platform?

For Xamarin, it's a bit expensive. For small projects, Xamarin wouldn't be a good option because the licensing would take a big part of the project budget. The licensing for Xamarin is per year, platform, and developer. We only have a few engineers who specialize in Xamarin, and we don't have enough commercial products to enroll for a bigger pricing plan. We usually buy Xamarin licenses per project, and we do not expense it separately to the customer; we include it in our total price to the client.

With Xamarin, the question is always "is this project big enough to make using Xamarin make sense but also is it small enough that the downfalls of using Xamarin won't influence the final product?"

RESULTS

Can you share any success, metrics, or overall results of your implementation of this platform?

For the specific cases that we developed an app, Xamarin was OK. With Xamarin, we expected the ability to be able to reuse more code.

FEATURES

Were there any software features or tools that really impressed you?  

With Xamarin, what we love is that we can use third-party native libraries, iOS and Android, when we need to. It's quite extensible. What we really loved is that we can use our favorite .NET libraries because we have a lot of .NET engineers at Eleks. I have a background in C#, and many of our folks think it's one of the most beautiful languages and the easiest to use. Having a platform you can code in C# for mobile development is definitely a plus.

Looking back, are there any areas of the software that you feel could be added or improved upon?

In terms of choosing Xamarin as a platform and maintaining Xamarin expertise in-house, the biggest drawback is that the developer needs to know iOS, Android, C# and .NET. That's a very unique skill set. It's usually difficult to find a good iOS engineer or an Android engineer. Finding one who knows both platforms, C# and .NET is quite difficult. You need to grow this expertise, and you need to invest in this. Developers don't have to learn Objective C, which is nice, but you still need to understand the framework, the classes, interactions and best practices. The knowledge base needs to be big, that's a drawback of Xamarin.

In general, Xamarin is a great tool but it needs some work, particularly on user interface.

Have you had to interact with the platform's support team or reference their support resources?

From what I've seen, my personal experience on their websites, and what I've heard, Xamarin has very great support.

OVERVIEW

We have a few quick questions and, for each question, we ask you to rate the software on a scale of one to five, with five being the best. What would you give the software for functionality of the features available?

Five.

What would you give the software for ease of use or ease of implementation into your business?

Four.

For support, as in responsiveness of the team or helpfulness of the resources available?

Four and a half. I think the community is good. Stack overflow is filled with questions.

For overall satisfaction with the platform?

Four and a half.

How likely are you to recommend the software to a colleague or similar business?

Four. It depends. I cannot recommend it in each case. For some of the cases, with specific requirements – yes. In other cases – not.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Features
  • 4.0 Ease of Use
  • 4.5 Support
  • 4.0 Willing to Refer
 
Client Interview
May 14 2015

App Development Company's Implementation of Xamarin

4.0

Features: 
4.5
Ease of use: 
4.0
Support: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
4.0
the reviewer
 
$10,001 - $100,000/yr. spend
 
Information Technology and Services
 
11-50 Employees
 
Ukraine
eGo Creative Media Solutions Team
1
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The Xamarin partner is eGo Creative Media Solutions. eGo Creative Media Solutions is a Ukraine-based software and application development agency that currently uses the Xamarin platform for nearly 80 percent of their multi-platform app development projects. eGo Creative Media Solutions has been very satisfied with their ongoing partnership with Xamarin. This client recommends Xamarin for the ease of implementing native features and Xamarin's frequent updates to improve the platform's usability.

Editor's Note:

This interview was conducted with four members of the eGo Creative Media Solutions team. eGo Creative Media Solutions is a Ukraine-based software and application development agency. Currently, with the help of the Xamarin platform, the eGo Creative Media Solutions team develops applications and stores their base code under one roof.

From the eGo Creative Media Solutions team, Clutch spoke with Vladimir Kuzmenko, the technology lead developer, Yana Trihub; head of sales and marketing; Katerina Minina and Oksana Kuradovets, the lead project managers.

BACKGROUND

Give a broad overview of how you use the Xamarin platform.

Katerina: We use Xamarin to build products when our clients require the application to run on several platforms including iOS, Android, and Windows. Xamarin gives us a way to share code across those platforms. This helps us and our clients achieve business goals faster and have the final product available on different platforms sooner. Ultimately, we do not have to spend tons of time building the app from scratch for each additional mobile platform.

OPPORTUNITY/CHALLENGE

What was the business challenge your company was facing that incited the need for an application development platform, and what was the business goal you were hoping to accomplish?

Katerina: There were tons of requests from clients to speed up the development and make the product run on multiple platforms because the end client and user would need to access the application from multiple platforms. We had many of our clients who wanted their app to reach a broader audience, and we found the implementation of Xamarin as a great solution to satisfy that need. Our .NET development team started to work with Xamarin and then began to teach the technology to other teammates.

SOLUTION

Did your company have a formal selection process for deciding on a mobile app development platform? Was your company considering other platforms? Why this platform?

Katerina: Initially, we started developing only native apps, typically based on the client's preference. As for other solutions, we used PhoneGap for one of our projects previously, but we found that that the final product was not comparable. PhoneGap is just not as easy to achieve native performance or usability for apps. In addition, PhoneGap didn't allow us to implement all of the native features that Xamarin does.

Yana: We have a blog post on our website where we compare these two technologies – Xamarin and PhoneGap.

What pricing does your company utilize?

Yana: We are a Xamarin authorized partner. Our team currently utilizes three different licenses: Xamarin Android - Business, Xamarin iOS - Business, and Xamarin University - Business. These fall under Xamarin's mid-tier solution just under their enterprise-level license. We use Xamarin University to improve our skills in new areas and for training beginners new to the Xamarin platform.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any success, metrics, or overall results of your implementation of this app development platform?

Katerina: Xamarin really helped to speed up our development process. We are using Xamarin for nearly 80 percent of our multi-platform projects, reserving and re-using 60 percent of the code when we migrate applications on to an additional platform. We have seen great results getting our clients to market faster so they are able to kick off advertising and marketing campaigns faster. Overall, the apps are in front of the users on both the iOS and Android platforms faster with less work. This has been the usual case with our Xamarin development process. However, at times, we have to put additional development focus on platform specific features but, in general, app functionality works very well.

FEATURES

Were there any software features or tools that really impressed you and by which potential buyers should be aware?

Vladimir: In the past, we mainly used the .NET stack to develop previous products. Xamarin gives our .NET Web developers a chance to develop native apps in C# that also have native performance. Xamarin is also great because our developers do not have to spend a lot of time to learn C# if they are already a Microsoft certified developer. 

Looking back, were there any areas of the software that you feel are not intuitive or upon which you feel could be improved?

Katerina: We are in touch with the Xamarin support team occasionally. The platform is still rather fresh and new and, in some instances, it is not 100 percent reliable, unfortunately. It is in these cases where we needed to contact the support team to solve issues. Xamarin is continuing to make improvements to the platform, which is great, so it is very much an ongoing process right now. 

OVERVIEW

We have a few quick questions and, for each question, we ask you to rate the software on a scale of one to five, with five being the top score. What would you give the software for ease of use and implementation?

Four.

What would you give the software for desired functionality of the features available?

Four and a half.

For support as in responsiveness and resources available?

Four and a half.

For overall usability and satisfaction with the platform?

Four.

How likely are you to recommend the software to a colleague or similar business?

Four.

4.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Features
  • 4.0 Ease of Use
  • 4.5 Support
  • 4.0 Willing to Refer