“Instead of Xamarin.Forms, we kept the native front-ends approach,” our Xamarin team explains. “It takes more time and effort to develop, but the end result is bulletproof.”
Don’t get us wrong: Xamarin.Forms is a brilliant idea. The concept is about utilizing XAML to create a unified UI view that is automatically translated into three native ones.
Nonetheless, the functionality is just not there yet. We believe it will be – still, we won’t go with the Forms until the tech can deliver on the promise.
Xamarin is making waves already
Xamarin certainly can be considered a revolution. While Java and .NET are rather hermetic and competitive environments, Xamarin is something that connects developers from both sides of the isle. Looking at this issue from a practical perspective, Java guys who build Android apps are doing two things:
- Front-end with XML.
- Back-end with Java.
If they were to transform to Xamarin, all they would have to do is implement .NET into back-end instead of Java, and then use the front-end knowledge they already have.
Xamarin had its ups and downs over the last couple of years. However, there should be nothing but success waiting for it in the future. While we’re not the first adopters of Xamarin, we surely are one of the early ones.
“In its current stage, Xamarin requires a vast knowledge of native SDK and a proper approach to both the architecture and the design patterns such as MVVM. The majority of Angular and WPF coders will know what I’m talking about,” Slawomir says.
Xamarin’s killer feature
Without a doubt, the most important feature of Xamarin is its ability to take advantage of Objective-C and Java Android libraries.
Swift libraries are not quite there yet, but the integration is ongoing.
A large part of most important native components is already integrated within Xamarin. “You can just download them,” Slawomir adds. “Sometimes, though, we may require libraries that don’t really have their Xamarin alter ego”.
This issue can be solved by generating a port of the libraries originally written in Objective-C or Java. While this may not be as quick and easy as it sounds, the Xamarin community has our backs. And it works both ways.
As Insane Lab, we’re an active member of the community surrounding Xamarin. That’s actually how we got in touch with Miguel de Icaza, Xamarin’s CTO and co-founder, who helped us with the process of becoming an official Xamarin Technical Partner.
“This is going to be a huge deal for us,” says Slawomir Grycz. “Such status was obtained by 250 companies globally. In Krakow, I believe only a handful of companies have received it. Usually, the Technical Partner status is claimed by corporations or firms that employ more than 150 people.”
Currently, Insane Lab employs fewer than 30 people.
Our little Xamarin talks