The last month I was trying to find enough time to continue a post I wrote almost one year ago about Xamarin and cross platform mobile programming. At this time, I was speaking about my reasons to change from Flash to Xamarin and not to HTML5, that is the natural change for a frontend developer.
From this moment to now Xamarin has evolved in a very fast way. I’ll try to summarize the most interesting points related with the the platform development:
Asynchronous programming support
With the introduction of async and await keywords I have erased the word “callback” from my head. Now, make a request to an API REST and display a progress component while the data is coming is a pleasant task.
Portable Class Libraries
The concept is very simple: a project that contains code common to all platforms. This code implements only a subset of .Net framework but can be “enhanced” with code on platform projects. Moving as much code as possible to PCLs is the best strategy to face a cross-platform project in Xamarin nowadays.
Stuart Lodge has done an amazing job designing, documenting and promoting the Mvvmcross, a MVVM framework. If we have to move the logic to a common place like a PCL, Mvvmcross is our best friend because not only helps you to create ViewModels, it gives you other patterns implementations like Service Location and Inversion of Control, Messaging, Navigation or different ways of databinding. And more important, Mvvmcross offers a clear workflow to create an app with modern and well documented patterns, a great starting point for newbies (like me).
Is not a secret that Microsoft has considered Mono and later Xamarin as part of the family. But the arrival of Nadella as CEO and his focus on mobile and cloud services has opened a new chapter in the relationship between both companies. Xamarin is crucial in Microsoft strategy to use their tools and languages to publish apps on Google and Apple stores. You only have to check the Xamarin popularity in the last BUILD.
Is very hard to speak about the future in a moment when giants becomes dwarfs in few time (aka Nokia or Blackberry) but I think Xamarin is setting path to be an stable and time-durable platform.
Movement to Xamarin