C# developers can now create native iOS and Android apps using Microsoft Visual Studio, thanks to Xamarin 2.0, a cross-platform, mobile development product suite recently announced by Xamarin.
Xamarin, a Microsoft Visual Studio program partner, introduced three new components of Xamarin 2.0: Xamarin.iOS for Visual Studio, Xamarin Studio, and the Xamarin Component Store.
Xamarin.iOS for Visual Studio allows Visual Studio developers to build iOS and Android apps in Visual Studio. “Xamarin enables our entire developer ecosystem to extend their skills and build apps for all modern device platforms,” said Mitra Azizirad, general manager of developer tools, marketing and sales at Microsoft. “We are very happy to be working closely with Xamarin to ensure that developers targeting any platform can do so with Visual Studio and C#.”
Xamarin Studio is a cross-platform integrated development environment that allows for native mobile design, development, debugging and deployment. Xamarin Studio is tightly integrated with the Android and iOS SDKs, so developers targeting those platforms can build, test, and debug applications on simulators and real devices. Also, developers can build apps with Xamarin Studio on either Mac or Windows.
The Xamarin Component Store is a catalog of third-party libraries, native UI controls, charts, graphs, themes and cloud services that developers can add to their applications. “We’ve created a place where both Xamarin developers and C# developers can go to find these building blocks easily and then integrate them directly into their apps,” said Joseph Hill, cofounder and COO of Xamarin. “We’ve integrated the store into both Visual Studio and Xamarin Studio.”
There is a free Starter edition that allows developers to try mobile development in C#. This edition lets them write small applications that can then be deployed to devices and published to app stores.
Then there’s an Indie edition that is US$299 per platform per year, and is geared for independent mobile application developers and hobbyists. The Business edition is $999 per platform per year, and now includes iOS support for Visual Studio developers. Finally, the Enterprise edition is $1,899 per platform per year, and is tailored for larger companies. This edition includes a technical kick-off session, a one-business-day SLA, and more than $500 in pre-built app components.