Xamarin, the leading enterprise mobility company, today announced the availability of Xamarin 4, an integrated, end-to-end solution to build, test, and monitor mobile apps at scale through the Xamarin Platform, Xamarin Test Cloud, and Xamarin Insights.
As mobile becomes the primary interface for consumers and employees, businesses are rapidly mobilizing every business function. According to 451 Research, 47% of large U.S. enterprises have deployed 20 or more mobile apps in the last year and 35% have deployed more than 50 apps (source). IDC predicts that the number of enterprise applications optimized for mobility will quadruple by 2016 (source), and mobility will account for 40% of enterprise IT budgets in 2018 (source). Forrester notes that this is igniting a massive technology spending arms race, with mobile investments expected to reach $189 billion by 2017 (source).
Successfully delivering and maintaining hundreds of high-quality, high-performance mobile apps is a challenge for enterprises, especially given the fragmented, rapidly changing mobile device landscape. Xamarin 4, however, cuts through this complexity and makes it possible to design, build, test, monitor, and maintain successful apps at scale, using shared code, a reusable architecture, and repeatable processes for every stage of the app lifecycle. With less code to maintain and automated ways to ensure app quality, businesses are able to deliver greater mobile business value faster.
“Businesses are rapidly ‘appifying’ and transforming their business operations and customer interactions,” said Nat Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Xamarin. “Xamarin 4 provides a solution for every step of the mobile journey, and, along with our expert training and best practices, we now offer a strategic partnership for enterprises serious about winning with mobile.”
Xamarin 4 Features
Xamarin Platform: The only solution for delivering fully native iOS and Android apps from shared code—up to 95% across device platforms. Anything developers can do in Objective-C, Swift or Java can be done in C# with Xamarin.
- Xamarin.Forms 2.0: Xamarin.Forms is a simple API that enables developers to quickly and easily build shared user interface code for iOS, Android, and Windows that are completely native. The 2.0 API now includes more than 40 controls, layouts, and other essential classes, making it possible to share 95% or more of code across device platforms without sacrificing true native performance or experience. Xamarin.Forms 2.0 performs twice as fast, has added enhancements for the latest iOS 9 and Android Marshmallow features, and now supports common gestures like pinch and pull-to-refresh.
- Xamarin Mac Agent (XMA): This all-new component streamlines the path for developers to develop, debug, and build iOS apps from the comfort of Microsoft’s Visual Studio IDE on Windows. Setup is as easy as turning on remote login for the Mac.
- Lifecycle Integration: Xamarin Studio now has Xamarin Test Cloud and Xamarin Insights directly integrated in project templates, with the ability to run automated tests and instrument apps for monitoring directly from within the IDE. This provides immediate visibility into the quality and health of apps during the development process, allowing developers to uncover issues before apps ship, and to quickly respond to issues with live users.
Xamarin Test Cloud: Automated mobile app testing that ensures apps look, perform, and behave well on thousands of devices, and ensures fast release cycles for mobile teams.
- Test Recorder (Preview) is now available for the Mac. Test Recorder uses a simulator or USB-connected iOS or Android device to record interactions—text input, swipes, taps, and page navigation—and automatically creates test scripts that can be immediately run on more than 2,000 devices in Xamarin Test Cloud, or imported into mobile test projects in Xamarin Studio and Visual Studio.
- Xamarin.UITest 1.0, a C# test automation framework, now supports advanced testing scenarios such as testing locally and video capture of tests executing. Previously restricted to just Xamarin Test Cloud customers, the company has now made Xamarin.UITest free for everyone to use, with no limit on test time.
- New pricing options: Mobile quality affects the success of all apps, teams, and companies, and every developer needs access to high-quality test automation. To allow mobile teams of all sizes to take advantage of the more than 2000 devices in Xamarin Test Cloud, Xamarin has rolled out new pricing options starting from $99 per month (billed annually). In addition, Xamarin platform customers now receive 60 free Xamarin Test Cloud minutes per month. These new options, combined with access to Xamarin.UITest, makes mobile quality accessible to everyone.
Xamarin Insights: Xamarin Insights provides real-time app monitoring that helps businesses keep apps healthy and end-users happy. As part of Xamarin 4, Xamarin Insights is now out of beta and is generally available.
- Error reporting for mobile: Enterprises need to quickly address app crashes and production issues to retain users. Insights’ immediate, automatic error reports provide rich diagnostic data, including stack traces, device status information, and user behavior, to allow teams to find root causes and deliver fixes quickly.
- App performance: The length of time it takes for users to perform key functions will often determine the success of an app, as mobile users expect instant access to features and data. With Insights, developers create custom events that detail how long key user interactions and other system events take. Monitoring these performance trends over time ensures that the most important user paths within an app are also the fastest paths.
- User analytics: Understanding how users engage with apps is critical to winning user loyalty and gaining competitive advantage. Xamarin Insights lets organizations see traits, devices, session details, and events for each of their users, providing the intelligence enterprises need to improve the user experience, from new feature discovery to UI refinements.
Xamarin Ultimate: As part of Xamarin 4, the company is rolling out Xamarin Ultimate, which bundles Xamarin Platform, Test Cloud, Insights, and Xamarin University into a complete package for teams to go mobile. As teams get more experience with mobile, they find they need to build more apps than initially anticipated, to add more team members, and to address all aspects of the mobile lifecycle. Xamarin Ultimate makes it easy and economical for a business to scale apps, teams, and to accelerate the mobile lifecycle.
The software, enablement and support needed to operate a successful mobile strategy
With over 10,000 corporate customers, Xamarin 4 is the result of the company’s unique perspective on the most pervasive pain points facing mobile teams. In addition to the product enhancements in Xamarin 4, the company has also grown its course catalog to over 60 mobile development classes in Xamarin University, making it faster for teams to go mobile. In addition, Xamarin now has a team of mobile experts providing best practices guidance, so customers start their mobile journey on the right trajectory. Xamarin 4, combined with enterprise-grade training and support, represents the industry’s most complete solution for successful enterprise mobility.
“As the largest job site in the UK, we need to deliver native apps that work on all devices,” said Yos Noor, Head of Research and Innovation, at reed.co.uk. “Xamarin Platform, Xamarin Test Cloud and Insights have had a tremendous impact on our mobile strategy, providing a complete lifecycle for delivering engaging, high-quality mobile experiences.”
“Strong ratings and customer loyalty have helped us drive millions of downloads, so quality is at the heart of our mobile strategy,” said Steve Robbins, CTO, at MixRadio, a global radio streaming service with millions of downloads. “Using Xamarin gives us a fully native, high-performance app that works on all device types, and has saved us thousands of hours of mobile testing time.”
For additional information on Xamarin 4, benefits, and pricing, and to register for the “Xamarin 4 and the Future of Apps” webinar, visit: blog.xamarin.com.