New to Xamarin, what can it do?

Swe44Swe44 SEMember
edited July 2015 in General

Hi.. I have been building apps for 3 years using GM studio... and I am very tired of it being limited with it's sandbox features etc...

How is Xamarin in comparison? Does it have any limits or is anything possible?

Is it possible to for example create account systems such as "login with facebook", upload images and files to the app from the local device storage, or/even networking functions such as chat, online game battles etc...?

How is the learning curve for Xamarin? Is it easy to learn? Are there any good tutorial sources out there?

I presume it uses C++ as programming language?

EDIT: Is Xamarin Studio really free? Or are there hidden cost? Can I really develop a full app and publish it completely free??

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Answers

  • JasonAwbreyJasonAwbrey USInsider, University, Developer Group Leader mod

    Xamarin is essentially a wrapper around the native iOS and Android APIs. Anything you can do natively you should be able to do with Xamarin.

    Xamarin primarily uses C# as it's language, with some F# support.

    The Developer center (see top menu) is full of articles, walkthroughs, and complete sample apps.

    There are multiple license tiers available. There is a free tier, but it is fairly limited. You can get a 90 day trial of the Business edition just by downloading it.

  • FredyWengerFredyWenger CHInsider ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Swe44:
    If you want to start with Xamarin, you may have a look at my starter-guide, that I have wrote some time ago:
    http://forums.xamarin.com/discussion/36821/quickstart-guide-to-start-developing-with-xamarin-forms#latest

  • LoriLalondeLoriLalonde CAInsider, University, Developer Group Leader ✭✭✭
    edited July 2015

    Xamarin also supports Portable Class Libraries and Shared Projects which allow you to reuse 75% or more of your code depending on if you're developing Xamarin applications with native layouts or Xamarin.Forms applications with XAML views. The XAML views created in Xamarin.Forms projects only need to be developed once (added within a Portable Class Library), and reused across platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1. When compiled and run on each platform the XAML views will render as native views with the native controls on each platform.

    There is a lot to learn about using Xamarin, so I highly recommend signing up for the free trial offer through Xamarin University. You get a free 30 day trial so you can take some of the intro classes to get up to speed quickly on the basics of developing with Xamarin Studio or Visual Studio: http://xamarin.com/university

    And yes you can develop small apps with Xamarin Studio and publish them without paying for a license, using the Starter edition: https://xamarin.com/starter. The limitation is on app size, but there are quite a few examples which show you apps that are Starter compatible (ie. remains within the app size limit).

  • DaveHuntDaveHunt USMember ✭✭✭✭✭

    Can I really develop a full app and publish it completely free??

    You can develop a full app free (within starter edition limitations), but you can't publish completely free. You still have to have a paid iOS developer account to publish to the Apple App Store.

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