Cross-platform mobile development with Visual Studio 2015


As we are all receiving more and more requests to build mobile applications we need to gear up and embrace modern way of doing cross-platform mobile development. We cannot anymore get dedicated teams on all different platforms (Android, iOS, Windows) and create as many projects as we have form factors (phones with different screen sizes and hardware capabilities, tablets with different sizes ....).

Visual Studio 2015 (just released in July) may be the answer with a dual approach.

Approach 1 : use standards (HTML or C++)

    

CORDOVA

If you’re a web developer, and you’re familiar with HTML and JavaScript, you can target Windows, Android, and iOS devices by using Visual   Studio Tools for Apache Cordova. These apps can target all three platforms and you can build them by using the skills and processes that you’re most   familiar with.

   
 

C++

You can also build a native application for Android or Windows devices with C++ templates (iOS devices are not  yet available).

 

 

Approach 2: select a modern cross-platform framework (Xamarin)

While selecting standards like HTML and C++ sounds appealing as they are, by nature, cross platform, you will face limitation in the user experience you can build and also the final performance of the application.
The solution is to use the Xamarin framework (extension of the .NET framework) 

 

Xamarin

You can build native apps for Android and iOS by using C# and the Xamarin framework (Xamarin apps are built with standard, native user interface controls). Apps not only look the way the end user expects; they behave that way too. Xamarin apps leverage platform-specific hardware   acceleration, and are compiled for native performance. This can’t be achieved with solutions that interpret code at runtime.

 

Jihad DANNAWI
Cloud and ALM solution specialist
Microsoft Gulf
+971 52 908 7952 | jihadda@microsoft.com

 


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