Pros and Cons of Xamarin

 Published On July 01, 2014

When I worked in [Hatching Lab][], I did some initial study of Xamarin and decided not to use it eventually. We did however, decide to use Ionic for a news app afterwards. Maybe I’ll write something about it later.


  • Cross-platform: the same code runs on both iOS and Android
  • As a cross-platform solution, it’s based on native UI compoentns so the performance is not as bad as PhoneGap etc.
  • As an app oriented solution, an experienced Xamarin developer will be able to deliver an app faster than game based solutions like Cocos2d-js
  • Best for a mockup apps since they don’t require a lot of UI customisation, i.e. doing the most basic things


  • As a cross-platform solution it doesn’t support platforms as many as Cocos2d-js does
  • Unlike Cocos2d-js which is free, Xamarin costs $999 a year for business plan
  • Lastest support for each platform (iOS / Android) is always slow since Xamarin doesn’t have a better channel to work with Apple & Google than any other native developers
  • To become a good Xamarin developer, one needs to master C#, .NET, Xamarin SDK, Xamarin IDE / VS, so:
  • An experienced Xamarin developer is hard to find and the eco system based on Xamarin is not as strong as native iOS / Android community, e.g. in stackoverflow tags
    • android: 603,241
    • objective-c: 211,677
    • xamarin: 13703
    • swift: 37441 (and it’s only released less than half a year while xamarin is there for years)
  • Smaller ecosystem means it’s harder to find answers and will lead to longer time of problem solving
  • Harder to integrate with open source iOS / Android libraries
  • Harder to make an app with a well-designed UI

Tags: Xamarin Ionic Swift Hatching Lab


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