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Native or Xamarin

[Ongoing series of blog posts to inform potential developers, users and (hopefully investors) about this new app ecosystem I am architecting, designing, developing and deploying. More details at this page]

With the way mobiles are taking over everywhere, it is a given that if some service is not accessible on mobile – either through a mobile optimized website or an app – then such a service might as well not exist. I once went without paying my home power bill because my utility provider did not have a mobile payment option. Folks may not be able to afford a PC but they can afford a basic mobile. Look no further than my experience with the Micromax P290, right here.

Now, the problem with Android is also a good thing about Android. There are so many ways to develop apps for android. You can use the native development tools. You can use web technologies to build the apps. You can also use c sharp to build apps on visual studio / Xamarin. There are just so many options. The thing about using non-native development tools is that, they allow for multi-platform deployment. For instance, I could (mostly) use the same web based code and then eventually deploy on android, iOS, windows phone, windows desktop and of course in a browser.

As the architect of this project, I must make a choice here. Do I go hybrid and target multiple platforms? Or, do I go native and code using native tools and code. If I choose the latter, then, the apps will only end up on android on nowhere else. In an ideal world, sure, I would love to have my apps running on all mobile platforms. Unfortunately, I must look at my target market and I notice that almost all of them are using android devices. Right now, the way things are, mobile = android.

So yes, going cross platform is not really an option. It simply increases cost. Besides, most of our apps will have an equivalent website anyway, which is mobile optimized anyway. All things considered, it’s Native and not hybrid via Xamarin.

[Last Updated February 10th 2017]

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