Xamarin is now open-source and free

Xamarin is now open-source and free

In March, Xamarin CEO Nat Friedman announced that the company’s product is now available for everyone, as has gone open-source and free.

This is excellent news for developers everywhere – Xamarin was previously an expensive product, meaning it was difficult for smaller businesses to use and gain experience with the software. Let’s take a closer look at the specifics of the announcement and what it means for developers everywhere.

Xamarin included in every version of Visual Studio

Every edition of Visual Studio will now come with Xamarin for no extra cost. This includes Visual Studio Community Edition, which is free for small professional teams, individual developers, academic research, open-source projects and the education sector.

Mac developers also get Xamarin Studio free as part of their subscription to Visual Studio (Professional and Enterprise models).

Benefits for developers:

Android and iOS apps can now be developed and published from Visual Studio directly, using either C# or F#. App size is not restricted – allowing developers a lot of freedom. 

All Xamarin SDKs are open-sourced

Thanks to some changes to Mono, which you can read more about here, developers are now able to adopt .NET Runtime in any software product, game engine or embedded device. Integrating C# with apps and games across a broad range of platforms and engines, including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and more, is now incredibly easy too.

Additionally, Xamarin SDKs for Mac, iOS and Android will be open-source, as will native API bindings, Xamarin.Forms and basic command-line tools.

Benefits for developers:

The .NET platform is now open-source on every available device, making it much easier for developers to build software in C#. It opens up the market massively and will allow for some really exciting software to be developed.

Xamarin Insights integrated into HockeyApp

In case you didn’t already know, HockeyApp is Microsoft’s tool for distributing mobile apps for beta testing and managing upgrades, while Xamarin Insights is used to seek out and report on issues with apps once released to customers. Xamarin is planning to integrate the two together.

Benefits for developers:

It makes perfect sense to bring these two together, and it will allow users of HockeyApp, who don’t already have Xamarin Insights, to take advantage of its reporting and monitoring capabilities.  

This all sounds great, but what does this mean for us at Microsec?

Well, it underpins even further the investment we've made in Xamarin as our tool of choice for cross-platform mobile development. Microsoft’s commitment to investing in the product show that Xamarin is only going to improve over time. It’s encouraging that so many great changes have been made just a few weeks after Microsoft acquired Xamarin. We bet a whole lot more could be achieved over the coming months!

In addition, the availability of Xamarin for free for small organisations and open-source projects means that more people will be able to gain experience with Xamarin. Some may see this as a threat, but at Microsec we know that it will increase the number of Xamarin-capable developers that we can collaborate with, and that can only be a good thing.

If you have any questions about the takeover, Xamarin have published this helpful FAQ. Alternatively, get in touch with us today by giving us a call on 023 9251 8250 – we’re a certified Xamarin partner, so we know all there is to know about this fantastic piece of technology.

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