What is Xamarin?
Xamarin is an open source app platform from Microsoft for building modern & performant iOS and Android apps with C# and .NET.
The .NET platform
.NET is a developer platform made up of tools, programming languages, and libraries for building many different types of applications.
The base platform provides components that apply to all different types of apps. Additional frameworks, such as Xamarin, extend .NET with components for building specific types of apps.
Here are some things included in the .NET platform:
- The C# programming language and its compilers
- Base libraries for working with strings, dates, files/IO, and more
- Editors and tools for Windows, Linux, macOS, and Docker
Xamarin extends .NET
Xamarin extends the .NET platform with tools and libraries specifically for building apps on iOS, Android, macOS, and more.
These are some things that Xamarin adds to the .NET platform:
- Base framework for accessing native features
- Extensible Markup Language, known as XAML, for building dynamic mobile apps using C#
- Libraries for common patterns, such as Model View ViewModel(MVVM)
- Platform specific libraries that includes access to APIs from Google, Apple, Facebook, and more to add rich capabilities
- Editor extensions to provide syntax highlighting, code completion, designers, and other functionality specifically for developing mobile pages
Loved by developers, trusted by enterprise
Businesses worldwide, spanning all industries, use Xamarin and .NET to build performant native mobile apps. See mobile apps that other developers have created using Xamarin, .NET, and Visual Studio.
Develop everything in C#
With Xamarin, your entire app is written using C#, from back end code, such as business logic and data access, to native API access.
Because Xamarin extends .NET, you can use the large ecosystem of packages and libraries available to all .NET developers. You can even author your own libraries that are shared between any applications written on the .NET platform.
Apps built using Xamarin leverage platform-specific hardware acceleration, and are compiled for native performance.
Perform a full ahead-of-time (AOT) compilation on apps to reduce startup time, increase memory sharing, and improve performance.
60,000+ active OSS contributors 3,700+ OSS company contributors
Open-source and free
Xamarin is part of the open-source .NET platform that has a strong community of over 60,000 contributors from more than 3,700 companies.
.NET is free, and that includes Xamarin. There are no fees or licensing costs, including for commercial use.
Develop for any platform from your favorite OS
Xamarin apps can be developed on Windows and macOS and run on iOS, Android, macOS, tvOS, watchOS, and more.
The Visual Studio family of products has tools for building .NET apps on any operating system. There are also command line tools and extensions for many popular editors.
Native & Cross-platform Integrations
Apps built using Xamarin have access to the full spectrum of functionality exposed by the underlying platform and device, including platform-specific capabilities like ARKit, CoreML, Fingerprint, Bluetooth, NFC, and more!
Xamarin also integrates with thousands of third-party libraries including Google Play services, Facebook, Google APIs for iOS. You can even bring your favorite native iOS and Android libraries to Xamarin applications with “Binding” projects.
What is Xamarin.Forms?
If you’re building apps with Xamarin, you’ll soon come across Xamarin.Forms.
Xamarin.Forms is an open source cross-platform UI framework from Microsoft for building iOS, Android, and Windows apps with .NET from a single, shared codebase.
Ready to Get Started?
Our step-by-step tutorial will help you get Xamarin running on your computer.
Develop on Windows and macOS