Up until now one could write with Xamarin cross-platform native mobile applications that shared 80% of the code on average with the rest of 20% representing UI code that had to be written separately for each platform. The latest release, Xamarin 3.0, introduces Xamarin.Forms, a MVVM library for writing a single UI code in C# being executed natively on iOS, Android or Windows Phone.
Dropbox developers have recently given some talks describing how they support both iOS and Android in their apps without having to recode everything on each platform. Let's review the reasons that led to their approach, the benefits it brings, and some key points learned through the process.
Facebook has recently open-sourced Pop, the animation engine behind its iOS Paper app. Pop aims at making it easier for developers to go beyond fire-and-forget animations, thus enabling interactive animations. In addition to static animations, Pop supports spring and decay dynamic animations, as well allowing the creation of custom animations.
Microsoft has added native support for hybrid cross-platform mobile applications in Visual Studio 2013 Update 2.
At its F8 developer conference, Facebook announced App Links, an open, cross-platform solution for app-to-app linking aiming at making it easier for developers to link to other applications from their own apps. Besides Facebook, many companies have announced their support for App Links, including Parse, Dropbox, and Spotify. Android, iOS, and Windows Phone are currently supported.
The step-by-step app creation tools provided by backend services such as StackMob enable developers to create mobile apps that they would not otherwise be technically proficient enough to produce. With Stackmob gone, app developers may be searching for a replacement.Here's a look at some of the remaining options for those and other developers looking to find a mobile backend service provider.
Mobile analytics firm Flurry has issued a report analyzing time spent on mobile devices by the average US consumer between January and March of 2014. This is the second such report that Flurry issues, allowing for an interesting comparison year to year showing, among other things, that mobile devices are changing the way the web is consumed.
Crittercism, maker of a mobile app performance management solution, has analysed one month of performance data and compiled it into a Mobile Experience Benchmark report focusing on two aspects of a mobile performance: app uptime and app responsiveness. Results highlight app categories with the highest crash and error rates and provide the basis for a comparison among iOS and Android versions.
Apple has recently announced some changes to its Device Enrollment and Volume Purchase Programs aiming at improving large-scale deployment of iOS devices to enterprise and education customers interested in deploying company-owned iOS devices or instituting a "bring your own device" (BYOD) policy.
Apple is offering registered iOS developers a new microsite collecting in a central location videos, documents, and whitepapers about User Interface design for iOS 7. The new site aims at providing developers with the necessary information "to build polished, engaging, and intuitive apps for iOS 7."
At the Geneva International Motor Show, Apple announced to roll out CarPlay partnering with premium car manufactures. CarPlay fully integrates iOS devices with existing infotainment capabilities of cars. Currently, Apple restricts CarPlay to a few applications like Maps, Phone or Messages. At the moment, there is no public API announced to write CarPlay enabled applications.
Xamarin and SAP Americas announced at MWC 2014 today a partnership aiming to provide .NET mobile developers the necessary tools to access and integrate enterprise SAP data into their applications.
Two recently launched services, Appurify Mobile Platform and Xamarin Test Cloud, promise to help developers and enterprises automate testing and performance optimization of their mobile apps by allowing them to run apps on real iOS and Android devices and supporting automated testing and continuous integration.
Apple confirmed that it acquired Burstly, the owner TestFlight. TestFlight is a beta-testing platform for mobile applications which offers easy-to-use services to help in the process of distributing and testing apps for iOS and Android. Whereas TestFlight will continue to support iOS applications, testing of Android apps will be discontinued by March 21st.
Pebble, maker of the successful Pebble and Pebble Steel smartwatches, opened up its appstore earlier this month. Pebble appstore aims at offering both customers and developers a centralised app distribution channel, thus becoming "the first place where Pebble users look for Pebble apps."