Cross platform mobile development tools C#
You can build apps for iOS, Android, and Windows devices by using Visual Studio, and you can easily add connected services such as Office 365, Azure Mobile Services, and Application Insights to your apps. It’s less expensive to target multiple devices because you can share code, images, strings, and other assets between all your device projects. You can build your app by using the .NET Framework, or by using HTML.
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To build an app for Windows devices, install Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 or later, and then choose a Windows or Windows Phone project. You can target all Windows devices by using a universal app project template. To build an app for Android or iOS, install Xamarin, and then create an Android or iOS project. You can target Windows, Android, and iOS devices in the same solution if you want, and then share code between all your device projects by using a shared project or a Portable Class Library project.
Starting with Windows 8.1 and Visual Studio 2013 Update 2, you can build apps that target Windows phones, desktops, and tablets.
If you want to target all three, consider starting with a universal app project template. These templates give you a solution that contains a Windows project (for desktops and tablets), a Windows Phone project, and a shared project. Shared projects are new in Visual Studio 2013 Update 2. They make it easier for you to write code in one place and consume that code in both Windows and Windows Phone projects.
The following illustration shows all three projects (Windows Phone, Windows, and shared) in a single solution. This solution was created by using the Hub App (Universal Apps) project template.
Universal app projects are available in C# and C++. However, if you’re a Visual Basic developer, you can still target both types of devices by adding separate Windows and Windows Phone projects to a solution, and then using a Portable Class Library project to share code between them.
You can build apps for Android and iOS devices by using C#. To get started, install Xamarin. After you install Xamarin, Android and iOS project templates appear in the New Project dialog box, as the following illustration shows.
These templates expose the native functionality of Android and iOS devices as C# objects. Your apps have full access to native APIs and native user controls, so they’re just as responsive as Android and iOS apps written in Objective-C or Java.
You can include Android, iOS, and Windows projects in the same solution. Here’s a universal app solution that includes Windows, Windows Phone, Android, and iOS projects. All projects can use the code in the shared project.
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