Xamarin, the company with more than 750,000 mobile developers delivering mission-critical enterprise and consumer apps, today announced major expansions to their product lineup that radically improve how developers build, test and manage apps.
At the company’s global developer conference, Xamarin Evolve 2014, the largest cross-platform mobile development event in the world, the company introduced Xamarin Insights and the Xamarin Android Player, along with new features for the recently launched testing service, Xamarin Test Cloud, and new features for the Xamarin mobile development platform. These announcements are the realization of the company’s mission to make it fast, easy and fun to build great mobile apps.
Effectively delivering quality apps is no easy feat in today’s highly complex mobile development landscape, with multiple versions of various operating systems, an incredibly divergent variety of hardware sizes and capabilities, and users with extremely high expectations who will quickly abandon slow apps with poor user experiences.
With today’s announcements, Xamarin provides developers a mobile-first, fully integrated and seamless experience which simplifies and accelerates every stage of the application development lifecycle.
“Our enterprise customers look to Avanade to help them envision what is possible for their current and future mobile needs,” said Dan O’Hara, Avanade vice president of mobility. “Xamarin delivers unmatched technology that allows Avanade to transform these mobile strategies into successful reality for our customers.”
New Xamarin Platform Capabilities for Building Mobile Apps
- Xamarin Android Player – Android developers waste countless hours fighting slow emulator performance and long startup times when deploying and testing apps. Xamarin Android Player provides developers dramatically shorter start up times and the best possible emulator performance through hardware-virtualization and hardware accelerated graphics. The Player makes it easy to test and demo hardware features such as the ability to simulate low battery conditions and set GPS coordinates, and Xamarin will soon release the ability to simulate the back and front-facing camera.The Xamarin Android Player is available as a preview release.
- Sketches – The Xamarin Platform now includes an easy, lightweight way for developers to explore iOS and Android APIs in C# and F#. From inside the IDE, developers can create Sketches that show their code executing in real-time. New mobile developers using C# gain a powerful, yet simple, way to explore iOS and Android, while experienced Xamarin developers now have a fast way to iterate on features and explore new APIs without the overhead of building and running a project.Sketches are available today for iOS, Android, and Mac as a preview in the Xamarin Studio Beta Channel, and are coming soon to Visual Studio for Android, iOS and Windows.
New Mobile App Testing and Monitoring Capabilities
- Xamarin Insights – Xamarin Insights is a new app monitoring service that tracks app crashes and exceptions, and helps developers know real-time what is happening with app users. Developers need to respond to users’ issues quickly, but with limited time and a lot of data to interpret, it is difficult to know which crash issues to tackle first. Xamarin Insights uses a unique algorithm to rank issues according to user impact and reach, so developers know which issues to prioritize. They can see exactly which users each crash is impacting, and what sequence of actions preceded the crash.Integrating event information with user data makes it easier to solve problems and communicate proactively with affected users. Xamarin Insights integrates with Jira, HipChat, GitHub, Campfire, Pivotal Tracker and TFS Online so that developers are instantly notified, and issues are tracked.Xamarin Insights is available as a public beta.
- Xamarin Test Cloud Hyper-Parallel Feature – Xamarin Test Cloud enables mobile teams to quickly test apps written in any language on over 1,000 mobile devices. A single test run may take a few hours to run on device, but with parallelization Xamarin Test Cloud is able to break that run up and execute a single test suite across multiple duplicate devices simultaneously, significantly increasing test results velocity. These new features are immediately available to Xamarin Test Cloud customers. Xamarin’s internal benchmarking test suite takes 2.5 hours to run serially. The new hyper-parallelization feature cuts that down to 12 minutes. This kind of optimization greatly reduces time spent waiting for feedback, which is key in achieving a rapid development process.
“As mobility continues to pervade our work and personal lives, developers are under more pressure than ever to build high quality apps quickly,” said Nat Friedman, CEO and cofounder, Xamarin. “Because mobile is so strategic to business growth and competitive advantage, developers are holding their company’s future in their code. Xamarin will be with them at every step of the mobile app lifecycle, making things faster and easier so that they can focus on delivering great apps.”