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Create cross platform apps in C# with Xamarin

Xamarin and Microsoft have teamed up to make all other development platforms irrelevant.  Xamarin is the creator of popular cross platform development tools that allow developers to create iOS, Android and Windows applications all in C#.  With the launch of Visual Studio 2013, Xamarin and Microsoft announced a partnership that will significantly improve the experience of developing, maintaining and updating apps written for any of the major popular platforms (iOS, Android, Windows).
xamarinSome of highlights of this partnership include Portable Class Libraries, Visual Studio integration, Azure Mobile Services integration and licensing discounts with free training for all MSDN Subscribers.
Portable Class Libraries (PCL) are libraries of code that can be used in any of your projects.  PCL’s have made cross platform development easier than ever before.  By using PCL’s you can keep the specific platform code within their respective projects and keep the bulk of your logic within the PCL.  Using this method will speed up development, code maintenance and bug fixing considerably.
Previous to the Visual Studio 2013 partnership Xamarin came with its own cross platform development environment, Xamarin Studio.  While still very functional it was no Visual Studio.  Developers not familiar with Xamarin Studio would still have to take the time to re-learn the tools that were available to them.  Now with full Visual Studio integration developers can continue to use the tools they are already comfortable with as well as using the powerful Azure utilities when developing apps that require mobile services.
Windows Azure has become one of Microsoft’s fastest growing platform.  It has been experiencing 100% year over year growth and just announced it has been gaining 1,000 new customers per day!  Microsoft has built templates specific for Xamarin iOS and Xamarin Android apps so developers can simply download project templates with sample code prepopulated and making API calls to Azure!  Creating mobile services has never been easier.  For more information on this process, please visit this link.
The final point is one I’m considerably excited about.  Along with the Microsoft partnership Xamarin also introduced Xamarin University.  For .NET developers that would like to learn more about mobile development Xamarin University is a great place to look.  It provides live online classes, tutorials, labs and a certification exam.  If you are an MSDN subscriber you have access to Xamarin University for free!  A value of over $1400!!!  So sign up while there is still space.  Class starts January 20th!

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