Xamarin is a platform consisting of Xamarin.iOS, Xamarin.Android, Xamarin.Mac and Xamarin Test Cloud. It allows you to write cross-platform native Apps for iOS, Android and Mac and follow your app through its entire lifecycle. The introduction of Xamarin.Forms supports Native UI development for iOS, Android and Windows

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Here's a couple of quick settings you can change to make yourself feel much more at home in the Xamarin IDE.

If you haven’t encountered them (where’ve you been?) then Xamarin are a Microsoft/Visual Studio partner and they have “Xamarin for Visual Studio” which provides a means via which you can write C# code for apps built for iOS and Android. Naturally, you can already write C# code to build apps for Windows/Phone.

Xamarin.Forms is a library that contains abstractions of typical UI controls that comprise your app's UI. When these controls are used on the specific platforms, they are mapped to render native UI controls so that you get the look and feel of native components.

XAML (eXtensible Application Markup Language) allows you to define user interfaces in Xamarin.Forms applications using markup rather than code. Using XAML, you can define user interfaces using all of the Xamarin.Forms views, layouts, and pages, as well as custom classes.

Read on and in just 10 minutes you will build an Android chat app using Xamarin and Twilio IP Messaging.

With the Mobile Apps feature of Azure App Service, it is easy to rapidly build cross-platform and native apps for iOS, Android, Windows or Mac. Store app data on cloud or on local device, authenticate users, send push notifications or add your custom backend logic in C#.