Xamarin lets Windows developers create apps for Macs

Developers can now share code across Android, iOS, Mac OS and Windows

The new Xamarin.Mac framework allows C# developers to build native OS X apps that can be sold in the Mac App Store and share code with apps build for Android, iOS and Windows.

Until now Xamarin has been focused on cross-development for mobile devices, but the proliferation of Apple laptops convinced the company there was enough demand among its developers for Xamarin.Mac.

"One of our larger customers told us it wanted a site licence for their entire group of 400 developers to do Mac development," Nat Friedman, CEO at Xamarin, said.

"That made us pay attention, and then we talked to several other customers who said they would be interested in doing the same thing."

Xamarin.Mac exposes native platform APIs to C# developers, making it possible for them to build applications that leverage platform-specific functionality.

"We have seen that native experiences are incredibly important. Users demand that today," said Friedman.

Xamarin.Mac is available as a free trial version. The full program is available in three versions: one for personal use that costs US$400 per developer; one for business use that costs $1,000; and a $2,500 version that comes with service level agreement (SLA) support.

In general, it has been an "awesome" year for Xamarin, according to Friedman. The company now has over 11,000 paying customers, compared to about 1,500 customers 18 months ago.

That enterprises are becoming more mobile centric, and building customer-facing applications and apps for internal use, has been a big growth driver.

"Businesses have become very focused on BYOD; iPhones and Android have just infiltrated enterprises massively and mobile has become the most important thing happening in the world of end-user software," Friedman said.

Developers that want to learn more about Xamarin.Mac can head to the platform's developer center.Here they can find sample apps and learn more about how to publish apps on the Mac App Store.

Developers can also sign up for a seminar that will be hosted by Xamarin CTO Miguel de Icaza on Jan. 10.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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