This is actually the hard part, and the failure at this point actually prevents us from moving towards with Xamarin.
We have been developing with native iOS and Android for 6 years, with lots of legacy code and libraries. Our libraries in both iOS and Android can have up to 20-30,000 lines of code. To migrate all of them to Xamarin would be a huge deal. The only solution is to connect Xamarin with those libraries.
We have libraries in 3 languages: Objective-C, Swift and Java. The first trouble came up when Xamarin could not connect with Swift framework. In our experiment, we took the risk and port 1 of our library into Objective-C. The Swift framework issue should have signaled us that something was not going right.
Anyways, we move forward with our intention to write a real project, working on both iOS and Android, and connect with 5 of our libraries and use 3 cocoapods frameworks/libraries.
For the libraries we wrote, there was not much problem, except the Swift issue mentioned above. However, with cocoapods, when people write code in all shapes and forms, the API definition kept having weird issues that we could not comprehend. We spent 3-4 man days on this, and still wasn’t sure that if the code would work or not.
We will discuss more about what binding issues we have with Xamarin that forced us to change the direction: to try to at least make a workable app with missing elements and libraries working in Xamarin
I normally hear from Windows developer to say that their Windows market share is much bigger than the total of iOS and Android together. And the sales of Windows 8 has bypassed all the sales of iOS and Android from the beginning to now.
Windows Phone 8
It is quite unfair to compare the whole Windows 8 with iOS or Android. And if we do take that demand into PCs and laptops, then why the hell we do not compare the supply side? It is very clear that if Windows 8 could be a shared platform between PCs, tablets and phones, then all the old software, all the old games would have beome compatible to the Windows 8 system in the short amount of time. And many apps for tablets and phones would be quite different than the ones in PC. No, I don’t mean technology, I am talking about the business model, the purpose of the software.
I don’t mean that iOS and Android is a better market than Windows Phone for indie business. These markets have become very competitive and continue being so. You either have to figure out a market niche or be very lucky.
Here is my presentation with Nghia Dang on the topic comparing the differences between Windows Phone 7 and iPhone Development. I share it here for others who cannot come. Contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Nghia (email@example.com) if you have any questions: