Building Cross Platform Applications

Best practices for developing mobile applications with Xamarin

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last updated: 2016-01

This section discusses, in a summary plus six parts, how to build applications using the Xamarin development platform – from understanding how Xamarin works to designing mobile apps, and then testing and deploying to the various app stores.

Sharing Code Options

There are two options for sharing code between cross-platform mobile applications: Shared Asset Projects and Portable Class Libraries. These options are discussed here; more information on Portable Class Libraries and Shared Projects is also available.

Building Cross Platform Mobile Apps


Part 1 – Understanding the Xamarin Mobile Platform

Part 2 – Architecture

Part 3 – Setting Up a Xamarin Cross Platform Solution

Part 4 – Dealing with Multiple Platforms

Part 5 – Practical Code Sharing Strategies

Part 6 - Testing and App Store Approvals

Case Studies

The principles outlined in this document are put into practice in the sample application Tasky, as well as pre-built applications like Xamarin CRM.


Tasky is a simple to-do list application for iOS, Android and Windows Phone. It demonstrates the basics of creating a cross-platform application with Xamarin and uses a local SQLite database.

tasky list tasky detail

Read the Tasky Case Study.


This section introduces Xamarin’s application development tools and discusses how to build applications that target multiple mobile platforms.

It covers a layered architecture that structures code for re-use across multiple platforms, and describes different software patterns that can be used within that architecture.

Examples are given of common application functions (like file and network operations) and how they can be built in a cross-platform way.

Finally, it briefly discusses testing, and provides references to a case study that puts these principles into action.

Xamarin Workbook

If it's not already installed, install the Xamarin Workbooks app first. The workbook file should download automatically, but if it doesn't, just click to start the workbook download manually.