This chapter is all about getting to know Xamarin and what to expect from it. It is the only chapter that is pure theory; all the others cover hands-on projects. You are not expected to write any code at this point, but instead, simply read through this chapter to develop a high-level understanding of what Xamarin is and how Xamarin.Forms relates to Xamarin and how to set up a development machine.
We will start by defining what a native app is and what .NET as a technology brings to the table. After that, we will look at how Xamarin.Forms fits into the bigger picture and learn when it is appropriate to use the traditional Xamarin and Xamarin.Forms apps. We often use the term traditional Xamarin to describe apps that don't use Xamarin.Forms, even though Xamarin.Forms apps are bootstrapped through a traditional Xamarin app.
In this chapter, we will cover the following topics:
- Native applications
- Xamarin and Mono
- Setting up a development machine
Let's get started!