Xamarin is now included for free in Visual Studio
Starting April of 2016, Visual Studio now includes Xamarin for free. This is the case for every edition of Visual Studio, including Visual Studio Community Edition, which is free as well.
With Xamarin you can develop and publish native apps for iOS and Android using C# or F# from directly within Visual Studio with no limits on app size.
For developers that are using Mac, Xamarin Studio is now available as a benefit of your Visual Studio Professional or Enterprise subscription. Developers can use the newly-created Xamarin Studio Community Edition for free.
You can visit Xamarin’s store to download Xamarin for free. Keep in mind that, Xamarin, although free, is license restricted for bigger companies. If you want to use Xamarin you will need to comply to one of the following license terms:
- Individual license – If you are an individual working on your own applications to sell or for any other purpose, you may use the software to develop and test those applications.
- Organization licenses – If you are an organization, your users may use the software as follows:
- Any number of your users may use the software to develop and test your applications released under Open Source Initiative (OSI) approved open source software licenses.
- Any number of your users may use the software to develop and test extensions to Visual Studio.
- Any number of your users may use the software to develop and test your applications as part of online or in person classroom training and education, or for performing academic research.
- If none of the above apply, and you are also not an enterprise (defined below), then up to 5 of your individual users can use the software concurrently to develop and test your applications.
- If you are an enterprise, your employees and contractors may not use the software to develop or test your applications, except for open source and education purposes as permitted above. An enterprise is any organization and its affiliates who collectively have either (a) more than 250 PCs or users or (b) more than one million US dollars (or the equivalent in other currencies) in annual revenues, and enterprise means those entities that control (via majority ownership), are controlled by, or are under common control with an organization.
- Demo use – The uses permitted above include use of the software in demonstrating your applications.
Xamarin requires the platform SDKs from Apple and Google to target iOS or Android.
To build for iOS, you’ll need the latest iOS SDK, which ships with Xcode 7.1 and requires Mac OSX 10.10.5+ (Yosemite) or 10.11 (El Capitan). The Visual Studio extension for iOS and Android supports any non-Express editions of Visual Studio 2012, Visual Studio 2013, and Visual Studio 2015 (Community, Professional, and Enterprise).