Have you ever wanted to try out creating a mobile app for either iOS or Android using Xamarin? You went to their website, clicked pricing and then reeled at the cost? You are new. You are unsure. You want a taste. You don’t want to spend all your money and then maybe be a little unhappy.
Well, don’t worry, there is an pricing option for you! There are a couple of good ones that can fit your needs as someone stepping into a whole new world of magic.
You can check out the pricing and comparison charts at the Xamarin Store.
The Free ($0/m or R0/m)
Xamarin provides a free, zero cost, no cash option. Starter Edition! You may think that this is too limited. Only small apps. No native library interaction.
You are right. But. How small is small? Also, what are you measuring? The limit is only the size of the compiled source code, not the whole app. Chances are you aren’t going to hit any limit in your first week. The small app limit is almost a myth!
No native library interaction? What if I want to use… Is it a big no? No! With Starter you can use third party libraries that are available in the Component Store or on NuGet. And again, the chances are you aren’t going to be using some obscure framework on the first go. Both iOS and Android are mature platforms with many features, so probably what you need is already there.
The Indie ($25/m or R260/m)
But… Let’s say you need to write some custom native bindings or you have this massive app… There is a version for you still. But, if this is the case, how about giving the Indie Edition version a shot?
You recall looking at the price for this one… $299, or if you are with me in South Africa, R3200 at the current exchange rate. Pricey! Very much so…
But, Xamarin marketing to the rescue! They sat down and had a chat… What can Xamarin do so that the company makes a profit, but make sure the developer also can get a profit? So they came up with a subscription plan. A pay-as-you-go, or pay-for-what-you-use.
This new model, just out this week, provides you with a monthly subscription that can be started and stopped at your hearts content.
Lets say for example you are a student… You are studying hard like all students and don’t have much free time. But, you want to write an app in the holidays. It is going to be a big app. Starter ain’t gonna cut it. I’ll just note here that Starter probably would be fine for a case like this, but just to continue… You want Indie for one, maybe two months at most. Are you going to spend thousands of Rands? No. So you sign up for the Subscription Indie package.
What this does for you is that you will pay a small amount, and then get that month of development time. So in the example of the student, you sign up in June, pay your fee and do some dev. Then in July, you pay the next bit, and do some more dev. Then you release your app and go back to the books. August comes, you get a bill from Xamarin, and you just ignore it! They will suspend your account, so no more dev, but your app is out there and will is good.
Then after your exams, near the year end, you decide to do an update. All you need to do is pay that month’s bill and all is working again. Writing code until the sun comes up again.
So how’s much does this cost? Is it going to break the bank? Nope, it works out well. Each month costs $25, or for those in South Africa, R260. This cost is for either Xamarin.iOS or Xamarin.Android platforms. And not only that, you get access to some Xamarin exclusives, such as the new Xamarin.Forms. You can also subscribe to both platforms and get a 10% discount!
The Student ($99/y or R1000/y)
And, after mentioning students, remember they do have a special Student Discount for you. All you have to do is send firstname.lastname@example.org an email from your student email address and they will send you a discount code. For as little as $99, or R1000, you get access to the Business Edition of either Xamarin.iOS, Xamarin.Mac or Xamarin.Android. And remember the business edition has even more features. My personal favorite is Visual Studio support! This allows you to build not only Android apps in Visual Studio, but also iOS apps! With a drag-and-drop designer!
If you are part of an Open Source project you can also get a complimentary license! All you need to do is fill in the Open Source Contributor Form and someone will get back to you!
Be sure to check out the new pricing options as well as the student and open source discounts!
The Xamarin User Group (XUG)
If you haven’t had a chance to meet your neighborhood Xamarin developers in person yet, Xamarin User Groups provide a perfect venue for connecting with like-minded developers and local experts.
If you are in Cape Town, South Africa, be sure to pop in to our monthly Cape Town Xamarin User Group, I’ll be there!
And also download the iCalendar.
The University ($1995/y or R2100/y)
Have you ever wanted to be better, do better, know more, finish first? Well you can get there by learning from the Xamarin cross-platform expert lecturers at the Xamarin University.
After taking a few classes, you can become a Xamarin Certified Developer, which shows that you have demonstrated expertise in cross-platform mobile development in iOS, Android, and Windows using the Xamarin platform.
Why would you want to get this certification? Well…
- It is a premiere badge of achievement in Enterprise Mobile Development and an outward illustration that you’ve met a high bar of demonstrated expertise as a Xamarin Developer.
- You are eligible to be included in the Official Xamarin Certified Developer LinkedIn Group: a curated professional network that only includes currently certified developers that get special access to mobile development jobs and other benefits.
- You can proudly display the Xamarin Certified Developer Badges on your website or resume.
Xamarin University allows you to study at your own pace and at your own times. All you do is take a yearly subscription for $1995, or for us South Africans, R21000. This is a high price as it stands, but it does give you a certification, live web lectures and one-on-one feedback and discussions. This is often things that other recorded-video courses can’t provide.
Be sure to check out Xamarin University or contact them for more information.