Xamarin has provided .NET support for Linux via the Mono project for a while. It has recently announced the availability of an Android 4.0 version of its Mono software in order to let .NET and C# developers use Microsoft Visual Studio to build Android applications.
Mono for Android follows upon Xamarin’s MonoTouch framework for iOS (iPhone and iPad development) and consists of a plug-in for Microsoft Visual Studio, a core Mono runtime, a Software development and bindings for native Android APIs.
Such software is designed to leverage existing .NET applications, libraries and tools for Android development. With Mono for Android, developers can also call upon their native skills in .NET and the C# programming language in developing Android apps.
Xamarin says that Mono for Android 4.0 provides access to all the new features, native APIs and UI toolkits in Android 4.0.
Mono for Android 4.0 brings those key improvements and features:
- Tablet Support: Mono for Android 4.0 is the first version that supports Android tablets.
- Incremental build technology that reduces debugging and development cycles with build times 40 percent shorter.
- Incremental deployment to devices shortens the development cycle from minutes to seconds.
- New installer that helps ease Android development environment, by combining required components into a single, unified installation experience
Although the Linux version is open source and can be downloaded free of charge, both iOS MonooTouch and Mono for Android framework are closed source. Ximarin offers several plans to give access to the Mono framework:
- Emulator-only: free of charge, running in the emulator only with no time limit.
- Professional: 399 USD. Allow you to publish to app store, provides 1-year of updates and is licensed to the original user.
- Enterprise: 999 USD. Allow you to publish to app store, provides 1-year of updates and is licensed per seat.
- Enterprise Priority: 2,999 USD. Same of enterprise, except you get priority support.