MobileAndroidVisual Studio (with Xamarin) - Android Programming IDE Overview

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Visual Studio with XamarinMicrosoft’s flagship IDE, Visual Studio, comes is not always a first thought for Android development; however, in recent years that has changed, especially with the inclusion of Xamarin. Visual Studio comes in multiple versions: Enterprise for large teams, Professional for small teams, Visual Studio for Mac, and the free Community edition. It also has a separate open source code editor called Visual Studio Code. For mobile development, Visual Studio integrates with Xamarin (which Microsoft purchased last year), enabling cross-platform native development in C#. It also supports Apache Cordova for those who prefer to write Android apps in HTML and JavaScript. According to the PYPL Index, Visual Studio is the most popular IDE in the world, with a 22.44 percent share.

Developer/Owner: Microsoft

Key features:

  • Support for multiple languages and platforms
  • CodeLens
  • Peek Definition
  • Refactoring
  • Dependency graphs and code maps
  • Advanced debugging and diagnostics
  • Integrated testing
  • Cross-platform mobile development support
  • Integrated PowerPoint storyboarding
  • Code review

Programming languages supported:Dozens of languages, including C#, Visual Basic, C++, JavaScript, Python, HTML, Go, PHP and others

Target operating systems: Cross-platform

Runs on: Windows, macOS, Linux

System Requirements:

  • Windows 7 or later, Windows Server 2012 R 2 or later, or macOS 10.12 or later
  • 1.8 GHz or faster processor (dual- or multi-core recommended)
  • 2 GB RAM (4 GB recommended)
  • 1 GB hard drive (more required for some features)
  • Video card with 1280 x 720 resolution support (or better)

Target audience: Experienced developers who work on teams of all sizes

First production release: Visual Studio 97 (1997)

Most recent update/stable release: Visual Studio 2017 (March 2017)

License: Most versions are proprietary; Visual Studio Code has an open source MIT License.

Price: Cloud subscriptions are $2,999 per year or $250 per month for the Enterprise version and $539 per year or $45 per month for the Professional version. Standard subscriptions, which cost more upfront but have lower renewal prices, are also available. A standalone license for the Professional edition costs $499. The Community version is free for up to five users, and Visual Studio Code is free.

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