How does Xamarin compare to Android Studio? (Something went wrong.)

Well, for a start, I found the Xamarin versions and options and downloads totally confusing. After a lot of work and a lot of hours uselessly downloading I've understood (maybe I'm wrong) that
  1. Xamarin Studio only really exists for the Mac (free).
  2. You can use Visual Studio (preferably 2015) with a Xamarin add on to create Xamarin programs.
  3. What is called Xamarin Studio for Windows is really "Mono", an open source program. It is hard to find out if it is still maintained and usable.

As I say I may be wrong and it took me a long time to garner even this little information.

I'm interested in Xamarin for two reasons
  1. I know C# so I don't have to learn Java, which I would have do with Android Studio.
  2. I know the VS2015 IDE, so I would not have to get used to the Android Studio way of doing things.
But what, I hear you say, about targetting Apple products, which is supposed to be the great advantage of using Xamarin? Here are the reasons I don't care about portability:

  1. Mr. Google tells me that in February 2016 Android devices had a 80.7 percent market share, while iOS recorded 17.7 percent market share (economic reason).
  2. I tried to write a program for the Apple Mac years ago, found the IDE a crashing disaster, help a crashing disaster, Objective C a bastard language (emotional reason).
As Android devices continue to fall in price I doubt that the iPhone market share will increase.

Anyway. After multiple attempts to get the Xamarin add-ins into VS2015 I work through an example project, and within 2 minutes I'm presented with this screen inside VS2015:

Hmmm. Android Studio is not looking so bad now. I have to go now, but I'll let you know if the update of the Android SDK improves anything...

13 hours later and the Android SDK manager is still downloading even though I unchecked all of the older versions...

Getting there...


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