News,Resources,Video,Wintellect Blogs

Xamarin Mobile Development: Building Cross-Platform Apps for IOS, Android & Windows Devices

Wintellect

24 Mar , 2017   Video

xamarin mobile developmentXamarin Mobile Development

On Thursday Wintellect held a live hand’s-on webinar on Xamarin mobile development for building cross-platform apps including IOS, Android and Windows Devices. The agenda included an interactive and coding presentation from Jason Bell, including the mobile landscape and development options, the Xamarin development platform, Xamarin application architectural options and building shared application components.

The event was followed by a live Q & A session where attendees could ask Jason questions about best practices using Xamarin, or, any questions from what they learned in the presentation. One attendee asked which path they should take for mobile development between Xamarin and React Native. Jason stated the most important factor would be the language. With React Native they would be using JavaScript and if they moved forward with Xamarin, the language would be  .NET, C#, and potentially F#. A secondary factor is with React Native the API surface area that is available lags behind from what you would receive with Xamarin but depending on the app you are looking to build, it may be insignificant. Jason concluded that ultimately it would be the language preference and experience with that language that should be the determining factor when choosing between the two.… Read more

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News

Free Xamarin Training for Your New Year’s Weekend

Paul Ballard

30 Dec , 2016  

New Year’s Eve weekend is a time to party, but for the geeks among us, it may also be a good opportunity to curl up with some dev training videos.

Enter Microsoft/Xamarin with their on-demand recordings of Xamarin Dev Days sessions. The mobile development training event takes place periodically in cities around the world, and as of this month, you can also participate virtually via Xamarin Dev Days Live on Microsoft’s Channel 9. (Hat tip to Petri’s Paul Thurrott for first pointing this out.)

The five-episode track, which first aired Dec. 14, kicks off with Introduction to Xamarin,  Cross-Platform UI with Xamarin.Forms and Cloud First Apps with Azure. The “afternoon” sessions are more hands-on; you can follow along as the instructors walk through building an app.

Log on and get to brainstorming about what you’ll build in 2017.

 … Read more

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Wintellect Blogs

Why can’t I use the “dynamic” C# keyword in Xamarin.iOS?

Keith Rome

23 Jul , 2016  

Occasionally I see this question pop up in various forms; usually an app developer has written some fairly clever code that relies on the dynamic keyword in C#. Their code runs swimmingly on every other platform—and it also compiles just fine for iOS. But when they run the app on a physical iPhone or iPad they see runtime exceptions… often in strange and unexpected places. Finally, the problem gets tracked back to usage of dynamic, but the question remains: “Why didn’t that work?”

Buried down in the Xamarin.iOS documentation, we can find a page that discusses the limitations of MonoTouch / Xamarin.iOS (https://developer.xamarin.com/guides/ios/advanced_topics/limitations/). On this page there exists some guidance regarding “Dynamic Code Generation” in which (among other things) it says that the Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR) is not allowed. OK, this seems related to the dynamic keyword, but you might be wondering how, exactly. The topic mentions that this is somehow due to the System.Reflection.Emit API not being available in iOS—but you clearly aren’t using that .NET feature, so what’s the deal?

Dynamic Code is not Allowed on iOS

Dynamic Code is not Allowed on iOS

It boils down to a security restriction in iOS. Apple does not allow apps to generate executable code at runtime, because this would be a potentially major security vulnerability.… Read more

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News

.NET Core 1.0 Released, Visual Studio 2015 Updated

Paul Ballard

28 Jun , 2016  

.NET Core 1.0—the open-sourced, cross-platform version of Microsoft’s web development framework—is now generally available. The release Monday caps two years of effort, in which nearly 10,000 developers participated, according to Microsoft.

.NET Core 1.0 will allow developers to create web apps, micro-services and libraries that work on OS X and Linux as well as Windows. Microsoft will be working with Red Hat to support .NET on Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux and platform-as-a-service OpenShift 3, the two companies announced at this week’s Red Hat DevNation conference.

“This is the biggest transformation of .NET since its inception and will define .NET for the next decade,” reads the statement on Microsoft’s .NET blog.  “We’ve rebuilt the foundation of .NET to be targeted at the needs of today’s world: highly distributed cloud applications, micro services and containers.”

Developers can begin building .NET Core apps using Visual Studio 2015 Update 3, also available starting Monday. The release includes the .NET Core runtime, libraries and tools and the ASP.NET Core libraries.

Other improvements in Visual Studio 2015 Update 3 include new Apache Cordova tools and analytics tools, including one for finding trends in your app’s telemetry, and an update of Node.js Tools. There’s also a number of bug fixes.… Read more

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Wintellect Blogs

Using XAML in F# Xamarin Forms – A Screencast

Jonathan Wood

1 Jun , 2016   Video

Now that we’ve seen the awesome new stuff in Xamarin Studio for F# let’s go a bit further and actually use some of those improvements to our advantage. However, instead of just a regular blog post, I thought it’d be worthwhile to do a screencast for y’all.

You can view the demo code directly on GitHub. Enjoy everyone!

 … Read more

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Wintellect Blogs

F# Improvements in Xamarin Studio

Jonathan Wood

9 May , 2016  

With the (almost) stable release of Xamarin Studio 6 comes a ton of great new improvements. I absolutely love the new dark theme! However, some huge improvements were made to the IDE for F# support, as well. Improvements that I feel may have gone without much notice. So I wanted to help get those improvements out in the open more as well as to recognize the folks that made all of this happen. At the time of this writing, I’m running the alpha build (v6.1) of Xamarin Studio.

Speaking of recognizing folks, huge shout out to Dave Thomas and Jason Imison for all their hard work in getting these improvements into Xamarin Studio. F# in Xamarin Studio would be nothing without these guys.

Project Templates

Xamarin Studio 6 now includes project templates for Xamarin Forms in F#. This is a pretty big update since, before, you couldn’t even add a PCL project in F# in Xamarin Studio.

F# Xamarin Forms Project

With this you can start creating cross-platform mobile applications with Xamarin Forms in F#! While this was doable before, it is much easier without going through a few workarounds to get things working. Just select this project and the templates do everything for you.… Read more

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News

Microsoft Open-Sources Xamarin SDK, Adds New Developer Tools

Paul Ballard

27 Apr , 2016  

Microsoft today announced that it has open-sourced the Xamarin SDK for iOS, Android and Mac, making good on a promise it made during Build 2016.

The source code released to the .NET Foundation under the MIT license includes native API bindings for all three platforms, command line tools and Xamarin.Forms, the company’s cross-platform UI framework.

Developers who want to contribute to these projects can get cracking right away by visiting Xamarin’s open source page.

Microsoft made the announcement at Xamarin’s Evolve 2016 developer conference, where it also revealed a number of improvements to Xamarin and Visual Studio that will support better cross-platform development.

Updates to Visual Studio will make it easier for C# developers to create native iOS apps. Developers running Visual Studio on Windows will be able to simulate and interact with their iOS apps without leaving Visual Studio, even deploying and debugging them on iOS devices plugged into their Windows machines.

Xamarin Studio 6 for Mac has a new dark theme and now uses Roslyn, Microsoft’s open source compiler, providing a more consistent environment for developers who switch back and forth between Windows and OS X. Xamarin.Forms also got a number of new features, including real-time previewing of Xamarin.Forms XAML source from within the IDE.… Read more

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News

Free Xamarin, and Other Goodies for Developers From Build 2016

Paul Ballard

1 Apr , 2016  

On Day Two of Build 2016, Microsoft made the announcement that developers have been hoping for since the company acquired Xamarin in February: Xamarin tools will now be free for all Visual Studio users.

Subscribers to both paid and free tiers of Visual Studio will have access, which lowers considerably the cost of developing native apps for iOS and Android in C# using Xamarin.

Microsoft also said it will soon open-source Xamarin SDKs for Android, iOS and Mac. “This includes native API-bindings and the basic command-line tools necessary to develop mobile apps,” Xamarin’s Nat Friedman further explained in a blog post. “It also includes our popular cross-platform native UI toolkit, Xamarin.Forms.”

That’s not the only new toy developers have to play with as of this week. Microsoft also released the first public preview of Visual Studio 15 at Build. The latest version of Visual Studio includes new style analyzers for C# and Visual Basic, a preview of a new JavaScript language service, and an ‘Open Folder’ feature that allows developers to navigate code bases without setting up projects and solutions.

There’s also a faster, lightweight install option. Microsoft cautions not to install VS 15 on your production environment, as it’s unsupported.… Read more

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News

Games, HoloLens, Cloud Services Highlight Build 2016 Schedule

Paul Ballard

28 Mar , 2016  

It wouldn’t be a developer conference without some surprises, and Microsoft is already getting us in the mood for Build 2016 with a mysterious description in the event schedule of a session on ‘Something Awesome.’

We’ll have to wait until Build kicks off this Wednesday for details, but the rest of the schedule promises a conference packed with information on game development, the Internet of Things, cloud services and augmented reality.

Attendees can learn about app design approaches for HoloLens, or build a Universal Windows App for Raspberry Pi in a hands-on lab. There are a number of sessions on cross-platform development, including using Xamarin to build mobile apps, Project Centennial to bring desktop apps to the Universal Windows Platform, and Microsoft’s iOS-to-Windows Bridge.

There’ll also be plenty on using Azure to enhance apps, whether that means working with data or engaging players in a game. A session will focus on using Windows 10 to power smart homes. And there’ll be sessions on how Visual Studio is evolving and the integration of Windows 10 games with Xbox Live.

As for news, Microsoft will likely use its keynote to give details on the ‘Redstone’ update to Windows 10, expected later this year.… Read more

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News

Microsoft Scraps Android-to-Windows Bridge, Tells Developers to Use Xamarin Instead

Paul Ballard

26 Feb , 2016  

It’s official: Project Astoria, Microsoft’s effort to create a bridge for porting over Android apps to Windows 10, is no more.

Just one day after announcing its acquisition of multiplatform app development company Xamarin, Microsoft released an update to developers on the company’s bridge projects, which reads in part:

“We…decided that we would focus our efforts on the Windows Bridge for iOS and make it the single Bridge option for bringing mobile code to all Windows 10 devices, including Xbox and PCs. For those developers who spent time investigating the Android Bridge, we strongly encourage you to take a look at the iOS Bridge and Xamarin as great solutions.”

The move comes as little surprise, since Microsoft has been pretty mum on Project Astoria over the last few months, while at the same time announcing it was open-sourcing its iOS-to-Windows Bridge and encouraging developers to test it out. Both bridge projects were launched at last year’s Build conference to improve the pipeline for Universal Windows apps.

Microsoft’s acquisition of Xamarin, however, changes the game, since developers using Xamarin can take their existing C# code to create fully native mobile apps for Windows, iOS or Android. Microsoft also says developers had found it confusing that there were two bridge options.… Read more

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