As you may know, I began digging into Xamarin at the end of last year. It showed a lot of promise as a great way to create cross-platform iOS and Android apps leveraging the existing Visual Studio and C# skills that so many developers have.
When I first started working with it, I did have some initial concerns as I talked about in these 2 blog posts.
- iOS/Android with Visual Studio/C# Using Xamarin, First Impressions: A Little Frustrating
- iOS/Android/VisualStudio/C#/Xamarin – Getting a Working iOS Build
I have to say though, once I got past those initial hurdles, things are definitely looking up.
So far I’m doing mostly basic stuff but overall things are going well.
My two main issues are
- Visual Studio seems to occasionally have difficulty attaching to the iOS build server
- The Visual Studio Android UI designer doesn’t work as well with RelativeLayout as Android Studio does
Neither of these are show-stoppers though.
In the case of connecting to the iOS build server, in most cases restarting Visual Studio takes care of the problem.
For the designer, the Visual Studio designer is workable and if I want to, I can use the Android Studio designer to do the layout work and then just copy it over to the Visual Studio project.
So that’s a long way of saying…
Using Xamarin within Visual Studio is getting a thumbs up so far.
Keep watching as I push on it harder to see how it does as the problem complexity increases.
If you’re interested in doing iOS/Android development with Xamarin, Part 1 of my Pluralsight course series on the topic just went live today…
I will try to follow your course on Pluralsight. When can we expect the next part. What is the theme of the second part.
I would like to see how to developer, test and deploy a cross platform solution on Azure Mobile Services (using Xamarin free components) and store data in the cloud, authenticate users, and send push notifications. I would like to see Web API 2.1+ and EF6+ being used as a back-end. Is there a way that we can follow you in your Part 2 development using a e.g GitHub project.
Thanks for all of the great suggestions. We’re heading in that direction but still have work to do before we can cover those things
We need to understand how to create apps that look/feel like they belong on each platform and provide the rich user experience that people expect. So, Part 2 really focuses on creating rich, platform-appropriate UI.
Basically the app will get rid of the next/prev buttons and be replaced with swipe-based navigation (UIPageViewController in iOS and FragmentStatePagerAdapter/ViewPager in Android). We’ll then introduce hierarchical information grouping, i.e. master/detail, (Storyboards/UITableViewController in iOS and Navigation Drawers in Android). Finally we’ll add icon-based actions to the app (action bar, etc.)
With that we’ll have a good foundation in embracing the richness that we can incorporate in device based apps. Later courses can then dig into the topics you mention.
Thanks again for sharing your interests and suggestions. Keep ’em coming!!
Jim, I finished the Xamarin Part 1 course. You are a great teacher! I learned a TON. I would never have had the time nor patience to dig in and learn the nuances of Xamarin on my own. You explain things so well. It’s now mid-February and I am really looking forward to part 2 of your course. Do you know when Part 2 will be released yet?
Thanks Vic – I appreciate your kind comments.
I should have the course completed and submitted in the next 7 to 10 days. Usually takes another week or so after I turn the course in to go live.
So it should be available for viewing in just a couple of weeks.
I’ll be sure to post here and on my Twitter account (@hedgehogjim) when it goes live.