Lots of great announcements in this crowded session.
Xamarin Live Player
Announced at the morning keynote, Xamarin Live Player seems to be an awesome tool for developing mobile apps.
Directly on real devices (both iPhone and Android), it adds live reloading of both the UI and the C# code, without even saving the files in Visual Studio!
That way, we don’t waste time when we want to make a change (big or small). No need to stop debugging, make a small change, recompile, and restart debugging.
It works both on Visual Studio and Visual Studio for Mac with an alpha version of the Xamarin SDK.
On the devices, an application « Xamarin Live Player » has to be installed. After that we only need to pair our device to Visual Studio.
A specific debug option will appear in Visual Studio to launch a debug session through the Xamarin Live Player that will interpret our app rather than install it the classic way, enabling live reloading.
This works both for Xamarin.Forms and classic Xamarin.
A really great side effect of the interpretation part of Xamarin Live Player is that when developing on Windows, no Mac is needed for debugging (it still is required for release)!
iOS provisioning wizard
One thing that is really really bothering when developing iOS apps is that we need to declare lots of things in the Apple Developer portal: one certificate per build/developer machine, one registration per device, one App ID declaration per application and finally one provisioning profile which links all the previous items.
That means when starting a new app, it really is complicated to setup everything.
Even when working on an already setup project, if there is a new developer or a new device, we need to update the developer portal and revoke certificates, and so on.
This results in lot of lost time.
Today Microsoft announced the upcoming of an integrated wizard inside VS for Mac that handles all that declaration part just by a handful of clicks:
– No certificate on the Mac? Click, done.
– No App ID matching the bundle name? Click, done.
– Device not registered in the portal? Click, done.
– Device not part of the existing provisioning profile? Click, done.
This will really simplify developing for iOS.
Just like we can use native libs (Objective-C, Swift, Java) inside a .NET Xamarin app, Microsoft announced the ability to use .NET libs inside native apps written in ObjC, Swift and Java.
It is even possible to write UI code in .NET and use it in a native app!
More info at: https://github.com/mono/embeddinator-4000
And lots of other things…
I won’t get into the details, but here are some of the other announcements
- Easier native bindings: CocoaPods importer, SwiftNetifier
- Multi process debugging for iOS and Android
- New integrated SDK Manager for Android inside Visual Studio
- Xamarin.Forms for MacOS, Linux and WPF
- Xamarin.Forms pages embedding inside native apps
- AOT compilation for Android/MacOS; Hybrid mode compilation (AOT+JIT) for Android/MacOS
- SkiaSharp for cross-platform 2D
- UrhoSharp for cross-platform 3D
If you want to know more, be sure to watch the replay on Channel9!