As a mobile developer 90% of the time I work on a mac. Visual Studio for Mac is an awesome tool to create Xamarin mobile apps. More than not mobile apps are using services. You can use .NET Core to create APIs but deploying them isn’t so easy on a mac. Sure you can use the Azure CLI, but if you are working with mixed teams Powershell seems to be king to deploy towards Azure.
Microsoft is constantly optimising our productivity. Last year they announced mobile center. It is a bundle of services to help mobile developers with CI. Microsoft has been working hard to integrate the functionalities we already used (app distribution, crash reports, analytics,…). Last week I finally switched to the new platform because now you can integrate between visual studio online and mobile center even when using custom builds.
For an upcoming blog post I wanted to use a custom font for the title of my Xamarin Forms NavigationPage. Whether or not it is against the design guidelines is another discussion.
After a complete reinstall of my mac and Xamarin Studio, I was quite surprised to see my Android simulator die on startup. No messages where displayed in the XS “Error” pad or “Deploying to device” pad. Just “Execution failed”.
Normally I’m developing on a mac with Xamarin Studio. Debugging an Android project on the Android emulator running on your mac is easy, because it just works. But now and the I need to do some work from my windows machine. My windows is running as a VM with Parallels Desktop.
Xamarin Forms is getting better with each iteration, there’s no doubt about that. We have more controls at our disposal than Win32 devs started with. If it doesn’t fit our needs you can use effects. Changing a BoxView into a circle seems to be possible, but felt a bit wrong. With Xamarin Forms we can still use native implementations with custom renderers.
When you write enterprise mobile applications you’re always confronted with authentication. There are a lot of examples that show you how you can authorize the user with Facebook. I don’t know about other countries, but in Belgium enterprise companies don’t let you login on their corporate environment with your Facebook account. You can use Xamarin.Auth for authorization with other services than Facebook, but if the authorization flow is a bit different, you can’t use it anymore.
Last week I gave a Xamarin session to students of the PXL in Hasselt (Belgium). You can find a lot of tutorials about Xamarin, but most of the time they only point towards 1 specific topic. When writing a real world app you can’t get your boss satisfied with a hello world.
When scrolling through all your open apps on your mobile phone, you get a quick look of what the window will look like when you reactivate the app. For some apps (like banking apps) you don’t want data leaked via the preview image that was taken when the app was backgrounding.
Akavache is an awesome library to use when it comes to caching. It’s fast, cross platform and it abstracts the complexity of working correctly and fast with sqlite.
I’ve been programming some Xamarin Forms apps. Setting up a good solution and structure your code isn’t always easy. The Xamarin frameworks are evolving fast and the setup you did some months ago suddenly doesn’t feel that appealing anymore. The way Xamarin.Forms handled navigation changed dramatically over time, the way they handle lists, supporting fragments for Android…
Last month I went to Xamarin Evolve. A lot of great new stuff was announced like workbooks, the iOS simulator for windows, the Xamarin.Forms previewer,… But besides all those big announcements there were a lot of small takeaways that make your life as a developer easier. One of those small tips is the SynchronizationContext.
Over the next few months, Xamarin Insights will merge with HockeyApp.
I’m glad to announce that today I renewed my Xamarin Mobile Developer Certificate.