For over several years, developers have dreamt of being able to write their applications in a single language and have it run on various mobile platforms. The thought of “Why go for one, when you can have it all?” has always intrigued them.
Finally, one fine day, our developer friends at Xamarin Head Quarters, San Francisco, CA fulfilled this dream with Xamarin.Forms, the dynamic cross-platform software which simplifies mobile development by allowing developers to write once in C# and provide native experience in Android, iOS and Windows Phone using the same API across all platforms.
- Android 4.0 or higher
- iOS 7.0 or higher
- Windows Phone 8 or higher
Xamarin served hot with caffeine will act as a prologue to your perfect cross platform app development story. While the release of Xamarin 3 brought smiles to the face of developers with the introduction of Xamarin.Forms, we are sure that the updates will bring contentment in developers.
I will now quickly walk you through the steps to make the environment ready for the X-perience.
Installing Xamarin Studio
Step 1. The first step will be downloading the Xamarin unified installer.
Step 2. The second step will be to run the Xamarin Installer.
Step 3. Once we are done installing Xamarin on both the systems i.e. Windows as well as Mac. We need to activate Xamarin on both the systems.
Step 4. Once you log in, you can choose if you want to Begin a Trial or Purchase a License. If you Begin a trial and activate Xamarin, you can see how many days of the trial you have left at any point:
Creating an application
Step 1. To create a new application in Visual Studio we will select New Project from the welcome screen
Step 2. Select Mobile Apps from the installed templates of Visual Studio under C#.
Step 3. Now as you can see we have two options for Blank App, one is Xamarin.Forms Portable and Xamarin.Forms Shared.
Xamarin.Forms Portable: Shares the code using a portable class library.
Xamarin.Forms Shared: Shares the code using shared assets project.
We will be working on Xamarin.Forms Portable.
Step 4. Now you can see the solution file contains 4 projects namely, XamarinSample (Portable), XamarinSample.Android, XamarinSample.iOS and XamarinSample.WinPhone.
Deploying an Application
Step 1. Right click on the project which you want to deploy and select “Set as StartUp Project”.
Step 2. If you want to deploy on a Windows Phone, choose the Device/Emulator from the first drop down :
Choose iPhone/iPhoneSimulator from the second drop down and the device from the third drop down if you want to deploy on an iPhone:
For deployment on Android, choose the device from the fourth drop down:
Step 3. Now click the button to deploy the application. You will see this as the output screen on the device you opted:
Now, we are all set to develop some awesome apps on our beloved IDE. We hope the exhilaration is mutual. 😉
Let’s, wait for more awesome bits on Xamarin.Forms this year. Till then, grab your coffee mugs and join the excitement on Twitter if you haven’t already, give us a shout-out @thewittytechie with #Xamarin.