October 8, 2014

Announcing Xammy Finalists: Vote for Your Favorite now!

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Xamarin developers represent the world’s top mobile developers, and the Xammy Awards recognize top apps on our global stage. After combing through hundreds of submissions, we’ve selected our top finalists below. We’re excited for our finalists and blown away by all of the innovation happening on the Xamarin platform.

Xamarin is picking the winners for each category, but we need your help to select the overall “Developer’s Choice” award!

Each person can vote only once, so watch the videos of each finalist and vote for you favorite app. Voting closes at 12pm EDT on October 10th, and you can watch the awards ceremony via live stream at the closing Xamarin Evolve 2014 session that starts at 1 pm.

Xamarin Xammy badgesConsumer

  • The Cinemark App by Cinemark
  • Hanx Writer by Hitcents
  • Storyo by Nativo Labs

Enterprise

  • Apex by Kimberly-Clark
  • Doune FT by Dutch Tax Office
  • TS4 by Gate Gourmet

Emerging Devices

  • PCR Essentials by Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • Skylight by APX Labs
  • Total Comfort Connect by Honeywell

Games

  • Skulls of the Shogun by 17-BIT
  • Snap Attack by Microsoft Studios

 
Voting for the Xammy Awards is now closed.

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Join Us for the Xamarin Evolve 2014 Keynote

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Xamarin co-founders Nat Friedman and Miguel de Icaza are presenting the keynote at Xamarin Evolve 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia at 9 am ET. Since we want the entire Xamarin community to be able to join us for this event, we’ve set up two ways for you to follow along today.

We invite those of you who can to join us via live stream to get the full effect of this exciting event. We’ll start sharing as soon as the keynote starts at 9 am ET, and will continue to stream the main stage throughout the rest of the conference.

We know that some of you can’t join the live stream, so we are also bringing you coverage via live blog here. The liveblog is a real-time feed of text updates and photos posted from the event, ideal for those of you who prefer text or want to follow along while multi-tasking at work or on a slower connection.

The opening keynote begins at 9 AM ET. Stay tuned!

Live Blog Evolve 2014 Keynote
 

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October 3, 2014

Download the Xamarin Evolve Conference App!

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Xamarin Evolve 2014 is right around the corner and we’ve got everything you need for Evolve in one beautiful app. We have you covered from beginning to end, including an event guide with a map, so you’re always at the right place at the right time.

Evolve Mobile App

The Xamarin Evolve app features include:

  • Session list with abstracts, and the ability to filter sessions by topic area
  • Compile your list of “favorite” sessions as you browse the conference (note:  requires the email address you used to register)
  • Easy-to-use session scheduler that integrates seamlessly with your calendar
  • Speaker index complete with bios
  • Ability to leave instant session feedback
  • Maps and event list
  • A beautiful interface

Xamarin Evolve App IconWe put the best event experience in the palm of your hand with the Xamarin Evolve 2014 app. Download it today for iOS on the App Store, Android on Google Play, and on the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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Xamarin Evolve 2014 Speaker Spotlight: Brett Duncavage

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This is the final post in our Xamarin Evolve 2014 “Speaker Spotlight” series, helping you get to know a little bit more about some of the amazing speakers who will be contributing at this year’s conference.

Brett DuncavageThis final installment in our Xamarin Evolve 2014 speaker spotlight series features Brett Duncavage, a principal engineer and the lead Android developer at Rdio. He’s been working in mobile client application development since 2003 with a mission to provide exceptional mobile user experiences through highly polished applications. He has over thirty commercial applications launched to date, including “RealTone JukeBox,” which was awarded the 2006 Qualcomm BREW Developer award.

Why did you get into software development?

I’ve always been fascinated with how things work. When my Dad brought home a TI-994A in 1986 (which was a BASIC interpreter), I had to know how it worked and how I could make it do things I wanted it to do. So, I started learning BASIC, and never looked back.

How long have you been doing mobile development?

Over 10 years. I started back in 2003 writing apps for the BREW platform. I’ve worked on mobile consumer applications and games for iOS and Android. I’ve worked at and had my own startups, been a freelancer, and now am a Software Principal and Lead Android developer at Rdio.

What is your favorite platform to develop for and why?

I’ve been doing mobile development for so long that I naturally gravitate towards mobile platforms, so Android and iOS are my platforms of choice. I love the idea of my applications being on a user’s device, with the user wherever they go.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?

Take your time when designing and implementing your mobile apps. Today’s platforms and tools make it easier than ever to build mobile applications quickly, but that ability should be tempered with thoughtful software and UI design. Work on discrete features and feature units while understanding how they will impact the application as a whole. And, just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should (shake to shuffle comes to mind). Make sure everything in your app has an obvious use, some flair and chrome is necessary to provide a unique and enjoyable user-experience, but make sure the foundations of your application are rock-solid before adding the polish.

What are your favorite mobile apps and why?

Just for sheer cleverness and coolness, the Google Cardboard app is one of my favorites right now. It showcases just how powerful mobile devices can be with the ability to deliver an Occulus Rift style experience without any extra hardware (and one piece of cardboard-ware).

What will attendees get out of your talk?

A better understanding of what it takes to make the most responsive applications possible. Scrolling in a mobile app should be as fluid as possible, it’s one of the most important distinctions between native applications and mobile web sites.

If you missed the earlier posts in this series, click through to read about Jesse LibertyJon SkeetJonathan PeppersLaurent BugnionPaul BettsRachel ReeseBrent SchooleyJoe MayoFrank A. Krueger, and Greg Shackles.

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October 2, 2014

Forrester’s Michael Facemire to Speak at Xamarin Evolve 2014

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Forrester logoWe’re excited to announce that Michael Facemire, Principal Analyst Forrester, will be presenting Mega Trends in Mobile: Enterprise Mobility State of the Industry at Xamarin Evolve 2014.

Michael FacemireMichael Facemire is a leading expert on mobile software development, software development process, and next-generation open web architectures with more than 13 years of experience in the software development industry. He joined Forrester from IBM, where he delivered industry-leading applications in mobile, social software, content management, portal, and workflow. While there, he authored or co-authored 23 patents in the areas of mobile software, collaborative systems, content management, and media services that have been issued or pending.

In his talk, attendees can look forward to taking a look at where businesses are with regards to mobile from a developer perspective, including how things are changing from both a tools and process perspective, what skills are (and will be) in demand, and what development leaders are focusing on to address the (sometimes insane) challenges around time-to-market and mobile quality.

Xamarin Evolve 2014 attendees can join Michael Facemire at 4:15 pm ET on Thursday, October 9th in the Fossey Salon.

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Xamarin Evolve 2014 Speaker Spotlight: Greg Shackles

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This is the tenth post in our Xamarin Evolve 2014 “Speaker Spotlight” series, helping you get to know a little bit more about some of the amazing speakers who will be contributing at this year’s conference.

Greg ShacklesToday’s speaker spotlight features, Greg Shackles a Senior Engineer at Olo who has been active in the Xamarin community for more than four years. He is a Xamarin MVP, host of the Gone Mobile podcast, organizer of the NYC Mobile .NET Developers Group, author for O’Reilly and Visual Studio Magazine, and is also an aspiring homebrewer.

Why did you get into software development?

quotation markI’VE BEEN A GEEK SINCE A VERY YOUNG AGE, AND FIRST STARTED GETTING INTO SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT WAY BACK IN MIDDLE SCHOOL. IT STARTED INNOCENTLY ENOUGH WITH SOME LITTLE BASIC PROGRAMS, AND BEFORE I KNEW IT I WAS TEACHING MYSELF C/C++ SO THAT I COULD CREATE AND RUN MY OWN MUDs.

I knew before even getting to high school that this is what I wanted to be doing, and I’m thankful every day that it’s something I’ve been able to turn into a career.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is just how important your tools are. It sounds like an obvious point in retrospect, but if your tools keep getting in your way, both you and your users will suffer. The bar has never been set higher in app stores across all platforms, which is an awesome thing we should embrace. Choosing tools that deliver the native experience users want, and also enables you as a developer to iterate quickly, will save so much time and pain in both the short and long term.

What are your favorite open source libraries, and why?

Even just limiting the scope to open source mobile libraries I’m not even sure where to begin, as all of my apps are truly built on the shoulders of a lot of amazing libraries. In the interest of not dodging the question completely, I’ll point out a couple that have really impacted the way I build apps.

First, it’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the MvvmCross framework. I’ve been using it for a couple years now and it’s a great framework for building cross-platform apps that take advantage of the MVVM pattern. Shameless self promotion: if you want to see how we used MvvmCross to build our platform at Olo, come to my talk!

Second, SignalR is another library I’ve been using for several years and was a true game changer in the .NET space. It completely lowers the barrier for building real-time functionality into your apps, abstracting away the painful parts and leaving you with the fun parts.

What is your favorite line of code that you have ever written?

It’s hard to say, but if comments count then my favorite lines tend to start with “// TODO:”. I often use commit messages, branch names, and TODO comments as a form of therapy when in the throes of development. Less than ideal code is acceptable if it’s preceded by a TODO, right? Ship it!

How much do you love curly braces and why?

I’ve built my career on curly braces and angle brackets, and I continue to love C# to this day. It really is a fantastic language that manages to remain modern after all these years by continuing to add great new features.

That said, I must admit that lately I’ve been cheating on C# a bit with F#, which does still sport curly braces but they are few and far between. Don’t worry, C#. I still love you.

What will attendees get out of your talk?

The rapid development pace of mobile development brings with it an increased need for having the the processes and infrastructure in place to support it, as well as the need for confidence that everything in the apps still works the way it should. It’s not quick or easy to fix a mistake that makes it out to an app store, so the sooner you can catch problems, the better off you’ll be.

At Olo we embraced this need right from the start, and built our platform around it. In my talk we’ll look at all the different pieces we put in place, and how developers can easily do so for their own apps. This will include things like unit testing large parts of an application, automated UI testing, Test Cloud, packaging apps, deploying to TestFlight, and how you can set this all up to happen for you automatically so you can focus on better things. Come learn how to make your tools work for you!

If you missed the earlier posts in this series, click through to read about Jesse LibertyJon SkeetJonathan PeppersLaurent BugnionPaul BettsRachel ReeseBrent SchooleyJoe Mayo, and Frank A. Krueger.

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October 1, 2014

Xamarin Evolve 2014 Speaker Spotlight: Frank A. Krueger

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This is the ninth post in our Xamarin Evolve 2014 “Speaker Spotlight” series, helping you get to know a little bit more about some of the amazing speakers who will be contributing at this year’s conference.

Frank A. KruegerToday’s post highlights Frank A. Krueger. Frank has been programming professionally for 16 years and has enjoyed the last 6 years doing independent development for iOS and other mobile platforms. As an early adopter of Xamarin.iOS, he has also enjoyed being a member of the Mono community and does his best to share what knowledge he has gained. He lives and works in Seattle and can be found up a mountain off of Exit 34.

Why did you get into software development?

I have control issues? Commanding a subservient to form a world of my choosing feeds into my ego?

But let’s go with the simpler one: graphics. When I was a kid I loved using the computer for drawing, then 3D graphics, then gaming.

quotation markEVENTUALLY I LEARNED TO PROGRAM SO I COULD WRITE NEW DRAWING PROGRAMS. IT JUST STUCK TO ME AT AN EARLY AGE. I EVEN WENT TO COLLEGE AS AN EE, NOT CS, BECAUSE I WAS WORRIED ABOUT TAKING AN OBSESSION TOO FAR.

What are your favorite mobile apps right now?

I love single screen, touch-centric apps:

  • Clear – I run my life from this app. It has a refined UI around a task. It’s a touch centric UI. And it’s playful and reliable at the same time.
  • Glympse – solves a real problem with an OK UI. It’s great that it’s cross platform (web too). Very, very close to a good UI.

What is your favorite line of code that you have ever written?

While I have indeed reached the peak of awesomeness that this question alludes to, I was not able to do it in just one line of code. I refer you then, dear inquisitor, to the concept of architecture and the interplay of objects. I have designs there that Apollo would find sufficient.

That said, I wrote this F# match pattern, and deemed it good:

| Some(Vertex), Some(Edge(ubc)), None ->

What are you doing when you’re not doing mobile development with Xamarin?

What? There are other things to do? Hiking – I’m doing Kilimanjaro a couple weeks before Evolve. Robotics – I am an EE after all. Music – I pretend to play a bunch of instruments and enjoy doing so when no one is listening

What are you looking forward to most at this years Evolve?

Seeing my old friends from the Mono community. I have been going to Mono/Xamarin conferences for about 5 years and really enjoy seeing my online friends.

What will attendees get out of your talk?

A reminder of all the mobile-only or mobile-distinguished features that we can put into our apps. A lot of people are just writing “websites in app form.” AR apps use the sensors, the camera, the 3D hardware – all things that are unique to mobile apps and that make them particularly pleasurable to code for.

If you missed the earlier posts in this series, click through to read about Jesse LibertyJon SkeetJonathan PeppersLaurent BugnionPaul BettsRachel ReeseBrent Schooley, and Joe Mayo.

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September 30, 2014

Video: A Quick Overview Of Xamarin Test Cloud

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Xamarin Test Cloud LogoWe launched Xamarin Test Cloud last week and we’ve gotten a terrific response from customers and partners who are using it, including Dropbox, Flipboard, Trello, Expensify, Foursquare and eBay Classified. The benefits of easily testing apps on hundreds of real devices include better app ratings and adoption as well as a much faster release process. This is especially true when you consider how quickly the device landscape changes and the resource and time investment it takes for a business to keep up with the latest devices. Fortunately we take care of that for you—Xamarin Test Cloud has over 1,000 devices, including iOS 8 and Android L smartphones and tablets.

I had the opportunity to record this interview with Karl Krukow, the technical lead for Xamarin Test Cloud. Karl shows us how to performs tests on Xamarin-hosted devices and reports results, as well use the interactive shell (or REPL) to query UI elements on mobile devices. In this video Karl authors mobile tests utilizing Calabash and C# using the popular NUnit testing framework, but you can also author tests in Ruby. Watch it in HD and full-screen to see the code and test results.

Learn More & Get Started

To learn more about Xamarin Test Cloud, visit the product page, or check out our developer documentation.

There are new features we’ll be unveiling at Xamarin Evolve 2014 next week, so watch the live streamed keynote on Wednesday October 8th at 9:00 AM ET!

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September 29, 2014

Top 5 Criteria For Evaluating Mobile Quality Solutions

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PDF CoverWe know from working with Xamarin Test Cloud customers that coming up with a comprehensive mobile quality plan can be overwhelming.

To help you better understand what you should be looking for in a mobile quality solution, and how Xamarin Test Cloud stacks up against other solutions in the marketplace, we’ve created a handy PDF with 5 criteria to consider when evaluating mobile testing solutions. Enjoy!
 

Download PDF

 

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Plan Your Days at Xamarin Evolve 2014 and Request Your One-on-One

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The Xamarin Evolve 2014 schedule is now available online, including session times, so you can start planning your days at the conference.

Training sessions at Xamarin EvolveTraining attendees in the Fundamentals track will go through a progressive training program over 2 days that will result in your first Xamarin app. More experienced Xamarin developers will choose from the Electives topics, including Testing, Enterprise, Android, iOS and Xamarin.Forms. Training attendees will receive an email shortly to confirm their paths.Craig Dunn presenting at Xamarin Evolve 2013

During the 3 days of the conference, you’ll select from more than 60 sessions across 10 tracks, including Xamarin Platform, Cross-Platform, iOS, Android, Mobile Best Practices, Enterprise, Emerging Devices, Gaming, Testing, and Mobile Ecosystem.

In addition to publishing the schedule, we have also opened requests for one-on-one sessionsOne-on-one session at Xamarin Evolve 2013 with Xamarin engineers to review code, consult on architecture, and troubleshoot issues. Back by popular demand, this expert help was one of the most top-rated features of Xamarin Evolve 2013. We are looking forward to meeting and helping even more of you.

Check out the newly updated website now to start planning your schedule for Xamarin Evolve 2014, and don’t forget to register for a one-on-one session with a Xamarin expert!

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