March 19, 2015

Exciting Xamarin Announcements from dotnetConf

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Miguel and I just had the honor of helping kick off day two of dotnetConf, along with our good friend Scott Hanselman. dotnetconf logo
dotnetConf is a two-day virtual event, dedicated to all things .NET and to highlighting our vibrant developer community. We had a few exciting announcements to share with everyone, which you can watch for yourself in the recording below, or read about in the summary that follows.

Xamarin.Forms for Windows Preview

Xamarin.Forms for Windows Store

We launched Xamarin.Forms a year ago, enabling developers to rapidly create native applications for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone from a single shared C# code base. One of our most popular samples from that launch is an app dedicated to all things Scott Hanselman – aptly named Hanselman.Forms.

For today’s intro with Scott, I couldn’t resist taking the opportunity to re-launch Hanselman.Forms with podcast streaming and a few new bells and whistles showing off the latest features available in Xamarin.Forms, such as pull-to-refresh. But the fun didn’t stop there, as we capped off the demo with the exciting announcement of our preview support for building for Windows Store and Phone RT when developing with Xamarin.Forms.

Hanselman.Forms on All Devices

Xamarin.Forms for Windows Preview is available now on NuGet as a pre-release package. This is a very early preview that we’re making publicly available to get as much feedback as possible from the community as we stabilize our Windows support over the next few months. To get started, simply add a new Windows Store app to your existing solution and with a few lines of initialization code and you are on your way. We have full documentation for this preview available on our developer portal, and you can download and run the source for Hanselman.Forms straight from GitHub.

Xamarin Everywhere

The theme of today’s talk was “.NET deserves to be everywhere”, so in addition to extending the Hanselman app to Windows Store, I also took the opportunity to update it with support for wearable platforms, because I know that everyone wants mission-critical Hanselman updates on their wrist. Now, you will find a brand new Android Wear and Apple Watch app as part of the Hanselman.Forms project with plenty of awesome shared C# code, and you can start building your own wearable apps today with WatchKit in Xamarin.iOS, or by referencing the Android Wear Component or NuGet in your Xamarin.Android projects.

HanselWatches

Xamarin Subscriptions for OSS Contributors

We love the .NET community and are dedicated to supporting the huge community of .NET developers working on powerful NuGets like PCLStorage, SQLiteNet and other plugins for Xamarin and Windows.

Xamarin Heart OSS

To ensure that all open source projects have everything they need to succeed, today we also announced the expansion of our our support for OSS developers to include free Xamarin subscriptions with support for Visual Studio. Any open source developers with app store compatible licenses receive non-commercial Xamarin subscriptions for the purpose of developing, testing and maintaining compatibility with the Xamarin platform. Active developers on established open source projects can apply now.

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March 18, 2015

Microsoft Band SDK Now Available

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Microsoft just announced iOS support for their recently released Microsoft Band SDK. The iOS preview joins their preview support for Android and Windows Phone, and we’re delighted to announce that within 24 hours of release, we’ve made these SDKs available to Xamarin developers on iOS and Android, too. Microsoft Band

The Band is very much designed for health and fitness with its many sensors, but it is not limited to health uses. Because we have access to the sensors and can interact with the device, we can use the Band to enhance and extend any mobile app.

There are 4 main ways we can interact with the Band:

  1. Reading information from the Sensors
  2. Creating themed app Tiles
  3. Sending Messages to the Band
  4. Theming and Personalizing the Band

To interact with a Band from your app, install the SDK and add the code to create a connection with a Band. The user will need the Microsoft Health app installed, and have paired their Band with their phone.

Once connected you can communicate with the Band easily using C# in your iOS and Android apps. The APIs allow you read from the various Band sensors, send messages that appear on the band while it’s connected, and much more.

Getting Started

To start building Band apps with Xamarin today, add the Microsoft Band SDK Component to your iOS or Android project, check out the component documentation and my samples for iOS and Android to learn how to connect and read sensor data.

Discuss this blog post in the Xamarin Forums.

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March 17, 2015

Kick Off Build 2015 with Xamarin!

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Xamarin Build 2015Kick off Build 2015 with a bang! Join us on Tuesday, April 28th, 2015 at Jillian’s Sports Bar & Billiards Hall, right across the street from the Moscone Center at 175 4th Street from 7:00-10:00pm.

Win a Xamarin “Go Mobile” Developer Rig and More

To celebrate having thousands of C#-loving (and F#-loving) developers in San Francisco at the same time for Build 2015, we are making sure everyone walks away from the party with something incredible:

  • Meet Charles Petzold and have him autograph your very own copy of his “Creating Mobile Apps with Xamarin.Forms” book.
  • Be one of the first in the world to sport a newly designed Xamarin T-shirt.
  • Wear the new Xamarin T-shirt to Day 1 of Build and you’ll be eligible for one of three Xamarin “Go Mobile” Developer Rigs. Valued at over $10k (USD), the rigs include your choice of laptop or desktop pre-configured with Xamarin subscriptions, iOS and Android devices, and more!

Enter your email address below, tweet your RSVP on the next screen, and we’ll see you at Build!


 
 

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March 16, 2015

The Channel 9 Xamarin Invasion Advances

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A little over one year ago we started our Channel 9 Invasion and, in the short time since then, videos featuring Xamarins have reached over half a million views! channel 9 logoWe started with features on popular Channel 9 shows Visual Studio Toolbox and DevRadio and then advanced to major conferences such as Build, TechEd Europe, and dotNetConf.

We’re kicking off 2015 with a bang with brand new episodes for your enjoyment. I had the honor of joining Robert Green again, expanding our four part series into an eight part series on Visual Studio Toolbox. Part 5 focuses on how you can leverage your C# and XAML skills to build cross-platform native mobile apps with Xamarin.Forms.

Part 6 goes in a different direction and focuses on how to use the Xamarin Designer for iOS inside of Visual Studio to craft beautiful iOS user interfaces.

If you missed any of last year’s episodes of Visual Studio Toolbox, you can catch up at the links below:
visual studio toolbox

Be sure to follow Channel 9, Robert Green, and of course Xamarin on Twitter for even more great episodes coming soon.

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March 13, 2015

Contest: Win an Apple Watch

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Within 24 hours of the release of WatchKit at Apple’s “Spring Forward” event this week, we announced our official support for WatchKit. An exciting aspect of this release is our support for designing Apple Watch user interface storyboards in Xamarin Studio and Visual Studio.

In this contest, we’re inviting you to get started on your first Apple Watch app. Building your Watch app’s screenflow is easy: just drag and drop Watch screens and controls in the Designer in Xamarin Studio or Visual Studio.

find-my-car-smaller
When your cool app idea has taken shape, grab a screenshot and share it on Twitter to enter. Check out these apps for inspiration!

How to Enter:

  1. Start designing a Storyboard for your WatchKit app in Xamarin Studio or Visual Studio
  2. Tweet a screenshot of your storyboard with the hashtags #AppleWatch & #BuiltWithXamarin
  3. Post your WatchKit app to to this Forum thread

Here’s an example to get you started:

storyboard-xs

Prize:

The most original concept & design will win an Apple Watch Sport! ($349 value – We’ll order one for you on pre-order day next month.)

Blue Apple WatchGreen Apple Watch

All submissions must be made by Monday, March 23rd at 12pm EST. We will evaluate each submission based on concept, design quality, and originality. A valid entry consists of a tweet including the required hashtags and an image of your Watch app storyboard rendered in Xamarin Studio or Visual Studio. All submissions must be unique. Contestants should follow @XamarinHQ to enable us to DM you for private follow-up. There is no purchase necessary to enter this contest.

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March 12, 2015

Join Xamarin at Virtual dotNetConf 2015

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Next Wednesday, March 18th will kick off dotNetConf, the free annual virtual event focused on all things .NET and C# with 16 hours of awesome content spanning two days! We’re excited to announce a special keynote and several Xamarin sessions for your enjoyment this year.

dotnetconf logoStarting off day two on Thursday, March 19th at 8:30 a.m. PST, Xamarin’s very own Miguel de Icaza and James Montemagno will join Scott Hanselman live on stage for the Community Day opening keynote. Miguel and James will be sharing some exciting updates on the Xamarin Platform and Xamarin.Forms along with some awesome new demos. Miguel, James, and Scott will also dive into various topics, including industry trends and development from mobile to cloud in .NET and C#.

Then, at 11:00 am PST, join Amazon’s Tara Walker as she covers how to leverage Xamarin and Xamarin.Forms for complete cross-platform mobile development in C# on iOS, Android, and Windows.

Check out the agenda to see all of the action packed .NET sessions and be sure to register for dotNetConf today! It’s completely FREE!

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March 11, 2015

Xamarin Test Cloud Provides Same Day Support for iOS 8.2

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Is your iOS app ready for Apple’s latest point release? With Xamarin Test Cloud you can find out. We’re the only mobile testing vendor with real devices running iOS 8.2 on the same day Apple made it public, because we know that every day counts when it comes to delivering quality apps in a complex mobile landscape.

We maintain and update the largest mobile device cloud in the industry so that you can ship your apps faster and more confidently, instantly increase your coverage of popular devices worldwide, and get ahead of any breaking changes to your app that could be caused by operating system updates.

To take advantage of the new devices in Xamarin Test Cloud today, just filter by iOS 8.2 in the New Test Run device selection dialog:

Xamarin Test Cloud Device Panel
Happy Testing!

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March 10, 2015

Like Clockwork, Xamarin Releases Watch Kit Support

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We’re very excited to announce official support for Apple’s just-released Watch Kit.

To start building Watch apps with Xamarin immediately:

  • Download the official Xcode 6.2 release from Apple.
  • Update Xamarin.iOS to the latest version.
  • Update Xamarin Studio or the Xamarin for Visual Studio extension.
  • File > New Watch App!

Xamarin provides complete Apple Watch support in both Xamarin Studio and Visual Studio. You can use your favorite IDE to:

  • Create new Watch Apps with an associated Watch Extension.
  • Edit watch user interface storyboards in the iOS Designer.
  • Start and debug watch apps in the iOS Simulator (Visual Studio uses the Mac Build Host).
  • Build and test your watch app Glance and Notification modes.

Visit our Watch Kit documentation and samples to get started, or watch this short Your First Watch Kit App video:

Discuss this blog post in the Xamarin Forums.

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March 6, 2015

Xamarin App Video Spotlight: MusicNotes.com

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At Xamarin Evolve 2014 I sat down with Cristina Noel of musicnotes.com, an online catalogue of over 250,000 individual pieces of sheet music. Musicnotes.com enables musicians to print what they’ve purchased, as well as have unlimited access to it digitally online and via Android and iOS apps.

A Windows desktop app for a long time, musicnotes.com decided to move to mobile to allow people to view and play music on the go. Watch the video below to learn how a desire to work smarter, not harder, in updating their C++ Windows app to a new language led them to C# and Xamarin.

Learn More

You can learn more about musicnotes.com on their website. Their apps are also available for download on Android and iOS.

To get started developing with the Xamarin platform, check out our developer documentation, or get live online training with Xamarin University.

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March 5, 2015

Xamarin Is Coming to a Campus Near You

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This past fall, we announced free Xamarin Indie subscriptions for all currently-enrolled college and high school students. In the few months since, thousands of students have taken us up on our offer and are now building and shipping Xamarin apps for iOS and Android.

As part of this announcement, we also unveiled our Xamarin Student Ambassador program. Students accepted into the program are fostering interest in mobile app development in their peers around the globe by sharing their experience building native mobile apps in C#. This first class of 2014-2015 Xamarin Student Ambassadors includes sixty-four representatives, spanning 27 countries and 5 continents.

Xamarin Student Ambassadors
Our student ambassadors already have a lot of amazing progress to report. From several great blogs covering topics like “Xamarin.Forms and NFC” and “Creating Bindable Custom Controls with Xamarin.Forms”, to our ambassadors in Italy who unified to create a group to serve the students of Milano.

Xamarin Student Ambassadors are on campuses all over the globe and are anxious to share details about upcoming events and find ways to help out in any way they can, so be sure to connect with one near you!

Xamarin Recruiting Near You

In addition to our ambassadors spreading the word about Xamarin all over the world, the Xamarin team is making regular appearances on campuses in the US! If working for team Xamarin is your dream job, we would love to see you at an upcoming information session! We will share a bit about our products, customers, experiences, and discuss the transitions that Xamarin has gone through in the past three years. Stop by, bring your resume, enjoy some good food, and learn why Xamarin was voted one of the San Francisco Business Time’s “Best Places to Work”.

University of California, Berkeley

  • When: Tuesday, March 17th from 5:00-6:30pm
  • Where: The Blue Room
  • RSVP

Stanford University

  • When: Wednesday, April 1st from 6:00pm-8:00pm
  • Where: The Red Lounge
  • RSVP

University of California, Davis

  • When: Monday, April 6th from 12:00pm-2:00pm
  • Where: Internship and Career Center (South Hall)
  • RSVP via the Aggie Job Link
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