Xamarin Evolve 2013 was incredible! We hosted over 600 mobile developers from 15 countries. Forty-six speakers delivered 80 hours of training and conference sessions. Xamarin engineers worked individually with mobile developers in 116 one-on-one sessions, consulting on architecture, performing code reviews, and troubleshooting issues. One hundred fifty attendees earned prizes for completing 4 or more Mini-Hacks. Over 400 developers were trained to become our first-ever Certified Xamarin Mobile Developers.

In between all of the events, the Darwin Lounge was the place to hang out, get a massage, work on Mini-Hacks, play with the 3-D printers and AR drones, and show off apps.

For those of you who missed it, or for those who want to relive the magic, the Evolve 2013 keynote video is now available. You can kick back and watch the whole thing, or hone in on the segments of most interest to you.

Watch Evolve 2013 Keynote

The Big Announcements

We talked a lot about the Xamarin mission to delight developers at every stage of their mobile development, and at the conference Miguel and I made 4 major product announcements:

  • Xamarin Test Cloud: Beyond cross-platform development, the #1 pain point for mobile developers is testing apps. In fact, it is such a challenge that 92% of developers don’t do it, and yet quality matters even more on mobile. In the keynote, we unveiled Xamarin Test Cloud, the world’s best tool for automated UI testing, where apps are automatically tested on hundreds of real devices, all in the cloud. We also announced our acquisition of LessPainful, the creators of Calabash, the most widely used cross-platform mobile test automation framework.
  • iOS Designer:  We have extended Xamarin Studio (and soon Visual Studio too) with a native user interface designer for iOS applications. In addition to supporting all of the UIKit user interface elements, our designer is capable of editing your own custom components or third party components. You can customize the properties of your views and see the changes take place live on the designer surface. Our designer also adopts the familiar idioms of designers from Visual Studio, so it is easy to add event handlers to native UIKit components and reference those from your source code.
  • Async:  Available from our Beta channels, we’ve brought .NET 4.5 Async support to Xamarin for iOS, Android and Mac, along with many new Async API entry points for iOS and Android. Watch the video to see before and after code snapshots comparing classic asynchronous programming (using callbacks) vs Xamarin’s new async / await keyword support, which results in much simpler, more maintainable code. Along with this release, Xamarin is upgrading the entire stack to Mono 3.0, picking up the new Mono garbage collector, C# 5.0 and .NET 4.5 APIs.
  • F#: Since its first inception, .NET was designed to support multiple languages, and thanks to the hard work of the F# community, F# compilers for iOS, Android and Mac are now available in the Xamarin Beta channel. You will also need to install the F# extension to Xamarin Studio. We’re excited to see the mobile innovation from functional developers with F# and Xamarin.

Responses to Xamarin Evolve 2013

Several Xamarin Evolve 2013 attendees wrote their own blog posts about the event, capturing the experience from their perspective. We’ve collected links to the best blog posts below so that you can see what attendees have to say about the conference.  See the best tweets from the event on the Xamarin Storify Page.

“Last week they threw their very first conference, and it was a truly impressive feat. A giant stage, exciting keynotes, new product announcements, live recordings of all sessions, and amazing one-on-one support with Xamarin engineers.”

“I’m pleased to say that Evolve far exceeded my expectations and in fact, without a doubt, this was the best conference I’ve been to.”

“In closing, I’d just like to give my compliments to the whole Xamarin staff and the production company for putting together an inspiring conference. I loved the attention to detail that was visible everywhere.”

“Last week I attended the Xamarin Evolve 2013 conference in Austin. It was, hands down, the best conference that I have ever attended.”

“It was definitely a great event and Xamarin deserves major kudos, both for the event itself, but also for their products and impressive keynote announcements.”

“Evolve 2013 is over and what a show it was! The whole Xamarin team did a fantastic job of putting on a great conference and it was superb to meet so many of you from experienced mobile dev gurus to complete novices taking your first mobile development steps.”

“I knew Xamarin was a great solution for cross-platform mobile applications, but after attending Evolve, I’m convinced it’s a terrific solution even for apps on a single platform.”

The rest of the conference sessions and training will be rolled out over the next few weeks, so stay tuned for more great Evolve content. We can’t wait to do it again next year!