We just announced a simpler way to get started with Xamarin.

Today’s alpha releases of Visual Studio Tools for Xamarin and Visual Studio for Mac feature preview support for our new Xamarin Live Player apps. These apps allow you to write, execute, and debug code continuously on an iOS or Android device straight from the IDE.

It supports this both with a traditional development cycle (write, compile, run, debug) or you can launch your application in live mode, where the code is automatically recompiled and reloaded on a per-view basis continuously.   We love this immediate feedback loop, and we hope that you will love it as much as we do.

Xamarin Live Player

Xamarin Live Player provides real-time feedback to developers while fitting into their existing mobile development experience.

To use the player, just select a new target from our device menu, and choose the player target.

Once you do this, you will be asked to pair your device with Visual Studio. Quickly scan the QR code with the Xamarin Live Player app and you’re ready to instantly run your app, live on your device. No waiting for a build to complete, no waiting for a package to be created—simply hit the deploy button and the code runs live on your device within seconds.

 

iPhone device pairing with Visual Studio

 

Once you have the app running from Visual Studio, either with or without the debugger, you can enable “Live Run” mode, which will constantly deploy your code as you edit it.

Imagine the following scenario: you just started working on a Xamarin.Forms app, and you’re ready to start running the app to test functionality and design. Want to see the header with a green background instead of purple? Switch the color and watch it reflected on your device. Want to see how a label handles longer names? Go ahead, make the change, and test it out. In a traditional configuration, you would have had to build the app at least three times, each time waiting for the build, packaging, and deployment processes. With Xamarin Live, the changes occur immediately.

Xamarin Live Player running code on iPhone device

Xamarin Live Player uses a minimal installation, you can get started without downloading and configuring large SDKs. You can try Xamarin development with nothing more than Visual Studio and an iOS or Android device!

Once your app outgrows the functionality of the live player, we make it easy for you to install and configure the native SDKs to have a complete development environment to provision, enlist and publish your applications to users.

Install the app today from the App Store or Google Play and then follow these instructions to install the Preview releases of Visual Studio 2017 or Visual Studio for Mac to get started. You can also take a look at our FAQ, which contains answers to many common questions related to this exciting new tool.

Be sure to send us your feedback, and report any bugs via Bugzilla.

Enjoy!