We have been working on improving the quality and performance of Xamarin.Forms as we speed toward our next stable release, so the bulk of this pre-release amounts to a huge list of quality improvements. For a complete rundown, check out the release notes here.

What’s New in Xamarin.Forms 2.3.4.184-pre1

There are a few feature enhancements nestled in among the bug fixes. Most notably, we’re delivering on several features we announced on the Xamarin.Forms Roadmap, including Bindable Picker, OnIdiom Support for UWP Desktop, and quality improvements.

Bindable Picker

Use the same binding syntax you’re familiar with on controls like ListView to work the Picker control. Bind your ItemsSource, SelectedIndex, SelectedItem, Title, and TextColor without having to wire things up manually in the XAML C# code file. This makes using the Picker control that much easier in apps that make regular use of Mvvm and bindings.

<Picker
    Title="Select a Color"
    ItemsSource="{Binding Colors}" />

OnIdiom Support for UWP Desktop

You can now target your code directly at desktop and laptops running Windows thanks to a community member pull request. Previously, UWP desktop was lumped in with phone or tablet.

<StackLayout>
  <StackLayout.Orientation>
    <OnIdiom x:TypeArguments="StackOrientation">
      <OnIdiom.Phone>Vertical</OnIdiom.Phone>
      <OnIdiom.Tablet>Vertical</OnIdiom.Tablet>
      <OnIdiom.Desktop>Horizontal</OnIdiom.Desktop>
    </OnIdiom>
  </StackLayout.Orientation>
  ...
</StackLayout>

Quality Enhancements

We’ve been looking for wins in terms of quality and performance across the board. Now, if you have XAMLC enabled in your project, you’ll benefit from all of the runtime performance gains we’ve made; we’re working on even more. UWP developers may have noticed that ListView performance needed some love, and in this release it has been vastly improved. In both cases, no changes are required by you.

In addition to those highlights, we’ve addressed more than 90 bug reports and added over 45 other fixes to improve overall quality. We’re really happy with the momentum we have going and hope you are, too.

The Future of Xamarin.Forms

Community Contributions

The Xamarin.Forms community has been helping drive improvements with pull requests and proposals. This pre-release boasts over 50 pull requests merged from 13 community members across 10 countries in just the past three months. A huge thanks to every one of you for each bug fix and enhancement, big or small!

Do you have a great idea for what Xamarin.Forms should be doing and want to learn how you can contribute? Head over to our new Evolution forum and get started by reading the contribution guidelines. As of this writing, we already have six proposals “In Progress” and another nine proposals that have been “Accepted”.

Xamarin.Forms Feature Roadmap

Last week we published our Xamarin.Forms Roadmap, which looks forward to what we expect to deliver over the next several months. Community feedback has been excellent and productive in helping shape the future of Xamarin.Forms. We’re heavily focused on performance improvements, quality improvements, and implementing the features most impactful to Xamarin.Forms users. Make sure to read the Roadmap here and bookmark it so you get any updates we make as those dates approach.

Try it now—feedback please!

To get Xamarin.Forms 2.3.4.184-pre1, search nuget with the pre-release option enabled, and install it into each PCL and App project.

We’re currently hunting for all the bugs–help us so we can get to release candidate status! Of course, we want to validate that we’ve successfully closed out other bugs and celebrate a bit (kudos welcome), but a goal of any pre-release is to surface new bugs as well. Load up your projects, simple and complex alike, and give them a taste of 2.3.4.184-pre1.

If you’ve got a new bug to report, drop us a quick report here so we can follow up in detail.

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