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Announcing Xamarin 2.0

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  • sysrpl

    Today Xamarin announced version 2.0 of their tools for using C# and Mono to develop iOS/Android apps on Windows/Mac/Linux with Visual Studio/Xamarin Studio.

    Xamarin also announced new free and individual developer versions.

    Part of the sales pitch Xamarin offered in the past is the easy of use and much simplified code reduction their C# libraries provide above and beyond Objective-C and Java. This new version much improves their tooling, according to Xamarin.

    My question to everyone here is, have you tried using C# or the Xamarin products to develop mobile applications for iPhone or Android? If so, what was your experience, and if not what has kept you from trying and using Xamarin mobile development tools?

    I'll answer first: No I haven't tried Xamarin studio previously because their lowest price was $999 and I have a strong bias against paid developer tools having had experienced Borland Delphi.

  • itsnotabug

    wow. native ios development in visual studio on windows? what kind of sorcery is this?

  • OrigamiCar

    , itsnotabug wrote

    wow. native ios development in visual studio on windows? what kind of sorcery is this?

    I literally read that line and exclaimed "Woah" out loud!
    We've used Monotouch for our iOS apps for about a year now, so I'm going to download and play with this stuff later today.
    Hopefully they've also got the .net 4.5 style AWAIT/ASYNC stuff in there as well now.

     

  • itsnotabug

    in addition to the high entry price, a major turn off for me in the past was the inherent choice you had to make based on your dev platform... you could either target ios/android on mac OR android/windows on pc. if they figured out a way to break that barrier and still offer the native bindings... this is huge.

    still $999 to get visual studio support though... i wish they would adopt a licensing model like unreal sdk. you can use it for free and you only pay royalties if your app nets certain $ thresholds.

  • OrigamiCar

    More details on the Visual Studio integration are here:

    http://docs.xamarin.com/guides/ios/getting_started/installation/windows

    Basically, you still need a networked mac to use as a build machine. Also have to use Interface Builder on the mac to design XIB UI files - that's a great shame and hopefully the smart folks at Xamarin will figure that out eventually. I would LOVE to get rid of that step - everytime I fire up XCode/Interface builder, I want to throw my mac through the window...!

  • TexasToast

    Trying the free one to port a windows phone app to android.   I might need a tutorial because I don't see how I layout a screen with text fields and buttons etc.  

    What is the advantage or disadvantage to using their GUI dev studio.  It looks clean. (much better than eclipse )  It is also only 299 versus 499 .

    Edit.

    Ok found there layout tool.   Looks good so far.

     

  • cbae

    I always wondered why you had to develop on a Mac in order to target iOS apps when the target audience for .NET/C# development tools is mainly developers that run VS in Windows.

    I wonder how Apple feels about this. I would think that there are plenty of Windows developers that have been considering purchasing a Mac in order to do iOS development, whether it's with Xamarin or through Xcode. If these tools are any good, they pretty much obviate the need to run out and buy Apple hardware (not that this is a large market segment to begin with).

    Likewise, this may kill the need for Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Phone. If you're a new developer and you're presented with an opportunity to target 3 platforms using the same language that you'd have to learn as you would using VSE, why wouldn't you take that opportunity?

  • cbae

    , OrigamiCar wrote

    More details on the Visual Studio integration are here:

    http://docs.xamarin.com/guides/ios/getting_started/installation/windows

    Basically, you still need a networked mac to use as a build machine. Also have to use Interface Builder on the mac to design XIB UI files - that's a great shame and hopefully the smart folks at Xamarin will figure that out eventually. I would LOVE to get rid of that step - everytime I fire up XCode/Interface builder, I want to throw my mac through the window...!

    Does the need for Mac apply even if you use Xamarin Studio?

    BTW, I know what you mean about IB. The way you have to hook up controls to their event handlers is one of most retarded and unintuitive development paradigms I can think of.

  • itsnotabug

    okay, who wants to host a bunch of macs and farm the compiler and xcode binaries to the visual studio diehards?  Wink

    you could even rent session time on the ui designer!

    j/k... i'm sure there's some silly legal reason why you can't do this.

  • PaoloM

    Funny, just last week I got an old MacBook as a trade... let's see what this new Xamarin Studio can do Smiley

  • cheong

    @OrigamiCar:Indeed. If they can compile C# Apps to run on iOS and Android with satisfactory stability and performance, $999 is not a bad deal.

    Recent Achievement unlocked: Code Avenger Tier 4/6: You see dead program. A lot!
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  • Sven Groot

    I find it bizarre that about 75% of the ads I see on the web are for Xamarin. What on earth have I been doing that Google thinks I'm interested in that?

  • Bas

    Awesome. Just put some old second-hand mac mini or macbook in a closet, and it should work. Now all we need is some sort of tool that converts XAML to whatever the layout systems in Android and iOS are called.

    $999 a year is insanely high though. I could see them attracting individual developers with something along the lines of $400/$500 once, but as pricing stands now they're just going to attract businesses. Which, obviously, makes sense, but still. They should work out some sort of Bizspark partnership.

  • Harlequin

    By the sounds of it you still need a Mac to do builds. So, why not just develop on the Mac? Even if you didn't need a Mac to do builds, I'd prefer to put that $1,000 towards buying one.

  • CaRDiaK

    Can't you just buy an el-cheapo Macmini and leave it in a cupboard doings it's thing?

    We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.
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  • OrigamiCar

    , Harlequin wrote

    By the sounds of it you still need a Mac to do builds. So, why not just develop on the Mac? Even if you didn't need a Mac to do builds, I'd prefer to put that $1,000 towards buying one.

    Yup, that's a perfectly valid question and developing using Xamarin studio on the mac probably is the answer for many people.

    For me in particular though, I have years and years of 'muscle memory' with Visual Studio and even though I have used Xamarin's UI (MonoDevelop for previous Monotouch versions and now Xamarin Studio) for over a year and am reasonably proficient with it, I'm still much faster inside Visual Studio/Windows environment. Just silly things like hitting F5 to debug instead of remembering to use Command + Enter.  Ctrl + C for copy, instead of Command + C etc. It just means you don't need to switch gears as much each time you switch platforms.

    Plus, there's some things that Visual Studio just does better than the Mono UI (I'm not putting Mono down - it's a great product).
    These things may sound silly, but they add up very quickly to being more productive - especially if like me, you develop for traditional Windows and for non Microsoft mobile apps, rather than concentrating on one or the other.

    I'm of course coming at this from a company perspective, where $1,000 isn't a number that is a showstopper. If I were doing this as a hobby or as a small independent developer shop, then I would probably go for the cheaper, non visual studio approach.

     

    I'm just installing the bits now and in my case, I'm going to run it all on the mac, rather than have a separate mac and pc setup. I run Windows 8 using parallels and so using Visual studio inside there is apparently supported. I'll let you know how it goes!

  • Harlequin

    But like Bas said the price is high. VS2012 Pro runs around $500 US, so put that beside a 3rd party tool being $1,000 is a big OUCH for some people.

  • sysrpl

    @Harlequin: I consider VS to be a free tool given all the Spark programs MS offers; WebsiteSpark, DreamSpark, BizSpark, and YouthSpark.

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