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Building iOS Apps with Xamarin and Visual Studio

Learn how to make your first iOS app using Xamarin and Visual Studio, by making a simple photo library viewer.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.raywenderlich.com/1044-building-ios-apps-with-xamarin-and-visual-studio

I’m calling it, the official downfall of this site is here :frowning:… you guys had a good running.

The quality of tutorials are getting worse day by day. The tutorials are for only beginners, not advanced. Basically, they are concentrated on video tutorials. The quality of video tutorials are not good. I unsuscribed their video tutorials as well.

Hi, using a Pc and a Mac side by side or an emulator (either win on mac or vice versa) is really a wrong, wrong choice.
Visual studio exists on mac, and an iOS app is possible only on a Mac.
So can’t we simply use one, simple, clean, straight M A C ? :slight_smile:

Thanks, anyway.


@vmacavero You can use Xamarin just on a Mac. While the tutorial uses Visual Studio, Xamarin Studio includes a Mac OS native app that can be used to do development with Xamarin without Windows. The tutorial works almost the same on both.

im using visual studio to
but for windows and xbox apps
i think its a good thing to have a Xamarin tutorial
but please use the mac version as this is an iOS tutorial
and use Visual Studio for windows tutorials
windows development is not as hard or wrong as most people think
hopefully this website will soon offer windows tutorials to
i been a windows developer for over 10 years and its really fun to do together with Mac, apple watch, apple tv and iOS

True that the tutorial isn’t much different in Xamarin studio then in VS, but you probably lost most of your audience by using a platform that most of them either don’t have, or want to have.

@thegamingart We can’t just write about one subject (making iOS apps w/ Swift and Xcode) all the time. It’s important to write about other subjects our readers care about too. I know you’re not a fan of Xamarin, but a lot of people have requested we write tutorial on it - hence this tutorial.

@victorray Seriously? Name one other site that does 3 rounds of editing for every tutorial that comes out. And I just took a look at some of our recent tutorials, and they’re definitely not for “only beginners” - these would be valuable for more experienced authors too:

Sorry that you don’t like the tutorials, but I think it’s unfair to say that the “quality is not good.” Our authors & editors work pretty hard on these - if you have any suggestions please be constructive.

@vmacavero @kvebeeck @kraigspear We chose to use Visual Studio for this tutorial since Visual Studio support for Xamarin is new and interesting. Thanks for the feedback though, if we do any future Xamarin tutorials we’ll consider using Xamarin Studio instead.

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@rwenderlich I support you. I think that its unfair for them to hate on a tutorial. If you’re a developer, you should probably have both a windows and mac. For me, I’m running parallels. I think Swift is amazing, and objective c is great, but I wan’t cross platform apps rather than learning each individual language. Cocoa pods are the only problem with Xamarin. I love cocoa pods and I use the new and improved firebase :slight_smile: I hope cocoa pods will move over to xamarin too.

I’d like to add that you might also have to add using Foundation; in PhotoCollectionDataSource class, for me it wasn’t compiling otherwise (Xamarin Studio Community 6.0.1 b9).

I think that, considering most (all?) iOS developers are working on a Macintosh, there would be more value in a tutorial that focuses on Xamarin Studio on the Mac. As someone with a couple of years dealing with Xamarin, the decision to burden yourself with learning Xamarin is big enough a deal, without having to install VMWare or BootCamp.

As an iOS developer, if it were up to me, if I wanted to do an Android version of my product, I would learn the Android SDK and rewrite it. Unless you are dealing with very simple applications (such as an application that lists the states in the U.S.) Xamarin doesn’t offer much value.

People don’t need a PC to learn that.

Thanks for the tutorial! It was helpful for me. It is sometimes hard to find some good step-by-step tutorial for first steps with some new technology.

@arnavthecoder1 Look into NuGet (https://www.nuget.org/). It serves much the same purpose for Microsoft’s development as Cocoapods and is integrated into Visual Studio and Xamarin Studio. There’s a portable firebase library that works with Xamarin there.

@stevedaly Using Xamarin for just cross platform is a strong appeal, but not the only one. A lot of companies have years of experience using C#, and it makes the transition to mobile easier for them. The ability to reuse existing code can also speed up development time and make it easier to sell internally on building a mobile app.

Just saying, if you are an iOS developer and want to develop for iOS only, just stick with xCode, Swift and/or Obj-C. If you want to branch out to Android, an obvious choice is to embrace Android development. The differences between the two platforms (other than the language) are significant, more-so than a cross-platform solution can currently deliver. Considering that there are rumblings that Google is going to embrace Swift, we’d at least have the language in common.

I can see why Microsoft acquired Xamarin, because it offers the opportunity for Windows developers to develop for mobile devices. But if you truly embrace Xamarin’s cross-platformness, then you are left with a choice between embracing a least-common-denominator result, or having to make solutions that are simple in their native environment more complicated.

However, I do appreciate that Microsoft, since the acquisition, has improved the quality of the product, so that, for example, I no longer need to reboot my Mac several times a day to keep the development environment from locking up.

You whiners don’t have to read the tutorials that don’t interest you. Some of us are developing cross-platform business apps using Xamarin and very much appreciate tutorials such as this.

To Ray and his other authors: Thank you!

@stevedaly I understand your point, but there is a lot more to cross platform than interface considerations. You should consider business rules engines, database layers etc, all of which can be developed as cross-platform modules, independently of the UI layer, and importantly, unit tested once only. Separate applications for Windows, Android and Apple devices will all require these modules developed and tested separately, increasing the time to market.

Xamarin has a little way to go yet in terms of stability, but to us, its a vast step in the right direction.

A more appropriate direction would be an adoption of Swift within the Android platform (which there have been many rumblings about internally at Google). This tool, I wouldn’t dare build a viable scalable product in it (and I do have experience with it).

I think the tutorial rocks. I’m more than familiar with Xcode but noticed there are lot of conversations about Xamarin, so I decided I want to be in the know. It may not be for everyone, but I don’t think it’s fair to speak down about it. It’s probably not for everyone and the IDE is definitely different, but all in all I know MUCH more about it now, then I did before reading the tutorial. Thanks!!!

Great tutorial. I used Visual Studio for Mac Preview to work through it. I had to make one change to get the app to run - not because of Visual Studio, but because the target is iOS 10. I had to add a NSPhotoLibraryUsageDescription key in the Info.plist file with a string value displayed to the user in the request to access photos dialog. Without this key the app crashes.