The Future: Xamarin.Essentials
I have been working on Plugins for Xamarin for a long time now. Through the years I have always wanted to create a single, optimized, and official package from the Xamarin team at Microsoft that could easily be consumed by any application. The time is now with Xamarin.Essentials, which offers over 30 cross-platform native APIs in a single optimized package. I worked on this new library with an amazing team of developers and I highly highly highly recommend you check it out:
Plugins for Xamarin and Windows Projects
See a full list of community built plugins at: https://github.com/xamarin/plugins
Download Sample Apps!
Try out my plugins on your own device!
What is this?
This is my main repo for all all Xamarin Plugins that I have or will be publishing. It is also example and documentation on how to create your very own PCL Plugin. These PCL plugins will allow you to add rich cross platform functionality to Xamarin, Xamarin.Forms and Windows Projects that use a PCLs or Shared Project.
Read more on my blog: https://montemagno.com/what-exactly-is-a-plugin-for-xamarin/
My Plugins for Xamarin are completely open source and I encourage and accept pull requests! So please help out in any ways you can:
- Report Bugs: Open an Issue
- Submit Feature Requests: Open an Issue
- Fix a Bug or Add Feature: Send a Pull Request
- Create your Own Plugin : Learn How
My Current Plugins for Xamarin
Each plugin has a README with more information on what they contain. These are plugins I have created and maintain:
- Battery Status: Get battery level, how it is getting charge, and events.
- Connectivity: See if device is connected to the internet and through what connection type.
- Contacts: Currently in Alpha to gather and query contacts
- Device Information: Base information about each device such as OS and version.
- Extended Maps: Launch navigation directions in default map app on each OS
- Geolocator: Easy way of querying GPS location
- Media: Take or pick photos/videos
- Permissions: Check and request runtime permissions.
- Settings: Fully cross platform settings for your application.
- Share: Easily share text or open a browser
- Text To Speech: Turn your text into a vocal symphony on mobile devices.
- Vibrate: Make that device rumble!
- Circle Image Control for Xamarin.Forms
Awesome Plugins I Contribute To:
- Compass: Easily access compass heading
- Local Notifications: Easily show and schedule local notifications.
- Messaging: Send emails, sms, and place phone calls
- Messages_Sample: This is a simple test PCL NuGet to show anyone how easy it is to get a NuGet up and running. It uses an example of a stubbed out class and also a linked file class with #if's throughout it.
How PCL's Work!
PCL's consist of 2 concepts:
- Reference Assembly (API Contract)
Usually these 2 concepts exist together in one single assembly, however PCL's are special and allow you to separate your Reference Assembly from your implementation. This makes it extremely valuable to have platform specific implementations but develop against the same API on all platforms.
Compile vs Deploy
When we are creating a PCL library our PCL project will contain the API Contract with either an Interface that must be implemented on each platform or a stubbed our class that will be implemented on each platform. When we create our NuGet this reference assembly will be installed into our PCL that we can code against.
We will then create a separate project for each platform that we wish to support and implement the interface or stub class on each of them. The key here is that our reference assembly and each platform project have the SAME namespaces & assembly name. When we install into a specific platform via NuGet the platform specific DLL will be referenced.
The magic here is that while we are compiling against our reference assembly in the PCL when we go to deploy our application the reference assembly will be replaced with our platform specific implementation for the specific platform.
This is extremely powerful as long as you as a library creator ensure that your namespaces, assembly names, and all methods are implemented correctly on each platform.
Packaging up your your PCL
You will want to create a nuspec for your DLLs. I have examples in each of my projects for this. Once you have them done simply follow the guidelines: http://docs.nuget.org/docs/creating-packages/creating-and-publishing-a-package
You will want to ensure that you follow the naming guidelines for each platform:
- Ensure namespaces are the same
- Ensure that Assembly Names are the same. You will see all of mine are called Refractored.Xam.Messages.dll in all projects!
Licensed under MIT see License file. Each plugin licensed under parent license unless stated in it's readme file.
Want To Support This Project?
All I have ever asked is to be active by submitting bugs, features, and sending those pull requests down! Want to go further? Make sure to subscribe to my weekly development podcast Merge Conflict, where I talk all about awesome Xamarin goodies and you can optionally support the show by becoming a supporter on Patreon.