Xamarin.Forms provides a way to quickly build native apps for iOS, Android, and Windows, completely in C#.
Read more about the platform at https://www.xamarin.com/forms.
Install Visual Studio 2015
VS 2015 is required for developing Xamarin.Forms. If you do not already have it installed, you can download it here. VS 2015 Community is completely free. If you are installing VS 2015 for the first time, select the "Custom" installation type and select the following from the features list to install:
- C#/.NET (Xamarin v4.0.3)
- Universal Windows App Development Tools
- Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.0/8.1 Tools
We also recommend installing Microsoft Visual Studio Emulator for Android as well as Emulators for Windows Phone 8.1. If you already have VS 2015 installed, you can verify that these features are installed by modifying the VS 2015 installation via the Control Panel.
Install Additional Features
After installing VS 2015, you will also need to install the following:
- Bing Maps SDK for Windows 8.1 Store apps -- you can find this in
Tools > Extensions and Updatesand searching for "bing" in the Online pane.
- Android SDKs -- you can install these via
Tools > Android > Android SDK Manager.
Upon opening the Xamarin.Forms solution, you will find that there are a number of errors and warnings under the Error List pane; you can resolve this by changing the filter of
Build + IntelliSense to
Build Only. At this point, you should be able to successfully build the solution.
By default, the
Xamarin.Forms.Controls project does not have a configuration for various API keys to access certain features on each platform (e.g. maps). When building the solution the first time, a
controlgallery.config file will be generated inside that project, which looks like this:
Win8MapsAuthKey: WinPhoneMapsAuthKey: UWPMapsAuthKey: InsightsApiKey: WP8AppId: WP8AuthToken:
You will have to obtain your own API keys for each of these services, inserted directly after the identifier (e.g.
Win8MapsAuthKey:abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz). You can find out how to obtain each of these as follows:
Due to the way that Android works, the maps API key cannot be injected at runtime. As a result, you will have to add this key to the
MapsKey.cs file under
[assembly: Android.App.MetaData("com.google.android.maps.v2.API_KEY", Value = "INSERT_KEY_HERE")]
You can find out how to obtain a Google Maps API key here.
We follow the style used by the .NET Foundation, with two primary exceptions:
- We do not use the
privatekeyword as it is the default accessibility level in C#.
- We use hard tabs over spaces. You can change this setting in VS 2015 via
Tools > Optionsand navigating to
Text Editor > C#and selecting the "Keep tabs" radio option.
To discuss this project and participate in the design, we use the Xamarin.Forms Evolution discussion board.
We use Bugzilla to track issues.