Going Mobile, Going Xamarin: Some of the Best Xamarin Blogs We’ve Found

If you're developing mobile apps, you’re developing with Xamarin. Today we look at some of the sharpest Xamarin blogs out there for developers.

Xamarin Blog

This is the official Xamarin blog, so there is plenty of good stuff in here – from individual tips and tricks to links to Xamarin-related webcasts and other resources. Most, if not all, of the contributors are Microsoft employees—including the Xamarin guy James Montemagno, who has presented before and will certainly present again at Visual Studio Live!

A recent post describes the new Xamarin.Forms Previewer that comes with the latest release for Visual Studio and Visual Studio for Mac. There are now enhancements to the Xamarin.Forms Previewer to "increase the range of supported controls and XAML constructs … make the previewer much more reliable, including the initialization process. Be sure that you have the latest Java 1.8 x64 installed, as it is required for Android previewing."

Another recent post by James Montemagno dives deep into .NET Standard Libraries in both Xamarin Studio and Visual Studio. These help you share code more easily. "Consuming .NET Standard NuGets and Assemblies is completely seamless, and with Xamarin Studio 6.2, developers can create and open .NET Standard projects. The .NET Standard Library is a formal specification of .NET APIs that are intended to be available on all .NET run-times. You can think of it as a simplified, yet expanded, Portable Class Library. It is a single library with a uniform API for all .NET Platforms, including .NET Core. You just create a single .NET Standard Library and use it from any run-time that supports .NET Standard Platform."


Speaking of James Montemagno, this is his personal Xamarin blog. As you might suspect, he gets deep into the details of coding mobile apps with Xamarin and supporting technologies. He also covers ASP.NET Core. Linux, Azure and how they all work together. A recent post covers Deploying an ASP.NET Core app to Linux on Azure App Service. He says he has been "messing around with ASP.NET Core inside of Visual Studio for Mac," which is what led him to this topic. His posts are nicely detailed and include screen shots that support and illustrate what he's describing.

Jonathan Peppers

Jonathan Peppers is a self-described "Xamarin MVP and C# nerd." His blog, like Montemagno's, includes a laundry list of specific topics and functions. Some of the top recent posts include Securing In-App Purchases for Xamarin with Azure Functions, Improving HTTP Performance in Xamarin Applications, and Mocking Xamarin.Forms.

That last post isn’t making fun of Xamarin.Forms. Instead, he talks about recreating the forms app. "We've been building a large Xamarin.Forms application for quite some time at Hitcents, and there was a huge pain point I was able to figure out for our team. If you've ever gotten into Xamarin.Forms" development, it becomes quite clear that there isn't a guide for unit testing things like markup extensions, custom views, navigation, animations, etc."

He goes on to describe his solution. "The dilemma is, if you try to setup your own Xamarin.Forms.Forms.Init() for the purposes of unit testing, you quickly find that most of the interfaces needed to set this up are marked internal. To get around this issue I took advantage of [InternalsVisibleTo], and created a unit testing library where I renamed the output assembly to Xamarin.Forms.Core.UnitTests.dll. This allowed me to setup a MockForms.Init() method, and this assembly name isn't likely to conflict with anything in a developer's Xamarin.Forms project."

There are several other top-notch Xamarin blogs out there, so look for another post coming up in which we’ll present several more. Happy coding!

Posted by Lafe Low on 03/14/2017

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