October 13, 2014 weblog
Xamarin has previews of new platform features for developers
We knew there had to be a way of better monitoring apps, said Xamarin's creators. Big-name companies evidently agree with them. Microsoft, GitHub and Dow Jones are just some of the big names that have taken advantage of Xamarin, a platform for developers. They get deep code-sharing capabilities across iOS, Android and Windows apps.
Xamarin enables development of cross-platform mobile applications targeting phones, tablets and embedded devices. Developers are told, "Anything you can do in Objective-C and Java can be done in C# with Xamarin." They are told they can write 100 percent of the app in C#— UI, business logic, everything. Xamarin applications use the .NET Base Class Library, a massive collection of classes with features such as powerful XML, Database, Serialization, IO, String and Networking support. Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android are built on top of Mono, an open-source version of the .NET Framework based on the published .NET ECMA standards. By Xamarin's count, over 600,000 developers are building consumer, gaming, and enterprise apps with Xamarin. Earlier this month, Xamarin announced previews for new Xamarin platform features for cross-platform mobile development. The previews for Xamarin platform features are being made available, said Miguel de Icaza, CTO and co-founder, "to get feedback from our community and to help us focus our efforts."
I Programmer made note that one useful preview involves a better Android emulator. "The emulator lets you simulate battery state condition and GPS location, and integrates directly into ADB (Android Debug Bridge)," said I Programmer. Existing Android tools should work directly with the new emulator.
The preview, Sketches, is a tool making C# and F# more accessible."The utility acts as a C# or F# shell. It lets you watch code running, viewing both the intermediate results for the code and the effect it is having on the user interface," said I Programmer.
The third feature is a diagnostics tool, Profiler, to collect data on the performance of the C# app. The idea is to use Profiler to find memory leaks and spot bottlenecks. De Icaza said, "The profiler collects information about the managed side of your Xamarin iOS and Android applications and helps you to figure out where to spend the most time making improvements. You can it to find memory leaks, resolve performance bottlenecks, and add polish to your applications before getting them out the door."
Last but not least is the preview for Insights, a realtime monitoring system. You add Insights into an application with a single line of code. Insights can report uncaught native or managed exceptions. The developer can track past and active sessions with access to device statistics such as operating system and screen resolution. Insights can be integrated with services such as GitHub, HipChat, Visual Studio Online, and Campfire.
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