Tuesday, 29 September 2015

iOS 9-ify your Xamarin.Forms App

It's not just regular Xamarin.iOS apps that can implement fancy iOS 9 features :) Check out the quick hacks I did to this Restaurant Guide Xamarin.Forms sample to add iOS 9 features:

Mostly using the magic of Dependency Service I added:

No special work was required to get the app running with iPad Multitasking, other than to ensure there was a Storyboard (or XIB) Launchscreen.

Finally, I added the Application Transport Security "opt-out" tags to the Info.plist file, so that the links to all the different restaurants would work in the WebView control.

Download the code from github to try for yourself!

p.s. Ignore the fact that this sample uses Razor templates to generate the restaurant detail view. That is merely a coincidence - this existing Xamarin.Forms sample was the most appropriate to add iOS 9 features to. iOS 9 features can be added to any Xamarin.Forms app, whether it displays data with XAML, C#, or in a Razor HTML template ;)

Sunday, 27 September 2015

iOS 9-ify your Xamarin App

With the iPhone 6s models now available, it's possible to build and test all the great new features of iOS 9 with Xamarin. To demonstrate, I've tried to squeeze as many iOS 9 features as possible into one sample: To9o app (that's "Todo" but with a "9" :-) The c# code is on github and screenshots of each iOS 9 feature are shown below.

3D Touch

3D Touch can used a few different ways, but requires an iPhone 6s to test (the Simulator doesn't support 3D Touch). I started by adding these two:

Multitasking for iPad

If the app can resize its UI appropriately, it should work fine for multi-tasking!


The "Todo" app doesn't traditionally need an interface to the Contacts list, but I added it just to give this new API a try :)

New Search APIs

The new search APIs let you expose content to search and Siri. I've added both:
Notice the Back to Search button in the navigation bar.


This new layout option makes it much easier to build screens that 'scale', and also makes it even easier to support RTL languages (see below).
* Note: currently UIStackViews must be drawn using Xamarin's Xcode integration, but the built-in Xamarin iOS Designer will support them soon!

Collection View Changes

The main Todo list is a UICollectionView rather than a table, so it can demonstrate how easy it now is to re-order items with two simple methods added in code.

Right-to-Left Language Support

The entire app can now automatically flip (including UINavigationController animations) when displaying RTL languages like Arabic and Hebrew (note: machine translation used for example, apologies for any inaccuracies).


This new API makes it easy to implement an in-app web browsing experience with a line or two of code. I've used it just for an "About" window.

All these improvements are explained in Xamarin's iOS 9 docs, and the code is available to review. It is still a work-in-progress so check back for more updates.