The Evolve conference is now going on at full steam. Some of the most important highlights are the following:
Xamarin.Forms – this looks like a very promising approach to cross-platform UI development. Admittedly, it does not cover yet everything but it is an excellent starting point for UI unification.
Profiler – it’s finally coming! Covering both allocations profiling and time profiling this is a must for any mobile developer. We see way too many bloated apps which could really benefit from some of the insights offered by allocation and/or time profiling.
Xamarin Android Player – this was probably the funniest part of the keynote and also a slap in Google’s face. Bottom line, exasperated with the disastrous performance of the Android emulator, Xamarin decided to build one of its own. Which, runs with an order of magnitude faster than Google’s and is capable of using all the power it can get from the underlying hardware. Which, by the way, makes it useful even for game testing.
Sketches - enables interactive writing of C# and F# stuff. If you like, it’s sort of a C#/F# command line. The nice part is that it also has custom renderers for expressions (including colours, images, graphs for numeric values, and many more). The real power comes when used with Xamarin.Forms enabling you to create pieces of your app dynamically, and even switch live between iOS and Android. I see this as an awesome tool for interactively implementing stuff that today needs the compile -> run -> change spiral.
Xamarin Test Cloud – it’s finally out with some extras like parallel testing and graphical playback of tests. Along the same page, support for building tests has been significantly improved.
Xamarin Insights – simple to use tracking platform for any application developed with Xamarin. Its web portal enables you to understand in a very detailed way how do your users use your apps.
All in all, I can conclude that Xamarin is making huge steps towards providing us with the kind of tools and platforms we need to optimize cross-platform development. I’m confident that our strategy to bet on their technology is going to continue to pay off.