Microsoft has revealed that Xamarin would be available for free in Visual Studio 2015 at its Build conference last month, and today Xamarin is announcing even more ways developers can take advantage of Xamarin in Visual Studio. The company revealed an iOS Simulator Remoting feature, iOS USB Remoting feature, and a Test Recorder Visual Studio plug-in to help developers build native iOS apps at its Evolve conference today.
The iOS Simulator Remoting feature is designed to enable developers to simulate and interact with their iOS applications without having to leave Visual Studio. The iOS USB Remoting makes it possible for developers to deploy and debug their apps to an iPad or iPhone from Visual Studio without having to switch machines as long as their devices are plugged into a Windows PC. The Test Recorder Visual Studio Plugin provides a way for developers to auto-generate mobile app tests scripts within the integrated development environment (IDE).
(Related: Xamarin comes to Visual Studio 2015 for free)
The company also announced improvements to its Xamarin Studio 6 IDE in order to make working with Visual Studio and Xamarin Studio as seamless as possible. Xamarin redesigned the user interface to provide a dark theme, refined light theme, new icons and other visual improvements. In addition, Xamarin Studio now uses Microsoft’s open-source .NET compiler platform, Roslyn; supports F# portable class libraries and shared projects; and features improved loading and building project features, as well as deeper integration with MSBuild.
Other announcements from the conference included new Xamarin.Forms features such as real-time previewing, data pages, themes, URL navigation, and the ability to include Xamarin.Android and Xamarin.iOS controls in Xamarin.Forms apps; Xamarin Test Recorder is now available in Visual Studio; Xamarin Test Cloud Live; and HockeyApp support for Xamarin Insights crash reporting.
In addition, last month Microsoft announced plans to open-source Xamarin’s SDKs to the .NET Foundation. Today, Xamarin is making its SDK for Android, iOS and Mac OS X available under the MIT License. The SDKs include API bindings for iOS and OS X, command-line tools, and its cross-platform UI framework, Xamarin.Forms.