Xamarin enables iOS developers to write C# apps using Visual Studio

Xamarin enables iOS developers to write C# apps using Visual Studio

Summary: Xamarin is furthering its mission to make C# the mobile-development language of choice by allowing iOS coders to use Microsoft's Visual Studio.


Xamarin is making C# development one step easier for iOS developers, enabling them to build applications in C# using Visual Studio.


On February 20, Xamarin announced immediate availability of Xamarin 2.0, which includes Xamarin Studio, a new integrated development environment (IDE) and the Xamarin Component Store. The 2.0 release also includes Xamarin.iOS for Visual Studio -- a plug-in that allows iOS developers to write native C# apps using Microsoft's Visual Studio suite.

Xamarin has been beta testing the new IDE for about nine months, said Nat Friedman, CEO and cofounder of Xamarin. A key priority during that time was to build parity between Xamarin Studio and Visual Studio.

"This is the first time anyone has made it possible to build iOS applications using Visual Studio," Friedman said. "Now developers can build native (C#) applications on four platforms: Windows, iOS, Mac OS and Android.

Xamarin's founders have been members of Microsoft's Visual Studio Industry Partner (VSIP) program since Friedman and cofounder Miguel de Icaza were at Novell. Microsoft removed restrictions four or five years ago that prevented VSIP partners from extending Visual Studio for non-Microsoft platforms. As a result, Xamarin was free to build the Xamarin.iOS for Visual Studio product that is the cornerstone of today's Xamarin 2.0 platform.

While the Xamarin team has ribbed Microsoft about Redmond's rekindled C++ (and newfound JavaScript/HTML5) love, they still believe Microsoft "is doing an incredible amount of work around the .Net Framework," Friedman said. In However, Xamarin officials think C# is the ideal mobile-development language and the one that's easiest for mobile devs of all stripes to use to write iOS, Android and Windows 8 apps.

Interestingly, the majority of apps built using Xamarin are line-of-business/enterprise apps, according to Xamarin officials.

In other Visual Studio news, DevLabs, the Microsoft software development incubator launched by the company four years ago, is "evolving," according to a new Microsoft blog post. Instead of posting code for newly incubated dev projects to the DevLabs portal page, the team will be redirecting that page to a Visual Studio Gallery page. Microsoft officialsl saidi the move should not be interpreted as Microsoft shuttering DevLabs.

Microsoft has shuttered the majority of incubation labs it launched around the same time as DevLabs.

Topics: Software Development, Android, Enterprise Software, iOS, Microsoft, Mobility


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • It's like giving ice water to someone in hell.

    Android probably needs such ice water as well, but god knows how to fix their malware problems.
  • the FOSS community rejects xamarin

    because it's a a puppet for the M$ beast.
    And making dev tools for iO$ makes it even more grotesque!
    LlNUX Geek
    • Which FOSS community?

      The sane one or the one that calls Ubuntu spyware?

      Also, putting $ instead of S doesn't make you seem intelligent.
      Michael Alan Goff
      • +1

        Ram U
      • Maybe hi$ "$" key i$n't working?

        Could be a$ $imple a$ that?
        William Farrel
      • One thing to say...

        you're an a$$!

        See what I did there?! :D
        • whoops!

          Above was for LlNUX Geek, not you Michael...
    • I reject the FOSS community . . .

      . . . because of their hatred of Capitalism.
      • I agree with you.

        But judging from your screen name your position is hardly surprising. :-)
        Sam Wagner
    • re: the FOSS community rejects xamarin

      So you mean the entire FOSS community rejects them? All 8 of you?
      Sir Name
  • For enterprise, there is an easy solution

    For enterprise the best solution is to dump iOS and Andorid development, it's a total waste of money and effort. Most enterprises uses Microsoft platform and technolgy and now Microsoft has excellent offerings in tablet and mobile spaces.
    • What about the BYO movement?

      Today everybody is taking their Android and iOS devices to the Enterprise and many companies are even encouraging them to do. It's difficult to stop that.

      Even more difficult today is to find on Windows 8 any productivity improvement as most people that tested W8 see it as a productivity downgrade and asking W7 to be installed on their new machines that came with W8 preinstalled.
      • Bring a Windows device, period.

        • I thought BYOD was about choice

          Then why would I bring my own device? Let's say... maybe I might not use a Windows Phone. Should I get a WP just to be able to use my device at work? Why should I?
          Michael Alan Goff
          • Unless

            Unless you're the owner of that business then BYOD would be perfectly understandable but as an employee you should bring a device that works with whatever platform the company you're working in uses which in most cases is Microsoft.

            You could still BYOD with iOS or Android in it maybe for bathroom break uses.
          • In that case use the company issued device.

            As per your logic, the Enterprise must support, Bada, Tizen or whatever because of choice. Most corporate desktops are locked down, meaning users has no admin rights...Many would love to install their own favourite software and the latest and greatest browsers, instead they spend their entire day in IE6 or IE8... do you think that is by choice?
          • Exactly

            Your idea seems to be "crush the BYOD movement". That was simply what I was asking about. If the company is issuing the device, and they control everything about the device, it isn't BYOD.

            So just admit you don't want BYOD and get it over with.
            Michael Alan Goff
      • BYOD??

        I keep hearing about this byod movement, but I've yet to see anyone actually doing it. Is it a media creation or is real? I have my doubts.
    • What about our customers though?

      We're a large eCommerce company running pretty Microsoft platforms at the back end, but we're not about to drop support for iOS devices.

      When it comes to our mobile apps (and mobile browser use on our website), pretty much 90% of our mobile customers use iPhones and iPads.

      We have a couple of Windows 8 store apps under development, but anyone who has end customers like us is going to focus on iOS devices first - otherwise we're leaving most of our customers out of the equation. Not saying I like that, but for now, they're the low hanging fruit.

      We use Xamarin for our iOS development and believe me, for us it's a much better option than doing Native XCode/Objective C...
  • Going Native

    I appreciate the perseverance of Xamarin. Miguel de Icaza committed to C# and .net early on and is working hard. If there is successes to be found in the adjunct realms of the platform, I hope he and his team realize those successes.

    But, it is absolutely clear that each platform has its endorsed language and runtime and I take to heart the advice that if one wants to target a user base, then the best user experience arises from creating code in the endorsed way. I could be wrong. To quote Miracle Max, have fun storming the castle.