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

Xamarin is furthering its mission to make C# the mobile-development language of choice by allowing iOS coders to use Microsoft's Visual Studio.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

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.

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