Welcome back to another fine episode of the Weekly Xamarin Newsletter. This week a new mFractor release, new podcasts and videos to check out, a few interesting business articles and new hotness in the DevOps space. Also, the usual great selection of resources for iOS, Android and Xamarin.Forms.
As always feel free to give us feedback if you have any link or content suggestions.
MFractor v3.4 out now!
The amazing Visual Studio Mac productivity tool mFractor has an update.
We've added some fantastic features in this release, fixed heaps of bugs, made a change to our free license tier and moved hosting providers
If you don't use mFractor, then you really need to go and check it out. It's going to save you a bunch of time and help you write better code!
My approach to Xamarin architecture explained with Asimov References
William Barbosa, not happy with boring terms for architecture pieces, uses Isaac Asimov references. And why wouldn't you, really? But, even if you don't geek out on Asimov, this is still an interesting article on the architecture layers of an app and reusability.
BUSINESS & MARKETING
Effective strategies to increase push notification opt-ins
Push notifications are a great strategy to keep users engaged. But getting users, to agree to them is not always easy. Here are some tips.
This reminds me of another excellent article from a few years ago The Right Way To Ask users For iOS Permissions
Different app icons for different configurations in Xamarin
Have you ever wanted to have different icons for your app based on if it is a developer build vs a production build? Well, if you have, Gerald Versluis shows a way you can do that based on MSBuild conditions.
Running Xamarin.iOS Unit Tests in Visual Studio Team Services
Prashant has gone Continuous Integration crazy! In this article, he shows how the Plugins team run iOS platform-specific unit tests for the Settings Plugin in VSTS.
A farewell to our beloved Xamarin Insights
Alas poor Insights, we will miss you. Steven Thewissen sends a teary farewell to Xamarin Insights.
Creating Xamarin.Android Binding Library
Adam Pedley shows how to create a Xamarin.Android Binding Library. Heck, he even makes it look simple.
Let Your App Use all the Extra Screen Space on iPhone X
Tom Soderling shows you how to make your apps take advantage of all that beautiful real estate on iPhone X.
Should I Use A Xamarin.Forms MVVM Framework?
Never one to shy away from a bit of controversy, Adam Pedley asks the big question: "Do you really need an MVVM framework?"
Better Resource Organization in Xamarin.Forms
Thanks to Adam Pedley (from XamarinHelp fame) we now have MergedDictionaries in Xamarin.Forms. In this article David Ortinau runs through how you can use this feature to better structure your resources. He also hints at some upcoming ResourceDictionary improvements.
Colorful rating system with Xamarin.Forms and Custom Animations
Animations in your applications can take them to the next level of user engagement. In this article, Marco walks through how to create a Rating UI that uses custom animations to transition colours.
Identifying my daughters toys using AI - Part 4, using the models offline on Android
Jim Bennett continues his epic blog series on using Vision Services to identify objects. In this new post, he shows how to take the models offline on Android using TensorFlow. Be sure to check out his previous posts as well where he talks about using CoreML to offline it on iOS.
Changing Passwords and User Info with Azure AD B2C
Matthew Soucoup continues his excellent series of articles on Azure AD B2C. Wow, those Cloud Developer Advocates over at Microsoft are really pumping out some great content!
NUGET OF THE WEEK
Data Caching Made Simple with Monkey Cache for .NET
James Montemagno has created a data caching library. Looks super simple to use. Remember kids, the quickest network request is to not make the request - just use the cached value.
PODCASTS & VIDEOS
Merge Conflict 81: It Takes Two to Debug
Frank and James are back at again with an episode of Merge Conflict. This is an amazing episode covering tips and tricks for the black art of debugging. Even though I've been coding for years, there were still great tips in here I wasn't aware of. Definitely worth a listen. Also, make sure you leave them some reviews on your favourite podcasting service.
The Xamarin Show - Extending Xamarin.Forms with Behaviors with Matthew Soucoup
When we think about customizing Xamarin.Forms people sometimes just reach for the big guns of Renderers - but you have so many options. One of those options is to use Behaviors. Join James Montemagno and Matthew Soucoup for an extra beardy discussion of extending Forms with Behaviors
Building your app with App Center
Who knew Gerald Versluis was recording videos on Youtube? You can watch his latest video of Gur.Codes(); where he shows how to setup a CI/CD pipeline on Visual Studio App Center in just a few minutes.