A Cognitive Services Webinar Not to Miss
Building AI into your apps is tipped to be one of the big trends this year. But it doesn't have to be hard, and you don't have to to be a Machine Learning Boffin. Coming up later in the month René Ruppert is hosting a Xamarin University Webinar to explore Cognitive Services. You should check it out!
Xamarin University Presents: Building Your First Intelligent App with Xamarin and Microsoft Cognitive Services with René Ruppert
Making your apps beautiful
Users expect your applications to be beautiful and easy to use. But it's not always as easy as it sounds. In this article, Harshita talks about the steps she goes through to create a delightful app.
Designing beautiful mobile apps from scratch by Harshita Arora
Know your UX Laws
Sometimes a bit of background on the universal laws of design can be useful for building an app. I've always loved the book The Design of Everyday Things, which I can highly recommend. But this website does a good job of summarizing the intrinsic laws of design
Easy Peasy Push Notifications
Push Notifications can make an incredible difference to the engagement in your applications. Rendy points to a few plugins which he has helped create that makes Notifications easier. There are three flavours: Azure (Notification Hubs), Firebase Push Notification, and Vanilla where you are doing stuff yourself.
Push notifications made easy in Xamarin by Rendy Del Rosario
Building Xamarin.Android apps with Hosted Agents
If you ever wondered if you can build Xamarin.Android applications in VSTS with Hosted Agents, well wonder no more. James has now written a guide to walk you through the process.
Building Xamarin.Android Apps in Team Services (VSTS) with Hosted Agents! by James Montemagno
DevOps all the Azure Things!
You need to get into DevOps and Azure.
DevOps brings together people, processes, and technology, automating software delivery to provide continuous value to your users. With Azure DevOps solutions, deliver software faster and more reliably—no matter how big your IT department or what tools you’re using.
This is a new site which has lots of good content on different DevOps solution architectures. Including Jenkins, Container CI/CD, VSTS. You can check out the full list here.
DevOps Solutions | Microsoft Azure by Azure Team
Visual Studio Code Extension Love
There was an interesting twitter thread in regards to best extensions for Visual Studio Code. Let's face it, VSCode is everyone's favourite lightweight editor. There are some real nuggets in there, but some of the highlighted links for me were:
Check out the twitter thread too, it has great suggestions in there.
The Wire-cutters Guide to Deployment.
Dongle Life and cables could be a thing of the past. Visual Studio Mac now has support for wireless deployment. Yipee. Cut all the cords!
Lose the Cables: Make Deploying to an iOS or tvOS Device Easier by Vincent Dondain
Just sketch your next app
I love sketching out UI on paper. Then it's the process of taking that and redoing it in something like Adobe Experience Designer or Sketch and/or just coding it up. Ink to Code promises to cut out the middleman and just take a sketch and generate a UI for it.
Never convert JSON to C# classes by hand ever again
Having to create POCO type classes to work with JSON (de)serialization is pain. There are some nice websites that will do JSON to C#, but the best one I know of is quicktype.io. And now they have a Visual Studio extension. If you don't know what this tool is about, James provides a quick rundown of the features in this post.
Paste JSON as Code with quicktype.io in Visual Studio by James Montemagno
Mask your Guids in Azure Portal
This is an interesting Chrome extension to hide your GUIDs if you do a lot of screen captures from Azure.
This is a Chrome extension that will mask GUIDs (such as Subscription IDs) and email addresses with a blur. The intention of the extension is to make it easier to do screen recordings without revealing sensitive, personal, account information that may show up on screen. It will only run and apply against Azure portal URLs.
Also, there is an interesting thing called Microsoft Credential Scanner which is in preview, which will alert you if you have posted some keys into your GitHub
Managing Azure Secrets on GitHub Repositories by Brijesh Desai
Accepting credit cards in your application is one of those things you are probably going to have to do at some point. You may of heard of Stripe which provides a dead easy way to accept online and mobile app payments. This article is actually a Swift one, but don't be scared, it's pretty easy to take this knowledge and use it in a Xamarin app.
Accepting Credit Cards In Your iOS App Using Stripe by Lorenzo Boaro
Resign that IPA
This is an interesting looking tool I saw on the twitter feeds. It allows you to dig into IPA files and even resign one.
Horizontal Lists in Xamarin.Forms
Xamarin.Forms doesn't have a horizontal list control, and trying to implement one yourself can be trickier than you might think. As Daniel says:
I tried messing with it but the more you poke it, the more it gets angry.
But Daniel has done the hard legwork and investigated some possible solutions and a mega list of references to all things horizontal
Xamarin.Forms ultimate horizontal list guide by Daniel Causer
Refit your Web Services
A lot of apps are connected to a Restful backend, so making your networking code solid and maintainable is crucial. This is the second part of a blog post talking about integrating Refit into your Xamarin.Forms application. It builds on some of the techniques from Rob Gibbens in his article Resilient network services with mobile Xamarin apps
Consuming a RESTful Web Service in Xamarin Forms using Refit (Part 2) by Charlin Agramonte (XamGirl)
Secure all the things with Xamarin.Forms and ASP.NET Identity
"This article will walk you through implementing an authentication system based on OAuth standard. We’ll start by registering the user with their email and password. Afterwards, we’ll use these credentials to login and get an access_token. We’ll then use the access token to invoke protected web services."
Implementing Signin And Signup With Xamarin Forms And ASP.NET Identity by Houssem Dellai
PODCASTS & VIDEOS
SmartHotel360 - Secrets revealed
At Connect() last year there was a great demo app called SmartHotel360. Over the last couple of weeks there have been some videos with the developers and architects walking through the technology. This week it's James' turn to talk about the Xamarin components of it. Particularly interesting is that it's a great looking Forms app.
SmartHotel360 Demo App Mobile Apps with Robert Gree and James Montemagno
Laurent and the Live player
Laurent has a new YouTube channel. In this video, he shows how to use the Live Player. I'm sure he has lots of other great content coming our way to, so go ahead and hit that subscribe button down below ;-)
Localize your Apps
Localizing your application can be a challenge, but the Multilingual App Toolkit is here to help you out. I have used this in projects years ago, so it's good to know it's going strong. In this video Cameron Lerum shows us how to translate our mobile applications into any language that we need to reach a global audience.
There is also a blog post at the Xamarin Blog covering this too.
Translating Mobile Apps With The Multilingual App Toolkit with Cameron Lerum by James Montemagno
Add Languages to Your Xamarin Apps with Multilingual App Toolkit by Cameron Lerum
Merge Conflict 83: Fear of Breaking the World
When should you push out a release to your app? What sort of issues can you face? This week on Merge Conflict, James and Frank discuss stories from "the trenches".
Merge Conflict 83: Fear of Breaking the World by Merge Conflict
Tell us what you think?
Thanks again, and be sure to reach out to us if you have any suggestions and/or links you think should be shared with the fantastic Xamarin community.
Till next time, happy coding