Microsoft Announces Xamarin Live Player Preview

Posted on May 11, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Dev with 10 Comments

Today at Build 2017, Microsoft announced a preview version of Xamarin Live Player, which is in some ways the final piece of the mobile development puzzle.

“Today we’ve released the preview of Xamarin Live Player, a live coding environment to make development and debugging faster,” Microsoft’s Nat Friedman explains in a bit of under-selling. Folks, Xamarin Live Player is huge. It lets you develop iOS apps on Windows—without a Mac—for the first time.

UPDATE: Microsoft has now clarified how this tool works, and you will eventually need a Mac. Please check out Microsoft Clarifies How Xamarin Live Player Works for more info. –Paul

If you’re familiar with Xamarin development today, you know that you can use Visual Studio to create mobile apps that run natively on Windows, Android, and iOS. And that you can even create solutions that create separate apps for each platform, sharing code when possible.

To date, this process has typically involved using Android virtual machines and, for iOS, a remote connection to a separate Mac that needs Xcode, Apple’s development environment, installed and properly configured.

With Xamarin Live Player, developers will be able to do everything from their Windows-based PC: Just connect your Android device, iPhone, or iPad to the PC via USB and you can target those devices directly during development.

“Simply pair your device with Visual Studio by scanning a QR code, and hit debug like you normally would,” Nat explains. “The application is deployed in seconds to the Live Player app, enabling you to quickly develop and test your changes without having to recompile and redeploy your application. And you can set breakpoints and debug your application, on device, and over the air.”

Xamarin Live Player even supports live code changes via a feature called Live Run. This means that developers can change their code during debugging and have the changes reflect in the app on the device immediately.

Live Player Preview will be delivered as an extension for Visual Studio 2017 and Visual Studio for Mac starting today. And the Live Player app for Android and iOS will likewise be made available in the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.



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Comments (10)

10 responses to “Microsoft Announces Xamarin Live Player Preview”

  1. wolters

    This is HUGE...maybe the most underrated story of the day. As an IT Pro who wants to pick up some development experience, this is a great time to jump in, especially for a Windows fan.

  2. lvthunder

    Don't you still need a Mac to submit your app to the store or can you sign the apps in VS?

  3. CrazedVic

    Well I've installed VS.nET preview CE, installed the player on ios 10 and android 7 , was able to only pair on IOS, but then running a simple xamarin ios app worked fine on the remote mac simulator, fine on the local android emulator but failed mysteriously on the Xamarin Live Player. And so far I've had no luck pairing the android xamarin live player with visual studio preview on windows. Definitely feels alpha. I'm so sad it didn't work...

    QUICK UPDATE: It appears that currently the live player seems to work with Xamarin.Forms | Shared Project, not PCL (Portable Class Library). I was able to deploy to both Android and IOS players when choosing the Shared Project. There also seems to be no current support for Native | Shared Project.

  4. Salvador Jesús Romero Castellano

    So you can test your app on top of this Live Player app while developing, but you still need a mac to generate native iOS code. Am I wrong?

  5. c4995z

    Question, does this move forward a capability where any iOS app could run on a windows device using an iOS emulation environment? An immediate end to any app gap issues. If Win32 apps can run on ARM using an emulator, it would seem that iOS apps would run with even less emulation overhead.

  6. Suthahar J

     It's an awesome feature of Microsoft for xamarin. I have installed VS 2017 preview and explored xamarin Live player in windows and Mac. I loved this feature and shared from here

  7. stephen888

    The Xamarin Live Player apps enable you to write, execute, and debug code continuously on an iOS or Android device straight from the IDE. The purpose of the Xamarin Live Player is to provide an easier and faster way to work and iterate on applications with C# and Xamarin in Visual Studio without the need to commit to downloading gigabytes of SDKs and provisioning different devices to get up and running.

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