I wanted to start getting into mobile development, so to begin my mobile application development journey, I bought a Mac Mini computer and monitor. If you have come from a pure Windows environment like I have, and only have briefly worked with Macs in the past, there are some things you have to get used to, but all in all it’s not that bad. Once you get your computer setup and associated to an email account, you can begin setting up your Mac. The Mac ties into the Mac app store, where you can download or purchase apps similar to the app store on an iPad or Android device. It can also install programs, so you can install programs like Oracle VirtualBox or Parallels for virtualization (meaning you can get Windows back :-D), or anything else.
To begin using Xamarin, you’ll have to use Xamarin studio, which can be run on the Mac Mini. There are some pre-requisites, but the Xamarin installer manages most of them. There was one pre-requisite I had missed before I setup Xamarin: XCode. To do iOS development, you need XCode downloaded and installed. I didn’t know at the time, and installed it after, which still worked fine, no problems.
The installer works pretty smoothly, though I had one weird message popup. It was installing the Java SDK, and the message told me to leave the popup notification open until after the Java SDK was completely installed. I let the window wait for a while, and eventually clicked it. What I believe the message meant was click this to continue on, and I got caught up in the wording (don’t remember it exactly). In case you run into that.
Xamarin has been pretty smooth, and the studio works similarly to Visual Studio; however, it is missing some nice features that Visual Studio has. Still, it gets the job done. You can add external DLL’s in the same fashion as Visual Studio, plus utilize the Xamarin components store, which allows you to download free or paid add-ons to Xamarin.
I’ll be posting about Xamarin in the future, and more about mobile on this blog. I won’t leave out the web, after all I named the blog “On All Things Web” for a reason 🙂