Updating your google-service.json from an AppCenter environment variable

I've been working on an app that needs push notifications, but also needs to be open source. This led me to a problem - the google-services.json file. This file is needed to sign up for Firebase messaging to implement push on Android, but it also contains my API keys, values I do NOT want to be public. So - what to do? Well I'm building and distrib…

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Binding the Cognitive Services Android Speech SDK - Part 3 - Java 8 fun

In the first part of this post, I showed how to get started binding the Microsoft Cognitive Services speech API. In the second part I showed how to make the code look more C#-like. In this part, I'll show how to use it and fix up a nasty issue with the Android compiler and using jars created with the latest versions of Java. Using the SDK To use th…

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Binding the Cognitive Services Android Speech SDK - Part 2, making the code more C#-like

In the first part of this post, I showed how to get started binding the Microsoft Cognitive Services speech API. In this part I show how to make the code look more C#-like. In the third part I'll show how to use it and fix up a nasty issue with the Android compiler and using jars created with the latest versions of Java. Making the namespaces more…

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Binding the Cognitive Services Android Speech SDK - Part 1, binding the library

As part of the Microsoft Cognitive Services speech API, there is a native Java Android SDK available as an .aar file. I wanted to use this in a Xamarin app, so I created a binding project for it. The code for this is available in my GitHub. Binding an SDK is a four step process: Create the binding project with the relevant jar or aar file Make any…

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Running AI models on iOS, Android and Windows using Xamarin

I created a NuGet package a while ago to allow you to run models exported from the Azure Custom Vision service on iOS and Android in Xamarin apps from your cross-platform code. You can read about this here. Since then, the Custom Vision service has added ONNX export, meaning you can now run these models on-device on Windows as well. This meant it…

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Running custom vision models on a Windows device

Recently I wrote about creating AI models using the Azure Custom Vision Service. In these posts I looked at creating and training models, running them online, then finally exporting the models to run on iOS using CoreML and Android using TensorFlow. Recently Microsoft announced another way to export models - as ONNX models that can be run using Win…

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What the @ - fixing weirdness in return JSON from Azure functions using F#

I've been playing a lot with F# recently, both to build Xamarin apps using Elmish.XamarinForms and for some Azure Functions. Whilst building an HTTP trigger I came across some weirdness when serializing a record type to JSON. This is the relevant parts of my code: type Output = { TotalBalance : float } let Run(req: HttpRequestMessage, boundTable: I…

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Describing a photo in a mobile app using Azure Computer Vision

I recently gave an introduction to Xamarin talk at Imperial College, London and wanted to build a cool app to show off what you can do on mobile using the awesome Cognitive Services available on Azure. I only had about 30-40 minutes to not only introduce Xamarin, but build an app so I decided to throw together a simple app to take a photo and descr…

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Xamarin Essentials

TL;DR - check out Xamarin Essentials in the official documentation. Like a lot of developers, I love how Xamarin allows me to share business logic between iOS and Android apps, and share UI using Forms, but still have access to the native APIs. But one thing has been missing - a consistent, out of the box way of accessing native APIs from cross-pla…

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Building mobile apps in F# using Xamarin.Forms and Elmish

FSharp and Xamarin Xamarin is well known for allowing you to build mobile apps in C#, but you can use F# as well. F# is fully supported by the compiler and toolchains in both Visual Studio 2017 and Visual Studio for Mac. It's also pretty much supported by all the Xamarin tools including Xamarin.Forms (except for one bug that should be fixed soon).…

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The Jim and Tonic show

Since starting at Microsoft as a Senior Cloud Developer Advocate I've been hugely privileged surrounded on a daily basis by some of the most awesome people across a wide range of developer communities - the rest of the Cloud Developer Advocacy team. These are engineers who constantly work to make the world amazing for developers across a wide range…

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Face identification with Azure FaceAPI

Recently I've been playing with a lot AI and seeing how it can be used in mobile apps to enhance the experience offered to the user. Currently I am playing with facial recognition using the Azure Cognitive Services FaceAPI. This is a stupidly powerful API that can do a LOT of different things: Detect faces in images Analyze those faces to detect ch…

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Identifying my daughters toys using AI - Part 5, Plugin for on-device models

In the first part of this series I used the Azure Custom Vision service to create an image classifier to allow me to easily identify my daughters cuddly toys. Once created I tested it by uploading an image and seeing what tags the classifier found for the image. In the second part I accessed this model from a Xamarin app, so that I could use the ca…

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