Jim Bennett
Xamarin MVP Microsoft MVP

Mobile developer at EROAD, Xamarin MVP and Certified Developer, Microsoft MVP, author of Xamarin In Action, blogger, speaker, father and lover of beer, whisky and Thai food. Opinions are my own.

  Auckland, New Zealand
Xamarin In Action
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Getting a users Facebook profile after Authenticating your Xamarin app with Azure

I've recently been looking at the authentication offered by Azure for use in a mobile app, specifically using social auth providers like Facebook to allow a user to sign up for my app. The auth setup is incredibly easy, with Azure taking care of a lot of the hard stuff. There are also loads of great docs on how to get it set up - including the Micr…

Read More

Creating Visual Studio project and solution templates - Part 3, VS for Mac extension

In the first part of this set of posts I looked at creating a dotnet new project template, and in the second part I showed how you could easily add this to a Visual Studio for Windows extension. Lets now look at adding it to a Visual Studio for Mac extension, so that our template is available everywhere. It's really easy to create extensions for VS…

Read More

Creating Visual Studio project and solution templates - Part 2, VS for Windows extension

In the first part of this set of posts I looked at creating a dotnet new project template. These are great if you like the cli, but if, like me, you'd rather be able to do File->New then dotnet new is not much use. Instead you need a Visual Studio extension that provides a new project or solution type to the IDE. The good news is that you can easil…

Read More

Hitting refresh on my career

Inspired by Satya Nadella's Hit Refresh, a book well worth reading, I thought I'd write about my Hit Refresh moment. Hit Refresh is inspired by refreshing your browser - it doesn't reload everything, instead it just reloads part of the page. This is reflected in how we can change our lives, not by a complete change, but by refreshing a part. In my…

Read More

Device.StartTimer and iOS backgrounding

I recently completed a lecture on backgrounding in iOS and Android as part of the Xamarin University. During this lecture, one topic of discussion came up with no real answer - how Device.StartTimer() in Xamarin.Forms affects backgrounding. With iOS, if you enable backgrounding using BeginBackgroundTask(), you have 3 minutes to stop all backgroun…

Read More

JimLib.Xamarin is now updated to the Unified API

Finally, after fighting with Xamarin and having my Surface die and need to be reinstalled twice, I've managed to get JimLib.Xamarin updated to use the new Xamarin Unified API so it should be suitable for submitting new apps to the iPhone app store. I'll be updating my first app Second Screen for Plex soon and sending it to the app store for approv…

Read More

Xamarin Unified API

Recently Apple announced some changes to their requirements for apps submitted to the iOS app store. From the 1st February all new apps must support 64-bit (for updates to existing apps, it's 1st June). Xamarin, not wanting to do anything the easy way have decided that as well as supporting this, they will overhaul their API and unify their Mac an…

Read More

Blind technology

Busy, busy, busy. In the last month I've relocated form Thailand to the UK with my family, got my UK company up and running (more coming on this in a later post), lined up one client, fought with the Apple app store to get my developer account set up right so I can sell apps (still not done), found a new place to live and been fighting with overbe…

Read More

Useful links

I thought it would be good to create a page full of usefull links - things that have helped me solve some problems and are complete so there's no real need for me to blog their content. Adding symbols to Xamarin crash reports for iOS - this article shows how to add symbol information to a crash report retrieved from your device via XCode for a Xama…

Read More

Orientation with Xamarin.Forms

Xamarin.Forms is a great cross platform development tool when it works, but being cross platform it suffers from a sever lack of features. Some of these are understandable as they are different on each platform so it's hard to provide a consistent experience for the developer. Some are bad ommisions as they are vital to all platforms. The current…

Read More

Xamarin Insights

At the moment Xamarin are holding their annual Evolve conference in Atlanta. Unfortunately I'm not there, but I've been keeping up to date with their announcements and one caught my eye - Xamarin Insights. I've been looking for a Xamarin compatible analytics and crash reporter for a while and it looke like this does the job. So far I've loked at:…

Read More

iOS pull to refresh without using a UITableView

I've been working on the UI for my current app, trying to make some usability improvements. The main screen is a list of data containing an image and some text. Although this is a standard UI pattern, the problem I'm having with it is one of size. List rows are usually short and full width. For text this is fine, but not so good for images, the…

Read More
 

Getting a users Facebook profile after Authenticating your Xamarin app with Azure

I've recently been looking at the authentication offered by Azure for use in a mobile app, specifically using social auth providers like Facebook to allow a user to sign up for my app. The auth setup is incredibly easy, with Azure taking care of a lot of the hard stuff. There are also loads of great docs on how to get it set up - including the Micr…

Read More

Creating Visual Studio project and solution templates - Part 3, VS for Mac extension

In the first part of this set of posts I looked at creating a dotnet new project template, and in the second part I showed how you could easily add this to a Visual Studio for Windows extension. Lets now look at adding it to a Visual Studio for Mac extension, so that our template is available everywhere. It's really easy to create extensions for VS…

Read More

Creating Visual Studio project and solution templates - Part 2, VS for Windows extension

In the first part of this set of posts I looked at creating a dotnet new project template. These are great if you like the cli, but if, like me, you'd rather be able to do File->New then dotnet new is not much use. Instead you need a Visual Studio extension that provides a new project or solution type to the IDE. The good news is that you can easil…

Read More

Hitting refresh on my career

Inspired by Satya Nadella's Hit Refresh, a book well worth reading, I thought I'd write about my Hit Refresh moment. Hit Refresh is inspired by refreshing your browser - it doesn't reload everything, instead it just reloads part of the page. This is reflected in how we can change our lives, not by a complete change, but by refreshing a part. In my…

Read More

Device.StartTimer and iOS backgrounding

I recently completed a lecture on backgrounding in iOS and Android as part of the Xamarin University. During this lecture, one topic of discussion came up with no real answer - how Device.StartTimer() in Xamarin.Forms affects backgrounding. With iOS, if you enable backgrounding using BeginBackgroundTask(), you have 3 minutes to stop all backgroun…

Read More

JimLib.Xamarin is now updated to the Unified API

Finally, after fighting with Xamarin and having my Surface die and need to be reinstalled twice, I've managed to get JimLib.Xamarin updated to use the new Xamarin Unified API so it should be suitable for submitting new apps to the iPhone app store. I'll be updating my first app Second Screen for Plex soon and sending it to the app store for approv…

Read More

Xamarin Unified API

Recently Apple announced some changes to their requirements for apps submitted to the iOS app store. From the 1st February all new apps must support 64-bit (for updates to existing apps, it's 1st June). Xamarin, not wanting to do anything the easy way have decided that as well as supporting this, they will overhaul their API and unify their Mac an…

Read More

Blind technology

Busy, busy, busy. In the last month I've relocated form Thailand to the UK with my family, got my UK company up and running (more coming on this in a later post), lined up one client, fought with the Apple app store to get my developer account set up right so I can sell apps (still not done), found a new place to live and been fighting with overbe…

Read More

Useful links

I thought it would be good to create a page full of usefull links - things that have helped me solve some problems and are complete so there's no real need for me to blog their content. Adding symbols to Xamarin crash reports for iOS - this article shows how to add symbol information to a crash report retrieved from your device via XCode for a Xama…

Read More

Orientation with Xamarin.Forms

Xamarin.Forms is a great cross platform development tool when it works, but being cross platform it suffers from a sever lack of features. Some of these are understandable as they are different on each platform so it's hard to provide a consistent experience for the developer. Some are bad ommisions as they are vital to all platforms. The current…

Read More

Xamarin Insights

At the moment Xamarin are holding their annual Evolve conference in Atlanta. Unfortunately I'm not there, but I've been keeping up to date with their announcements and one caught my eye - Xamarin Insights. I've been looking for a Xamarin compatible analytics and crash reporter for a while and it looke like this does the job. So far I've loked at:…

Read More

iOS pull to refresh without using a UITableView

I've been working on the UI for my current app, trying to make some usability improvements. The main screen is a list of data containing an image and some text. Although this is a standard UI pattern, the problem I'm having with it is one of size. List rows are usually short and full width. For text this is fine, but not so good for images, the…

Read More