Jim Bennett

Senior Cloud Advocate at Microsoft, Xamarin Certified Developer, author of Xamarin In Action, blogger, speaker, father and lover of beer, whisky and Thai food. Opinions are my own.

  Reading, UK

See me soon at:

NDC London
FSharp Exchange
Techorama BE

My book:

Xamarin In Action

My podcast:

The Jim And Tonic Show
The Jim And Tonic Show on iTunes

Contact me:

  Xamarin In Action
  Twitter
  The Jim And Tonic Show
  GitHub
  LinkedIn
  YouTube
  Email
  CV

Xamarin ❤ F#

Xamarin and Xamarin.Forms need no introduction. I'm sure by now you are well aware of these technologies and have seen many examples of building cross-platform mobile apps using C#. If not, I can highly recommend my book Xamarin in Action which if you follow this link and use code 'xamarininaction' you can get 40% off the cover price.What you many…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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).…

Read More

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…

Read More

Face identification with Azure Cognitive Services Face API

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 Face API. This is a stupidly powerful API that can do a LOT of different things: Detect faces in images Analyze those faces to detect c…

Read More

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…

Read More

Identifying my daughters toys using AI - Part 3, using the models offline in iOS

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…

Read More

Identifying my daughters toys using AI - Part 2, using the model

In the first part of this post 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. Although this works, it's a long winded way of using the model. Ideally I'd want it in a…

Read More

Hiding API keys from Git

I've been working on a Xamarin app using Azure Cognitive Services to do image recognition, and one of the stumbling blocks I've faced is what to do with my API keys. I want to make the app open source as an example of how to use these services, but don't want to check my API keys into Git to be available to all - after all, bad things can happen. I…

Read More
 

Xamarin ❤ F#

Xamarin and Xamarin.Forms need no introduction. I'm sure by now you are well aware of these technologies and have seen many examples of building cross-platform mobile apps using C#. If not, I can highly recommend my book Xamarin in Action which if you follow this link and use code 'xamarininaction' you can get 40% off the cover price.What you many…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

Setting iOS permission descriptions in Visual Studio 2017

I spend most of my developer day using Visual Studio for Mac, but occasionally I flip back to Visual Studio 2017 on Windows. Last time I flipped back I tried to build an app that uses the camera and I got stuck on one simple thing - setting the camera usage description. If you double click on the info.plist file in an iOS app project, it will open…

Read More

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…

Read More

Xamarin in Action is now on the bookshelves!

Finally, after 2 years since I first put pen to paper (well, put keystroke to Atom), Xamarin in Action is done and available from your favorite bookseller as a printed, paper book, with a forward from my good friend, the amazing James Montemagno! You can buy this book in one of two ways - an eBook in PDF, kindle, iBook format, or a printed book. If…

Read More

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…

Read More

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).…

Read More

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…

Read More

Face identification with Azure Cognitive Services Face API

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 Face API. This is a stupidly powerful API that can do a LOT of different things: Detect faces in images Analyze those faces to detect c…

Read More

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…

Read More

Identifying my daughters toys using AI - Part 3, using the models offline in iOS

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…

Read More

Identifying my daughters toys using AI - Part 2, using the model

In the first part of this post 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. Although this works, it's a long winded way of using the model. Ideally I'd want it in a…

Read More

Hiding API keys from Git

I've been working on a Xamarin app using Azure Cognitive Services to do image recognition, and one of the stumbling blocks I've faced is what to do with my API keys. I want to make the app open source as an example of how to use these services, but don't want to check my API keys into Git to be available to all - after all, bad things can happen. I…

Read More