Jim Bennett
Cloud Developer Advocate

Senior Cloud Developer 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
Xamarin In Action
  Xamarin In Action
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  CV

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…

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 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

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

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

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

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

Setting the font for an Entry control using Xamarin.Forms

Xamarin.Forms depsite being very cool is stil a bit lacking when it comes to not only a good range of controls, but also to the abilities of those controls. One example of this is the Entry control - a simple text box. One thing you can't do with the out of the box implementation is to set the Font. Such a normal thing to do, but not supported. L…

Read More
 

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…

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 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

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

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

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

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

Setting the font for an Entry control using Xamarin.Forms

Xamarin.Forms depsite being very cool is stil a bit lacking when it comes to not only a good range of controls, but also to the abilities of those controls. One example of this is the Entry control - a simple text box. One thing you can't do with the out of the box implementation is to set the Font. Such a normal thing to do, but not supported. L…

Read More