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

Fabulous Santa Tracker

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house... For millions of people worldwide, Christmas eve is a time of magic. Children are excited and unable to sleep because... Santa is coming tonight!!!! This is the one night of the year you want a stranger to come into your house whilst you sleep. He'll magic his way in (cos who has a chim…

Read More

Controlling an IoT device from your phone

I've just finished watching the latest episode of Five Things, where Suz Hinton talks with Burke about Goo Goo Clusters and IoT devices. One of the devices Suz showed was the Azure IoT DevKit - an arduino compatible board made by MXChip that works beautifully with Azure, even down to having an Azure LED on board to show when it is connected. This i…

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

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…

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

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 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
 

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

Fabulous Santa Tracker

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house... For millions of people worldwide, Christmas eve is a time of magic. Children are excited and unable to sleep because... Santa is coming tonight!!!! This is the one night of the year you want a stranger to come into your house whilst you sleep. He'll magic his way in (cos who has a chim…

Read More

Controlling an IoT device from your phone

I've just finished watching the latest episode of Five Things, where Suz Hinton talks with Burke about Goo Goo Clusters and IoT devices. One of the devices Suz showed was the Azure IoT DevKit - an arduino compatible board made by MXChip that works beautifully with Azure, even down to having an Azure LED on board to show when it is connected. This i…

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

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…

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

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 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

Using LiveXAML to improve your Xamarin Forms UIs

One of the downsides to UI development is how long it takes to get a good looking UI. You spend an inordinate amount of time setting up the UI, running your app to see how it looks, tweaking the UI, running again, tweaking again, running again. Then of course you have to repeat on multiple devices with different OSes or screen sizes. For Xamarin Fo…

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Upcoming talks

I'm excited to announce that I'll be talking at a couple of major conferences this year: MonkeyFest 2017 NDC Sydney At both of these conferences I'll be talking about adding platform specifics to Xamarin Forms apps. Hope to see you there!…

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Animating Xamarin Forms progress bars

Don't you just hate boring UIs? With no animations to bring them to life? Me too! Especially progress bars - they increment or decrement instantly giving a dull UI. As you can see from the image above, as the progress bar changes value, the UI updates instantly and it looks a bit dull. What would be nicer is if the progress bar smoothly animated…

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Reviewed - Xamarin Mobile Application Development

Xamarin Mobile Application Development By Dan Hermes (@ lexiconsystems) Recently I was lucky enough to get my hands on an early draft of Xamarin Mobile Application Development by Dan Hermes. This is a book aimed at the .Net developer who wants to get started with Xamarin, primarily with Xamarin.Forms. Let me start by saying this isn't a 'read it o…

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