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

Save your users from typing with AI 🤖

I've been playing a lot with the Azure Custom Vision Service - a great service to build image classification and object detection models with just a few images. To make it easier to test my models, I wanted to build a mobile app that connects to a custom vision project and uses that to classify or detect objects in images captured using the camera.…

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

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

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

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
 

Save your users from typing with AI 🤖

I've been playing a lot with the Azure Custom Vision Service - a great service to build image classification and object detection models with just a few images. To make it easier to test my models, I wanted to build a mobile app that connects to a custom vision project and uses that to classify or detect objects in images captured using the camera.…

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

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

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

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

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…

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