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Xamarin: First contact, welcome to my blog

For quite some time now I have been working with all sorts of Microsoft technologies both professionally as for just the fun of it. Visual Studio is a breeze to work with, Azure is taking giant leaps, ASP.NET never made it easier to work with the web and now for Windows Phone making apps was never more simple. Now, time for Xamarin.

Unfortunately I, myself have been an iPhone fan since day one. And the people who aren't, are in love with Android. Microsoft kind of missed the boat on the phone front. Although they have a good thing going they seem to be in a vicious circle; people won't buy the phones because of the lack of apps, developers won't make apps because people don't buy the phones.

This left me in kind of a pickle.

Because I already have years of experience with C# and so have all the tools right here on my machine, I have worked out a couple of apps over the years, all Windows Phone.
That was all fun and games, there was the Instant Rimshot app, the app to find the best beer deals and direct you to the nearest supermarket, the TV guide app and last but not least an app to track your driven kilometers for business purposes.
Altogether they are good for a couple of hundred downloads and some income, but not nearly enough to quit my day job.

I've always been eager to sink my teeth in iOS or Android apps, but that would mean investing a lot of free time to pick up a new language, new IDE, go through all the hoops before being able to publish in the app store, build the same app three times over..

Enter Xamarin. <insert holy grail sound>

Sprung from the beautiful minds of the engineers who worked on Mono (and MonoTouch, etc.), Xamarin was founded in 2011 and targeted the development of mobile (but not limited to) apps from a single code base. The code base being C#.

AWESOOOOOME!

Finally! Now I can develop for all major platforms with my favorite and familiar language. Right from Visual Studio, my IDE of choice, leveraging all my favorite libraries. Just awesome.

This blog will mainly be targeted at my journey learning and setting up Xamarin, hopefully later evolving into more technical details and challenges I have overcome. But when some other interesting stuff comes by I feel the need to write about, I won't hesitate to do so.

The first post, after this one, will be about the prerequisites and setting up my environment. From there I will start rewritting some of my former (Windows Phone only) apps with Xamarin so I can support all my fans on all types of devices!

Happy reading!

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