Developing Xamarin Apps with Continuous for iPad

In this lesson

  • Explore Continuous Project Setup
  • Review Continuous Settings
  • Demo Continuous REPL functionality
5:06 C# 200


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In this video, we’re going to take a look at Frank Krueger’s new Continuous IDE for the Apple iPad that allows you to use your iPad to actually write C# and F# code to write Xamarin mobile applications for iOS using both Forms as well as what’s kind of called “Xamarin Classic.”


Navigating in Continuous

So after downloading Continuous from the Apple Appstore and launching it, you get a very straight forward experience. And a lot of your navigation happens with the panel here on the left where you have “Projects”, “Console,” and a “Watch” tab. “Console” basically acts as your output for your compiler, let’s you know if everything is compiling correctly, and then the “Watch” acts a real time feedback system or what some people call a REPL that allows us to see our changes in our code in realtime.


Continuous Settings

But before we get into projects and actually writing code, let’s take a quick look at some of the other IDE features. If we take a look in settings we can see we can go between “dark” mode and “light” mode. And that we can lower or increase our font size depending on old we are or how bad our eye sight is. We can also do more traditional IDE things where we can specify whether or not we want to use tabs like sophisticated people or if we want to use spaces like caveman. I will probably edit that out because I don’t want a flame war. Anyways, we can also specify whether or not we want Continuous to be constantly recompiling our code as we make changes. So I’m going to hit done.


Creating Files with Continuous

We can also create new files as well as solutions. I created an example solution that i’ll be referencing later. But we can see it’s a standard wizard where I can specify whether or not I want to make a library which can be portable library, an iOS library. I can create a file. I can create UIViewController or UIView class or what not. We also have support for F# as well as C# here. 


Example Files

So let’s kind of take a look at some of the files that Frank has provided for us. If I open up TipCalculator here, and go to the “Watch” tab, we’ll that it automatically loads our code here on the right. You’ll see our code is pretty much creating a label, an entry, and some more labels. And so what’s really cool and neat about this is I can come in here – and by the way, I highly suggest hooking up a Bluetooth keyboard to your iPad it makes typing way easier and gives you more screen real estate to see what’s going on – so here I can change my top padding and see the change on the left. I can also do things like change the font size, color, things of that nature. So, let’s go back to 40 so it fits all nice and neat. One of the things you might notice if you’re paying attention is that this is compatible with Xamarin.Forms. After creating labels and entries, we can see we’re creating our StackLayout and adding them to our main ContentPage.


Exporting Code from Continuous

So let’s say you get this UI kind of the way you want it. How can you get it to your laptop? Because your laptop is going to be what’s responsible for creating your IPA or your actual binary or what not. So one of the things you can do is go back to your project and select the info icon on the right you can specify “share file.” It will load up your traditional iOS share intent of sorts. I can also try this “Share Code.” It opens up a very similar thing as well. So maybe I can copy and paste it, or add it to notes, or email it or what now.


Xamarin.iOS Solutions with Continuous

So what about more traditional Xamarin.iOS applications? So let’s up this solution that I created earlier. And one of the things that took me a couple of seconds to figure out how to do. Is that I got this UIViewController, but how do I see it in my “Watch” tab? Right? Like right now I see the expand button is disabled and I’m not exactly seeing my UI. What you have to do is tap the definition of your class, and then if you invoke your constructor you’ll see your UIViewController here on the left. And I have the same ability to change things in real time and see what happens. Like so. And here again, I can share my code in the exact same way.



So as you can see Frank Krueger has really created a very interesting and innovative IDE that will hopefully make iPad less of a media consumption device and actually make it a useful tool for their mobile development experiences.

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