Learning Xamarin: Adding Photos

In this post I return to the EvalUate application I was building camera photoearlier in this series

We’re going to add the ability to take a photo of the item you are thinking about buying.  It turns out there are a number of different ways to access the camera, but I was looking for one that would work and play well with Xamarin Forms. 

I’m pleased to say that the Xamarin Forms Labs, (XFL) an open source project, has a Camera service (though it is in Beta). 

XFL looks very exciting and much has been written about it already, though it is comparatively new, with Google returning over 18,000 hits on an exact match.  A number of us at Falafel Software will be blogging about various features from XFL in coming weeks.

Using the Camera with the Xamarin Forms Library

XFL is, as I say, quite young, and so the documentation is not 100% — but there is a wiki and there are samples.  I decided to dive in and modify EvalUate to add the ability to take a picture when you add a new “item.”  Continued here

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I’ll be speaking at Xamarin Evolve 2014

I’m very proud to say that I’ll be presenting Evolveat Xamarin Evolve 2014, October 6-10 in Atlanta, Georgia.

My session is Evolving From Web to Mobile App with Xamarin and you can read more about it on the Evolve site.

During the three conference days there will be 50 live sessions in 10 tracks with presenters from Microsoft, Xamarin, GitHub, Facebook and many more, covering all areas of mobile development.

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Yet Another Podcast Show 127–Laurent Bugnion, Xamarin & MVVM Light

Laurent Bugnion, Microsoft MVP, Microsoft Regional Director and Senior Director Laurentfor IdentityMine, works from Zurich Switzerland where he is the author of MVVM Light, one of the premier libraries and toolkits for MVVM on all XAML systems and now Xamarin as well.  Laurent is an MSDN author and a Pluralsight author and one of my very favorite people.

Listen | Yet Another Podcast



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Learning Xamarin: Custom Controls in Xamarin Forms

Xamarin Forms are the most exciting library to come along in a long time; certainly forMissing puzzle piece mobile programmers. 

They bring a whole new option to cross platform development: an abstraction layer that lets you write once, and run native on each of the platforms. 

Write Once, Render Natively

This means, for example, when you create a tab page, it is rendered as a native tab page on iOS, Android and Windows Phone.  This is accomplished using pre-defined elements each of which has a hidden renderer for each platform.  Most of the time you don’t know or care how it is done, unless you want to create a custom (or customized) control.


Continued here

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Learning Xamarin: Forms and Web Viewer

In yesterday’s post we looked at using HTTP with Web Forms and creating reflector2a list of blog posts from an RSS feed. Today we’ll add the ability to tap on one entry in the list and see that blog post in a viewer on the phone.

[Click on image to see full size]

The image shown here, incidentally, is an exact reflection of what is running on my iPhone thanks to a very handy utility named Reflector.  You run reflector and then use AirPlay on the phone to mirror what is on your phone onto the screen.

This is part of the on-going series of posts on Learning Xamarin; a complete index to the series can be found here.

This addition to our program is shockingly easy. Continued here.

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Yet Another Podcast Show 126–Mike Bluestein from Xamarin

Yet Another Podcast returns with a great show with Mike Bluestein from image Xamarin, talking about Xamarin Past, Present and Future.  Xamarin recently released Xamarin 3, and with it Xamarin Forms, greatly simplifying the process of creating cross platform applications.

Listen | Yet Another Podcast


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Xamarin Forms and HTTP

Let’s say we’re building an application, and we want to list the titles NuGetHTTP and publication dates from an RSS feed. 

We can do this using a ListView, but we have to get the feed, and to do that we need a library; specifically the NuGet package Microsoft.Http.Client Libraries. 

[Click on image for full size]

This is part of the on-going series of posts on Learning Xamarin; a complete index to the series can be found here.

To create our application we’ll start with a new Forms application by firing up Xamarin Studio and selecting New Solution ->  C# -> Mobile Apps -> Blank App (Xamarin.Forms.Portable

Continued here

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New Pluralsight Course: Testing AngularJS From Scratch

Incredibly pleased to announce the release of my latest Pluralsight JavaScriptcourse: Testing AngularJS From Scratch

In this course, you will learn how to create software using Behavior Driven Development, a test-first, agile approach to creating Angular programs using Jasmine.

I will be presenting on this topic at both FalafelCon and at AngleBrackets.

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Sometimes you just gotta’ brag a bit…


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Learning Xamarin: Tabbed Pages

Until now, our application has used simple “push” navigation, creating a Tabbed Windows stack that the user can pop out of to return to the calling screen. 

It would be convenient, however, to add tabs to the opening screen where the user can access the help file and the license information.

In the figure to the right, you can see that there are three tabs, and the currently selected tab is “help.”

To accomplish this, we’ll add three new pages:

  • MainPage will hold the tabs
  • HelpPage will hold the help text
  • LicensePage will hold the license information

Continued here

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Learning Xamarin–Adding Pages

The application that I began describing here (and which is part of this series) is almost electric shock done. 
Today, we’ll add a new first page to allow the user to track more than one appliance type.  This will require minor changes throughout the application and a change to the database. 
The key concern would be that we already have data in the database and now I not only want to add a table, but I want to add a property to one of the existing (and populated!) tables. 
Turns out that SQLite.net makes this a total non-issue, handling the update perfectly with no effort on my part.

Continued here

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Album of the Week: Within Temptation’s The Silent Force

The only thing better than discovering new music that you love is to find it in your WithinTempatation own collection and realize that you’ve forgotten about it. 

There is a special, if poignant joy in rediscovery. 

Silent Force by Within Temptation is a wonderful, classic example of Symphonic Metal, and has track after track that is just terrific.

Their music is compelling, ethereal, driven and very beautiful.  I’m very much looking forward to trying their other albums.  

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