Xamarin Live Player (XLP) is an app for Android and iOS development that lets programmers build, test and debug their apps seamlessly. Where Xamarin enables the developer community to build multi-platform native apps for iOS, Android and Windows platform using C# and .NET, there was a void when developers needed a Mac and Xamarin environment with Java and Google SDKs - to build, test and debug iOS and Android apps respectively. In the #MSBuild keynote address this year, the team remedied this problem with a live demo of Xamarin Live Player and Visual Studio 2017.

The primary advantage that XLP brings is that it allows developers to start building the mobile apps for all or any platforms without first having to download the SDKs. They can simply start writing the code for the mobile app and deploy it to the Android or iOS device for real-time debugging or development.

Paired with Visual Studio, Xamarin changes can be implemented easily and quickly. With Xamarin Live Player, developers can simply connect an iPhone or iPad to their Windows PC, scan the QR code, and use the Debug option to debug the app. XLP allows the developers to view the changes in the code that they make in real time. It is somewhat similar to building a rapid prototype that is a preview of the actual SDKs and tools normally required to build a complete mobile app. Once you are sure of the feasibility of concept and design, you can move forward with your project files into the full-fledged development cycle.

"Once your app outgrows the functionality of the live player, we make it easy for you to install and configure the native SDKs to have a complete development environment to provision, enlist and publish your applications to users," Xamarin chief Miguel de Icaza said in a blog post.

While Xamarin is not meant to be, nor should be treated like a substitute for the full Xamarin development environment, what it does is speeding up Xamarin mobile app development. It doesn’t completely eliminate the need for a Mac or Java SDKs. You will still need to install and configure the full Xamarin development environment to develop your app.

Currently, the focus at XLP is on Xamarin.Forms apps that support C#. F# and XAML. There is only limited support for iOS storyboards. For developers who are interested in trying out XLP, there are a few things you will need – such as a copy of Visual Studio 2017 Preview (15.3+ release) or Visual Studio for Mac on your development machine. Next, visit the corresponding app store for Android/iOS and download the Xamarin Live Player. You can get started as soon as your development machine has paired with this device. For initial pairing, a remote server is used but your app code is not sent to this 3rd party server.

Author's Bio: 

Kaushal Shah manages digital marketing communications for the enterprise technology services provided by Rishabh Software. This article is created to showcase on how Xamarin Live Player helps in accelerating mobile app development.