The Ship List: App Center March 2018 Update

Visual Studio App Center

  Spring has arrived in many places, and with it comes fresh new opportunities and ideas. As always, the Visual Studio App Center team is working on features and updates that will enable you to build better iOS and Android apps, as well as ship them faster and with greater confidence. This month, we have a few new releases to share with you.

App Center Error Reporting for Xamarin-Based Apps

A few weeks ago we announced the release of a much awaited feature, App Center Errors. There’s a new Diagnostics item in the App Center portal, which includes both the previously available Crashes service for uncaught errors, as well as the new errors category. This new functionality allows you to leverage exception handling in your Xamarin applications to gracefully deal with unexpected issues and prevent your app from crashing. Details and logs are uploaded to the portal when an exception is caught. There, they are analyzed and grouped with similar errors, so you can more easily diagnose and triage the most important issues facing your users. App Center Errors is free and is available to everyone.

Manage App Center from a Mobile Device

At the end of February, we announced a preview of HockeyApp for App Center, our native mobile companion apps for Android and iOS. Designed for distribution on the go, these apps make it easier for you and your beta testers to view and manage your available apps. They also enable easier discoverability across multiple organizations and distribution groups, directly manage in-app updates, and install apps directly.

To get started:

  • Android Users: Visit the App Center public distribution group page from your Android device to download and install the app.
  • iOS Users: Visit our TestFlight sign up list. We’ll respond and give you access ASAP. You should receive an email invite from us with TestFlight one to two business days after you sign up.

Code Push Extension in Visual Studio Code

Recently, Zakeel outlined new CodePush support added to the React Native Tools extension for VS Code. Now, instead of using a terminal window to run CLI commands and push updates to your app, you can do so from the comfort of Visual Studio Code directly. This allows you to streamline and accelerate the process of shipping updates to your React Native and Cordova applications without ever leaving your code editor. This extension is yet another way we’re looking to empower developers where they work and make it easier to make updates to your apps with just a few clicks.

App Center’s Got Game (Developers)

Our team just came back from an exciting trip to San Francisco, where we were part of the Microsoft booth at GDC (Game Developers Conference). We know games are a big player (no pun intended) in the app development space, and a side project for many developers. We had a great time talking about using App Center to accelerate your game development process. If you missed us or would like to learn more about using App Center with your games, we recorded an interview with Channel9 highlighting the details which you can find here. All the Microsoft sessions at GDC can also be found under the show Level Up on Channel9, you should go check them out!

See for Yourself

That’s a wrap for March! We hope you enjoy these new updates and features. As always, we highly value your feedback, so let us know what you’re using, what’s working (and if anything isn’t), and what you’d like to see next for Visual Studio App Center.

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