Announcing Xamarin 3

Nat Friedman

Today we are very excited to introduce Xamarin 3, which includes four major improvements to the way you build apps.

1. Xamarin Designer for iOS

Xamarin Designer for iOS in Visual Studio

The Xamarin Designer for iOS is a powerful visual designer for iOS, allowing you to quickly lay out sophisticated UIs, intuitively add event handlers, take advantage of auto-layout, and see live previews of custom controls. No more gray boxes—you’ll see exactly what your app will look like, right on the design surface. Integrated into both Xamarin Studio and Visual Studio, we think we’ve created the world’s best UI designer for iOS.

Read our detailed overview of the Xamarin Designer for iOS, or watch the quick demo above.

2. Meet Xamarin.Forms

Introduction to Xamarin.Forms

Xamarin.Forms is a new library that enables you to build native UIs for iOS, Android and Windows Phone from a single, shared C# codebase. It provides more than 40 cross-platform controls and layouts which are mapped to native controls at runtime, which means that your user interfaces are fully native. Delivered as a portable class library, Xamarin.Forms makes it easy to mix and match your shared UI code with the platform-specific user interface APIs Xamarin has always given you. Learn more about Xamarin.Forms.

3. Major IDE enhancements

Xamarin Studio with Nuget

  • Massive visual update – Xamarin Studio now includes a new welcome screen, hundreds of new icons, improved support for Retina displays, and some nice touches throughout the IDE.
  • Streamlined Visual Studio support – We’ve enhanced and combined our iOS and Android extensions into a single Visual Studio extension, streamlining installation and updates for all users, and improving the build and debugging experience.
  • NuGet – Xamarin 3 includes full support for using NuGet packages in your mobile apps – in Visual Studio or Xamarin Studio – enabling you to take advantage of the many NuGet packages which are are now shipping with Xamarin compatibility.
  • .NET BCL Documentation – Full documentation for the .NET Base Class Libraries (BCL) is now integrated into Xamarin Studio courtesy of our friends at Microsoft.
  • F# Support – Xamarin Studio now ships with built-in support for building iOS and Android apps using the increasingly-popular F# functional programming language.

4. Improved code sharing

Xamarin Code Sharing

Xamarin 3 introduces two great new code sharing techniques for cross-platform apps:

Shared Projects Shared Projects provide a simple, clean approach to code sharing for cross-platform application developers. Xamarin developers can now use Shared Projects to share code across iOS, Android, and Windows in either Xamarin Studio or Visual Studio.

Portable Class Libraries Portable Class Libraries are libraries that are consumable across a diverse range of .NET platforms. Xamarin 3 can both produce and consume PCLs from both Xamarin Studio and Visual Studio.


To get you started with all the new features of Xamarin 3, check out our Intro to Xamarin.Forms guide, see all the great controls in the Controls Gallery, Xamarin.Forms Samples, and API Reference.

If you’re new to Xamarin, get a free C# shirt using the Introduction to Mobile Guide, then deep dive into iOS and Android development. Finally, put it all together with our completely refreshed Building Cross-platform Apps guide.

Learn more this Friday

Join Xamarin co-founders Nat Friedman and Miguel de Icaza for a live overview of Xamarin 3 on Friday May 30th. Register now:


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