Better Apps Faster with Visual Studio 2017 and Xamarin

Miguel de Icaza

Visual Studio 2017 launches today, and I’m in Redmond for both the launch event and a Q&A afterwards. Along with the launch, we have many fresh and exciting features for Visual Studio developers, as well as a new preview release of Visual Studio for Mac! Whether you are developing apps on Windows or macOS (or both!), today’s release will help you to build better mobile apps, faster.   Download Visual Studio 2017   Download Visual Studio for Mac Preview 4

Visual Studio for Mac Preview 4

Visual Studio for Mac is an IDE for mobile-first, cloud-first workloads with support for building iOS, Android, and Mac apps in C# and F# with Xamarin, as well as web and server apps with .NET Core and ASP.NET Core. You’ll find the same Roslyn-powered compiler, IntelliSense code completion, and refactoring experience you would expect from a Visual Studio IDE. And, since Visual Studio for Mac uses the same MSBuild solution and project format as Visual Studio, developers working on Mac and Windows can share projects across Mac and Windows transparently.

Visual Studio for Mac Preview 4 brings lots of new features, including updates to the Xamarin and .NET Core workloads. Preview 4 brings expanded project templates for .NET Core, as well as support for the beautiful new MSBuild .NET Core project format. The Xamarin workload has been updated to include a new iOS Audio Unit wizard, Android binding project operations, and other mobile tooling improvements. This preview also includes NuGet 4.0 support and tons of other bug fixes and performance improvements.

Xamarin.Forms Previewer

With our latest release for Visual Studio and Visual Studio for Mac, we have made many enhancements to the Xamarin.Forms Previewer to increase the range of supported controls and XAML constructs. Additionally, with your feedback, we have been able to make the previewer much more reliable, including the initialization process. Be sure that you have the latest Java 1.8 x64 installed, as it is required for Android previewing.

Preview XAML as you type with the XAML Previewer.

Improved Xamarin.Forms XAML IntelliSense

Opening any Xamarin.Forms XAML document now provides a significantly improved IntelliSense experience in Visual Studio 2017. The new code completion engine supports bindings, custom properties, custom controls, converters, and much more. We know you are going to love it!

IntelliSense comes to Xamarin.Forms XAML in this release, making you a more productive developer.

New & Updated Templates

Many mobile apps are list views with data pulled down from the web, possibly with some form of social or enterprise authentication. In this release, we created new templates for Visual Studio 2017 and Visual Studio for Mac to reflect this reality. By just clicking a few buttons, you can bootstrap your next mobile project with a mobile app for iOS, Android, and Windows 10 that includes tabbed navigation, MVVM, settings, and more. By clicking “Host in the cloud,” you can take your mobile project to the next level by provisioning a backend for your mobile app, complete with client-side code for online/offline synchronization and automatic conflict resolution.

New mobile templates available for Visual Studio in Cycle 9.

We have also overhauled all of our iOS, watchOS, and tvOS templates with a flurry of new extensions to make development a breeze.

Connected Services

Visual Studio 2017 and Visual Studio for Mac’s new Connected Services feature brings cloud capabilities, such as data storage and authentication with Azure Mobile Apps, to your mobile app with the click of a button. Adding a service to your project will add all required dependencies and any required initialization code to your mobile targets.

Bring cloud capabilities like Azure Mobile Apps and Office 365 to your mobile app even faster with the new Connected Services feature.

Latest and Greatest SDKs

This update includes the most up-to-date SDK support for all platforms, including Android 7.1, iOS 10.2, and watchOS 3. Be sure to update to the latest versions of the Xcode and Android SDKs to fully take advantage of the new features.

So Much More

To catch a glimpse of some of the awesome features in Visual Studio 2017 and Visual Studio for Mac Preview 4, head over to to catch the event live or watch a recording. These are just some of the features you will find in this release, but there are a plethora of other enhancements, performance improvements, and bug fixes included. Visit our full release notes for the latest version of Xamarin for all of the goodies included or check out the Visual Studio for Mac release notes for all that’s new in Preview 4.

Don’t forget to download the latest-and-greatest to make you a more productive developer:   Download Visual Studio 2017   Download Visual Studio for Mac Preview 4
We need your feedback! Use Visual Studio and Visual Studio for Mac’s “Report a Problem” or “Provide a Suggestion” dialog (within the Help menu) to provide feedback. Also, don’t forget about our Visual Studio and Visual Studio for Mac community forums, which provide a great place to leave feedback and learn from other developers.


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