What’s New for Xamarin Developers in Visual Studio 2019 Previews

Pierce Boggan

1/8/2020: XAML Hot Reload is now stable in both Visual Studio and Visual Studio for Mac! Learn more about it in our documentation.

Today, Visual Studio 2019 version 16.3 Preview 2 and Visual Studio 2019 for Mac version 8.3 Preview 2 released with many improvements for mobile developers in Visual Studio. This release includes major productivity enhancements such as XAML Hot Reload for Xamarin.Forms and improvements to the XAML Previewer for Xamarin.Forms. As well as support for the latest Android Q APIs.

This blog highlights some of the features available to use in today’s preview release.

XAML Hot Reload for Xamarin.Forms

XAML Hot Reload for Xamarin.Forms is now available for all to try! Enabling you to make changes to your XAML UI and see them reflected live. Without ever requiring another build and deploy.

XAML Hot Reload for Xamarin.Forms speeds up your development. While also making it easier to build, experiment, and iterate on your user interface. This means no longer having to rebuild your app each time you tweak your UI. Because it instantly shows you your changes in your running app!

When your application is compiled using XAML Hot Reload, it works with all libraries and third-party controls. It will be available for iOS and Android in Visual Studio 2019 and Visual Studio 2019 for Mac. This works on all valid deployment targets, including simulators, emulators, and physical devices.

To use XAML Hot Reload for Xamarin.Forms, it must be enabled via:

Tools > Options > Xamarin > Hot Reload > Enable XAML Hot Reload for Xamarin.Forms

Check out the XAML Hot Reload for Xamarin.Forms documentation for more information.

Android Q Preview Support

You can now use Android Q Beta 4 Final APIs within Xamarin.Android, including:

  • Support a Dark Theme to ensure a consistent experience for users who enable system-wide dark theme.
  • Support Gesture Navigation in your app by going edge-to-edge and making sure your custom gestures are complementary to the system navigation gestures.
  • Optimize for foldables: Deliver seamless, edge-to-edge experiences on today‚Äôs innovative foldable devices.
  • More interactive notifications by enabling suggested replies and actions in your notifications to engage with your users.
  • Better Networking APIs for Wi-Fi network requests and connectivity.

Get started with the Android Q Preview by setting Compile using Android version: (Target Framework) to Android 10.0 (Q) under the Application tab of the Visual Studio project property pages.

Android Q Preview Support Visual Studio 2019

XAML Previewer for Xamarin.Forms

The XAML Previewer for Xamarin.Forms in Visual Studio 2019 is packed full of updates driven by your feedback! Including buildless previews, support for design-time data, and expanded support for custom controls. New in the latest Visual Studio 2019 preview is the ability to visualize UIs utilizing Xamarin.Forms Visuals. As well as the Material Visual.

XAML Previewer for Xamarin.Forms Visual Studio 2019

Constraint Editing in the iOS Designer

Based on your feedback, the iOS Designer is introducing a new way to work with constraints. When a constrainable view is selected in the design view, an ellipsis will now appear in the designer toolbar next to the Constraints Pinning mode selector. For editing constraints on the selected view, click the ellipsis to display the popover:

Constraint Editing in the iOS Designer Visual Studio 2019

Try the Previews Today!

With all the improvements coming in today’s preview release, your feedback will help make this an amazing release. Visual Studio previews on Windows can be installed side-by-side with stable. Additionally, they are sandboxed to prevent any side effects from affecting your primary development environment. Visual Studio for Mac enables you to quickly try previews and see how they work for you by changing the update channel to Preview.

Try out these previews! Including features like XAML Hot Reload for Xamarin.Forms. Let us know how it works for you and your team by filing issues via:

Help > Send Feedback > Report a Problem

As well as on Twitter @pierceboggan, @maddyleger1, or @_JonDouglas.

For a complete overview of everything new for developers in Visual Studio 2019, check out the .


Discussion is closed. Login to edit/delete existing comments.

  • Hugo Ferreira 0

    I just checked this preview with Hot Reload enabled and it’s super buggy.
    – I have a Shell menu with tabs.
    – In 2 tabs, I have the same Page (2 instance of the same page).
    – This page use custom controls that derives from Xamarin.Forms controls and use Material design
    In debugging on Android emulator, if I try to add a simple Xamarin.Forms Label, I see the page blinking, became darker, I don’t see the new Label, however if I navigate to the second page, I see the new Label repeated multiple times, over other controls.

  • Robert Needham 0

    Its ok telling us about the new this and that, in vs2019, but wheres the fix for the system locking up whenever you search xaml pages (and aspx pages) that i reported on the vs developer site and other people also reported? vs2019 is unusable for me as i cant do any searching, let alone proper xamarin development, and all MS say is it’s ‘under consideration’ – whatever that means – sounds like ‘filed in the bin’ to me, and they brought release 16.2.1 out a week or so later and its still in there. All worked fine until i upgraded 2 weeks ago so im super p**** off

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