Xamarin – A few tips

I thought I would write this list as I go through developing a cross-platform retail project I am working on at the moment, so here goes:

Cleaning your project can solve the weirdest of issues

If it isn’t working – and “for the life of it” you cannot work out why, do this.Clean your project, and rebuild it.  I had been frustrated in the past with the simplest of features with regards to dismissing the keyboard using the following snippet from the Xamarin iOS developer website (https://developer.xamarin.com/recipes/ios/input/keyboards/dismiss_the_keyboard/):

this.txtDefault.ShouldReturn += (textField) => {
    return true;

After a while of debugging and trying to work out what was wrong, I remembered my Xamarin University training and that my compiled app might be messed up.

Simple solution = Clean your project.

How to turn a UITextField into a secure password field with masked characters

This one is super easy, when defining your UITextfield just set the property SecureTextEntry to true;

textfield.SecureTextEntry = true;
Components can make your development so much easier

There are a load of different components available for free direct form the Xamarin components website at https://components.xamarin.com/

The most common components I have used in my projects have been Xamarin authored components for GeoLocation and Media / Device Info.  Top quality!

Each component has a quick method for installing – direct from within Xamarin Studio, and when added to your application a quick snippet is available to enable you to start integrating straight away.

Here are some of my favourite components to date:

  1. Overlay Dialog and Progress View – https://components.xamarin.com/view/mbalertview
  2. Device Info Plugin – https://components.xamarin.com/view/DeviceInfoPlugin
  3. Discreet Notification – https://components.xamarin.com/view/gcdiscreetnotification
  4. Media Plugin – https://components.xamarin.com/view/MediaPlugin
  5. GeoLocator Plugin – https://components.xamarin.com/view/GeolocatorPlugin
There is no control available for a checkbox

Simply put, there is not a control available for a checkbox.  The easiest way round this, if your application requires one, is to use a UIImageView and have a checked and unchecked image to display.  You can then compare the current shown image to define if the image should be showing a checkbox or not. Simples!