Getting Started With Xamarin

Over the past 4 days, I have been working with Xamarin here and there. I’m starting to get the lay of the land, and I may actually have some things of value to share. Here’s a quick braindump:

  • When creating your Visual Studio solution/projects, start with “Blank App (Xamarin.Forms.Shared)”, this will create your “core” project containing all your common code, it will also create a project for iOS, Android and Windows Phone 8.1
  • If you have chosen to use a Hackintosh, like me, you will not be able to run the Windows Phone 8.1 emulator as it requires Hyper-V and Hyper-V does not play nicely with VirtualBox
  • When you create your Xamarin.Forms projects, you will need to manually edit the iOS project file as described here:
  • ALWAYS ensure your Mac build machine is running and ready BEFORE opening Visual Studio
  • Visual Studio Online supports Xamarin build, but it will not work with a trial license

That’s about it for now, just some quick tips from the trenches.


Since iOS development requires a Mac, I  have decided to look at the Hackintosh-on-a-VM route.

Here are the resources I used to get up and running:

Main guide –

Troubleshooting –

Personally, I encountered a few different issues which the Troubleshooting guide helped me fix. I now have my VM up and running and ready for Xamarin configuration!

Beginning With Xamarin

I’m a little late to the mobile game…like 9 years late, but I really haven’t been motivated to create anything for the mobile space. I have daydreamed about creating a fantastic mobile app for the iPhone and Android and it has remained just that, a daydream. When I put in after hours time, for hobby projects or training, it generally needs to be directly tied to my short to medium term career goals.

Now, I finally have an opportunity to create a mobile app at work.

This is exciting and I’m really looking forward to the journey!

The Microsoft kool-aid tastes good to me, I love Visual Studio, C#, the .NET Framework. At this point, I don’t really know much else (besides the obligatory javascript, which fosters much more of a love-hate relationship). Based on this, I have selected Xamarin as my development tool without doing much research.

I decided to start this blog as a structured brain-dump. Generally, I make notes in Onenote and it stays hidden from the universe, this time I want to try something different.

Here we are at ground 0, sprint 0, whatever you want to call it. I’m ramping up on Xamarin, starting with 3 Pluralsight courses:

  1. Building Cross-Platform iOS/Android Apps with Xamarin, Visual Studio, and C# – Part 1
  2. Building Cross-Platform iOS/Android Apps with Xamarin, Visual Studio and C# – Part 2
  3. Introduction to Xamarin.Forms

I don’t have a Mac, and I don’t wish to have one or deal with one, so I’m going to be using Visual Studio Online (TFS 2015) and the built in Xamarin build capabilities to build my iOS app (see Brian Harry’s post).

I will be back tomorrow with more.