Splash Screen in Xamarin.Forms cross platform app (Android & iOS)

Practically there is no way to show Splash Screen/ Launch Screen using Xamarin.Forms because Xamarin.Forms libraries load after loading of AppDelegate (iOS) or MainActivity (Android) is completed. There is no point in showing splash screen at this point of application lifecycle because splash screens are meant to be displayed while app libraries are loading and we don’t want to show users a blank dark screen.

Keeping that in mind we have to configure it separately in each platform. Our splash screen will contain a solid colored background and a logo placed on center of the screen. Follow below links for detailed walk-through to add splash screen on each of he platform. Keep on reading

Add Splash Screen in Xamarin.Forms cross platform app – iOS

For showing splash screen in Xamarin forms iOS app we will need to follow below steps

  • Prepare/ Gather Images

We will be preparing our splash screen with a logo and solid color filled background. So for that we have two options that is prepare image for each of resolution type suggested by Apple or have and PDF format vector image through other resolutions are generated at run time. Keep in mind that PDF vector option will work only for iOS 8 and later. Keep on reading

Send notification on Android, iOS and Web using FCM

Few month before Google has launched its new cloud messaging platform Firebase Cloud messaging which will replace its current cloud messaging system Google Cloud Messaging. Gogle has not yet deprecated GCM but it has stopped support on this platform and suggested all developers to use FCM from now onward.

Although google has provided interface to send FCM notification from its console itself but there are some limitations. Actually google has divided notification system in two types:

  1. Notification message
  2. Data messages

=&0=& is simple message which contains a text which will be displayed in the notification area of the device along with some other fields like notification title and display icon. We don’t need to handle them on client app. FCM will catch and display it automatically. This type of message can be sent directly from FCM Console. Just select your project and go to notification tab.

A notification message will look like this:

{
    "to" : "yourclientregistrationid...",
    "notification" : {
      "body" : "notification body",
      "title" : "notification title",
      "icon" : "displayicon"
    }
}

=&1=& are more powerful where we can send any data we want to send in json format. Maximum payload for data messaged could be 4KB. This type of message need to be send via your own code.

A data message will look similar to this:

{
    "to" : "yourclientregistrationid...",
    "data" : {
      "field1" : "your content",
      "field2" : "your content",
      "field3" : "your content"
    }
}

You can see the notification is replaced by data and unlike notification there can be any number of field with any name which you can handle in your client app code.

In next Article we will discuss how to send data notification in C# and PHP

Visual Studio 15 Preview 3 released on 7th July 2016

Microsoft has released its preview 3 of Visual Studio 15. Yes it is Visual Studio 15 is upcoming version of Microsoft Visual Studio after Visual Studio 2015.

Being one of the most user friendly and feature rich IDE for application development Visual Studio is one of the most successful product of Microsoft. Now they are stepping to become next generation universal IDE which will be able to provide development on any platform and language. This is because in this version Microsoft has included feature to import iOS code from xcode (isn’t it a great new for all visual studio fans who want to use Visual studio as iOS development IDE?).

Here is the list of some new feature and enhancements you will get in visual studio 2015:

1. Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova

It will come with Apache Cordova 6.1.1 so all new projects which you will create will target Cordova 6.1.1. Apart from that you will be able any plugin using their npm package name

One thing which we should take care of is that it does not support Windows  Store 8.1 application so you have to update your  Cordova project to target Windows 10.

2. Visual Studio Tools for Universal Windows App Development

Microsoft team has done many improvements based on feedback they got from users and now there are full list of new features as well for the users. One of them is updated .NET native chain which will provide improved performance for universal windows apps.

3. Android Development Support

Now Android project support Gradle to builds .apk and .aar

4. iOS Development Support

A new entry point wizard is introduced to import existing iOS projects developed in xcode. This is not the only thing there are lot more to try and for that you have to downloadVisual Studio 15

5. Improvements in C# and Visual Basic

There is very big list specially in this category which we can not describe here. One major thing which everyone would love (atleast I am very excited after knowing this) is now you can break strings in multiple concatenated strings without manually writing + sign every time. Just put your cursor where you want to split the string and press enter it will automatically do the rest. Sounds good!!!

6. Improved Feedback Workflow

This visual studio version has better and improve feedback collaboration and followup system.

7. NuGet 3.4

Now you will get NuGet 3.4 with this version of visual studio. This version of NuGet supports Android and iOS build action in contentFile element and running NuGet in Linux and Apple environment. There are many more features and enhancements you will get.

8. Debugging and Diagnostic

Now you can condition so that debugger will break only when specified condition is true.
There is new exception introduced to see exception information in a compact dialog with instant access to inner exception.

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9. IDE Improvements

Now visual studio will load 30 to 35% faster on first launch. There is all new version control status bar to keep track of uncommitted work ad make it easier to publish local repositories.

10. And Many More

This is not all there are many more features you will get in this full bundled visual studio package. You can check complete list here
https://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/news/releasenotes/vs15-relnotes
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